Multibooting Intel based Macs - A Step-by-step How to Guide

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    "a machine that can run every major operating system currently available"

    Sounds good to me :) Add "at full speed!"

    (Of course, most people only need one good OS. But the Mac's the best way to have that too.)

    Also of note: the article says the devkits use this motherboard (or something very close to it):

    (No need to get excited about OS X on generic PCs though. It won't be easy or supported.)
  2. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    the faraway towns
    Something wicked this way comes...

    The idea of running Mac OSX and Windows XP just seems wrong, voodoo wrong, a strange noise in the dark corner of the basement wrong. I go to Slashdot and other websites and hear people excitedly jabbering about running Windows on a Mac and not booting into OSX at all. Blasphemy!

    Oh and the doctors are upping my dosage.
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Help an ignorant soul please. If you're running to operating systems on one computer with a single hard drive, and you are using the Windows part, if you get a worm that deletes random files, is the Mac partition necessarily safe? I know nobody has any non-beta experience with Intel Macs here (obviously) but maybe some Linux users could help me out?

    Thanks. :)
  4. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Windows can only harm what it has access to.

    It can't read Mac HFS volumes, so your Mac partition is safe from that kind of file access. (Unless... someone wrote HFS support into a virus! Pretty obscure.)

    But two ways I'd worry about my Mac stuff getting harmed:

    1. Windows malware that attacks the drive at the drive level instead of the filesystem level. Reformatting or otherwise damaging the whole drive--which Windows is able to access. Is there malware that can attack a hard disk directly? I don't know. But disk utils can do it, so the potential is there.

    2. If you use software to share part (or all!) of your Mac HD with Windows--like VPC can do--then malware/viruses can have access to the shared areas. I've never heard of a VPC user having a problem--but then VPC is safer than Windows alone: Mac OS X protects Windows to some extent! (And I like the convenience of two OS's at once much better than dual booting anyway.)

    I have the desire to run UnrealEd (UT mapping/modding) on my next Mac. UE is coming to Mac OS with UnrealEd 3, but I'd like to get started sooner, with UE2, and that means running Windows.

    So how to have Windows on a Mac with maximum safety? I'm thinking something like VPC, carefully set up so the hardware is virtual: the PC doesn't see the physical disk at ALL. And no sharing of the Mac drive: I'll drag-and-drop the files I want to transfer. (Dual booting with physically separate hard disks might be good--disconnect the Mac drive when running Windows?--but very inconvenient especially with a laptop.)

    (I'd almost guarantee VPC will still be an option--a new version of it, native on Intel and full speed, like the current VPC for PC is.)

    Any ideas on what the safest practice will be? I like multiple OS's, but I want no part of the Windows malware nightmare.
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    Thanks nagromme, that's a bit what I was worried about.
  6. 24C macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2004
    That was a useful article for me, but I suppose by the time the Intel macs hit the shelves, there might be other options/installers available, bit like a Virtual PC route now.

    I like the idea of separate partitions as I only need to use Windows for a couple of programs, and as the Apple portion would only be used for connecting to the outside world, I don't imagine the chance of somebody being able to hack into a Windows partition would be high. However if I was unlucky enough to pick up a Windows virus in a file whilst using the Apple partition on the net, AFAIK, I don't think it can execute across to the Windows partition on it's own, but whether a future VPC would allow this I have no idea.
  7. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    If you pick up Windows virus (like someone emails it to you) while Windows isn't running, it can't do anything. You'd have to launch Windows, manually copy the virus over to where Windows can "see" it, and run it. A Windows virus can't run, can't put itself where it wants to be... can't do anything without Windows. Because without Windows, it's not even a program at all--just gibberish code.

    And I agree--NOT using Windows online is good peace of mind. I like the idea of running what Windows apps I have to, but not going on the 'net. Leave that to the Mac side!

    (As for partitions--I like the convenience of NOT having my drive space divided up, and so I like a VPC-style virtual hardfile. Plus, that's even better isolation between the OS's than dual-booting, and YET, unlike dual-booting, you can run apps on both OS's at once, and even copy/paste between them :) )

    I'm sure this will all get easier than the article describes. VPC will (I expect) be the most polished, easy option. But I'm sure many people will make apps that streamline installing/running 2+ OS's.
  8. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    This is great...


    To bad the only systems this step-by-step guide will work with are all going to be collected by Apple in about a year to be destroyed.

    Well, I guess it gives you guys something to fantasize about (don't get your hopes up ;) ).

  9. sluthy macrumors regular

    May 13, 2002
    Bundaberg, Qld. Australia
    Meh - get Xen working with them, side by side, full speed, simultaneously! :D
  10. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Aug 9, 2000
  11. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    No need for mere "hopes." ;) Apple has already said they won't stop people putting Windows on Intel Macs. And you already CAN put Linux on them.
  12. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    There is a massive difference between not trying to stop anyone from installing Windows on Intel based Macs and making Intel based Macs that will run Windows.

