After the mess of a painful Boot Camp bug in the Windows 10 Creators Update, I decided to give it another go with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
That bug, for those that missed it, was that Microsoft had to admit clean installs of Windows 10 CU would fail – the only proper way to install Creators Update on a Mac with Boot Camp, was to install Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and then update via Windows Update in-place. Microsoft even went as far as to keep the Anniversary Update as an available download, just for this reason.
Now that Fall Creators Update is out, I have put it through its paces on a 2008 Mac Pro (a MacPro3,1). I’m a bit known for that, as my initial Windows 10-on-old-Mac review is one of the most-read articles on the blog. How is the Fall Creators Update on old Mac hardware? Pretty good, I’m impressed.
What’s Great Again?
First, the BSODs are gone. I was having terrible BSODs with Creators Update, even when installed properly. GPU swaps, yadda, yadda, did nothing. No more. It’s rock solid. Sleep, Wi-Fi, USB, graphics, all works great. Even with my AMD-shuns-it-on-Win10 factory-issued Radeon HD 2600 XT. The graphics driver installed perfectly, with Windows Update picking up the right driver.
Also Microsoft now supports Windows 10 N (the Korea-spec version without Media Player features built-in) on the standard install disc. No more juggling different versions.
What’s (Still) Bad?
My ASMedia USB 3.0 PCI Express card no longer is recognized. It appears Microsoft has pulled the Windows 10 support from the Windows Update Catalog, though they aren’t confirming any issues publicly.
Similarly, the SATA SSD card that I use for SATA-III booting of Mac OS X, no longer works. It shows up as four RAID Controllers with no driver. Unsurprisingly, it too has an ASMedia chipset.
Bluetooth still doesn’t work, though I suspect if I ran through the Boot Camp install I could get the right one running.
Audio still requires sourcing the Realtek driver, Microsoft’s default bundle won’t work for the built-in speaker. The latest Realtek driver does.
Is it worth installing?
Apple won’t touch Windows 10 on these old Mac models. But you should. You may have to hack the installer to run on MacPro1,1 or MacPro2,1, but all newer Mac Pro models will at least boot off the DVD drive.
Installation is easy, it’s stable, and unlike macOS, it’s supported by the operating system vendor.
Windows 10 is now my go-to recommendation for Mac Pro. Enjoy!
thanks for your article.
any link of how to install win10 on macbook pro 1.1 and 1.2?
I don’t, but the first step is to create a 32-bit non-EFI install disc. You can use the same guide as Windows 7 install discs on MacBook Pro 1,1 – just replace the Win7 ISO with the Win10 ISO.
excellent, thanks for the precious info… Best
I’ve really appreciated your posts here. My old Mac Pro has been humming along for just about a decade now and it still works great. Your guides have helped me quite a bit.
One thing I have a problem with is the driver support for my mac formatted storage. I wouldn’t mind so much but the disks go to sleep and it causes my computer to stutter when they wake up. Have you had this problem? I’m running the very latest version of Windows 10 Pro. (The one that supports 2 processors and 4 cores each)
My advice is not to have a Mac storage driver in Windows. I frankly have never found a single one that I find reliable, robust, or capable enough to use.
Ever since OS X 10.10, Apple finally sorted out proper ExFAT support. I don’t even really trust it on Mavericks, though it may be okay by then. It certainly was glitchy in 10.7 and maybe in 10.8 too.
So, if you want cross-platform storage, my advice is to set up a partition in ExFAT and use that. You’ll have read and write in both Windows and macOS, and you should have proper sleep modes too.
P.S. Good point on the Win 10 Pro recommendation. Despite Microsoft simplifying the SKUs, a dual socket system (like all Mac Pro units) will need Windows 10 Pro to access the second physical CPU.
Thanks for this great write-up – it’s super helpful! I’ve got a reasonably beefy Mac Pro 3,1 (2x quad-core CPU’s @ 3.2GHz, 24GB RAM, SSD, USB 3.0 upgrade, GeForce GTX 680, etc.) and it’s still my daily driver at my office. I’m curious though – does your install routine for Windows 10 on these machines go any differently if I need to install from a flash drive? I don’t currently have access to a machine with a DVD burner to create an install disc. Thanks for any suggestions you may have!
I’m interested to know how you got this working? I have the same set up and have been unable to install the fall update iso of windows 10.
it appears something has changed in the last week or so? as in, the anniversary update is nowhere to be found…
i’ve flashed from 4,1 to 5,1 and updated osx to high sierra. i’ve created the ufi boot usb several different ways and they either start the install or they don’t, but in any case they never get passed the bsod [whea_uncorrectable_error] during the windows logo animation.
whats worse is it seems a fight has broken out between apple and ms, as when i call either one for support they tell me i have to call the other!
did you really just download the fall creators iso and use that?
