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Thread: About to upgrade My Macbook Pro...A Few Questions First

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Oct 03, 2009
    About to upgrade My Macbook Pro...A Few Questions First
    Hey Mac Fans,

    Newcomer and first time poster here. I am sure some of the questions I am about to ask have already been addressed elsewhere and if so please feel free to simply redirect me to the appropriate thread and I thank you in advance for doing so.

    With that said, let me just say up front, and please don't throw stones at me for saying this, but I am very well rehearsed at working on IBM compatible computers, both desktops and notebooks, so it's not like I am all thumbs and have little experience

    Now that that's out of the way, I bought my first Mac about 2 years ago to replace my aging PIII Dell Laptop, and I must say I really like it a lot. So much that to be honest, because I use my desktop much more than I do my laptop I wish I would have bought the 24" iMac I had my eye on instead, but I had just built a new desktop based around the core 2 duo processor a few months before. Oh well, when that one becomes antiquated I'll probably replace it with a newer and faster iMac then.

    Anywho, I am just getting ready to preform some upgrades to my 17" Macbook Pro 3.1. I plan on upgrading the memory from the stock 2GB of RAM to 4GB, and the stock 160GB 5400rpm hard drive to a 320GB 7200rpm hard drive. I already have the hardware on hand and have gone ahead and searched the net finding some really detailed instructions on how to preform both tasks. Everything appears pretty straight forward and I'm fairly confident that it will all go without a hitch. Famous last words, right?

    What I am not well rehearsed at is the software side of a Mac, and I have virtually no experience with bootcamp, which is the bases of my main question. Ultimately what I aim to have is both OS X Snow Leopard and Windows 7 64 bit installed and because I am installing a fresh hard drive I want to know the correct order in which to accomplish this.

    To fill in all the gaps, I just ordered a Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade DVD which is not going to arrive until near the end of the month when it is released. As such I believe I have to install either XP or Vista, both which I have on hand, before the upgrade will install. No big deal, I can do that.

    I also just obtained Snow Leopard and because this too is an upgrade I assume I'll have to install the OS X along with the Leopard upgrade that came with the MBP before I can install Snow Leopard too, or is it not necessary to install the Leopard upgrade and just go straight to Snow Leopard after installing OS X?

    Now that you have a clearer picture of what I am planning, my remaining question are... what is the best way to go about accomplishing all of this? Obviously the hardware process is the first thing, but where do I go from there? Do I install OS X first and let that do its thing? Do I need to allocate a separate partition for Windows in the beginning or can that be done later? Do I need to create yet a third partition to store documents to be shared with each OS. All fair questions I believe and I figured what better place to ask them than a Mac Forum.

    Looking forward to enhancing my Mac experience and learning everything I can as I go.


  2. #2

    Member Since
    Aug 30, 2009
    Cannot speak to the Windows install, but it is a known fact that the Snow Leopard Upgrade will quite happily install onto a cleanly partitioned and formatted drive, (no previous OS required here).
    In fact it is the only way this version of OS X will let you do a clean install, which many, myself included, prefer with a new version.
    Do a google search to find out more about Snow Leopard installs.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    May 02, 2009
    Welcome to the forums.

    As for the BootCamp related questions, your going to want to install OSX first. You can create your Windows partition when you install OSX, or you can modify the disk after you install with the Boot Camp Assistant. Either approach will give you what you want.

    As for the third partition, it's not really necessary as you can read your Windows partition from your Mac and vice versa. After you install Windows via Bootcamp, OSX will install a set of utilities/drivers that will allow you to see your OSX drives from Windows.

    If you have any experience with PCs (as you seem to), this process is a lot less complicated than dual booting a PC with Windows and Linux (or any other OS) and having to maintain a particular order or install, installing GRUB on the MBR etc.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Oct 03, 2009
    Yes, as you can probably tell by my question, I do have experience loading multiple OS on an IBM compatible. My desktop has XP, Vista and Ubuntu on it and I learned from that experience that s specific order was required as was multiple partitions. Good to know about there being no need for the original OS X and Leopard discs, though I will reseach this as suggested seeing as Snow Leopard is an upgrade. Sure would make life easier wouldn't it?

    TY for the replies. I shall be starting this process some time tomorrow.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Oct 03, 2009
    Just thought I'd pop in and post that everything went without a hitch. Posting from within Vista now while I download security updates. Snow Leopard loaded smooth as butter too.

    Now if I could just get OS X to utilize my HP PSC 1350 printer attached to my desktop. Leopard didn't have a driver for that particular printer for whatever reason. Maybe Snow Leopard does?

  6. #6

    Collin Bl's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 07, 2009
    Napier NZ
    Seems i read somewhere Snow Leopard gets the latest drivers automatically so if your printer is supported u should be Ok.

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Oct 03, 2009
    I read the same thing when I ordered Snow Leopard, viWoody...Thanks

    This issue too has been resolved, in both OS X 10.6 and under Vista, both communicating with my XP desktops network printer....YAY!

    As I continue to work with boot camp I am coming across more questions for various scenarios. Rather than creating a new thread for each I am thinking that it might be better to just keep posting them here. I might get more responses though if I did post separate threads with more specific titles, which in turn may help others who use the search option in the future, but I don't want to be viewed as a pest either. Thoughts?

    Meanwhile, the issue I am addressing now is with the illuminated keyboard. In OS X I use Lab Tick to gain better control over the illumination option, but that software doesn't work in Vista.

    Is there any way I can control the illumination of the keys in Windows that anyone is aware of?

    I just had a major back surgery and because I am not looking straight down on the keyboard due to not being able to sit up for long perios I find it difficult to see the keys when they are not lit up

  8. #8

    Member Since
    Oct 03, 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by Collin Bl View Post
    Seems i read somewhere Snow Leopard gets the latest drivers automatically so if your printer is supported u should be Ok.
    Sry, Collin. Not sure how I misread the posts and thanked viWoody for your printer driver comment. Anyway, how I resolved the issue was by going to HP's website and there I found the driver for Snow Leopard, though I do recall reading on Apples website that more printers were supported with the new OS upgrade.

    I've looked all over for a resolution to the illuminated keys in Windows 7 to no avail. Looks like I'll have to resort to placing a couple little pieces of paper or something in each corner of the display hing to cover the sensors. Better than nothing I guess

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