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I have an Intel-based MacBook Pro whose hard disk was formatted before I received it. It had no OS installed, and I have no Mac OS X installation disks.

I’m trying to get the machine to run some version of WindowsXP or later version of Windows with all hardware (especially network adapters) working with proper drivers. I would like to do so legally and for the lowest price possible. How do I do this?

I have installed a copy of Windows XP SP2 onto the machine using an old CD and key I had lying around. This is the only OS installed on the machine.

The machine boots into XP without problems, but some devices—most notably, the Ethernet and the Wi-Fi network adapters--do not have drivers. I have tried all of the following steps to get the network adapters to work:

  • I have attempted to run the Boot Camp - Windows XP Drivers Update 2.1 executable. Unsurprisingly, this did not work; the failure message stated that I did not have the appropriate drivers installed and the documentation clearly states:

    Important: Installation of Boot Camp 2.1 is required before installing 
    Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3)
    
  • From another MacBook Pro, I ran the “Boot Camp Assistant.” I selected the option to “Download the latest Windows support software from Apple,” put the download onto a USB flash drive and attempted to run the executables on the Windows XP MacBook Pro. This too failed: “The file is not a proper executable” or somesuch. This too is unsurprising, considering

    1. The hardware differences between the different MacBook Pros.
    2. The fact that the Windows XP machine has never used any form of Boot Camp.
    3. The fact that I am using a USB flash drive when the “Boot Camp Assistant” states that I need a FAT32-formatted external external hard disk drive. Due to budgetary constraints, I do not have access to an external hard disk drive.
  • I have done the digging here on SuperUser. I have found two SuperUser questions—this one and this one—to have relevant questions but inapplicable answers.

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Have you tried checking with Intel's support pages? They generally bundle most/all their Network adapter drivers in one set ("ProSet") –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 6 '13 at 19:12
    
Excellent idea. Per your suggestion, I just tried it. I got a message: "Cannot install drivers. No Intel(R) Adapters are present in this computer." Presumably though, if I can figure out what kind of network adapter this MBP has, I can just find the drivers in the wild somewhere. –  bobocopy Oct 6 '13 at 20:49
    
I know this is not the question: But why install XP? It is no longer supported so you can install it but then you should not connect it to any network, not use any pen drives, etc etc. That usually makes it pretty useless. That leaves two other options: 1) Somehow recover the OSX install media. 2) Install a much more modern windows. Which will also use different drivers. The last is why I am posting this before you spent ages looking for ancient 32 bit XP drivers. –  Hennes Jun 29 at 13:25

1 Answer 1

You can use Hardware ID to find out the Devices. http://www.pcidatabase.com/ will give the option to find out the device from Hardware Id Or you can use unknown device identifier application

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This would be a better answer if you explain how to get the Hardware ID. –  DavidPostill Jun 29 at 13:26

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