Running Windows on a Mac Pro without Boot Camp

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by johneymac, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. johneymac macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2006
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
    I have 2 hard drives on my Mac Pro, so I decided to try something. My first hard drive has Mac OSX on it and my second hard drive is empty.
    The first thing I did was install Boot Camp on my OSX drive and then I chose to install Windows XP Pro on the second hard drive in the Boot Camp setup, after the install of Windows on my second hard drive I then burned the Drivers CD and installed it. So now I have Windows Xp Pro and Mac OSX on my Mac Pro.
    The second thing that I did was then to reinstall a fresh new copy of Mac OSX on my first hard drive with no Boot Camp and I left the Windows drive alone.
    Now when I bootup my computer and hold down the option key I get the option to pick between Mac OSX and Windows XP Pro. Remember that I do not have Boot Camp anywhere on my computer, it was removed when I did the reinstall of OSX on my first drive!
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    maybe there is some bootcamp residue on the XP drive that you can't see. Booting up the machine probably looks at both drives for that kind of thing. Just a guess. :confused:
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Yeah, Boot Camp isn't on your system but once the drivers disk is burnt, the drive is partitioned/formatted and the boot loader installed in the Firmware it doesn't need to be.

    You only ever need to run Boot Camp once. You reinstalled OSX but the other drive was still set-up for a Windows installation and the boot loader was loaded in the firmware of your Mac Pro - this firmware isn't deleted when you do a fresh install.

    Sorry to burst your bubble but it's not much of an achievement.
  4. Abulia macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2004
    Kushiel's Scion
    All Boot Camp does it make a driver disc and a nice GUI front end to partition your drives for Windows. The EFI boot "option" menu is already built into all Intel-Mac firmware.
  5. Ensoniq macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    Bronx, NY
    Your story is not really too surprising. And I don't say that to be insulting, just talking about it from a technical standpoint. :)

    Boot Camp is essentially just an Apple designed setup assistant that does two things for you: Partitions your hard drives for Windows, and creates a Windows driver CD. That's it...once you've partitioned your hard drive, and installed those drivers, there's nothing else that Boot Camp is required for.

    It's not running in the background, either on your Mac or your XP setup, because it's not an application. So you're 100% correct...Boot Camp is gone, and yet your XP install is still working. Now that your hard drive is partitioned the way it needs to be, you could install XP all over again just using the XP CD and booting the Mac Pro right from it. Boot Camp is essentially a "use once and discard" type of utility. :)
  6. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    So, which one of you guys is right? According to Chundles, you need Bootcamp to load the firmware and then you can delete it. According to Ensoniq, you need Bootcamp only for partitioning and installing the drivers. What I've read, is that you don't need Bootcamp at all if you have the drivers and a correctly formatted drive. I've heard of people sticking drives from Windows boxes directly into their Macpro's without formatting or driver installation. Just popped the drive in and restarted into Windows with no problems.
  7. Abulia macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2004
    Kushiel's Scion
    Chundles didn't say you needed Boot Camp to load the firmware, he was talking about installing Boot Camp to burn the drivers disc. If you already have a drivers disc you never need to install Boot Camp when installing to a properly partitioned drive or a dedicated drive. Boot Camp just gives you a nice GUI front-end to do the partitioning.

    The firmware updates were for the first batch of the Intel Macs. Currently shipping models have the EFI bootloader in them from the factory.

    So, they're both correct. :)
  8. Magis macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2006
    When I got my MacPro I opened up the side. Slightly popped out the OSX hard drive and left the second bay in with an empty hard drive. I then rebooted the computer held down option and booted off the Windows XP dvd in my superdrive and then proceeded to install it on the empty drive. There is absolutely no need to use boot camp except to make the drivers disc and to have the ability in control panel on the windows side to reboot in osx.
  9. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    I also installed XP with a fresh hard drive (removed OS X drive) off the Windows XP CD. I only had to use Boot Camp to make the driver CD.

    Quick question though, is what about the 200mb EFI partition that Boot Camp generates on the Windows drive? What purpose does that partition serve, if any? When I installed windows on a fresh HDD, obviously the boot camp partition is not there, and everything runs fine.

    Just curious about the 200mb partition.... :confused:
  10. macenforcer macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2004
    If this is the case then why the big contest to get windows running on intel macs? Remember the $15000 prize?
  11. Abulia macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2004
    Kushiel's Scion
    Because they had no idea that Apple was going to release an EFI bootloader that would allow booting from another OS or a self-contained Windows XP driver disc for all the Mac components.

    Apple kinda got the last laugh with Boot Camp. :)
  12. tipdrill407 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    Intel Mac users at that time had to upgrade their firmware before windows would boot on their macs withouth .
  13. L int. macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Amersfoort, NL
    i am a total mac newbie, and was surprised how easy it was to get both OS running on a macpro (with two internal HD's).

    - just updated the firmware

    - burned the BC drivers only onto a CD (if you get the drivers from the
    internet, or somewhere else, you can totally forget about BC)

    - formatted the 2nd HD

    - inserted XP (SP2) CD into the optical drive

    - restarted, and kept holding the "alt key"....then chose the XP CD to install

    - install the drivers.

    did i forget anything?

    it was just a big pleasure to do it, flawless...
    This machine is just great!!!

    just two issues so far:
    -in windows at the hardware configurations it shows those yellow question marks with the i-sight camera
    - sound is coming through the buildt-in speaker all the time, even when the external speakers are on.

    If there is any fix, please let me know...
  14. babsuvulawho macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2006
    I've got the same issue. If I find out how to turn it off in Windows XP I'll let you know. Hopefully someone already knows the answer. ;)
  15. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    I have the problem and since the damn speaker is very close to me, sometimes it can get annoying.

    As far as the bootcamp thing goes... well its a little more complicate, to have the boot loader work properly you need bootcamp, I went through hell trying to have more than one partition to have OSX, WinXP and a few other archive partitions on an iMac and in the end I couldn't do it.

    on Mac Pro I just have WinXP and OSX on 2 partitions in one disc and got another disc for the other partitions I needed, yet another reason why i feel great about getting a Mac Pro over an iMac.

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