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Can I upgrade from Vista to Windows 8 (MacPro 2,1)?


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#1 jgwdoc

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:01 AM

I've started to run into problems with a few newer games (Wolfenstein New Order) and I'm wondering if I can upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 on my MacPro 2,1 partition (snow leopard). The official Apple answer seems to be "no," but I've seen conflicting reports. If I can do it, how would one go about it?
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#2 macdude22

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:24 AM

So apple has a support matrix for what systems are supported by which versions of BootCamp.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5634

a 2,1 MacPro isn't "supported" by bootcamp 4 or 5, which is disappointing. However not all is lost. You'll be able to install whatever version of Windows you want, you just won't be able to install the BootCamp control panel (you'll have to either install drivers manually or let windows take care of it, maybe a little of both). Also instead of using the control panel to select a boot device you'll have to hold option on reboot.

I have a 3,1, MacPro so the BootCamp 5 installer isn't supported on Windows 8. I did install windows 8 and it found all the hardware, I just wasn't real keen on Windows 8 and went back to windows 7. To be honest the boot camp drivers are so out of date that I've installed newer versions of most anyway.

I'm not really sure why apple makes these arbitrary decisions, other than to keep support complexity to a minimum.

tl;dr. Apple doesn't support it but you should be able to install Windows 7/8 fine, albeit with out the bootcamp control panel.
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#3 jgwdoc

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:42 AM

I can certainly live without the control panel. But how do I do the upgrade practically: do I just buy a disk of Windows 7 or 8 and do a straight install, or is there an upgrade path? And do the drivers come on the disk, or do I then have to get them from some MS site? I've generally used my partition only for gaming and remain deeply ignorant of how Windows really works. Thanks for the help!
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#4 macdude22

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:49 AM

What OS are you running now? XP 32-Bit?
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#5 jgwdoc

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:57 AM

I'm using Vista-64
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#6 macdude22

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:11 AM

Technically you can do an inplace upgrade to 7 64-bit. (i.e. you can never do x32 to x64 upgrades).

http://www.microsoft...ils.aspx?id=133

You won't be able to do an in place upgrade for Windows 8.

http://technet.micro...3.aspx#EightOne

With the age of the MacPro it's likely Windows will detect most of your hardware and install drivers automatically. If there ends up being devices not found in device manager you can usually do a little detective work to track them down.


• In the Device Manager menu find the driver that is missing (yellow question mark).

• Right click on that driver and go to “Properties”

• In the properties menu, click on the “Details” tab.

• In the details tab, click the dropdown and select “Device Id’s” or "Hardware Id's".

• When you have that sub menu opened up below, you should see a sentence containing a couple things you need. PCI\VEN_stuff
an example might look like this PCI\VEN_1AB8&DEV_4005&SUBSYS_04001AB8&REV_00

• Often you can just google this string and track down the device and driver. If not you'll want to grab  “VEN_xxxx” and “DEV_xxxx”. These two things are the Vendor and Device Id’s. 

• Take the Vendor and Device ID's to the website www.pcidatabase.com


• There is a vendor field on their main page, type in your 4 digit “VEN” number/letter combination from your hardware ID you pulled from device manager.  (you don’t need to enter “VEN”, just the number/letter string).

• This will bring up the (manufacturer) of that piece of hardware.

• Click on the vendor/manufacturer to get to a page that will have much of the hardware that manufacturer has made

• Use your browsers find function to find the device number (again without the DEV). Once you know the device you should be able to track down a driver.




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#7 jgwdoc

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:05 AM

Thank you. Sounds like the easiest plan is to go from Vista Home Premium to 7 Home Premium, and then if I eventually want to go to 8 the upgrade path reopens. I assume an OEM version of 7 will do?
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#8 Frigidman™

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:24 AM

I'd recommend 7 as well over 8. Windows 8 has, for all intents and purposes, screwed itself up in the most inhuman way. You'd be pulling your hair out with 8, even if its just for gaming... which is where 8 tends to become overtly ornery.

