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Is it possible to install Windows 7 (64-bit) on a Mac Pro without Boot Camp?

I don't need Mac OS at all and just want to install Windows 7.

EDIT: Yes, it seems possible (see answer), but I would strongly recommend to follow deddebme's advice on this matter.

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so... why did you get a Mac Pro? –  Decio Lira Nov 20 '09 at 23:59
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I didn't and if you mainly want to run Windows on it I wouldn't recommend it. –  Patrick Klug Nov 22 '09 at 23:29
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7 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is for Vista, but the same rules should apply to 7.

http://derekhat.com/install-vista-on-a-macbook-without-bootcamp/

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Install Windows 7, put the OSX disk in, and rather than letting it autorun, open the disk manually and select setup. The compatibility checks Boot Camp seems to run appear to be bypassed this way.

It worked for me on my mad science rig "Abby", but she was dual booting Ubuntu 10.x 64 and Windows 7 64 with grub-efi-amd64, so that may have made a difference. Macbook Pro 2,1.

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Windows 7 Pro, x64 disc boots fine on Mac Pro. Just delete all existing Mac partition, and create new Windows partitions, and reformat the new partitions. Windows 7 installs and boots as is. Then insert Snow Leopard disc and install Boot Camp drivers.

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well once i installed xp x64 to a single free drive. first i removed the os x drive and and a new empty harddrive. it was as easy as installing on a pc. Standart install worked fine and i used 64 bit drives from intel, ati and others (not bootcamp drivers). had no problem. it was a dual socket, 2 core xeons, mac pro, total 4 cores...

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I did it following the Vista instructions that Joseph posted above. It will work, but here are a few things I wish someone would have told me:

the big gotcha: no xp mode

  1. if you want to use "xp mode" with windows 7, you have to enable your hardware virtualization in the bios. But macs don't have "bioses" so you'll have no way to do this after you install. Forum rumor has it that if you boot first to osx and then reboot into windows 7 that osx will start it for you and then you can use xp mode. of course, you need bootcamp to be able to boot both of these (maybe you could install osx to another hd or something).

You can use VMLight instead, but I installed itunes on that and it just crashed without running. Had similar experiences with Adobe on parrallels in OSx.

there's some general issues with booting macs that most users probably know already, but I did not:

  1. do the disk util thing the way the vista instructions describe.

  2. when you reboot with your windows 7 cd, it will do some initial instally-things and then reboot your computer. You have to hold down the "alt" key when it's rebooting and then select the hard drive to boot from, otherwise you will be stuck with a white/grey screen.

  3. when you are done with the install, reboot and hold down "alt" and then control-click the windows-7 drive to make it the default boot volume and you don't have to hold "alt" down anymore on restart.

As others have said, it's probably best to just use bootcamp and set windows as the default. Unless you're putting everything on one big raid volume and booting straight from that, osx isn't really hurting anything except a few megs off your boot volume, but that's not typically a problem.

(I didn't install any drivers from the disk and didn't have any problems)

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Not sure if you can simply install Windows 7 from scratch (i.e., pop the disc in and boot from it, as opposed to using the Boot Camp Assistant from Mac OS X), but you'll certainly want to use the Mac OS X disc afterwards to install the Boot Camp hardware drivers.

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If I were you, I won't bother installing windows without boot camp, since it is painfully unnecessary if you do so.

You'll be losing something like one hour and 10GB of harddisk space if you install (restore) OSX and install bootcamp, but you'll save lots of time since bootcamp will do the EFI booting configurating, partitions creating and shrinking, providing mac hardware drivers etc.

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+1 there's no real reason to not keep OS X installed, unless hard disk space is a particular premium. You can configure boot camp to launch into Windows directly bypassing the boot screen if you want. –  Mark Pim Nov 3 '09 at 9:58
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I think the Mac drivers are provided by installing the bootcamp drivers from the OS X disc (as pointed out by Lawrence) - even if I have OSX I have to manually install the drivers. –  Patrick Klug Nov 3 '09 at 23:46
    
+1 I agree. ------ –  Patrick Klug Nov 17 '09 at 0:52
    
I recently bought an iMac and installed Windows 7 x64 on it. The bootcamp setup application on the DVD refused to run on x64. This may have been resolved now, but it's something to be aware of –  Crippledsmurf Feb 25 '10 at 9:53
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@crippledsmurf make sure your mac is on this official apple support list of Windows 7 64 bit support.apple.com/kb/HT1846, then you should be able to install bootcamp in Windows 7 –  deddebme Feb 26 '10 at 16:55
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