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If I buy a Macbook Pro, reformat the hard drive, and install Windows 7, what issues should I expect? Will I need to install drivers by hand, and if so, are they on the OSX DVD? Will I be able to right-click (!)?

And should the mood take me, can I reinstall OSX from the DVD?

(Just for background - I can't find any other decent 15 inch laptop with a Core i* processor and a high-resolution 16:10 screen :( 16:9 drives me crazy, and 1050 vertical pixels is the minimum I am prepared to use VisualStudio on. I am looking for alternatives for when my trusty T61 packs up, and have no interest in OS X, or having it take up valuable hard drive space.)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Using BootCamp is, I'd say, the way to go.

Get your new MacBook Pro with OS X installed and open the Boot Camp assistant - it will re-partition the drive for you (you could make your OS X partition as small as possible) and prompt you to insert the Windows 7 disk and restart. You can then configure it to always startup in Windows unless you press alt at startup.

The advantage is that everything, including drivers, is handled for you and you can easily get into OS X should you ever want to, disadvantage is you sacrifce a small amount of space on your C:\ drive.

The alternative you suggest, reformatting your drive, will be much more of a headache - Intel Apple's use EFI not BIOS and so Windows won't just install on blank Mac hardware without the BootCamp infrastructure there to support it (See this post). It's possible to do it that way with a bit of work but MUCH more trouble than it's worth.

Edit: And you can always reinstall MacOS from disc. Hold down C while starting up to force it to use the DVD/CD for boot

Edit 2: All the Windows drivers are on the install DVD, and right click is supported (even in OS X :) ) - either plug a 2/3-button mouse into a USB port, or put two fingers on the track-pad while clicking - works in OS X and Windows on my MacBook Pro

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Cheers, that's what I wanted to know :) Do you have any experience of the reported terrible battery life running windows ('cos the GPU is always running)? – Joel in Gö Jun 25 '10 at 12:40
I tend to mostly work plugged in to the wall so I don't tend to notice battery life I'm afraid. – Mark Pim Jun 25 '10 at 12:43

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