Vista on MacBook Pro II

by Ed on January 4, 2007

I now have Vista running a bit better on my MacBook Pro. But the journey was long and arduous and fraught with peril.

I didn’t actually set out to get everything working better. In fact, all I really wanted was a slightly larger partition. I was running out of room since I only had made the partition 15GB to start with. I thought resizing it would be easy. After all, there’s a built-in “Complete PC Backup” and restore in Vista. “Sweet! This will be cake!” I said foolishly. I should actually point out that I first tried to use iPartition to just resize things, but it wouldn’t hear of it. So down the backup/restore route I went.

I got some DVDs and I did the backup to disk. Simple. Next step was to repartition. Did that. OK, now I’m at 25GB. (It wouldn’t let me do larger… was telling me I needed to do a complete Mac OS save/restore to get my partition in a state to be able to do that. What. Ever.) To do the restore, I needed to boot from my RTM DVD, which I did. I chose the appropriate option to start the restore. Then the fun began. It asked me to put in the disk to restore from. OK… wait… hmm. Um, how can I get the current DVD out to put the new one in? There’s no damn button! This really ticked me off. Now I had no way to put my stuff back on the machine. I tried various things to get that DVD out, all to no avail.

You know, I should also mention the fact that after you partition and try to do a restore, you can’t find the partion to restore onto until you install Vista to at least get the partition formatted and set up. Do you know how many times I went through that installer and booting on to the RTM disk to get the restore thing going and trying to get the DVD out and crying and swearing? Too many. In the end I actually tried taking my computer apart. Well, I didn’t try actually. I did. All in the hopes of finding some sort of eject mechanism. Well, there isn’t one. So I had to out to Fry’s and get an external DVD drive. Since things were going so well, I thought it would be nifty if I bought the wrong drive and took it home first to make my failure complete. So I went back to Fry’s again after realizing my error and got what I really needed.

OK, well I finally got myself back to a state where I could finally run the restore. Yay! It found the drive and then the restore started. But just when you thought I was out of the woods… it gave me some sort of disk error (file corrupt or something). So I tried it again. Same thing. Each time this took about a half hour I might add. See these gray hairs? They weren’t here when I started! I even thought “well, maybe it thinks it’s only restoring the original 15GB and ran out of blocks to copy. So I reformatted and made another 15GB partition and tried again. Nope.

In the end, I couldn’t get it to work. A complete day wasted. My only recourse has been to repartition again to 25GB and rebuild it all from scratch again. This includes downloading applications, including ones I had purchased (Quicken, in particular). Thank the lords of kobol that I did the Quicken Backup thing to save my finances onto their backup server. I had thoroughly redone all my finances after getting Vista up and running. I moved all my data over. That was not painless. If I had lost that work, I would have been a completely different level of unhappy. I also had to dig up magic versions of the Cisco VPN client so I could get into work mail, etc. Ugh. I had all that stuff set up perfectly on the last install.

During this whole debacle in MacBook-land, I was trying to see if I could restore the disk onto my PC instead. After one successful boot I got to a blank screen and then nothing for some time. I force rebooted, and you know… my damn DVD drive won’t mount the RTM disk (or my backup disks) anymore? It will mount a CD or a real DVD movie, but not those disks. And that machine is what even wrote the RTM disk. I gave up on that one. That machine needs an overhaul with a sledgehammer.

But with all this rebuilding, I’ve noticed that some of my original issues I had with my first stint with Vista are gone. I can sleep and wake the machine now. I finally got the trackpad driver installed, so now right click is functional (that one could have been me… I tried a different method this time). I also got my iSight working and the delete key is now mapped to enter so I can do ctrl-alt-del now. I think this machine is now pretty functional. Just wish I had a button on my DVD drive 😛 I might post some explicit instructions here later on how to get everything installed. I’ve found various pieces all over the internet, but no complete, detailed instructions.

I just did another complete backup. I might see if I can restore it onto my PC just for laughs. If it works at least I’ll have one complete backup of my system in a pristine state, settings and all.

If not… I will cry softly huddled under my desk.

P.S. I just put my Vista DVD into my PC and it mounted. I can’t win. :-/ 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

nick February 7, 2007 at 8:26 pm

Yo, i am trying to get vista running on my Macbook Pro and i am having trackpad issues. What exactly did u do to get it to work?

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Ed February 13, 2007 at 12:48 am

At this point I can’t completely remember. But the basic method was to first start disabling HID devices until the trackpad stopped working so I could figure out what was what. Then I did a manual install of the driver. This is the hazy part. I remember clicking an option I hadn’t the first time though that made it finally work. I think it was something that allowed me to just point it at the driver directory where I had unpacked the drivers disk.

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