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How to Install Windows 8 + Boot Camp 5 on an Unsupported Mac

Published on April 29, 2013, by in Software, Tech.

While we’re stuck waiting for the “something really great” for pro users that Apple keeps promising, a lot of us are still limping along on older hardware. This is starting to present some compatibility problems, as software has started dropping support for the aging yet functional machines in our offices and studios. Case in point: Windows 8 and Boot Camp 5.

I ran Windows 8 Release Preview just fine on my “unsupported” Early 2008 Mac Pro; after some manual driver installs, it worked perfectly well. So I was excited to see official Windows 8 support roll out with OS X 10.8.3 with Boot Camp 5. I updated, downloaded Boot Camp, installed Windows 8 Pro…and then was hit with this:

 

Sorry - wut?

Sorry – wut?

 

This makes absolutely no sense, as I was already running this config on this system just fine. How could the official support be worse than the unofficial?

Unfortunately, this seems to be less of a technical problem and more of an arbitrary decision. That dire alert box is crap, and if you work around it you can get Windows 8 up and running on your “unsupported” hardware.

First, download Boot Camp 5 here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1638

Got it? Cool. Extract it.

 

Boot-Camp-1

 

In the BootCamp folder, you’ll see that enticing little setup file. Don’t bother with it – it’ll just lie and tell you your machine is unsupported. Instead, open up that Drivers folder, and the Apple folder inside it.

 

Boot-Camp-3

 

Oh look, there’s a BootCamp.msi! That’s what we want – the problem is, if you double-click it, it’ll tell you to run setup.

Setup is for chumps.

Now what we have to do is a little hack to allow us to install that msi with Elevated Privileges.

Follow this guide to edit your registry and enable the Elevated Privileges – you can deleted the created keys once you’ve installed Boot Camp.

Short version: create HKCR\Msi.Package\shell\runas with value Install &as… and HKCR\Msi.Package\shell\runas\command with value msiexec /i “%1”

Now, right-click on BootCamp.msi and select “Install as…” – the installer will fire up, no errors will pop up, and all the fancy Boot Camp stuff (including HFS+ drive reading, boot drive selection, and keyboard support) will be added to your fresh new install of Windows 8.

At least, it should be.

I’ve only tested this on my 2008 Mac Pro – your experience may vary. But as far as I can tell, I’ve got a fully functional Boot Camp 5 install.

Except, you know, for being supported.

 

UPDATE: Looks like my method doesn’t work for everyone, but they’ve figured out other ways around Apple’s stupidity. Check the comments below.

 

 

 

14 Responses

  1. Matt Pruss

    BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely Beautiful.

    Thanks.

  2. Hey mate, a few questions.

    1. This didnt work. It requests to open as Microsoft Installer then gives me the unsupported error message. This is the crucial problem. It doesnt work, how fix

    2. Accidentally replaced the runasuser – command default first. What is the original default for that so nothing breaks

  3. Anders

    I really want this to work: but i get the following error. I use the bootcamp version from apples website, version BootCamp5.0.5033.

    See attached screenshot: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mfttn35pmyj7fny/apple%20error.PNG

  4. justaguy

    I had some trouble getting Boot Camp 5 installed on my late 2008 MacBook (A1278) and with the help of this article and another article listed above in the comments, I was able to run BootCamp.msi. Neither article contained the steps I needed to perform exactly, so hopefully this will help someone else out. Here are the steps I took:

    1.) Load the BootCamp5 folder onto a USB drive and mount it to your computer while running Windows 8.

    2.) Navigate your cursor to the lower left corner of the screen and then select the search button (magnifying glass icon).

    3.) Type “cmd”, but don’t press enter! Instead, hold down “control” + “shift”, then press enter. Instead of a regular command prompt terminal opening (with the title “Command Prompt”), you should get a “Administrator:Command Prompt” terminal (also, you might get a popup asking you if you want to allow Windows Command Processor to make changes to your computer… click yes!)

    4.) Assuming your USB drive is the D: disk, enter the following commands into the Administrator:Command Prompt:

    “D:”
    “cd BootCamp5\BootCamp\Drivers\Apple”
    “BootCamp.msi”

    If your USB drive has been assigned a different disk, just enter whatever letter it’s using instead of “D”.

    5.) That should be it, after entering the last prompt, BootCamp.msi successfully ran and all of my drivers were installed.

  5. kevinhenator

    Great stuff! Thank you

  6. Dicky

    Thanks for the tip. I was looking for someone who has experienced installing BootCamp 5 in older MacBook.

    I had a mid 2008 MacBook Pro with Windows 8.1 installed. BootCamp 4 failed to run so I need to install BootCamp 5.

    I did something similar towhat you did, expect not using the registry hack. Instead I started command prompt in Administrative Mode and then run the BootCamp.msi there. After finishing the installation and restarted my computer, everything seems to work, including keyboard backlight and function key onscreen display.

  7. Video Grandpa

    Thanks everyone for posting your modified/new methods for getting this working. Keep em coming! Someone out there is still looking for answers.

  8. Mike D

    Thank you! I went as far as using Winclone to manually clone a working Windows 8.1 partition from a newer mac to an older macbook just to keep the BootCamp 5 installation, which at least confirmed that it still worked. This…. is much better!

  9. Casey

    You don’t need to to muck around with the registry to do this. Just open cmd.exe as an administrator (the easiest way to do this is bring up the start screen, type cmd, and then type ctrl + shift + enter, then use cd to navigate to the directory and run msiexec /i bootcamp.msi

    • Ha! That’s what I did.
      Except I just right-clicked on the Windows 8.1 Start button, and chose “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
      Following:
      cd C:\drivers\BootCamp5.0.5033\BootCamp\Drivers\Apple
      msiexec /i BootCamp.msi

  10. Abs

    It worked perfectly for me thanks! Running Windows 8.1 on a MacBook Late 2008.

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