I believe the OEM 7 should work just fine. The only real difference between retail and oem, is how you are 'supposed' to use it ;) Meaning, you are supposed to be a system builder and selling the computer off to someone else. Piffle...

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#9 jgwdoc

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:26 AM

My only concern is whether the OEM 7 provides an "upgrade" path. I'm seeing conflicting answers to that question on-line and I really would prefer to avoid reinstalling everything.
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#10 macdude22

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:44 AM

From a technical standpoint, the OEM version of Windows 7 should be identical to a retail full version of Windows 7. However, these are only supposed to be used to clean install the operating system. Once the OS is installed and activated on a specific motherboard, it cannot be moved to a new PC.

I would suspect having an OEM windows 7 x64 disk should prompt you to do an upgrade but I couldn't say for certain. I have a retail copy of 7 Ultimate.
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#11 Frigidman™

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:45 AM

Oh, right. I wouldn't know about that... I use my OEM as clean installs. I never trust any 'upgrades' with OS's... even OSX. I start over and copy over my data files and setup settings clean again. Since all my games are installed via Steam, there is no re-install of 500gbs of games. Its just a copy process from the old location to the new. But if you don't have a backup drive, a clean install can be a HUGE pain.

I'd hold off on OEM until you get an actual confirmed case of "Yes, you can upgrade Vista with OEM 7, heres how I did it...".

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#12 jgwdoc

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:49 AM

I may just have to bite the bullet and see what happens. I can't really see spending $300 for a full version of W7. I'll give the OEM a try. I do, in fact, have a Winclone back up, though I think many of the applications would have to be re-installed anyway. If anyone has used the OEM for an upgrade, let me know!
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#13 macdude22

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:51 AM

Do you have an OEM copy of Vista installed on your MacPro right now?
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#14 jgwdoc

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:52 AM

Yup, the copy of Vista I have is indeed OEM.
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#15 macdude22

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:55 AM

View PostFrigidman™, on 15 July 2014 - 11:45 AM, said:

Oh, right. I wouldn't know about that... I use my OEM as clean installs. I never trust any 'upgrades' with OS's... even OSX.

Pshhhhhh I ran my iMac from 10.4 to 10.7 with upgrades to no ill effect. Apple has that popsnizzle down. Microsoft should take note.

View Postjgwdoc, on 15 July 2014 - 11:52 AM, said:

Yup, the copy of Vista I have is indeed OEM.

I feel like it shouldn't be an issue, but I guess worst case you've got the OEM disk and key to install fresh (which all things considered is not a terrible idea when Windows is involved).
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#16 jgwdoc

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:59 AM

I've been pretty happy with Vista for my limited usage, but I think the problem I'm having with the new Wolfenstein will become more and more common, so i might as well upgrade now. Thanks for steering me away from 8; it sounds like yet another iOS.
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#17 Frigidman™

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:06 PM

Yes, a lot of the newer windows games really prefer (even now requiring) at least windows 7. Windows 7 is a very good OS (for windows), you will like it a lot over vista. Vista was, is?, the worst windows since ... uhm. It was the worst.

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#18 macdude22

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:15 PM

View Postjgwdoc, on 15 July 2014 - 11:59 AM, said:

I've been pretty happy with Vista for my limited usage, but I think the problem I'm having with the new Wolfenstein will become more and more common, so i might as well upgrade now. Thanks for steering me away from 8; it sounds like yet another iOS.

All things considered, 8 isn't terrible, but I do run it with Start8 so my opinion may be a bit skewed. And I barely ever use that machine, instead opting to use my MacPro w/7...... what was I saying again?
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#19 Frost

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 04:06 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 15 July 2014 - 12:15 PM, said:

All things considered, 8 isn't terrible, but I do run it with Start8 so my opinion may be a bit skewed. And I barely ever use that machine, instead opting to use my MacPro w/7...... what was I saying again?
8 was a nightmare and made me think I made a mistake not sticking with 7, but 8.1 pretty much fixed my major gripes with 8 and I now prefer it to 7. Of course, OSX still blows both out of the water for everything but games.
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#20 DaveyJJ

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:32 PM

Is there a way to upgrade from 7 to 8.1?

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