After previously owning a Samsung NC10 and an MSI Wind U100 and successfully performing a dual-boot setup for Mac OS X and Windows XP for each, I figured it would be a walk in the park when it came time to doing the same configuration on my new Mini 9. I can tell you honestly that I almost gave up last night after spending a few late weeknights into nearly the entire weekend without success, up until the wee hours before work the next morning when it all finally came together. Here's how it all went down...
When I first received my Mini 9, I stared at the Ubuntu GUI for just under a minute, then immediately rebooted and followed the "DellEFI Method" of installation of Mac OS X
. Needless to say, it was the most painless procedure I've ever encountered in getting a Hackintosh up and running (kudos to you guys), and I immediately customized and set it all up for my needs. It was the perfect Mac setup, with all the hardware functioning perfectly (unlike my previous netbooks which lacked complete compatibility).
But as I soon realized, I still needed to run Windows on my netbook for the very few instances that require it. Not content in using Parallels/VMware, and since I had extensive experience in dual-booting, I figured I'd give it a go. I backed up my "Macintosh HD" into a DMG file on an external USB drive, then proceeded to re-wipe the drive, build an XP setup, image it with Acronis and repartition the drive for a dual-boot setup.
But, with all the various combinations I tried, no matter what combination, one OS would kill the other from booting up, fail to load even after installing/copying the core files down, even after restoring the Macintosh partition, or rerunning the DellEFI application, and retrying with a GUID layout, MBR layout, rearranging the partitions, trying FAT32 or NTFS, repairing the partition boot sectors, master boot sector, etc. etc. I would get the "boot0: error" to "Operating System not Found" to BSODs when changing around XP's boot.ini file, or it couldn't find hal.dll, etc. Every error posted here in previous threads, I saw it all week.
Then I found the perfect combination. It required me not using my nicely-customized NTFS-formatted XP build that I made before, but, hey, it's dual-booting! So, if the price I pay is reinstalling XP from scratch, so be it.
Here are my tools:
- retail Mac OS X 10.5.6 DVD[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
- OEM Dell Windows XP Pro SP3 CD and all the necessary Dell Mini 9 drivers[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
- DellMiniBoot123 8.02b1 and DellEFI 1.1[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
- Acronis Disk Director Suite 10[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
- external USB hard drive[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
- external USB DVD-ROM drive[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
Hereâ€™s the result:
- my 64GB SSD partitioned with an MBR layout, not GUID[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
- Windows XP Pro SP3 running on the first partition in FAT32[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
- Mac OS X 10.5.6 running on the second partition in HFS+ Journaled, set to active[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
- no EFI partition, hidden or otherwise[/*:m:bwvf9kag]
1. With an already-working OS X setup, image your current OS X partition in Disk Utility.
You may need to boot to the DellMiniBoot disc and your retail Mac OS X DVD, then at the initial Setup screen, go to the Disk Utility, unmount your Mac partition, then save a DMG file from that Mac partition onto your external USB hard drive. When thatâ€™s done, get ready to wipe out your whole setup.
1. Use Acronis Disk Director Suite 10 to re-set up the partitions.
For some reason, using Appleâ€™s Disk Utility never seemed to work properly for me, as it either didnâ€™t write the proper boot code or put it exactly as Windows XP needed to boot, getting all those ominous error messages, even after going through the installation. FYI, Acronis only understands MBR and canâ€™t access any drive with GUID, and it looks like this piece of software hasnâ€™t been updated for quite some time, so if you need to purchase that, be aware of this. I set up two partitions on my 64GB SSD
: partition 1 is 12GB using FAT32, partition 2 is 52GB using NTFS (will be redone later). I knew that if I didnâ€™t initially assign it, Disk Utility would for some reason not be able to add the needed partition to the drive, so just assign it now as something other than â€śfree spaceâ€ť or â€śunallocated.â€ť If you don't have access to Disk Director Suite, you may find a suitable, freeware replacement from here
2. Install Windows XP on the first partition.
This should be non-eventful and pretty straightforward. With my Dell OEM disc (hint: no product key or activation needed), it found the FAT32 partition (choose â€śLeave the current file system intact (no changes)â€ť) and installed Windows right away, and I popped in the necessary drivers to get the rest of the Mini 9 functioning properly. I decided that FAT32 should be fine for me, since Mac can read/write to it without any third-party software, and that since we're all limited in hard drive space, I doubt I'll ever have the need to create a 4+GB file that only NTFS can handle. Besides, I can install MacDrive
and read/write large files to the Mac partition if needed.
3. Boot the DellMiniBoot and retail OS X DVD.
Once you have squared away your XP setup, use the Disk Utility to erase the second partition in NTFS and set it up as a Mac (Journaled) partition. Close the Disk Utility.
4. Restore your Mac partition from the DMG image file
you did in step 1 back to the second partition.
5. Boot to your hard drive with your DellMiniBoot disc.
At this point, with the help of the DellMiniBoot disc, you should be able to boot to drive 80 (your hard drive), and select either partition 1 (Windows XP) or 2 (OS X), to which either OS should launch just fine. Repeat this step for each partition to make sure. I notice that my XP partition takes a few seconds before the XP logo shows up â€“ peculiar, but by no means a big issue I can deal with.
6. If both partitions are booting successfully with the DellMiniBoot disc, then itâ€™s time to run the DellEFI to recreate the bootloader so that the disc will no longer be required.
Go into DellEFIâ€™s custom installation and select the first option to install the bootloader. Remove the DellMiniBoot disc, but do not reboot at this point when prompted.
7. Launch the Terminal, and use the following commands:
sudo â€“s (to allow the proper access)
(enter admin password)
fdisk â€“e /dev/rdisk0
p (should show both partitions)
f 2 (sets the second partition to active for booting)
w (write the changes)
q (quit the fdisk application)
8. Finally, close the Terminal and reboot.
should boot to the Mac side and give a 3-second prompt to which you can boot to either XP or Mac. Thatâ€™s it!
I hope this will give some users here some relief from all the stress I went through to get this working consistently.