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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 XP OEM disc will not mount on my iMac


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dchicks

 
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I would like to install Windows XP as a dual boot using Bootcamp Assistant. I've done it before, but this time around I have a big problem. The actual Windows XP OEM disc I have will not mount in the DVD drive. I've tried every possible solution I can think of to get around this, but it's no use. I can hear the drive attempt to mount the disc three times. Then, it spits the disc back out.

The same disc mounts just fine on my MacBook and on another machine running Linux. The same disc even starts up and attempts to do the installation on my MacBook using Bootcamp Assistant. I just haven't found a way to get it to mount on the iMac.

Other CD's mount just fine on the iMac. In fact, I was forced to reinstall Snow Leopard on that same machine prior to trying Bootcamp Assistant because I had a non-standard partitioning scheme. The Snow Leopard disc mounted and ran just fine.

So, any ideas/thoughts/anything? I'm really out of ideas. I tried burning a new copy of the Windows XP disc (disc copy), tried burning it to a thumb drive for install through USB, and tried burning the ISO to a DVD instead of a CD. Nothing is helping.

Thanks,
Dave
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My understanding is OEM discs can only be installed on one machine. So if you've already installed it on the MacBook, that's the only machine you can install it on. It is forever tied to that HDD. That's why they're cheaper than retail discs.

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dchicks

 
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I understand that the OEM is licensed that way, but I can assure you that there's no mechanism that prevents you from re-installing it elsewhere. I've already done it. Sometimes things go koo-koo, and you need to restart. :-)

However, that's not the problem. The problem is that it won't even MOUNT in the drive. I place the disc in the drive, it whirs and clicks a few times, then the disc gets spit back out. That's not an installation issue. The disc mounts just fine on the MacBook, though. It's only the iMac that hates it.
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Do you have a Windows machine handy? If you do, use Nero or Ashampoo to make a dupe of the OEM XP CD. You can either dupe it to another CD or even to a DVD. Then use your original product key to install.

I have no idea why your iMac doesn't like that CD but it doesn't surprise me. I don't know what it is about the optical drives that are used in both the iMac, MacBook, and MacBook Pro machines, but it seems they do not hold up very well.

As far as the EULA for OEM XP, Vista, or Win 7 is concerned, once it has been installed on a particular machine, it stays with the machine and can not legally be moved to another. (Even if the machine dies.) That's how the MS EULA reads.... That's why it's always best to purchase a MS boxed copy which can be moved from machine to machine.
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dchicks

 
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As I mentioned in my original post, I did try making a duplicate. The duplicate would not mount, either. I find it hard to imagine that the OS has anything to do with inspecting the disc and rejecting it because it's Windows OEM, because it works on my MacBook with the same OS version. All I can imagine is that something about the iMac drive doesn't like something about the disc format. It's just weird.

I do understand that the EULA ties the install to a machine in license. It does not do so physically, though. But, that's not really the subject of my problem. :-)
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OK, I see now that you did a Disk Copy. I always associate disk copy with floppy disks... it went by me.

Don't know what to tell you about your iMac. Obviously, it's the drive and not the disk itself. You might try installing XP to your iMac using Target Disk Mode. That would be a firewire to firewire connection. You can learn more about Target Disk Mode from the Apple KB. LINK
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dchicks

 
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On the off chance that it would make a difference, I created a copy of the OEM disk using the MacBook (instead of Linux, like I did before). Same result. The iMac drive just will not accept the disk. I'm completely puzzled. I could have sworn that I had used that disk in that iMac before.

Oh well.

Thanks for the info about Target mode. I'll look into it.
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dchicks

 
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Well, I've tried about 4 more possibilities, and nothing is working. The only thing I can figure is that Mac OS' DVD driver has something in it that can sense the type of Windows disk being inserted and spits it back out if it doesn't like it. I don't have a non-OEM version of Windows to try. So, I can't verify this. All I can say right now is that I'm irritated beyond words with this situation. I'm unhappy with both Apple and Microsoft, right now.
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It would be the drive, nothing to do with the drivers. Too many of us have installed Win OEM discs on our machines.

Since no one has asked, that disc is XP SP2?
(However, I don't think even that would prevent it from just mounting.)

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dchicks

 
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I'm reasonably certain that it has SP2 on it, but remember this isn't an installation problem. The drive just won't mount the disk. I don't understand how it can fail to mount several different copies of this disk (even one burned on the iMac itself), but it can mount other CD's with no issue at all. Just doesn't make sense to me.

I agree that it seems like a drive hardware issue, but the fact that other CD's will mount easily makes me think otherwise.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchicks View Post
As I mentioned in my original post, I did try making a duplicate. The duplicate would not mount, either. I find it hard to imagine that the OS has anything to do with inspecting the disc and rejecting it because it's Windows OEM, because it works on my MacBook with the same OS version. All I can imagine is that something about the iMac drive doesn't like something about the disc format. It's just weird.

I do understand that the EULA ties the install to a machine in license. It does not do so physically, though. But, that's not really the subject of my problem. :-)
I agree, the CD/DVD should mount. That part has nothing to do with the fact it's for one machine only. You said you made a copy and it will not mount either. Do your other DATA CD's mount? Try a bunch and see. It sure sounds like an issue with the optical drive in the Mac.

Edit: After I posted this I saw your last post. Opps. That is a strange issue for sure. Not sure what is up.
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dchicks

 
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Good catch, dtravis. I hadn't thought of that because other data disks had mounted with no trouble. Turns out that CD's are the problem. Not even a music CD would mount. DVD's appear to mount just fine. That's sounding more like a drive malfunction.

Now, I did try to do a Windows install using a Dell XP-ME DVD last night. It mounted, but then after restarting got a "No Bootable Disk Found" error. So, I wonder if there is yet more issue with the drive.

The Snow Leopard install DVD worked fine for installing OSX just 2 or 3 days ago, though.
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dchicks

 
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Thanks to all who responded. Looks like I've got an actual hardware malfunction. I put a call in to Apple Support for it. I'm glad I got Applecare on this guy. Should be a new DVD/CD drive coming my way with home delivery/installation. I do have to give Apple props for good customer service - at least, so far.
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Sounds excellent! Do keep us updated with how it all works out in the end.
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dchicks

 
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The fellow from the local repair contracting company came by the house last Friday with a new DVD drive to install. (Having Applecare on the machine has been a real lifesaver!) The drive was installed in about 30 minutes. My OEM disk booted right up, and I had Windows installed and running in under an hour.

All that time and effort trying different things, and it turned out to be just a bad drive. What a strange malfunction.

Thanks to all for the input.
Dave
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