Windows XP on Mac?! Say what?!

It has been speculated for some time, even before the release, the possibility of running Windows XP on the Intel core processor Macs. Some of the Apple people I had spoke with had said this probably wouldn’t be possible because the Mac Intel processors were utilizing EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) and Win XP depends heavily on EFI (i.e. Bios) and Microsoft even went so far as to say that the next generation OS (Vista) wouldn’t support EFI either. There had been a reported case in which a person had won an award for being able to install Win XP on a Mac Intel machine as reported by ZDNet.

Apple as of today released what they call Boot Camp, a downloadable program that allows Win XP to run on the Mac Intel machines. I would never have guessed that, of all people, Apple would release this. Apparently this software is still in beta and is unsupported, but Leopard (Mac OX 10.5) would have Boot Camp and more functionality of that built in natively. I’m heavily debating whether or not to try it because I only have about ~9GB left of hard drive space (of 80GB) and it calls for at least 10GB (not sure why). Although I spoke to someone who works at Apple and has said that the people in our Book Store has successfully been able to install, configure, and run Win XP on one of their Mac Intel machines as demo. I’m going to check that out when I can.

11 thoughts on “Windows XP on Mac?! Say what?!”

  1. Well I had some unfortunate bad luck, the first attempt of installing Win XP on the Intel did not go very successful. I lost all of my data. Fortunately, I do have a backup, but I think I have a few things that weren’t backed up. For the most part, about 95+% of my documents are probably safe (had the foresight to back up my data just in case before the actual Boot Camp install). With this, I found a new thing about the MacBook Pro also, the Apple TechTool Deluxe software that Apple provides if you buy the 4 year warranty does not work. Apparently after a search on Google, a blog site talking of how Apple “forgot to update the boot version of the TechTool Deluxe disk to work on Intel Macs.” Great.

    Now I’m sure someone might wonder how I got myself to where I am, reinstalling the Mac OS. Boot Camp installation went fine, created the Mac Drivers CD fine, and after I stuck the Win XP CD as the installer instructed to do and click the Install button, I got a kernel panic and had to shutdown the machine completely. After restart, it went into the Windows partition and started the install fine. It wasn’t until the “Finishing Installing Windows” step did some problems start happening. It kept “sticking” at 39 minutes left after 30 of those supposed 39 minutes left had passed. After awhile, I figured it might have been stuck somewhere despite the “Tips” screen was still cycling (the screen that tells you all those wonderful things you can do with Win XP on the right hand side). After terminating it by holding down the power button (I know, probably not the best thing to do, but the laptop was getting quite warm from being stuck at that part for so long), I figured if I let it reboot back to the install, it might fix itself. Nope. After one more try, I figured it probably be wise to try a complete fresh reinstall. Now I didn’t do this, but I do want to warn people: If you’re going to do a reinstall, do not use the Windows install screen where it asks you what partition to install Windows on to delete any of the partitions including the C: partition that is set aside for Windows. Instead, boot back to the Mac partition and use Boot Camp to remove and reinstall. Otherwise you will lose your data. When I was about to do that, restart back into the Mac OS to use Boot Camp to remove and reinstall the WinXP partition, for some odd reason I couldn’t boot into the Mac OS. It would hang at the Apple boot screen (the one with the Apple logo and the spinning light wheel underneath it). So I killed it (again) and boot into the Mac OS disk that came with the MacBook to use Disk Utility. Imagine my horror when I found that main drive was somehow unmounted. The Windows partition, suprisingly stayed intact. What shows up is that Machintosh HD is grayed out and when I try to do a Verify Disk, it fails telling me it needs to be repaired. The error message was “Invalid Volume Header Information” or of that sort. After trying to use TechTool Deluxe and finding out it doesn’t work…I borrowed my co-worker’s MacBook in attempt to Target Disk mode my laptop and extract the data. When only one partition loaded up (give you a guess as to which one it was), I knew my data was probably toast. So now I’m in the process of reinstalling. Will I attempt the Boot Camp/WinXP install again? Sure will. The opportunity to learn and experience the possibilities of WinXP on the Mac is too good to pass up. Sucks that it didn’t go smoothly as I would have liked, but you know, that is life.

  2. Well after a much long reinstallation of Mac OS 10.4 with all the updates making it now Mac OS 10.4.6, I reinstalled Boot Camp and have now SUCCESSFULLY installed WinXP on my MacBook Pro! Yay! I am not in the process of installing all the standard applications I normally install at work (e.g. E-Trust AntiVirus, Office 2003, WinRAR, Windows Updates, etc.).

    I must say that the MacBook with WinXP runs about as fast as my Dell Inspiron 8500. Of course, I can’t be entirely sure without actually running any benchmark programs, but it is fast. This is expected because WinXP talks directly to the Intel processor as opposed to emmulation before (e.g. VirtualPC). Reboots pretty fast, logins to Windows fast, and programs open up blazingly fast. I’ll continue testing and report more.

  3. I just installed WinXP/BootCamp on another Mac today. An Intel processor iMac. The installation went very smoothly, very routine and everything runs great so far. I’m going to have my fellow co-workers try it out and let me know what they think of it also.

  4. Look at what I found on PCWorld. If you look back to the first comment on here on how my entire Mac OS partition was wiped, seems like I wasn’t the only one to experience this issue. Interesting…

  5. Just spoke with an Apple Engineer and here are some of the things that MacOS 10.5’s native BootCamp will have that the beta doesn’t have:

    Support for the sensor on the hard drive that detects sudden jarring to the hard drive and will park the hard drive to prevent damage or data loss.
    iSight camera support.
    Illuminated keyboard.

  6. If you have Windows XP, why do you use linux?
    Basically I dont see any advantages to using linux over windows xp, Im dual booting windows
    and ubuntu. Ubuntu is nice and all but I dont see anything that would make me prefer it
    over windows.The only thing i have been using ubuntu for is web browsing playing
    music/movies (cant play games) which I can do better/hassle free in windows.
    So what are the advantages of l using linux over xp?

  7. after installing boot camp, i deleted the mac partition via windows blue screen…. LOST ALL MY MAC DATA! NO BACKUPS!

    i took about 1 week to recover 70% of the data:

    1) used another computer connected to my mac pro via firewire TARGET MODE (press T) on start up!

    2) DATA RESCUE II great , great aplicattion !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3) since my mac is mac-intel wont boot from the install disc because
    wont recognize the windows partition on my mac!

    4) Disc utility = writing zeros to disc

    5) UFFF…… press (C) on start up and run the macOX installer

  8. Serrado,

    Ouch! That sucks, I was there. But glad you were able to recover at least 70% of your data!

    Great tip on how to recover the disappeared Mac partition. I really hope Apple resolves this on Leopard!

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