Supplementing Boot Camp 1.1

This article is now out of date. Check Apple’s Boot Camp page for up-to-date information.

Boot Camp, for those that don’t already know, is a set of tools and drivers for getting Windows XP up on your Mac. The various components are:

  • BIOS compatibility module for the EFI firmware (supplied as part of the Firmware update on older Mac’s)
  • Boot Camp Assistant – Mac OS X app you download providing partitioning and the XP drivers/tools
  • Drivers for various parts of the hardware normally OEM brand bar the iSight driver
  • AppleTime.exe to adjust the system clock because OS X stores GMT whilst XP stores local time
  • AppleKeys to provide the much needed Fn-key compatibility for brightness/delete etc.
  • Brightness to provide OS X-like screen brightness adjustment
  • Control Panel extension to choose the start-up disk

Which is all well and good but there are still a couple of drivers missing – notably for the infra-red/remote, back-lit keyboard on MacBook/Pro and some of the hardware monitoring etc.

Back-lit keyboard for MacBook & MacBook Pro

Loosing the back-lit keyboard can be more than an annoyance if you often have to work in darkened conditions. There are two tools available you can try, both sit in the system tray and let you configure the lighting parameters whilst also displaying the movement sensors details.

As the sensor information is used under Mac OS X to park the hard drive before impact I wonder if that means the hard drive is currently more vulnerable under Windows until Apple provide a driver.

Updated ATI drivers for MacBook

Until Apple loosens up and provides their tools separately from the OEM drivers we’re stuck with the big downloads but all is not lost.

Whilst most of ATI’s Mobility drivers seem to be locked the latest Mobile Catalyst drivers (5.8 at time of writing) work just great with no third-party hacks/workarounds required to make them operational.

Hibernation on systems with > 1GB of RAM

If you receive the dreaded ‘Insufficient System Resources Exist to Complete the API.’ when trying to hibernate head over to the Microsoft Knowledge Base to grab the hot fix that is now available to download.

Until Apple extend their keyboard tools to emulate these check out Thom Sannon’s AppleKeys.

File-system access

Until either Apple add NTFS write support or provide a HFS+ driver for Windows then either using FAT32 partitioned iPods or flash memory is about as good as the file transfer gets short of using online upload/download tools.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend running Windows XP on a FAT32 drive unless you don’t care about security, compression, encryption and sub-block allocation (a space saving technique).

Until somebody takes the HFS+ file-system code from Apple’s Darwin project and transplants in into a Windows file-system module the only option is Mediafour’s MacDrive which at $49.95 seems a little too expensive even given the current state of the US dollar.


4 responses

  1. Avatar for Damien Guard

    I had previously tried those a few weeks ago and they just didn't work for me.

    Damien Guard September 11, 2006
  2. Avatar for rocco

    I'm trying to desperatly figure out what should I hit to get the print-screen funcion with my apple wireless keyboard or with the keyboard of my MacBook.
    Besideds, my keyboard works fine in MacOS (obviously) but once I go back to WinXP I need to use the switch on\off to have it recognized and working under WinXP. My wireless might mouse too seems no tto be recognized immediatly under windows (both devices were already paired w/o passkey) but I just need to press the two grey area at its side to have it working (don't ask me why...).
    Thanks, Rocco

    rocco September 11, 2006
  3. Avatar for Damien Guard

    I've added a link to AppleKeys which should map those keys to F13-F15.

    Damien Guard September 12, 2006
  4. Avatar for Simon Douglas

    I presume you are using UK keyboard layouts? I'm having real problems with my MBP accessing the " character. I have searched extensively, but nothing has enabled me to type properly on my Windows partition. Have you any experience in this?

    Simon Douglas September 13, 2006