    And exactly how CAN you put Linux on something that, currently, doesn't exist?

    Apple has made a point to say that the developer kit systems are not indicative of what the Intel based Macs are going to be like. Those systems were put together without any Apple hardware (except for the case) and were designed to work with current builds of Mac OS X for Intel.

    Apple is designing new hardware, that hardware doesn't have to be Windows compatible. And not making Macs Windows compatible is not doing anything to stop people from trying to install Windows... it is simply not helping them with trying to install Windows.

    The developer kit systems were made from existing third party components which the Mac OS X team had continued to make drivers for. The final version of Mac OS X for Intel will be ported to Apple's final design for Intel based Macs.

    I wouldn't read to much into what Apple (actually, Schiller) said. His statement was made before the Apple hardware designers had even started thinking about what an Intel based Mac would entail.


    As for being able to run Linux on future Intel based Macs, Linux is open source and so it can be ported to the new systems... Windows is close source and Microsoft would have to make an effort (about the same effort Apple would have to from the hardware side) to be compatible with hardware that isn't design from the start to run Windows (which is what every PC maker has to do currently).

    Operating systems need more than common components (including the processor) to be able to run on different hardware. I'll use the same example I've used before... Apple and NeXT.

    NeXT made computers that used Motorola's 68040 processor, used SCSI, and even started using Apple's ADB for connecting some of the external components (keyboard, mouse, audio box). Could you run any version of the Mac OS on a NeXTstation? No. The main aspects of the NeXTstation were very much like Apple's Quadra line of systems. Could you run NEXTSTEP on a Quadra? No.

    Why? Because similar processors (and other parts) don't make two different types of hardware compatible.

    And in this case, we are talking about many of the same people Who designed the original Macintosh (a number of people from the Macintosh team at Apple joined Jobs when he formed NeXT).

    Even though Apple never said anything (publicly) about how they wouldn't stop people from putting NEXTSTEP on 68k Macs... they could have. They didn't do anything to stop NEXTSTEP from running on Quadras... NEXTSTEP just wasn't designed to run on Quadras. And the type of processor had nothing to do with it. :D

    michaelrjohnson... Thanks, I missed that one. :eek:
  13. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    They won't COME with Windows pre-installed, and Apple will neither help nor block the effort. But it will be possible--and if not easy to set up (might even be harder than the above), then as I said, companies will gladly MAKE it easy. Including, I suspect, Microsoft.

    If you really think it won't be possible to run Windows on retail Intel Macs... time will tell :) I think there will be MULTIPLE ways to make it happen.

    I should have been clearer: you can already run Linux on Macs. I don't see losing that option with the Intel change.

    True, a point many people forget.

    Current Macs are Windows compatible with emulation. Now use the same CPU as Windows and you omit that barrier. So it's merely a question of how much help we will or will not need to make it happen.

    I suspect Phil Schiller--and everyone else at Apple who let his statement stand once it was made--is more informed than you or I ;) And I also suspect Apple engineers WERE thinking about what an Intel Mac would entail--in detail--LONG before last month.

    Similar processors isn't the WHOLE answer, but it's the big necessity. Drivers etc. will follow, I have no doubt.

    I hope Apple DOES design something very different from other PCs, since they have the freedom to do so. I think it's very likely that they will.

    (Also, I suspect Apple knows that it's GOOD for Macs to be able to run Windows and be the "universal computer" for those who need that. Bad to publicize it, bad to support it... but good to allow it.)
  14. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    I'm sure someone will come up with some way of making it work... but I highly doubt you'll be able to drop in a Windows installation disk and have Windows run on them.

    And Microsoft is going to make money on the new systems no matter what. The new systems are going to need new versions of Office and a new version of VirtualPC. There is nothing in it for Microsoft to alter Windows.

    I'm not talking about making it happen, I'm saying, out of the box, an Intel based Mac isn't going to run Windows. It'll need some (if not a lot) of help. And I suspect that VirtualPC will end up being the easiest way to have Windows on an Intel based Mac.

    Neither do I. Like I said, Linux is open source, it'll be ported very quickly.

    Emulation emulates the hardware that can't be used by the OS running in emulation... in this case the logicboard (and maybe the video card). Processor calls already run straight through to the host processor in the Windows version of VirtualPC, but most of the other aspects are still emulated.

    I know the people at Apple are more informed... which is why threads like these are so sad. As for how informed I am... that depends on who I know at Apple and what they have been willing to tell me about this so far (and what I'm willing to share here, too).

