There are the steps I took to get Windows 10 on my spare mid-2009 15″ Macbook Pro. Why? Because science! And because I like Windows 10 and because Apple stopped OS support on that machine sometime back. But mostly because I wanted to learn a bit more about UEFI systems and their boot-up sequence.
Click either Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Pro based on your preference. Click Custom: Install Windows Only. Click Drive 0 Partition X: BOOTCAMP. Do not choose anything else. Windows 10 will now be installed. Your Mac will restart several times during the process. Install Windows 10 with Boot Camp Drivers on 15 inch mid 2010 MacBook Pro without Boot Camp Assistant Old Macs After attempting many similar methods of installing Windows 10 on my 15 inch mid 2010 MacBook Pro6,2 running High Sierra 10.13.6, this method finally worked for me.
How To Install Windows 10 On Macbook Pro Mid 2010 15
- Hardware: Macbook Pro (mid-2009) (with nVidia GeForce 9600M GT)
- Operating system(s): Only Windows 10 – no MacOS or Linux
- Boot mode: Legacy BIOS (not UEFI, else endless reboots with nVidia)
- Disk mode: MBR
- Disk encryption: Windows Bitlocker encryption
How to get there?
- Get a Windows 10 DVD
- Download the Windows 10 ISO [Microsoft link]
- Burn it to a DVD
- Boot the Windows 10 DVD in legacy BIOS mode
- Put it in the drive and power up your Mac with Alt/Option pressed
- At your Mac’s bootup screen pick the DVD icon with ‘Windows’ under it (do not pick the DVD icon with EFI under it)
- Now wait till you enter the setup …
- Convert your hard drive to an MBR style hard drive
If you’re already in pure MBR (not hybrid) mode, skip this entire section.
WARNING: Backup all existing data because it will be deleted!
- At the Windows setup hit Shift+F10 for a command prompt
list disk(note your disk’s number … like a 1 or 2 etc.)
select disk <disknumber>
clean(this will delete all partitions or volumes on the disk)
exit(this leaves diskpart)
exit(this leaves the command prompt, back to the setup)
- Install Windows
Nothing special here, regular installation process. When everything installs, you should boot right into the Windows desktop.
- Install Apple Bootcamp drivers [thanks to this reddit post]
- Once inside Windows 10, download Boot Camp 5.1.5722 Drivers.
I suggest this specific version (5.1.5722) since I tried another version (5.1.5769) and it didn’t work well
- Extract the Drivers on the Desktop…
- Run CMD or PowerShell as Administrator (Use the combination Shift + Fn + F10 for right-click)
- CD into
- Once inside Windows 10, download Boot Camp 5.1.5722 Drivers.
Post install fixes
- Remove Apple’s HFS windows driver
Their presence kills Windows System Restore functionality. Open an admin command window and type
ren AppleHFS.sys AppleHFS.sys.orig
ren AppleMNT.sys AppleMNT.sys.orig
Install Windows 10 On Macbook Pro Mid 2010
Some additional notes if you want to deviate from the above or want to learn more
UEFI or Legacy BIOS – avoid endless reboots
In short, pick Legacy BIOS
When you power on your Mac, it first runs the UEFI firmware. From there, your Mac can proceed into either native UEFI or switch to legacy BIOS (actually it’s UEFI simulating a BIOS via the EFI-CSM module). If you purchased your Macbook Pro with the graphics card upgrade, you actually have TWO graphics cards inside. First is the integrated Intel graphics and then you also have a discrete nVidia graphics card. In UEFI mode, they are BOTH enabled and this will kill your Windows installation when you eventually install the graphics drivers. Windows 10 will endlessly reboot, entering automatic repair etc. I think this is a bug in the nVidia drivers and 99.99% they won’t fix it. So if you have two graphics cards then you MUST pick the legacy BIOS path.
USB boot or DVD boot ?
Older Macbooks cannot boot from a USB drive (!). If you want USB booting, you need
- a hybrid GPT disk [complicated, read below]
- and then install rEFInd into that EFI system partition
I chose the simpler route of staying all MBR and just using DVDs. I did have to buy a $15 external USB DVD drive since my internal DVD drive was busted. But worth it.
Hybrid MBR – feeling brave?
Install Windows 10 On Macbook Pro 2010
Maybe you want need more partitions on your system than MBR’s paltry 4? Perhaps to enable macOS’s filevault or to enable Windows Bitlocker? Although your BIOS booted Windows will still only see 4 partitions overall, when you boot into GPT macOS it should see even more. Of course, you’ll need to cover those extra GPT partitions with a protective partition on the MBR side to keep them in alignment to avoid problem when altering partitions in the future from either side. That last bit adds some complications, so go forth only if you’re brave (and have a backup).
WARNING: This deletes all data in all partitions. Backup data as needed
- Switch to a hybrid MBR disk format
- Get the Ubuntu Desktop ISO => Burn it => Boot into it as legacy BIOS mode
- Run gparted and make sure you’ve selected the correct disk!
- In gparted’s top menu: Device => Create partition table => GPT
- Create a partition for Windows 10
- Still within Ubuntu, this time run terminal
sudo fdisk /dev/sda
- Create a 500MB EFI system partition here
- Create your Windows partition here
- fdisk should mirror the GPT partitions in the hybrid MBR
- If not, hit
r(recovery) and hit
hto create a hybrid MBR
Install Windows 10 On Macbook Pro 2010 With Bootcamp
Now, I have created the ISO image from a Windows 8.1 disk purchased from BestBuy. I have also downloaded the Support software onto a USB Stick via BootCamp and I have created a 75GB partition for running windows.
But when I open BootCamp to continue, it says
'The Startup disk cannot be partitioned or restored to a single partition.
The startup disk must be formatted as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume
or already partitioned by Boot Camp Assistant for installing Windows'
Which I don't understand because I have already made a partition, this was the message that prompted me to make a partition in the first place.
I can continue past this message, but when the Select Tasks menu appears, BootCamp will only allow the 'Download Latest Windows Software' box to be ticked.
So I am new to these kinds of modifications, so I am really hoping I am making a newb mistake somewhere. Inexplicable tech problems follow me like a plague though, so if anyone can help me to shed some light on this, I would be really grateful.