I love the new aluminum Apple keyboard, but am too cheap to buy the iMac it usually comes with. I figured if I just picked a used one up on eBay and hooked it up to my Sony VAIO running Windows 7 x64 what’s the worst that could happen? It worked surprisingly well, that’s what happened. Windows detected it as an Apple keyboard without any 3rd party drivers and with the exception of the Function (Fn) keys, I was using the keyboard in seconds. A few hours of use later I found myself in a bit of a pickle though…the Apple keyboard has no Print Screen key, no Num Lock or Insert and it’d sure be nice to get those function keys to work. Here’s how I did it.
[step 2] With your Apple Keyboard plugged in, unzip the SharpKeys download to your desktop and run the SharpKeys.exe executable.
[step 3] Click Add to add a new key mapping.
[step 4] Click Type Key to associate a key with the “From Key” mapping and likewise with the “To Key” mapping or just pick one of the choices and click OK.
[step 5] Click Write to Registry when you’re done adding all your key mappings.
[step 6] Log out and back in or reboot to use your new special keys.
So this Thanksgiving weekend I finally had time to re-install OSX on my Macbook (tried creating a partition for windows using boot camp and was told to re-install OSX – just Google “bootcamp partition error”). After installing a fresh copy of OSX, the process getting Windows 7 x64 Pro installed on my Macbook with the boot camp Assistant went exactly as advertised.
According to the BC Assistant instructions the last step of the process involves installing the boot camp software within Windows using the OSX installation DVD. Installing the software provides drivers for things like the trackpad…and – drum roll – the keyboard.
With the software installed and running in the notification area, guess what all the Fn buttons on my MacBook and even the USB aluminum keyboard work as advertised (including Eject, etc). So I figured, if the windows boot camp software works on a MacBook running Windows 7, why couldn’t it work on a Sony VAIO or any computer running Windows 7?
Here are the screen shots of installing boot camp on my Sony VAIO running Windows 7 32bit Professional (this procedure worked for me, but it it may very well make your computer unstable. Please see the disclaimer before you continue):
[step 1] Insert OSX Leopard DVD.
[step 2] Ignore the autorun notification and right-click the DVD icon while holding down the shift key, then choose “Open command window here.”
[step 3] This should pop up a command promt at the root directory of your OSX dvd. Change directory to the boot camp directory by typing “cd boot camp”. Then type setup.
[step 4] This will launch the boot camp installation wizard. Here are some screenshots of the procedure. A lot of drivers were installed (but since no matching hardware was found, they all remain dormant).
[step 5] After the installation and subsequent re-boot, a gray diamond shaped icon will appear in the notification area.
NOTE: when the icon is right clicked (or the boot camp icon in the control panel is launched), the following error is seen. This is probably because the underlying MacBook hardware can’t be found on this Sony VAIO. The keyboard buttons, however now magically work. Even with the faded volume status and sounds when increasing/decreasing the volume.
The brightness adjusting keys don’t seem to work though and I’m still testing whether or not sharp keys detects more keys with the boot camp application running in the notification area. I will update this post when I find out more.