Dual booting with or without boot camp

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by MRiOS, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. MRiOS macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #1
    I plan on purchasing a Mac Mini server in the upcoming months and I'd like to be able to dual boot Windows on it when I need to. However the Mac OS Server (as far as I can tell) doesn't come with the Boot camp utility. So here's my conundrum: Do I ignore the server version of Mac and install Snow Leopard client with boot camp assistant or do I just use Disc Utility to create a second partition on one of the Mini drives and install Windows like any other computer? and keep using the server version of Snow Leopard?

    I guess what I;m asking is which of these is the better option?
    Installing Client and using Boot Camp Utility?
    Or Creating a Partition manually and installing Windows on that?

    (would my second option even work and would installing boot camp drivers after that process do any good or would it just bunk the Windows install?)
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Boot Camp Assistant is only one part of Boot Camp. The other two parts are the drivers (which you will need) and the bit that lets it boot Windows (which you will also need and have to use).

    The main problem is that it does not seem trivial to install Windows into a system with no internal optical drive. There have been many threads on here recently about that with folks either having a dead ODD or having replaced one with a second HDD like an Optibay.

    It does not seem that installing Windows from a USB key or external USB ODD is reliable at this point, so that may be your main obstacle. Find a way around that and at worst you are out $29 for a Snow Leopard upgrade disc.

    B
     
  3. MRiOS thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #3
    well I currently own an external Blu-Ray drive that I can successfully boot from (at least on my early 2008 MacBook Pro) so having a way to read optical discs on a computer that has no optical drive built in is no problem. Though restoring the disc images of the Mac OS install disc and Windows S to separate partitions on an external HDD is also within my power to do as well, thus relieving the need for the optical media.

    I suppose that I should clarify my question a little more. Would creating a new partition via Disk Utility and then installing Windows and a copy of the Divers for windows (that one finds on every Snow Leopard install disc) be the same as using the Boot Camp utility instead of Disc Utility?

    (I have a Snow Leopard install disc to use, however it contains 10.6.0 and thus won't install on the Mid-2010 Mini, according to many users in the Mac Mini section here)
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    you can also use Winclone to move the windows installation from another mac.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Can you please tell us which external BluRay you have successfully booted from? Have you tried booting W7 or only MacOS? It would help to provide hope for those for whom it isn't working to know that there is a (potential) solution.

    Boot Camp Assistant and Disk Utility call the exact same low level disk management routines. The firmware and drivers are independent of that. NOTE: Winclone also uses many of the same back end low level stuff that Disk Utility uses.

    You will likely have to force BootCamp(64).msi to load the 3.0 drivers from the SL DVD you have and use Apple Software Update to get 3.1 and hope the 2010 mini specific drivers are included in the update. Worst case scenario you can probably find the mini specific drivers from "other' sources.

    B
     
  6. MRiOS thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #6
    Sure, the blu-ray drive model is the LG UH10LS20 Blu-ray Disc Combo Internal SATA 10x SuperMulti Blue LightScribe in a USB external enclosure. I've been able to successfully boot my Mac OS Leopard restore discs as well as the Mac OS Snow Leopard retail dvd and my Windows 7 Ultimate x64 install disc as well. (I installed windows without the key for now so that I can run in trial mode for 30 days and then use the same copy on my new Mac Mini when I get it.)

    all of those discs worked perfectly when I tried booting from them in the external Blu-Ray drive.

    So what you're saying is that it technically is possible to dual boot Windows 7 and Snow Leopard server? and all I have to do is forego the Boot camp assistant, do the partitioning manually, and use the boot camp installer version 3.1 that can easily be downloaded from Apple's support page?
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    Which enclosure? I assume that the particular USB->SATA controller may be the problem with many other drives. Sorry to be a pest, but this has been a real issue for several other folks recently.

    Not quite. The Boot Camp 3.1 you can download is an updater. You need to install 3.0 first. You can generally force 3.0 to load by directly installing the MSI and skipping setup.exe. Once you have Apple Software Updater installed, I hope it can find all the right drivers for your Mini.

    I am making one fundamental assumption. The logic board and firmware of the Mini server is identical to the desktop mini. (It would not make sense for Apple to remove the necessary Boot Camp functionality from the server version).

    B
     
  8. MRiOS thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #8
    VANTEC NST-530S2 Aluminum 5.25" USB 2.0 External Enclosure

    well from what I gathered from the photos of the ifixit and MacMiniColo teardowns of both models the only difference between the server and regular mini is the extra hard drive speed and the second physical hard drive instead of the optical in the server. everything else is the same. So I would also assume that using the boot camp drivers found on the restore discs of the regular Mac mini would be al I really need to get Windows up and running properly.
     

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