$100 cash to get Windows installed on a 5th or 6th drive

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sirris101, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. sirris101 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    I’m desperate. I need my Windows gaming fix on my Mac Pro and I’ve tried everything to get it to work alongside my 4 drive internal software RAID. The fact of the matter is Windows will not install on an extra drive plugged into one of the Mac Pro’s ODD SATA (motherboard) ports. In fact, no legacy OS will work on those two motherboard ports. This is because the Apple firmware, when booting a legacy OS, set's the SATA controller to IDE mode (which makes only the first four SATA ports available). AHCI mode, which is what I need, sets the controller to use all six ports.

    I will pay $100 to whoever is able to accomplish either of the following:
    1) Create a GRUB boot CD that runs on the 2008 Mac Pro. This boot CD will do the following:​
    a. Make it so when the Mac Pro boots in Legacy boot mode that the SATA controller is set to in AHCI mode (with all six ports active) instead of Legacy IDE mode (with only four ports active)
    b. Has a boot entry for a CD-ROM (I’ll use this to start the Windows install CD)
    c. Has a boot entry for Windows XP running on the 1st ODD SATA port
    d. Has a boot entry for Windows XP running on the 2nd ODD SATA port​
    2) Patch the Apple CSM, using rEFIt’s LoadImage and StartImage calls to set the controller in AHCI mode (with all six ports active) instead of Legacy IDE mode (with only four ports active) when the computer boots a legacy OS (like Linux or Windows)​

    Number one is definitely possible according to this URL (be sure to read all three pages): http://forum.onmac.net/showthread.php?t=2739. Number two is possible in theory according to the same URL.

    Here’s the nitty gritty: if you are successful with either of these and I believe you, I will PayPal you $20 to get the ISO and/or code from you. After I verify and get it working I will PayPal you the remaining $80. First come, first served. The first verified successful ISO or code will get the $100.

    With your permission, I will also make the ISO/code available to everyone on Mac Rumors and Apple Discussion boards, so the community has access to this. My bribe is only because I’ve spent way too much time trying to get this to work and failed. I’m just not experienced enough with Grub, Linux and EFI.

    Anyone else want this and willing to contribute to the pot? :D
  2. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Install it on another mac pro's main drive, then swap that hard drive into the position you want it to be in on your computer.
  3. sirris101 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Thanks. This is a great idea, and it would work, however, I really want to run alternative OSes on the devices plugged into the two ODD sata ports. This will let me use external drives (over eSata) for these other OSes.

    The $100 offer still stands.
  4. mgsarch macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    My bad, let me make it better.

    I'm sorry, my post was in good intention, bad delivery.

    OP, I appreciate what you say below. I was just raising a point but in reality I committed my own crime by inappropriately addressing a broader issue inside your focused thread. The whole premise I guess was not that people would become greedy but that the real value of the forums is collaboration. Attacking problems bit by bit using each others varied skillsets. This is more expedient than each of us attacking the same thing in a race for the $100 carrot where people will have a tendency to not want to share their ideas in the chance that someone else might get to the prize first. The money is meaningless and I didn't do a good job of expressing that aspect, I cited open source because it represents a transcendence in development perspective. We collaborate for a higher purpose than money or recognition, collaboration becomes more of a system of assigning task to specialization.

    I apologize and thank you for being mature enough to consider what I wrote. With all honesty, it was not directed at you but was just a response to something I saw as a slippery slope and a downhill gesture. You being at the very very top and my theoretical scenario at the other end.

    But, the real issue is that I should have addressed you or created an unrelated thread. I apologize again.

    Relevant to your post:

    I will do my best to see if I can rustle any ground on your EFI questions. As I mentioned, it's a problem I had been wrestling with and gave up because it seemed possible that Microsoft made this an impossibility for Windows to be booted from an external drive which was the only reason I wanted eSTATA outside of OSX.

    Can you confirm that the ODD sata ports do not work even internally when you boot into legacy mode? I just want to make sure this boot mode definitely affects eSATA AND internal SATA. The only way to test it is a pain because of where those damn ODD ports are especially if it means moving the extender that's there :\

    What extender are you using for the ODD ports?

    I'm going to look a little more carefully at the URL you posted, just to be annoying though, how are you checking to see if the ports are available (determining the boot mode). The GRUB issue definitely sounds much more approachable than patching the CSM. I'm a little terrified of EFI in general and reEFIt especially after the previous experience I had of trying to play with it's preferences. I'm gonna talk to someone about this on my way home, it's almost midnight where I am time to go home! (after midnight :eek:)

    Sorry again, I'm not bitter and I never meant to sound as if I was judging you, I don't know you and I assumed you had good intentions. I've just been thinking about the potential for open source dev and community message boards to excel or degrade and I guess ran with it without thinking hard enough about where I was posting. I owe you. ;) Hopefully I can come up with something to help you (and me!)

    take good care!
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    I'm not so sure that someone with 11 posts should be saying who is breaking rules. He is welcome (as far as I know) to make this offer, and I say more power to him for doing something about his problem rather then asking for free help (nothing wrong with that either, I've done it often, but there is no reason he shouldn't pay for faster/better results)
  6. sirris101 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Thanks for your comments. You make some really valid points about the nature of a messageboard like this; which has already been tremendously valuable in my adventure of owning macs. Secondly, thanks for you advice.

    However, I have to disagree about this offer of $100 being wrong for this messageboard. I thought long and hard about offering a bounty for solving this technical problem, and decided it was worth it. Here's why:

    A) I don't believe I am setting the precedent that problems should be solved with cash. This is the sort of technical problem that is way beyond someone spending a few minutes of time to give some helpful advice. This is a few hours of work. I don't expect anyone would be willing to do this out of the kindness of their heart. Some may desire to help if they are having the same problem, and I have found many people wanting to do the same thing, but alas, I think it is beyond our technical abilities.

    B) I have already asked nicely for advice on this messageboard and a few others. Unfortunately, all turned up without a solution. I think the $100 bounty will likely spur some interest, and really I don't think this should be very difficult for someone who knows Grub/Linux or how the EFI on the Mac Pro works.

    C) Like the bounty offered by computer users to boot windows on the mac just a few years ago, I have found several people on the internet struggling with this exact same problem. I've seen many messageboards with people looking for a solution to this problem, and unfortunately no actionable and easy advice. I am willing to pay to have this fixed for me and more than happy to give that solution (with the author's permission) to the rest of the community.
  7. mgsarch macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    I rewrote my post above.

    I'm sorry I didn't think harder about how it would come across before posting. I guess it was my 11 posts showing the true colors! (Thanks Taylor! ;) .... )
  8. downset macrumors member

    May 1, 2005

    i followed the instructions in the thread you linked and this worked perfect for me, so it does work, i cant be bothered to try and get it on a boot DVD

    get a fresh HD, install XP, then make a second partition and install Unbuntu, install the AHCI intel drivers in XP, boot back in unbuntu, change the grub stage 1 as posted in the thread you mention, boot xp through grub

    thats basically all there is to it, i dont get all the exact tech details, but grub setup is pretty easy when they provide the file
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    You may disagree but that's irrelevant. We don't permit competitions with prizes on this forum. This stance has come about through long experience so don't feel you're being singled out.

    Thread closed.
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