Windows audio drivers for Windows 10 on a Mac Pro 2008

Windows 10 runs surprisingly well on my (new) Mac Pro 2008. The Bootcamp driver download from Apple though is no longer supported on a 2008:

The main feature I’m particularly missing is the Bootcamp systray app in Windows to allow you to pick your boot drive, i.e. to select to boot back to MacOS from Windows. As long as you can get to the boot screen and pick which partition to boot from then this is ok (although since I’ve also added a PC version (unflashed) of an Nvidia 750 Ti, whenever I want to switch OSes, I have to switch my monitor cable between the stock Mac ATI card, and then switch it back to my 750 Ti after I’ve picked which OS I want to boot).

Without getting all the Windows drivers installed in one go from Bootcamp, the only other thing I missed initially (before finding this post), was Audio drivers. Windows 10 had installed some default drivers but the volume control didn’t have any control over the speakers plugged into either the front or rear audio out. Downloading the Realtek drivers direct from this site fixed this though. After installing the drivers, the names of the audio out devices changes on the volume control too:

Now I’m all set ūüôā

Digital Research – Pacific Grove, California

Gary Kildall and his company Digital Research played a pivotal part in the history of the development of the IBM PC. IBM approached Bill Gates and Paul Allen to provide a number of programming languages for the original IBM PC, and later returned to Microsoft to ask if they could also provide the operating system. Not having anything available at the time, Gates suggested they talk with Gary Kildall at Digital Research, who had developed the CP/M operating system for 8080 based computers at the time.

The history of exactly what happened during the meeting with IBM and Gary’s wife at Digital Research may never be clear, but for whatever reason, Kildall was unavailable to discuss with IBM. When IBM returned to Gates and Allen, they decided to go talk with Rod Brock and Tim Patterson at Seattle Computer Products (SCP) and licensed their QDOS operating system for the 8086 for $10,000 and $15,000 for each company that licensed the product from Microsoft. This became the basis for MS-DOS, The rest, is history.

(If you’re interested, I highly recommend the book Fire in the Valley, a great book which covers the story of the IBM PC in detail, as well as earlier and later history)

The original location of Digital Research is at 801 Lighthouse Ave, in Pacific Grove, California. The building is now a private residence. On a vacation to Pacific Grove earlier this month, I looked up the location where the office was, and as it was only a couple of blocks from where we were staying, so we stopped by:




This IEEE have installed a plaque on the sidewalk outside the building to commemorate the contributions of Gary Kildall, Digital Research and the CP/M operating system:


Windows History: DOS vs NT sourcecode heritage

As a software developer, I’m fascinated by computer and IT history. I grew up with 8 bit home computers like the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and developed my first applications in Sinclair BASIC which most likely kickstarted my interest in software development.

I find it interesting when developers have very little interest or knowledge in even recent history of the tools and platforms that they work with every day. For example, statements like “I’m glad Windows 10 no longer has any dependence on MS-DOS like Windows 8 did”, or “Microsoft completely developed Windows 10 from scratch, you know”, – neither statements which could be further from the truth.

Up until Windows XP, Windows was developed as two parallel code lines, the MS-DOS based code line, Windows 1.x through 3.x, 95, 98, and ME, (95, 98 and ME aimed at home consumers) and the Windows NT code line for enterprise users. After Windows ME, Windows XP was developed based on the NT kernel from Windows 2000, with some features taken from ME and it’s MS-DOS code line.

There’s a great history¬†of the parallel code lines in this article on the¬†History of Microsoft Windows¬†on Wikipedia, and clearly illustrated in this diagram:

(From, shared under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license).

Windows ME was the last release of the MS-DOS based Windows code line, and Windows 10 is the next release in the Windows NT code line, which as you can see from the timeline above, shares it’s heritage with 8, 7 and Vista before it.

Installing Windows 8.1 guest on Linux Mint KVM

On my first attempt booting from the Windows 8.1 DVD to install as a guest in KVM, I got the initial Windows 8 splash screen, the DVD would spin for a few seconds but then spin down, and it would appear to be stuck at the logo screen, never reaching the spinning circle stage below the Windows icon.

There’s numerous posts of Windows 8 hanging at the logo screen, most of the conclusions seemed to be unless you didn’t have an error, just leave it until you get to the language selection dialog. I left mine about 10 minutes and got to the language dialog ok (I don’t remember a bare metal install taking that long before).

For my KVM vm settings, I left everything as defaults, apart from these changes based on numerous other posts on installing Windows 8 and 10 on KVM:

Processor: 1 CPU, and ‘copy host CPU configuration’

Disk: virtio disk bus, raw format, cache mode = node (not default)

Nic: virtio

Video: vga

After selecting ‘Custom install’ the ‘Where do you want to install Windows’ dialog says it could not find any drives. This is where you mount the virtio iso in the dvd for the vm, and then continue.

I hadn’t added a cd drive with the virtio iso¬†to my vm before starting the install, and it looks like Virtual Machine Manager won’t let you add a device while the vm is running. Luckily, following as answer on this post, you can add a device on the fly with this command:

virsh attach-disk vmname /dev/sr0 hdc --type cdrom

I then loaded the virtio driver from this location on the mounted iso:

Next I got this rather cryptic error message:

"Windows is unable to install to the selected location. Error: 0x80300001."

Apparently this is a common error regardless of whether you’re installing Windows 8 in a VM or not. The quick explanation – unmount the virtio drivers iso, put back the install iso (or actual DVD) and refresh. Select partition (or create one) and continue. See here.

After completing all the prompts during install, success, Windows 8.1 virtualized using KVM on Linux Mint!

Post install, to get the virtio network card drivers install, mount the virtio iso disk, use the Control Panel/Drivers to view devices, pick the network card, then point to the NetKVM dir.

Next challenge, getting better video drivers installed (taking a look at Spice).