    As for the statement being let stand... there was nothing wrong with the statement. The fact that people are jumping to conclusions is not the fault of Apple. And Apple is not going to make any other statements on future hardware until they have finished designing that future hardware.

    As I've said many times before in this forum, the first chance we'll get to see what an Intel based Mac is going to be like is when Apple releases the developer notes to third party hardware developers on the new systems.

    If Apple keeps anything similar to what we have right now (like the video cards, open firmware and Apple designed logicboards)... Windows ain't gona boot! :D

    You think so? :D

    Funny, I don't recall anything in the public domain that would give someone that impression... and I know Apple hasn't put anything like that forward... so where did you get an idea like that?

    Actually it would be bad to allow it. It leaves people with one foot in Windows... which has been the major failure of every OS that has tried to compete with Windows side-by-side.

    Emulation is fine, third party software/hardware additions to make it happen is fine, but running Windows side by side with Mac OS X is a recipe for failure. Apple has been successful because you can't run Windows on it's hardware.

    If you can't see the pitfalls of this, that is fine. I know the people at Apple have either seen this road before or seen others go down this road before, and know what not to do.

    I can't imagine (actually, I can :D ) what would happen to Apple in the hands of someone other than Jobs at this point. No one knows better than him what not to do.

    For you, my friend, I have to pieces of advice to keep in mind when considering this topic...
    (1) Don't get into a cage with an 800 lb. gorilla (obvious advice there), and
    (2) Don't get within (the gorilla's) arms length of the cage (the mistake that will kill ya :eek: ).​
  15. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Agreed. It's not likely to be that simple. Until everyone from MS to individual developers have the chance to make it simple. I really do think someone will do so.

    They don't need to: they need to alter VirtualPC. (Sales of Windows AND VPC being the motivation. Short-sighted if you ask me, but I bet they do it--and I'll be buying.)

    Yep, sign me up. Not the only way, I predict, and not the cheapest, but likely the best.

    Well then, I'm gonna have to rate your information lower than Phil Schiller's until further evidence comes to light ;)

    Right. And the fun of a rumor site is being able to discuss rumors and tidbits before the hard facts are in :)

    That Apple was thinking about Intel hardware BEFORE WWDC and didn't just now begin? It's an educated guess based on the fact that a big transition takes some thinking and planning, and OS X has run on Intel for 5 years. So I'm betting the hardware engineers found out about it before the public.

    I agree that there are pitfalls and it must be played carefully. But there has never BEEN a truly parallel situation to today--an OS as capable as OS X, from a company with Apple's mindshare and userbase, with that level of app support, going against MS in the current climate of malware attacks etc. Today's situation just isn't a repeat of anything from the past. So you can't pick out one factor from those cases and say it has to apply the same to Apple today.

    It's a chicken and egg scenario... but Apple already has a better chicken (OS) AND an egg (lots of apps and developers for it).

    Remember: OS X doesn't run Windows apps--you have to BUY something (Windows and maybe more) to make it happen. So it's an OPTION--a very useful one, and a nice safety net for nervous switchers. But it's NOT a way to sell apps to Mac users. Mac users won't widely accept buying Windows apps over Mac apps. Even if Windows were FREE they wouldn't: they like OS X, not Windows, and with good reason.

    So it's a SMALL foot in Windows, and only for some people. That's OK in my book: plenty of Mac users already HAVE one foot in Windows. If they need to (which will happen less and less often), then so be it--but it will soon be easier and not require two machines. I'll appreciate that for sure.


    Luckily Gorillas don't live forever.
  16. shamino macrumors 68040


    Jan 7, 2004
    Purcellville, VA
    Depending on what this architecture ends up as, it might be really hard. It might, for example, require you to develop a driver for a core-logic chip that nobody outside of Apple can get specs for.

    WRT Microsoft, I'm sure they're considering a release of Windows for this platform. Whether it survives is something altogether different. Never forget that they had ported Windows to a great many non-PC platforms, abandoning them a few years later due to lack of interest from customers. These platforms include MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, Itanium and Alpha.
    I'm sure it will be possible. But I don't think it will be easy, and I don't think very many people will care once some enterprising hackers prove it can be done.
    I'll agree that explicitly trying to block Windows is bad business, bad PR and a waste of money.

    I'm not so sure it will be a good idea for them to make Windows installation easy.
  17. shamino macrumors 68040


    Jan 7, 2004
    Purcellville, VA
    I couldn't agree more. The problem with any kind of dual-boot environment is that it is incredibly inconvenient to switch operating systems. So much so that you end up working exclusively in one or the other.

    If the users choose Mac OS, great. Then who needs dual-booting. If they choose Windows, then Apple just shot itself in the foot.

