Apple Details Thunderbolt Behavior in Windows 7 (Boot Camp)

By on June 29th, 2011 16:51 GMT

According to Apple, Thunderbolt-enabled Macs can use the Intel-developed I/O technology while running Boot Camp with Windows 7. However, there are some particularities to be taken into account.

According to the Mac maker, there is a certain behavior of Thunderbolt when users employ such devices using Boot Camp and Windows 7.

The FAQ document appears to target only MacBook Pro users who run a Windows 7 installation using the dual-boot tools provided in Mac OS X.

For example, if a device is not recognized when the user plugs it directly into the Thunderbolt port, Apple explains to the user what needs to be done to avoid this:

“While it starts up, Windows 7 scans and activates devices connected directly to the Thunderbolt port. If a device is not directly connected when the computer starts up, Windows 7 will not recognize the device.”

The best way to add and remove devices from the Thunderbolt chain while Windows 7 is running is to plug and / or unplug devices into a Thunderbolt peripheral that is already recognized, Apple reveals.

For those wondering whether the Thunderbolt port supplies power to devices when running Windows 7, the answer is ‘yes,’ it does.

However, “Thunderbolt supplies power to devices that are directly connected to a Thunderbolt port only,” according to Apple.

“Using a device that is powered though the Thunderbolt cable will deplete the battery if your are using a portable Macintosh that is not plugged into an AC outlet. If your Thunderbolt device came with an AC adapter, you should use it,” the company states.

Another type of behavior users might find interesting - on Windows 7, computer sleep is disabled while a Thunderbolt device is plugged in. Apple doesn’t say why.

Users cannot enjoy Target Display Mode with Boot Camp and Windows 7 using a Thunderbolt capable iMac.

Also, removing a directly-connected Thunderbolt device will cause Windows 7 to fail to recognize that device until the next reboot.

Read through Apple’s official documentation here for other informative facts about Thunderbolt on Windows 7 through Boot Camp.

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