running Snow Leopard - want to dual boot Vista or XP

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running Snow Leopard - want to dual boot Vista or XP

Postposted on Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:51 pm

Hi all,

I've got SL running on my MacBook and it's great. Big fan. What isn't great is M-Audio's driver support for my soundcard. So for the time being at least I need to dual boot into a Windows environment to get my FireWire sound happening.

Now I've done a lot of dual or triple booting in the past but this has never involved OS X. Therefore I ask of you some tips for the best way to go about this.

Is it a case of using Boot Camp? How should I format the Windows partition (e.g. file system)? Are there any special hoops to jump thru' or is everything pretty straightforward? Will installing Windows bork my GRUB or equivalent? [Sorry: n00b alert - I've only done this in Linux environments before.] Will it be easy enough to wipe the Windows partition when M-Audio gets its act into gear re: driver support? That is, can one easily grow a HFS+ file system?

Is it possible to set up my second partition for Leopard? (M-Audio has drivers for my card all the way up to 10.5.8.) Can I install Leopard on an external HDD? How is this done?

Whilst I'm at it, I'm thinking about popping on a GNU/Linux variant too. Which file system would you recommend in this case?

Also, if there are any comprehensive guides out there I'd be keen to pointed in their direction.

If even half these questions could be answered by you gerbils I'd be eternally grateful...

Many thanks!

Pedro.
Ubuntu 12.04 AMD64: E8200 // P35 // HD 4850 // 4GB
OS X 10.8.x: iMac12,2, MacBook 5,2
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Re: running Snow Leopard - want to dual boot Vista or XP

Postposted on Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:54 pm

This is what Boot Camp is for. Run the Boot Camp Assistant.
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Re: running Snow Leopard - want to dual boot Vista or XP

Postposted on Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:13 pm

Run Windows in a VM. That way you can have both running at the same time. Use Parallels or VMWare Fusion.
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Re: running Snow Leopard - want to dual boot Vista or XP

Postposted on Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:42 pm

Or VirtualBox for free.
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Re: running Snow Leopard - want to dual boot Vista or XP

Postposted on Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:01 pm

Guys, he's needing direct access to his sound hardware. A VM is going to fail here.

I'd use Boot Camp with 32-bit Vista if you want the best possible experience. XP works, but you can't use dual screens if you've got an external monitor[1]. 64-bit Vista sort of works, but you have to really work at it and forget about your iSight camera; dual-screens works. You'll just run the BC assistant, which will let you partition the drive, reboot with your Vista disc in the drive, and after Windows is installed you'll install drivers and the Windows side of Boot Camp from your OSX disc. Easy peasy. It'll be formatted as whichever filesystem you tell Windows to use (NTFS unless you're insane). After this you can hold down ALT upon reboot to choose which operating system to boot into. If you hear the BONG it's almost too late.

Putting on Linux after this is dicey. Ubuntu made some change or another to the MBR equivalent that slightly borked Boot Camp, in that after that the BC assistant could no longer edit the partition table and the Windows partition was no longer hidden in the Finder, but everything continued to boot OK. This even happened when I used Wubi.

ISTR that Vista SP2 (if you've got a disc with that pre-integrated) groks EFI firmware, so you might be able to just install Vista directly without messing with Boot Camp; you may need to boot from your OSX disc and pre-partition the drive first, then reinstall OSX. I haven't done this, so I don't have any pointers. Here be dragons.


[1] from my experience with a Macbook 2,1 with 945 chipset and OSX 10.4 & 10.5. No idea if this was fixed with later models.
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Re: running Snow Leopard - want to dual boot Vista or XP

Postposted on Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:02 pm

bthylafh wrote:Guys, he's needing direct access to his sound hardware. A VM is going to fail here.

I'd use Boot Camp with 32-bit Vista if you want the best possible experience. XP works, but you can't use dual screens if you've got an external monitor[1]. 64-bit Vista sort of works, but you have to really work at it and forget about your iSight camera; dual-screens works. You'll just run the BC assistant, which will let you partition the drive, reboot with your Vista disc in the drive, and after Windows is installed you'll install drivers and the Windows side of Boot Camp from your OSX disc. Easy peasy. It'll be formatted as whichever filesystem you tell Windows to use (NTFS unless you're insane). After this you can hold down ALT upon reboot to choose which operating system to boot into. If you hear the BONG it's almost too late.

Putting on Linux after this is dicey. Ubuntu made some change or another to the MBR equivalent that slightly borked Boot Camp, in that after that the BC assistant could no longer edit the partition table and the Windows partition was no longer hidden in the Finder, but everything continued to boot OK. This even happened when I used Wubi.

ISTR that Vista SP2 (if you've got a disc with that pre-integrated) groks EFI firmware, so you might be able to just install Vista directly without messing with Boot Camp; you may need to boot from your OSX disc and pre-partition the drive first, then reinstall OSX. I haven't done this, so I don't have any pointers. Here be dragons.


[1] from my experience with a Macbook 2,1 with 945 chipset and OSX 10.4 & 10.5. No idea if this was fixed with later models.


Many thanks for this comprehensive answer.

And yeh, he's right - virtual machines are a no go because I need FireWire working.

32-bit Vista it is then.

Tally ho!
Ubuntu 12.04 AMD64: E8200 // P35 // HD 4850 // 4GB
OS X 10.8.x: iMac12,2, MacBook 5,2
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