    One idea arond this that never got off the ground is to use a microkernel to run both systems at once without any emulator running in between. If you were following the industry back when the AIM consortium was still in business, IBM has adapted their microkernel (based on Mach 3) to be able to simultaneously run Mac OS, OS/2, Windows NT and AIX on a single PowerPC Reference PC. I saw some demos at PC Expo back then.

    If done properly, this gives you the advantage of emulation (the ability to switch operating systems quickly and without quitting your apps) without the downsides (one app having much slower access to system resources than the other.)

    But such a system is never going to happen, even though it technically could (since Mac OS X is already microkernel-based.) It would require a substantial amount of development effort on the part of Microsoft, which is unlikely, and Apple would never want to be a part of such an effort.
  18. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Odd... my information doesn't conflict with Schiller's. So I guess that means you believe me now because my information only conflicts with a misreading of Schiller's statement.

    Oh, well I guess any information even close to what is actually coming our way would be counter productive on a site like this one.

    It is a rumors site... which I now take it to mean fantasy information only.

    In that case... the Intel based Macs are not going to have any keyboard or mouse... or media drives, they're going to be voice activated and the built in AI will program applications as the tasks are presented (like the HAL 9000 from 2001... just 5 years late ;) ).

    But you said...
    " And I also suspect Apple engineers WERE thinking about what an Intel Mac would entail--in detail--LONG before last month."
    which must mean more than a month before WWDC... there is nothing out there that suggest that.

    The transition is now... the thinking and planning is what Apple needs the year for. Most developers don't need a year... they've already compiled their apps for both processors.

    And where did you get 5 years. Unless this is 2002, Apple started the Intel builds at the start of the Rhapsody project in 1997 and continued to build every version for both PowerPC and Intel based processors even after the last release of Rhapsody for Intel (Rhapsody 5.1... the version I've been using daily on a ThinkPad for the last 5 years). That means that Apple has Intel versions of Rhapsody 5.3 - 5.6 (Mac OS X Server 1.0 - 1.2 v3) and all the Mac OS X Developer Previews (1 - 4), the Public Beta, and 10.0.0 - 10.4.0 (as we saw 10.4.1 at WWDC).

    And the hardware side was never in on this. These builds were based on a small hand full of drivers Apple would write on their own on hardware the operating system team had put together (which was the foundation of the developer kit systems... which is why I can say that they are not what an Intel based Mac is going to be like).

    Now, if the hardware division was in on this from the start... why patch together these developer kit systems? Why not just use the (supposedly) existing hardware designs that have been (supposedly) in development for 5 years?

    Wow... that is another perfect example, which I had (some how) forgotten.

    I have the early installation media for Windows NT 4.0 (both workstation and server). By early, I mean it has support for x86, PowerPC and MIPS (and I think Alpha).

    I also have a broad range of Macs from throughout all of Apple's history. Can I run Windows on any of them? No.

    Because even though Apple was using PowerPC processors, they did not make CHRP compliant systems.

    I also have a number of SGIs. Can I run Windows on any of them? No.

    Why, because Windows was designed for a completely different computer (which also used the MIPS R4000 processor).

    shamino, thanks for reminding me of that. I had forgotten that Windows for other platforms was as good an example of the processor is not the computer as the Apple/NeXT 68k example used earlier (even better because it has Windows right in the example :D ).
  19. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I know what you mean (and one reason I prefer the VPC scenario). But my contention, for what it's worth is this:

    Very few Mac users will find it acceptable to use Windows exclusively. Those that do were never likely to be repeat Mac customers anyway. (Even a Windows-only user who wants to try a Mac... wants to TRY a Mac. Not spend the money on two OS's and then only use Windows anyway.)

    A few people will end up on a Mac (still a sale for Apple) but mainly using Windows. But I really do think we're talking few.

    Meanwhile, the ability to run both--even just knowing the safety net exists--will generate MORE than a few Mac sales, and ultimately, Mac converts.
  20. treblah macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2003
    Did they? I don't think Apple is going to mind selling their hardware to people so they can run Windows. The HW makes a gozillion times more money than the SW. Apple are not worried about people using OSX, yet. If they were we'd see them ditch their HW are license OSX to Dell, HP, Leveno, ect.
  21. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    That's not what I said... You know that's not what I said... I know you know that's not what I said... You know I know you know that's not what I said... Anyone actually reading knows you know I know you know that's not what I said... You know I know that anyone knows you know I know you know that's not what I said...

    So, amusing as it might be to follow the Straw Man chain... I think I won't :D

    Let us consider your claim proven about that WWDC statement: "His statement was made before the Apple hardware designers had even started thinking about what an Intel based Mac would entail." ;) You have convinced us. Clearly Apple hardware designers had NOT even started. ;)

    When you have to WORK to misunderstand someone and find a disagreement, then the truth probably is... that there's not so much disagreement at all.

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