Dual Booting All discussion on Dual Booting 2 operating systems (or even more!) on the Dell Mini

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jkrane jkrane is offline
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Default Updating an old dual boot Mini 9 10.5 -> 10.6 and XP - 01-17-2013, 04:12 PM

As I stated in a different thread where I was looking for help, I have been away for a long time! I created my dual boot Mini 9 with the original dellEFI / boot123 method. It has been running 10.5.7 and XP flawlessly for years and I love it! But I want to run the latest XCode to make iPhone apps, and I want to sync my iPhone 5, which needs the newest iTunes, which needs Snow Leopard. I wanted to do things in an easy way, but ended up doing things more or less from scratch. For any other Mini 9 archaeologists, I created this write-up of what worked.

I have a Time Capsule, an external CD drive, and a few USB keys. I have a CD of Snow Leopard 10.6.0, I have the reinstall disk for XP, and my Mini 9 is already running 10.5.7 and XP. Here is the procedure I used, minus all the false starts and dead ends:

1) Create the 10.6 install USB

As usual, use OSX Disk Utility to "restore" the install CD on the external drive to a USB key. Then use NetBookMaker 0.8.3 RC5 (or Final) to modify the USB key. This version is deprecated, but it still works, and it is the last version that works on the OSX version that I can run.

2) Create CloneZilla and GParted Live USB key

Using YUM Multiboot, create bootable USB keys of these two linux utilities. They should probably both go on one key, but I had them on two separate keys.

3) Make backups

Use Time Machine on OSX one last time. Then boot with the CloneZilla key and make a clone of the XP install to the Time Capsule disk. (You could clone the OSX partition separately, but you have the TM backup, so I recommend against it.) Make note of *** warnings in step 7 and step 9 now, editing clone files now if necessary.

4) Reformat your Mini 9

Take a deep breath and boot from the OSX key. Use disk utility to reformat the drive as GUID and get the two partitions about the size you want them. OSX partition should have HFS+ format and the XP partition should have FAT32 or NTFS. (XP partition format isn't important now, it is a placeholder.) My install is 40 GB for OSX in partition 1 and the rest (20+ GB) for XP. Don't worry about disk alignment for now, we will fix that later. You need to reformat because OSX doesn't want to install to an MBR disk (without tweaks I don't trust) but it will happily run on an MBR disk if you clone it back to one, which we will do later.

5) Install 10.6 from USB, reboot, migrate (and update according to other write-ups)

There are plenty of write-ups covering this. Just go through the install process and reboot with the key to run NetbookInstaller. Once the install completes, boot into the Mini 9 and use the Snow Leopard "Migration Assistant" application to get all your preferences and programs back from your Time Machine backup. I lost no data or pics, email worked correctly; it was perfect.

You might want to download and run a different version of NetBookInstaller to update from the early versions of 10.6 all the way to 10.6.8; there are gotchas for sleep, bluetooth, sound. The nice thing is that now that Snow Leopard works, you can actually run the newer versions of NetBookInstaller!

Anyway, get the OSX install to boot without USB assistance, and running the way you want it in final form. You will still need the OSX install USB key, so keep it safe.

6) Clone your new OSX install

Boot from the CloneZilla key and clone the OSX install to the Time Capsule. (I use CloneZilla instead of the OSX utility because I want control over boot record stuff. It is also faster! You can make a Time Machine copy as well if you want. If you made a clone of OSX in step 3, you should make sure you know which is the new one!)

7) Reformat your Mini 9

Take a deep breath again! This time boot from the GParted Live key. XP will only install to a drive formatted as MBR and it is currently GUID; sort of the evil opposite of OSX. Format the drive as MBR, with two partitions, making sure to align to MiB. One partition should be HFS+ for OSX and the other NTFS for XP. (The formats are important for both partitions this time. These are the final partitions, so get the sizes right.) Again, my install is 40 GB for OSX in partition 1 and the rest (20+ GB) for XP in partition 2. ***Each partition must be same size or larger than the clone size!*** Make sure the XP partition has the boot flag set, so it is the active partition.

8) Install XP

Put the XP install CD in the external drive and install XP from scratch to the intended partition. We will overwrite this install with the clone, but a fresh install creates the boot information we need.

9) Restore cloned XP with CloneZilla

Boot from CloneZilla key and restore your XP clone from the Time Capsule *over the top of* the fresh XP install. Be careful to turn off all CloneZilla flags that would overwrite or alter the MBR in any way. The MBR is already exactly the way we want it! When finished, you should be able to reboot your Mini 9 and go directly into XP with no loss of your programs or data.

***Note: if you are restoring a clone to a partition with a different number than the original partition number, you need an extra step. Go into the clone top directory and edit the file "parts" to have the new partition number; sda3 -> sda2, for instance. Then edit all files that start with sda3.ntfs... to read sda2.ntfs... Not difficult, but if you only have your Mini 9 to edit files, you need to plan ahead.***

10) Restore cloned OSX with CloneZilla

Just like step 9, boot from CloneZilla key but this time restore your OSX clone from Time Capsule to the partition you made for OSX. Again, turn off all CloneZilla flags that would alter the MBR in any way.

11) Boot from OSX key and reinstall Chameleon

This is the final step. Use the utilities dropdown to run NetBookInstaller again, but only check the box to install Chameleon. You don't want any of the other functions to run. When this is complete, you should be able to boot your Mini 9 into the Chameleon boot loader and it will run OSX by default, or you can hit a key and select between OSX and XP. You should have no loss of data or programs.

This took me a long time to get right, mostly because I was trying to avoid formatting my Mini 9. Once I messed things up enough to make it inevitable, the above procedure was pretty easy. I am now running 10.6.8 with full functionality (except I turn off bluetooth in the bios to keep sleep working flawlessly), and XP. Looking forward to many more years of loving my Mini 9!

I hope this helps some people.

- John

---------- Post added at 04:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:08 PM ----------

Believe me, I wanted a shorter procedure, but I couldn't find one that let me have a different number of partitions than at the start, and also aligned the SSD. Overall, this wasn't bad, and I have peace of mind from my clones, which I am keeping on disk.

- John
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jkrane jkrane is offline
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Default 04-05-2013, 03:46 PM

Epilogue: After all that work, my SSD died yesterday. Story of my life. I got 3 months use out of the thing.

- John
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Mollydog Mollydog is offline
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Default 12-19-2013, 05:25 AM

just came across this thread as I too plan on having Xp and OSX on my mini 9 and had to reply just to say I'm sorry for you, how very frustrating for you, after all the trouble you went through to get it to work in the first place
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dual boot, osx 10.6, update

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