When installing in Legacy BIOS mode, a Hybrid MBR is required. macOS Disk Utility will automatically create a Hybrid MBR when creating a MS-DOS FAT partition if it's one of the first 4 partitions on the drive. Note that the EFI partition at the beginning of the drive is hidden so it probably limits it to the first 3 partitions.
Quirks by model
MacBook Pro 17" 2007 A1229
EFI 1.x with UGA only, see EFI 1.x UGA/UEFI 2.x GOP. Windows cannot be installed in UEFI mode, only Legacy BIOS mode.
Affected by the "Select CD-ROM Boot Type:" bug (see "Select CD-ROM Boot Type:"), the workaround does not seem to work
Seems to be affected by the Legacy BIOS USB boot bug. (see Legacy BIOS USB boot)
To install Windows:
- Use a DVD-ROM that does not trigger the "Select CD-ROM Boot Type:" bug
- Or perform pre-installation in Legacy BIOS mode from another machine
This machine can boot Windows XP to Windows 11, however Boot Camp drivers don't work on Windows 11 (see below).
Latest Boot Camp drivers package for this machine is 4.0.4033 (https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1630).
The Boot Camp drivers package is designed for Windows 7 but it will also work on Windows 10, provided you enable compatibility mode on "Drivers/Apple/BootCamp64.msi" and run this file from an administrator PowerShell.
Note that it will install an old version of NVidia drivers which can cause issues on Windows 10, so it has to be uninstalled before installing the newest version from Windows Update or NVidia website.
The Boot Camp drivers package is not compatible with Windows 11. It will cause two separate issues:
- "WDF_VIOLATION" BSoD shortly after desktop appears
- 99% CPU usage, slow as hell
For now there is no known solution to these issues. Also, uninstalling drivers from safe boot can help solving the first issue but not the second one. Restoring to a system restore point taken before installing the driver package or resetting Windows 11 to factory (from recovery menu) is required.
As a result the following features do not work on Windows 11:
- Keyboard multimedia keys
- Touchpad multi-touch/right click
- iSight webcam
- Maybe others
WiFi works with drivers provided by Microsoft.
Eject optical disk during installation
It is not possible to eject the optical disc during the installation process by pressing on the "Eject" key of the keyboard. As a result, it is not possible to swap discs during installation. Therefore, Windows "upgrade-only" discs cannot be used (as they require to insert the previous Windows version disc to allow installation), and Windows editions that came on multiple discs (such as Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005) cannot be installed properly either. Either the installation will fail or the additional packs for this special edition won't be installed).
On the Mac Pro you might be able to press the physical eject button of the DVD drive, although it is not available on the front panel.
EFI 1.x UGA/UEFI 2.x GOP
Older Macs (2008 and older? not sure) only have UGA EFI drivers available. Windows is not compatible with UGA, , so it cannot be installed in EFI mode on these machines. Actually, Windows 10 installer will boot but there will be no display. Windows is only compatible with GOP, which is what can be found on all standard UEFI.
To confirm whether the machine has UGA or GOP available, install rEFInd, reboot and at the rEFInd screen go into About menu.
OpenCore's "GopPassThrough" does not solve this issue, although it is required to get OpenCore GUI to load.
Modern Linux distributions are not affected by this issue, they handle UGA properly, however they may be affected by another issue (VBIOS not loaded in EFI mode so some graphics drivers don't work properly).
"Select CD-ROM Boot Type:"
Older Macs will not be able to boot some optical discs in Legacy BIOS mode and will get stuck on a "Select CD-ROM Boot Type:" message. Issue is mainly present with burnt Windows 7 and 8 DVD.
On some Macs, pressing repeatedly or holding the "1" key and the "Return" key may help get past this message. Other Macs will register the "1" key press but not the "Return" key so they will still get stuck there.
There is a way to burn a DVD that will not trigger this.
See https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/172048/select-cd-rom-boot-type-error-during-windows-install .
Legacy BIOS USB boot
Older Macs (at least 2006, some 2007 and maybe newer) will have trouble booting from USB drive in Legacy BIOS mode, whereas booting in UEFI mode works. USB optical drives may still work properly.