Apple Releases Long Anticipated Boot Camp 3.1 Update for Windows 7

The title says it all... and thank God its been released! When Microsoft released Windows 7 to the public in late October of 2009, one of the things missing for many Apple Windows users was Boot Camp support for Windows 7.  While Microsoft wasn't responsible for releasing driver updates for Apple's Windows 7 capable computers, seasoned Windows users, like myself, struggled to find a way of getting the OS to run natively (that is, without running Windows 7 in a virtual machine like VMWare or Parallels Desktop).
Apple released Boot Camp 3.1 to address Win7 compatibility issues...

Some of us got it to work, but not without a great deal of research and a bit of pain.  Boot Camp 3.0, included with MacOS X 10.6.0 – 10.6.2, simply was not (fully) Windows 7 compatible. Apple promised an update to the driver set and to the Boot Camp Control Panel by the end of 2009.  However, 31-Dec-09 came and went without nary an update or any kind of notice from Apple saying they were still working on it (though, honestly, most of us assumed they still were.)

A couple of days ago (as of this writing), Apple officially released both 32bit and 64bit updates for Boot Camp 3.  Dubbed Boot Camp 3.1, the 64bit update executable weighs in at 274MB while the 32bit update executable weighs in at a whopping 381MB.  Previously installed versions of Boot Camp 3.0 are required to use the update files.  Simply run the update over your existing installation, restart the PC, and you’re good to go.

I installed the 64bit update on my Early 2009 13″ unibody MacBook, and I have to admit, I’m impressed.  When I initially installed the 64bit version of Windows 7 on my MacBook, I ran into a lot of problems. I couldn’t get Boot Camp to install. None of the individual drivers would install.  I ripped the 64bit version out and installed the 32bit version. I ran into the same problems with the same error messages. Boot Camp 3.0 and Windows 7 simply did not work and play well together.

It wasn’t until I discovered Josh Anderson’s Blog that I was able to get Boot Camp to install. I’ve been running the 64bit version of Windows 7 on my MacBook ever since.  The biggest problems I had were with Power Management after that.  The device wouldn’t hibernate at all. The device would not sleep to save its life. Clearly, a driver related issue.

Since the install of the 64bit version of Boot Camp 3.1, my MacBook functions like you would expect it to. The devices sleeps and wakes like it should. The new graphics drivers have made a definite and noticeable improvement with both memory usage and computer performance. (I still need to update my Windows Experience Index).

If you have a Mac running Windows 7, or want to run Windows 7 natively on your Mac, now is the time to make the switch. Apple’s release of Boot Camp 3.1 not only makes this possible, but makes it the experience (you expected) it was intended to be.

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