Can the Mac Pro triple boot?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 5, 2007
I wanted to boot into Windows XP Pro SP2, Windows Vista, and of course Mac OS X! However, after I install Windows XP Pro, then Windows Vista, Windows Vista take over and it wouldn't even boot. When holding down Option Key while starting up, only 2 Drive Pop Up as suppose to 3. I guess you have to fiddle around with the bootsec in Windows? It is complicated? While I wanted Windows Vista, I wanted Windows XP too because I don't want to keep formatting my Hard Drive because Vista keep messing me over.

Fearless Leader

macrumors 68020
Mar 21, 2006
you are installing separate copies of windows right? It should triple boot, you may want to install something called rEFIt. It allows, I'm certain, multiple drives, or partitions with multiple os's.


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 5, 2007
I'm trying to put 3 different OS on 3 different Hard Drive. Strange thing is everytime I have only see 2 Hard Drive show up when holding down option, also when Install Vista it somehow overwrite booting process over to XP, when booting into XP it unable to boot in correctly.


macrumors 68040
Oct 11, 2006
Minneapolis, MN
I can't remember where I found them, but there are a few sites with instructions on how to triple boot. In the article it was OS X, XP and Ubuntu. I remember that it was not for the faint at heart. It included some scripting, not all that bad, but I just wanted to do it for the sake of doing it, so the time that I would have spent was not worth it to me. I don't know if you would be able to have two windows copies, but I don't see why not. The articles talked about loading windows in bootcamp and then from windows installing Ubuntu.


macrumors regular
May 22, 2007
Did you install XP and Vista using Boot Camp or did you install directly with XP and Vista DVD using NTFS formated HD?


macrumors 68020
Mar 22, 2005
My Mac Pro is set up to triple boot Mac OS X, Windows XP and Windows Vista and three separate hard drives. Just used bootcamp to format the drives ready to install two version of Windows onto them.

Are you sure you didn't upgrade your XP install with Vista?


macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
Florida Resident
You can repartition using Vista without losing data (backup first!) and include XP to co-exist on the same hard drive as Vista. Vista will provide a boot manager to boot into XP or Vista.


macrumors newbie
Apr 17, 2008
My Mac Pro can triple boot

Mine triple boots just fine. This is what I did:

1) Created an NTFS partition on drive 2.
2) Installed Vista using Boot Camp to drive 2 (bay 2)
3) Removed drive 2 from the Mac Pro
4) Created an NTFS partition on drive 3.
5) Installed XP Pro using Boot Camp to drive 3 (bay 3)
6) Put drive 2 back into the Mac Pro

Now holding down the option key when booting, you see icons for Macintosh HD, Windows, and another Windows. The first Windows is Vista, the second is XP.

The reason I pulled the Vista drive before trying to install XP is that when installing dual boots on PCs, I've had problems with the windows installer overwriting the other Windows boot info on the MBR, even if they are on separate drives. I'm not sure why. With the Vista install DVD, I've been able to fix it, but I didn't want to have to hassle with that.


macrumors 6502
Feb 4, 2008
North Carolina
I think your problem stems from the fact that you installed Vista with XP present on another drive. When I first tried to install Vista with another drive present it would give me error messages and would not install. I have found that by removing the OSX and XP drives, installing Vista, then putting the other drives back in you will see the three boot options. Vista may have altered something on your XP drive so that Vista was the "dominant" OS.
Just a few thoughts!