Dual Booting All discussion on Dual Booting 2 operating systems (or even more!) on the Dell Mini
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Central NJ
My XP/OSX Dual-Boot Saga, with a Happy Ending! - 04-23-2009, 03:45 PM
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:
Hereâ€™s the result:
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.
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)
I hope this will give some users here some relief from all the stress I went through to get this working consistently.
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Central NJ
Re: My XP/OSX Dual-Boot Saga, with a Happy Ending! - 04-23-2009, 04:16 PM
I've never tried the Type 11 method nor any modified installer. Just the DellMiniBoot and DellEFI 1.1 (the method they posted was so easy, I didn't bother to look at any other method, let alone take the time to understand the history and technical details of it). My partition map shows just two partitions in the end, 1: Windows FAT32, 2. Mac OSX HFS+J. That's all that's needed.
Perhaps this is why I had so much initial trouble with dual-booting the way I wanted it to? While the "DellEFI Method" is a surefire way to Macify your Mini 9, getting it to do anything else may have been made more difficult. In either case, I'm happily running both OSes on my drive after much trial-and-error, and no additional trickery.
I didn't have two USB drives handy, let alone large enough to handle the installation and imaging. I ran to my local Staples and picked up a drive for $80+tax, and now Costco is selling a slim iomega DVD-burner drive for $69 shipped. (hint: both are pretty liberal with their return policy if you don't want to keep it).
LinkBack to this Thread: http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/dual-booting/6859-my-xp-osx-dual-boot-saga-happy-ending.html
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