Completing the Cycle: Fresh Boot Camp with Windows XP SP3

May 24, 2008

I haven’t had a post about Windows yet, so here you go. My MacBook Pro has been dual-booting into Windows XP SP2 since I had OS X 10.4, “Tiger” installed. This is an older version of Boot Camp, with drivers that are now outdated. I also tinkered with them a bit by installing some newer NVidia drivers from

I wanted a fresh Windows install with SP3 and the latest Boot Camp 2.1 drivers. Apple recommends that you install Boot Camp 2.1 before installing SP3. But what if you have a Windows disc with SP3 already slipstreamed? It should work, but I couldn’t find a good answer on the web, and decided to try it myself.

I created a slipstreamed SP3 disc from our University’s volume licensed SP2 disc using nLite. No problem. I then repartitioned my MacBook Pro’s drive using the Boot Camp Assistant and followed Apple’s instructions to the letter. The Windows install, using my SP3 disc, went fine. I did get a black screen after the initial reboot, but manually power cycling the machine gave a clean boot.

I proceeded to install the Boot Camp 2.0 drivers from the Leopard disc. This went mostly smoothly, but the “SM Bus Contoller” was not found in Windows Device Manager. To fix that problem, I re-inserted the Leopard DVD and told it to “repair” the Boot Camp installation. Maddeningly, this robotically proceeded to reinstall every Boot Camp driver. But hey, it fixed the problem! I then used Apple Software Update (which itself had to be updated) to install the Boot Camp 2.1 drivers. You know, the package Apple says should be installed before SP3 — that is true if you’re upgrading from SP2 to SP3. The Boot Camp upgrade took a while, but succeeded. For those who are curious, the NVidia drivers in Boot Camp 2.1 are version 167.73. I still had to run Windows Update to get IE7, WMP11, and a couple of hotfixes on top of SP3, but that’s nothing new under the Sun.

In summary, a Windows XP SP3 slipstreamed disc may successfully be used for a fresh install with Boot Camp.