View Full Version : Using macbook 2,1 as windows bootcamp only

3rd May 2013, 09:49 PM
The oldest of our laptops is a 13 inch macbook 2,1, the white plastic intel core duo one, with 2gb ram running 10.6.8, which of late has become frustratingly slow, for no apparent reason. (Any hints why this might be so would be gratefully received. I think previously i updated it to 10.7, then decided to do a clean reinstall of 10.6, but it didn't work in the long run).

So my partner will now use my current mbp for work, and I plan to get a one of the new mba's that will undoubtedly be announced and wwdc. In the meantime I will use the old mb, but when i get the new mba, which I undoubted will, I plan to use this old mb as just something I will use from time to time to play very old pc god city building games (e.g.caesar, pharaoh, et all) on xp. I need to do that became of course a mba does not have an optical drive. I guess the best way to do this would purely through bootcamp.

So my questions are:

1. Can you do that. I.e. just use a macbook 2,1 purely as a bootcamp machine. If so, what are the potential problems.

2. Anything I may do not know or have overlooked?

3. A mba does not have an optical drive, and I have a vague understanding that stuff like parallels and later macs will not support windows xp, but would there be some way to safely ditch this old mb and use the mba to play these old pc games?

Please help because i am chained to the railway tracks and in the distance I can hear the hoot of the approaching steam engine.

4th May 2013, 07:24 AM
You can just format the drive and install Windows without Boot Camp.

4th May 2013, 12:05 PM
You can just format the drive and install Windows without Boot Camp.

Second that. You will need to install download? (or get from the Snow Leopard disk) the "bootcamp drivers". Basically they are just the drivers that Windows needs for the Macbook hardware (audio, network, isight etc). But your idea will certainly work.

4th May 2013, 05:38 PM
If your MacBook is getting painfully slow, I'd consider booting off Firewire HDD for testing purposes or replace the internal HDD as age is likely the reason--Snow Leopard or higher you'd want to max out your RAM to 3GB(Core Duo chipset can't use 4GB). Apple typically uses 5400 RPM HDDs on notebooks, so if you were a desktop user or used a desktop often the slower HDD is felt rather quickly. MacBooks of your era have the easiest user friendly HDD replacement location.

Parallels 7/8 still supports XP with improved DirectX performance, the only problem is earlier Win3.11/Win9x/ME as their developers never created proper audio drivers since the first version and some forum users found earlier HP drivers will get basic Soundblaster 16-bit Windows only audio support working--DOS you're SOL, you'd need VirtualBox or settle with DosBox.

In my opinion I'd keep the old MacBook for older games may it be for Rosetta(PPC era games), Parallels or Boot Camp. Even if you use Parallels on a MacBook Air some games won't work with CD images and "no-CD cracks/hacks" are risky for virus/trojans/crash prone. While I no longer own an older Rosetta era Mac now(have plenty of PPCs), I kept two old Thinkpads around for older games that were better on Windows--ex: original Win3.1/95 Sid Meier's Civilization for Windows(CD edition) runs smoother than the Mac version when you have larger colonies and SimCity 3000 & 4 for Windows had more add-ons/mods than the buggy Mac version.

4th May 2013, 06:10 PM
Also to a lesser extent, if all else fails, consider getting the thermal paste on the internal heatsink renewed as the older silicone based thermal grease can dry out. As the machine can't get rid of its heat as efficiently, the Intel CPU throttles back to cool it down and performance is reduced.

The early MacBooks were notorious for having excess thermal paste applied at the factory, which reduced cooling performance. This was a manufacturing defect that was later corrected and is quite a simple fix.

By the way, a MacBook2,1 would be a Core 2 Duo (Late 2006) machine.

4th May 2013, 06:46 PM
Thanks all to your excellent replies.

harryb and milliedog. I will do this. I wonder off the top of your head if you know of a step by step guide I could follow? Otherwise I will dutifully search for such.

happyfrappy, (a) on reflection the HD may indeed be the cause, thank you for that insight. carbon copy cloner here I come. (b) I only use parallels to run these old games in any case so that will be happily ditched, but i should add that i got it in a software bundle and have been impressed at how well it generally works. (c) I've always been very suspicious about these no-cd hacks as you say, and when you search for these things in the windows universe you invariably get offered p***s enlargement offers as a bonus. in any case you can pick up replacement game disks for $5 if needed.

imac600. I note "if all else fails". I have never contemplated fooling about with thermal paste.

17th June 2013, 10:54 PM
The update is that I put in a new 80G hard disk and now it works perfectly and fast. But I found it confusing putting in the new harddisk, because the original one was trapped inside a structure that I could not screw apart with the tools I had. I worried because the the tab for pulling the thing out in the first place was attached to the structure. Then i realised that I would be unlikely to be doing this again to this machine, so I just shoved the new hard disk straight in and hoped for the best.

The only oddness is how bootcamp does not seem to manage heat as well as osx. But in any case thanks again for the above advice, and hopefully this machine will labour on for many years.

I decided to make this a bootcamp machine because I need to still use it otherwise while I wait for a new macbook pro.

17th June 2013, 11:06 PM
That "structure" is used to hold the hard drive in place, putting it along some rubber rails which prevent vibrations (from the HDD) and shocks (to the HDD).

It's not ideal for the hard drive, but as you've discovered, it does work.

Alec Fraser
18th June 2013, 10:13 AM
The only oddness is how bootcamp does not seem to manage heat as well as osx.

It's not odd at all if you think about it, OS X and Macs are specifically designed for each other. In other words, OS X is designed to manage heat in a MacBook and the MacBook is designed to be managed by OS X, not Windows.

That's why, while Windows will work via BootCamp, it'll never be as good an experience heat or batterywise as running OS X on a Mac.