Not sure why you’re having issues with that, especially with a 4,1 or 5,1. You might want to use the Boot Camp Assistant and have it generate a flash drive installer.
Or you might want to wait a couple more weeks for the Spring Creators Update to ship officially, and try again then.
Thanks for going through the pain of this and letting us know the good and the bad!
All worked fine for me apart from the fact that although Mac OS can see the two SSDs that I have installed in my optical drive bay I cannot see them in Windows 10. They do not appear in device manager or disk management.
I know you had problems with you PCIE SSD setup, but was wondering if you have any experience with the above
You were correct about the Bluetooth. If you can run the part of boot camp that installs Windows 7 drivers on a USB stick you can install the Bluetooth drivers from the drivers folder created on the USB which enables Bluetooth.
You can always download the boot camp drivers manually via the boot camp assistant, too. With the Boot Camp Assistant open in macOS, click “action” in the menubar at the top of the screen and then choose “Download Windows Support Software.”
You’ll then be asked where to save the Windows support files and if you use a FAT32 flashed USB disk or move the file over to Windows in another way you can install the Boot Camp software, too.
If I install Win 10 natively on a MacPro3,1 — no maxOS / OS X at all on the machine — I should be able to use native Windows video cards, right?
I have an early 2008 Mac Pro (MacPro 3,1) that I am no longer using and want to install Windows on it natively without any OS X / macOS at all on the machine so I can run some specialty model train software. The video card is not the one that came with it but a later Radeon HD 5770 Mac edition, but still old and long in the tooth.
Sorry for the delay, been busy. Yes, you can do that. Just make sure your Mac Boot ROM/firmware is at its latest version first, since you need macOS to check that. The Boot ROM includes the CSM so that will improve Windows performance.
You can even use a Windows-only graphics card with macOS on a separate drive, you just won’t get the boot selection menu at startup, so you’ll have to control it blindly. Hold option, and then wait, and then toggle left-right and select with enter.
Having trouble installing efi x64 windows on separate hard drive GPT. I see efi liad disk (separate from “windows” bios load disk), but EFI Boot just loads grey bar loading files, then restarts computer.?? Do i need refind or clover boot loader (i dont like nothing but macs bootloader if I can help it? Where is my hickup?
If you’re using a separate hard drive, I would just format it MBR unless you have a need for GPT.
If you need GPT, I would use Boot Camp Assistant as it will properly prepare the drive with both a GPT and MBR.
I don’t want protected mbr with bios emulator. I want gpt with efi. It should be possible on a mac pro 3,1.
The problem is on a MacPro3,1 – you don’t have UEFI-clean. Only the MacPro4,1 – and preferably with 5,1 firmware – do you really have a UEFI-clean OS.
Which means when you boot the Windows installer, it’s running in BIOS mode not UEFI. That’s why the installer won’t allow a GPT partition – because it’s sensing your machine’s BIOS will demand an MBR – even though it probably can handle the jump.
I haven’t tried GPT-clean CSM booting with a 3,1. The only way I can think of doing it would be to install with an MBR, and then convert to GPT after install. And I’m not totally sure it would then boot because the CSM might not see the MBR and refuse to load.
The 3,1 is still far from perfect. For instance you can’t AHCI boot Windows, which means SSD performance is seriously compromised unless you use a second workspace drive via a PCIe card.
I just installed Windows 10 April 2018 update on my 3,1 Mac Pro. I installed to an external drive using the virtualbox trick: https://blog.macsales.com/40947-tech-tip-how-to-use-boot-camp-on-an-external-drive
after booting into it using my external USB-keyboard since I read in this post that Bluetooth will not work.. then suddenly I realized I was typing on the Bluetooth keyboard in Windows 10.. I didn’t even have to pair it.. it just worked.. no drivers installed from the USB-stick..
what is a bit strange is that no Bluetooth devices are listed in device manager nor in the Windows 10 Bluetooth panel.. as long my lovely mac keyboard works I’m happy..
I left a comment yesterday about Windows 10 April 2018-update and that Bluetooth seemed to work. I guess it has to be manually checked for spam so it’s not visible yet so I can’t reply to my own comment.
I realized that the reason the keyboard works trough bluetooth is because it also works in the boot menu (option-key where the boot disk is choosen) and it looks like it’s routed as a USB-device to Windows 10. That might also explain why bluetooth isn’t visible inside Windows.. the boot system still has a lock on the hardware providing the keyboard over USB.
I know this is an old article, but I just wanted to confirm one way or the other – are you booting windows 10 using MBR on a Mac Pro 3,1, or did you managed to get it to boot using uefi?
I got it to install using MBR on a separate pc, moved the hard drive over, and it boots fine. loads all the new drivers and everything. I then converted the drive to uefi/gpt and tried to boot using opencore. It does something, then resets and then on the next reboot it appears to load safe mode drivers before resetting again. And that’s all it does.
Is there a solution or should I just stick with MBR?