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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Windows - Dual Boot / Virtual Windows XP Machine on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in 20 Steps

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Member Since: Dec 30, 2008
Posts: 5
applesanity is on a distinguished road

applesanity is offline
I wrote this for the newbies. Hopefully, the replies won’t be “but wait, how did you get to that thing in step ##?”

Sometimes you need full power for Windows (cough, gaming, cough) or sometimes you just need to run that one program for which there is no equal in Mac, i.e., MS Paint. You could run a virtual machine, or you could dual boot… so why not both?

Needless to say, back up your &^$#! Back it all up. Time Capsule, Time Machine, USB thumb Drive, whatever. Back up your stuff. This tutorial comes with the applesanity seal of approval, but on the condition that you back up your files.

For the newbies:
  • Dual boot means you got 2 operating systems on your computer; when you turn it on, you can make a choice.
  • Virtual Machine means you are running one OS inside of another, that is, you have a virtual computer running inside your current computer, so to speak.
  • Partition means splitting your hard drive into multiple, quasi hard drives. The main advantage is to keep the crap from one part of your real hard drive from messing up the rest of your real hard drive.
This tutorial was written for a 13” Macbook Aluminum, Model 5,1 (click on the apple in the top left, then “About this Mac,” then “More Info”) – but I guess it could apply to any Mac computer, assuming you’re using Leopard or higher. The only issues I guess would be keyboard commands and shortcuts.

Programs you’ll need:Here we go!
  1. Run “Boot Camp Assistant.” (Applications > Utilities). Follow the steps, choose something like a 10GB partition, but stop when it asks for you to install Windows.

  2. “Boot Camp” is a bit more buggy than it should be. You would think that steps 3-5 would be unnecessary, but not really, not all the time. It has to do with the fact that the Boot Camp partition is formatted in FAT32 while windows usually resides on NTFS formatted partitions. Or maybe not. Maybe it depends on the kind of XP install CD you have. We will use FreeDOS to get the formatting done correctly. I tried skipping steps 3-5 a couple times but Windows never quite installed correctly, giving me the error, “Error on Disk” or something like that.

  3. Download the FreeDOS CD image (ISO). Right-click and open with “Disk Utility.” The application should have the ISO highlighted. If not, select it and click “Burn” – assuming you put a blank CD into the drive. Don’t worry, running FreeDOS won’t mess up the Boot Camp information.

  4. Once it’s done burning shove the CD back in and turn off the computer. Turn it back on, holding the “Option” key. Select the CD.

  5. You will see several menus:
    1. Select option “1” to boot FreeDOS from the CD-ROM.
    2. Select option “1” to install to disk using FreeDOS setup.
    3. Select option “1” to choose the English keypad
    4. Select option “5” to run FreeDOS from CD-ROM.
    5. Type in “format c:” It should go quickly.
    6. It will ask you to name your partition. Just type “BOOTCAMP” to keep things honest.
    7. Reboot or shut down and restart in Mac. Hold down the “Option key” to be sure.

  6. Take the FreeDOS CD out and stick in your Windows XP install CD. Run Boot Camp again, but choose the option to install Windows. The computer will shut down and Windows will start installing. Do pay attention. Even though the next process will take about 20 minutes, don’t walk away from your computer. Seriously, don’t.

  7. At some point, it will ask you to choose your partition. The first choice is your Macintosh HD partition. If you do nothing, the time delay will write into that partition. Then you will be very, very, very sorry. Hit the down key to choose the C: partition. Recall what was your partition size for Boot Camp and make sure the C: partition is that size too. Don’t mess this step up.

  8. Since most of you have never seen an XP install, here’s what will happen - stuff will unpack, then you will see a yellow progress bar. Then you will see pretty graphics as XP installs. Sit tight. This will take awhile. Depending on your version of XP, you may have to enter in some personal login info, a serial key, whatever. At any rate, XP installs faster than Leopard.

  9. Hopefully, XP will install successfully after an automatic reboot. Yay! Take out the install CD, and pop in your Mac OS X Leopard install DVD. Run it to install drivers for Mac. It will ask you to reboot, and you should do that. Hold down “option” upon booting to choose whether to boot from Mac or XP.

