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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.

Triple Boot(OS X, Ubuntu, Win 7)


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Nohtanhoj

 
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Member Since: Jan 25, 2010
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Well, I'm seriously thinking about getting a triple boot going on my 24" iMac, but before I do, I've got a few questions.

1. Does anyone here have any experience with triple booting (specifically to the install process). I'm pretty computer literate, but there's a few installation specific things that are making me a little nervous.

2. The reason I'm getting nervous about these things is my past experience with editing the partition table on my Mac. When I was attempting to get Ubuntu booting, I over-wrote my entire internal hard drive *Doh*. Good thing I had Time Machine backups on a separate drive. The second time, I installed the GRUB bootloader to the internal drive and it over-wrote my EFI bootloader, thus making my beautiful Mac a Linux only machine. Double hooray for Time Machine backups.

Would using the newest version of Boot Camp to partition again and install Windows 7 create similar problems? The specific thing I'm worried about is when the Windows setup decides to install the Win 7 bootloader to the root of my drive. Will this over-write my existing setup, and thus make me start from scratch all over again?

If so, I'm comfortable with doing a full drive format and recovering from Time Machine. However, this brings up new concerns. If I complete the Windows install process, over-write my Mac and Linux partitions, and then choose to format, will my Win 7 serial number work again?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
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chscag

 
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Do some searching in this forum using the same subject. There have been several good posts giving a step by step of how to triple boot OS X, Ubuntu, and Windows.

Some folks who have successfully done it used rEFIt an EFI boot loader.

You do know that you can install Ubuntu from within Windows right? Ubuntu will install within Windows as a virtual machine and run that way which means you would only have to install Windows via Boot Camp. That means a dual boot but would in effect be a triple boot without the fuss of three boot loaders.

Regards.
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cwa107

 
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You could save yourself a lot of time and effort by using a virtualization product entirely. Unless you need to play games or run serious 3D apps, there's virtually no difference between running an OS natively or in a VM.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Nohtanhoj

 
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Not a half-bad idea. I am going to be running games on Win 7 (the only reason I'm actually going to use Windows), but Linux I run exclusively for the programming environments. However, recently I've checked out XCode and it's got some great stuff (especially being able to to view the contents of instance variables *drool* instead of just memory addresses in debug mode), so I suppose Linux could go entirely (or just virtualize it).

In order to get rid of my existing Linux partitions and free up space for my Windows ones, am I correct in saying that since the Linux filesystem is different than the OS X/Windows one, I would have to format my entire existing drive and restore from a very recent Time Machine backup?
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chscag

 
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Quote:
In order to get rid of my existing Linux partitions and free up space for my Windows ones, am I correct in saying that since the Linux filesystem is different than the OS X/Windows one, I would have to format my entire existing drive and restore from a very recent Time Machine backup?
You could do it that way but there's an easier way.

Just boot from your OS X install DVD, select Utilities, Disk Utilities from the top menu. Remove the Linux partitions (delete). Then drag the partition separator line across the entire drive so that your drive is now one partition. DU will automatically format and merge the new space as HFS Extended.

Of course make sure you have a backup first.

Regards.
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dcow

 
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I use this setup. Just make sure you install Windows before Linux.

1) Install Windows with Bootcamp
2) Install reFIT
3) Install Linux by booting from the cd. Put grub on the 'root' of the partition map. (I have grub on my linux partition, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, usually it doesn't and when it doesn't there's a long tedious process of 'fixing' grub that is not fun.) The only disadvantage of putting grub on the root partition is that anytime you ant to boot to windows you'll have to do it through grub. (so it's like a dual + 1 boot setup since you have to deal wit two bootloaders)
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chscag

 
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Since you're using rEFIt, I would place GRUB or LILO at the ROOT of the partition it's installed on and not the ROOT partition of the drive. (Maybe that's what you meant ? )

The rEFIt EFI boot loader is smart enough to "see" OS X, Windows, and whichever Linux boot loader you're using. It will very nicely present you with a three option graphic boot menu upon startup so that you can choose which OS to boot to.

I currently use rEFIt as a boot loader for Snow Leopard and Windows 7 Home Premium. It works much smoother than "Boot Picker" or "Quick Boot".

Regards.
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tsam19

 
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Hello

I am looking to find a way to triple boot myself, I'm familiar with rEFIT.

But I want Snow Leopard,Windows 7 & Windows Xp,

I already have Snow & Win 7 installed & was looking for way to use some unused hard drive space to create a 3rd partition.

Basically is there any programs like Camptune that can do this?

I know Camptune shifts hard drive space from one partition to the other without damaging file structures.

I know if I started from scratch & wiped the whole disk clean, I could use Disk utility before format to create the 3 partitions, but I don't want to reformat.

Thanks
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SammySlim

 
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Not to my knowledge. CampTune only does what you describe. You will need to create the partition manually. Highly recommend creating the 3d one through a virtual machine ... VirtualBox is free. You might not need the native access to the graphics hardware.
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dngfng

 
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Hi,

I am not sure if I am allowed to link to the other forum where I wrote a guide linking in other Articles on how to dual/triple boot with Linux.

If the link has to be removed just give me a shout and I will write the instructions up again here.

[all variants] How to Triple/Dual boot with rEFIt - Ubuntu Forums
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chscag

 
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Posting the link is OK. There are other links that also show how. Here's one that I refer to at times.
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tsam19

 
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Did some research & I came up with this.

4 operating systems on the Macbook.

Step by step picture help.

Enjoy!!

http://hydtechblog.com/2009/01/26/du...windows-vista/



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Redwood1961

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
You could save yourself a lot of time and effort by using a virtualization product entirely. Unless you need to play games or run serious 3D apps, there's virtually no difference between running an OS natively or in a VM.

Are you thinking VMware's bootloader, Is that what you use. ?
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chscag

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redwood1961 View Post
Are you thinking VMware's bootloader, Is that what you use. ?
No. He was stating that it's a lot easier to use Virtual Machine software such as Fusion, Parallels, or VirtualBox to run the operating systems as VMs from within OS X rather than triple boot. The only time it's advantageous to run Windows natively is if you need it for graphic intense applications for games.
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