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Halo 2 Vista under Boot Camp


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#1 Frost

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:17 AM

So, I got a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate and joined the Boot Camp crowd finally (to the "why did you waste your money on that when Home is good enough" crowd: I got a shrinkwrapped full retail copy of Win7 Ultimate for $99, that's why. Now shaddap). I have a small stack of PC games I've bought cheaply over the years with the intent to run them one day... well, one day finally came, and it was Friday.

In that stack was a copy of Halo 2 Vista.

I've spent the better part of two days fighting with that damned game, facing one error after another, followed by graphical slowdowns when I finally overcame the errors. I finally beat it into submission and it now runs flawlessly.

tl;dr: I got Halo 2 Vista working under Windows 7 on a Mac. If you have any desire to do the same, my experience might be helpful.

I'll spare you all the things that went wrong and just stick to the one way I finally set it up that did NOT blow up in my face. Do these in this exact order.
  • Install the game from the DVD. Do not run it, not even once; install only.

  • Let it install it in the default location. Don't question this, just do it. It'll save you a pile of headaches I had. Remember you're on a popsnizzlety OS that doesn't make any sense and is best left as unpersonalized as possible in the name of stability.

  • Download the Games for Windows Live update.

  • Install the GFWL update and successfully sign into your Live account (make one if you don't have one) with it.

  • Download and install the Halo 2 Vista update.

  • Start up Halo 2. Sign into your Live profile and let it download it.

  • If all goes well, you'll be able to play Halo 2. Now, you'll probably notice it stutter stepping and having slowdowns every two seconds.

  • Exit Halo 2 Vista.

  • Restart

  • Go to nVidia's driver's site and download the latest drivers for your GPU, because the ones Apple installs with Boot Camp are from the freakin' stone age. Make sure if you're running on a laptop you select the correct Notebook version for your series. If you're using an ATI GPU, you're on your own. If you're on Intel integrated graphics, commit suicide because you just wasted your time up to this point.

  • Install the drivers

  • Restart

  • Start Halo 2

  • Enjoy Halo 2 running smoothly under Windows 7! Not sure if it helps, but I also selected the Halo 2 app, went to properties, compatibility, and selected run in compatibility mode for Windows Vista Service Pack 2.

  • Don't frak up too many times because you only get 6 installs before your CD key becomes useless and you have to buy another copy of the game.
And that's it. Only one other hiccup: If you're an Xbox user and you have a Live Family Account, you can't play online. Don't bother griping about it because many have been before you for the last two years, and the best anyone's gotten is a litany of Microsoft departments all blaming each other, and occasionally blaming Bungie. I have a family account that I split the bill with my cousins on and I found out the hard way. Given half of us now want to be able to play Halo 2 Vista together and the Family Pack was due for renewal at the beginning of next month anyway, we're all going back to separate accounts.

This was done on the 08 MacBook Pro in my signature. I had one tester on a 2.8 GHz 2009 MBP also with Win7 Ultimate follow this process and it worked successfully for him too.

Later, I'm going to attempt running Halo 2 Vista under Parallels 7 just to see what happens. I'll post results.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#2 Frigidman™

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 09:24 AM

Props the to Frost man for posting this.

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#3 Frost

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 03:26 PM

Don't bother attempting the game under Parallels. Not only does it require another use of the CD key even though it's the same system running off the Boot Camp partition (don't worry, I didn't use mine) but all the textures are going ape popsnizzle in the menu, so I assume they'd be the same in the game. Run the game natively only.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#4 teflon

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:50 AM

It's just a pain in the backside to get running these days, no matter what. The stupid hoop you have to jump through to get GfWL updated so that the game will even launch is a joke.
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#5 Frigidman™

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:46 AM

Windows LIVE *is a joke* 'nuff said ;)

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#6 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:47 PM

I played Halo 2 Vista on my gaming PC last year but it didn't grab me enough to get me to complete it.. also I didn't like how the humans looked in it and I didn't like the weapons changes compared to Halo 1. Also, yes... GFWL sucks. :bleedingeyes: Gave me issues there although I didn't have to put on any compatibility mode to get it running in windows 7.
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Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#7 Frost

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:15 PM

Actually, this should probably be in Windows Gaming...

*shwoop*
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Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#8 J'nathus

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 12:50 PM

View PostFrost, on 09 September 2012 - 06:17 AM, said:

If you're on Intel integrated graphics, commit suicide because you just wasted your time up to this point.

As someone who did tech support for a living for long enough to have his sanity questioned...  THIS! :)

Thanks for the sincere laugh-out-loud moment.

On to the Halo Vista thing, I didn't know it could run in Win 7 at all (had a friend try to install it and exceed his lever of patience for getting it working). Given that Vista is NT 6.0, 7 is NT 6.1 and now Windows 8 is NT 6.2 - I'd imagine it could run on the latest OS as well as the 2 others.

#9 Endymion

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:05 AM

View PostFrost, on 09 September 2012 - 06:17 AM, said:

Let it install it in the default location. Don't question this, just do it. It'll save you a pile of headaches I had. Remember you're on a popsnizzlety OS that doesn't make any sense and is best left as unpersonalized as possible in the name of stability.

I hopped in here from your OT "WINDOWS SUCKS" thread so I guess you've got this all solved by now, but I should mention that I've installed Halo 2 multiple times in both Vista and Windows 7 and never had to do this ever. I create my own folders on my machines for game installs and advanced setup or more options or custom or whatever is the first thing that I look for in any installer because I need to get the games to the right volume. Now that I think of it the only problem I ever had redirecting things was with Steam, at a time, it would always install games to whichever drive Steam was installed to, so the solution for Steam game locations was to always make sure you installed Steam to a volume or drive that you wanted your games to be on; this is no longer a problem and Steam has flexibility about installing the app in one place and the games in another. But at any rate, I never had any problems installing Halo 2 to a directory of my choosing.

#10 Frost

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:45 AM

This could no doubt use a little revising, I just haven't experimented with it further and posted exactly what I did once I reached the "IT WORKS! AHAHA!" point. But I did have issues with the map editor not going in properly and the Halo 2 update not registering as installed because it kept asking me if I wanted to update as soon as I signed into GfWL even though I had the update applied. That stopped when I just put it in its default folder and then updated it, but maybe I did something else differently.

I'll play with it some more after I finish Unreal 2, as Halo 2's next on the list.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.