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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.

New iMac as a monitor for XP Bootcamp on an old Air

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Member Since: Dec 06, 2011
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Hello all -
Need your assistance getting an accurate answer on an Apple related issue. Trip to the Apple store (including speaking to 5 employees, 2 of whom were genius bar staff) did not provide the clarity/certainty I am after. More on that later.

I have a work issued 11 inch Air (running XP via Bootcamp). I cannot boot the Apple OS, nor make any changes to the XP environment.

My Air is an "older" model: 11 inch with mini-display port, not the "spark" Thunderbolt port, but same size of course.

I am thinking about buying an iMac, which would be dual purpose...second computer and monitor for my Air. But I am unsure if an iMac will do this smoothly with my Air (or which model can or can't do it).

Let me tell you what I have done:
- two visits to the Apple store
- conversation #1 (yes, it will work...21 or 27 mention of Thunderwire or mini-display issue, no issues with XP on Bootcamp)
- conversation #2 (yes, but 27 inch is ok that Air has mini-display and is using XP via Bootcamp)
- conversation #3 (yes, but you need to buy an old model iMac that still has mini-display port, not firewire)
- conversation #4 (no, it will not work with Bootcamp with any configuration)
- conversation #5 (yes, will work with any 27 inch model...use mini-display to VGA (from Air), use Thunderwire to VGA (from iMac), and then use a male-male VGA to connect the two

Apple has a knowledge base article on the topic, which offers yet another view. However only speaks to 2009 and 2010 models. I am unable to find a similar entry for current iMac models.
Using a 27-inch iMac (Late 2009 or Mid 2010) as an external display

Apple won't test any of this at the genius bar (well, the genius I had - conversation #4 above).

Any thoughts?

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With all the confusion you've garnered from the genius bar at the Apple store, I'm not sure anyone here can give you any further help that will clear things up.

There have been several articles published in MacWorld which speak of the very thing you're asking. And if I remember correctly, the conclusions they drew were pretty much the same as what you got from the Apple store.

The tests they performed were with the 27" Mid 2011 iMac which has two Thunderbolt ports. The Thunderbolt port is backward compatible with the MDP port.
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