  10. Some things – right click is 3 fingers, i.e., middle and ring finger on trackpad then index finger to click. Also, a simultaneous three finger click works too. You can scroll with two fingers as well. CTRL+ALT+DEL seems to be Control+Option+Delete. Go into your Control Panel and select “Boot Camp” to see Windows keyboard commands on Mac keyboards.

  11. Everything looks fuzzy, huh? Right-click on desktop to choose “Properties,” or go to Start > Control Panel > Display. Get the “Appearance” tab and choose screen resolution to whatever it is that is your monitor’s ideal setting. The native resolution for a 13” Macbook Aluminum is 1280 X 800.

  12. Antivirus, what? Well, it’s Windows, what are you gonna do - install AVG. There are other antivirus programs, but heck, AVG is free, so there. Install Spybot too. Darn spyware.

  13. Holding down “option” to choose boot partition gets lame. Boot into Mac and run rEFIt. A strange bug in rEFIt causes it to work only on a follow-up boot. So restart your computer while holding down option, choose your Mac Partition. Then Restart again. This time, don’t hold down the “Option” key and you will be taken to the rEFIt menu. Much better. If you’re chicken, you can uninstall rEFIt by opening up your Macintosh HD, and deleted the folder named, “EFI.”

  14. The remaining steps will allow Windows to run in a virtual machine, which will slow you down a bit if you allocate more than 512MB to Windows, or unless you’re running quad core super pro mode with 8 gigs of RAM. rEFIt will give you the option to dual boot if you’re um, say, gaming, etc. Additionally, keeping Windows on a partition instead of a virtual drive will give you a level of comfort. All the crap that goes with Windows, and all the crap which makes XP inferior to Leopard, will stay in the Boot Camp partition… hopefully.

  15. Now it gets good. If you haven’t run Spaces (in System Preferences), do so. You will want a space specifically for Windows.

  16. Install VMware Fusion. It will ask you to create your virtual disk or install windows, but cancel that. You will see a window behind your current window called “Boot Camp” partition – assuming your install of VMware fusion detected it. It should.

  17. When it’s loading Windows, it will ask you if you want to run Windows in Mac and vice versa, inside the Preferences window. You should select those options. Then VM tools will install itself inside Windows. Hopefully, right-click on your trackpad will work in Windows instead of the 3 finger method.

  18. Open “Spaces” inside System Preferences, and move VMware Fusion to its own unique space (hit the little “+” button to add applications). When you’re running it, use Control+Command+Enter to move in and out. Here’s the beauty of “Spaces” – on my computer I have it set up so that Option+arrow keys will move me between spaces. I chose “Option” because well, it’s right next to the arrow keys. Go full screen in VMware Fusion. Then hit “Option” + your choice of arrow to go seamlessly back into Mac. Yay!

  19. If you’re really hardcore, choose the “unity” option. It’s sick. Personally, I like to keep some semblance of separation. If you do run Unity, you can access your Mac HD from inside Windows easily. In Unity, your taskbar is hidden at the bottom of the screen. Entering and exiting “Unity” can be found in the “View” menu.

  20. Here’s a screenshot of the final product in “Unity” mode, running my favorite Windows program – MS Paint.
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Great tutorial. You did a thorough step by step list of instructions. I've got this bookmarked for future reference.

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Member Since: Aug 21, 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 233
ErikJenkins1187 will become famous soon enough
Mac Specs: 2.66Ghz Penryn C2D iMac

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One minor, or major note...

There is a known issue with VMware corrupting certain parts of the Windows registry when using a BootCamp partition as a virtual machine. I tried out VMware a couple months ago on my BootCamp partition and it did indeed do some registry damage, to the point after my VMware trial was up I had wipe my BC partition because Windows acted so **** buggy. It was freezing on the log-in screen for minutes at a time, installers froze up, and UI elements would disappear and reappear. I finally ran a registry debug utility I had and verified the damage. I could of fixed it but I just deleted the partition because I don't really need Windows anyways. Just some food for thought gentlemen and ladies.
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Member Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posts: 1 is on a distinguished road is offline
Is there a chance that i could install windows vista or XP alone. i mean without dual booth.?
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