by July 2, 2012 0 comments

Macbooks are gradually becoming popular amongst a lot of users, thanks to their stylish looks, lightweight, and the general aura created by most ‘Apple’ products. But since they run the MacOS, users are apprehensive about being able to run their favorite Windows based apps, or share data between the two OSs. You can dual-boot Windows and Mac from a Macbook, but that doesn’t gaurantee data sharing between the two. This becomes a key question in the workplace where Windows continues to remain the dominant OS. We answer this question a little differently, in that instead of experimenting with the current Windows 7, we experimented with the upcoming Windows 8, by trying out its Consumer Preview on a Mac. Here’s what we found.


Applies to: Mac Users
USP: Installing and using Windows 8 on Mac
Primary Links:
Search engine keywords: Windows 8 Consumer Preview on Mac

Installing Windows 8 on a Macbook

We used a 32-bit version of Windows 8 Consumer Preview and installed it on the Macbook from a DVD. You need to ensure that your MacOS is updated. Windows 8 can be installed using Boot Camp, which is a very simple utility. One of the steps involves partitioning of the disc. We allotted 20 GB to our Windows 8 partition. Another step involves downloading the Windows compatible drivers on a disc, which can be installed once Windows has been installed. Once these two tasks are complete, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview installation begins. You need to format the partition during one of the installation steps. After Windows 8 is installed and you restart the system, it automatically boots into the OS. There are no boot options provided. To get the boot options you need to press the “Option” key after restarting the Macbook. We chose Windows 8 from the options menu and the system happily booted into Windows 8 without a hitch. Touchpad Functionality: While the updates were getting installed we tried to check the functionality of the touchpad. We noticed that we were able to scroll from left to right but not from top to bottom. Also the right click was not working. For this, you need to install the drivers downloaded during installation.

Device Compatibility: We checked Windows 8 on the Macbook for USB devices. We plugged in USB hard disks, USB mouse and both worked perfectly. Next we checked for connectivity–both LAN and wireless. First we tried to connect using an Ethernet cable and it connected without a hitch. Next we checked Wi-Fi connectivity. It detected available Wi-Fi connections and successfully connected to them.

We checked the usual features and applications like people, messaging, store, etc. We didn’t face any issues. In fact, we managed to successfully install Microsoft Office 2007 on Windows 8 CP. All apps of the office suite worked fine, including the various shortcut and function keys (F1, F2 etc.).

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Sharing Data Between OSs: Another key requirement for users running Windows on their Macbooks is to be able to access the MacOS partition from Windows. We didn’t find any inbuilt utility to do that in either OS. We used a tool called Paragon HFS+ for Windows 8. It is a paid software and costs around $20. A trial version of the same can be downloaded from The utility is pretty straightforward and lets you access your Mac partition from Windows, just as if you were accessing any local partition.

Bottomline: Our experience in running Windows 8 on a Macbook was very smooth, and we hope it will stay that way or become even better when Microsoft finally releases the new OS.

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