Triple Boot - Snow Leopard, Lion, Windows 7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ahheck01, May 23, 2011.

  1. Ahheck01 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #1
    Hello, all!

    Have a BTO i7 iMac on the way, and want to triple boot into 10.6 as my primary, 10.7 as a dev partition, and Windows 7 for a bootcamp partition.

    I know how to do two with bootcamp assistant - how do I do all three in a clean way?

    Many thanks,

    -Evan
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    I do lots of software development and just rely on virtual machines (I use Parallels) for Windows and Linux. For Lion I use an external drive (can't use a VM for that). As far as I'm concerned, I'd rather not muck around with partitioning the drive and I don't like booting *into* another OS when I can have two or three running simultaneously. Just put plenty of RAM into it.
     
  3. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #3
    You can just use Disk Utility to format the hard drive to two more partitions and install the operating systems to the partitions you create.

    Also, using Parallels, VMWare Fusion, etc, is not the best way to experience the full OS.
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. It's easier to share files across environments with the VMs, which also makes backing up easier (I keep all my project files under OS X so they are backed up with TimeMachine as well as a single cloning operation. I also record instructional videos of various Windows CAD software via OS X capturing tools. Can't do that if I'm booted into Windows 7. Only negative I've seen is a slight performance loss that doesn't matter for program development and hardly matters with the CAD software. The i7 iMac is fast enough.
     
  5. Ahheck01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #5
    So when I boot, the mac will automatically recognize the OS installations on each partition, so when I hit Option while booting they'll all show up?
     
  6. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #6
    Yes. After you've installed the other two operating systems, you boot up the computer holding the Option key, and it will have three pictures of hard drives on the screen. You'll select which one you want based on what you named each partition.
     
  7. Ahheck01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #7
    That easy, huh? I love mac...
     
  8. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #8
    Yep :). If you wanted Linux that's another matter entirely. But Mac makes it very easy to do Windows and as many MacOS installs that you want. I have 3 for software development - Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion D3. Plus Windows XP. It took a long time to initially get everything working, but it's worth it now.
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
    When 1 partition: use bootcamp

    Now partition the Mac partition into 2.

    NOTE: you can only have total of 3 partitions when using bootcamp (without third party boot loaders)
     
  10. nathant99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    #10
    Triple boot: Solved!!! :)

    I have personally verified that this worked on my Macbook Pro 15 (2009)

    Option 1: If you haven't upgraded to Lion

    1. From one partition, install Bootcamp
    2. Install Windows 7 (64-bit preferred)
    3. Install a second Snow Leopard instance on a third partition
    4. Upgrade the first Snow Leopard instance to Lion

    Option 2: If you have upgraded to Lion and now lost the Windows 7 Bootcamp partition because you tried to install Snow Leopard in the third partition

    1. Boot into Snow Leopard Install DVD and start Disk Utility (run Disk Utility in Snow Leopard might work as well)
    2. Delete all partitions except the Lion partition
    3. Create a new FAT32 partition (mimics a BootCamp partition)
    4 Boot into Snow Leopard and run the BootCamp Assistant
    5. Restore the hard drive into 1 Lion partition
    6. Complete the steps for "Option 1"


    What is the magic?

    Bootcamp has a limitation of 4 partitions. People who tried Option 2 failed because they ended up with 5 partitions: EFI, Lion, Snow Leopard, Windows 7, and Lion Recovery. Adding the Snow Leopard partition before upgrading to Lion forces the Lion installer *not* to create the Lion Recovery partition.


    Other tools I used:

    - rEFIt to fix the MBR when Disk Utility seems to mess things up (DiskTest will probably work too)

    - Winclone to back up my Windows 7 partition from my Snow Leopard partition

    - SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Clone to back up my Lion/Snow Leopard partitions and boot from external hard drives
     
  11. Sumleilmus macrumors member

    Sumleilmus

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    /
    #11
    Option 1, what?

    Never mind. I could not delete this. May it haunt me forever.
     
  12. akjim macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    #12
  13. vaskelovo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    #13
    Windows XP on 2011 Mac

    Can you share, how did you get your 2011 Mac(s) boot into Win XP ? Thanks
     
  14. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #14
    Sorry, I didn't. I've changed my Signature since I wrote that posting...had a 2009 iMac at the time. I don't think the 2011s (or 2010's?) can boot XP directly. Might be better off with Parallels, VMWare, or VirtualBox.
     
  15. BasilFawlty macrumors 6502

    BasilFawlty

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #15
    I have SL and WIN & undr boot camp, but a friend of mine with the same setup, has Lion and WIN 7 on Bot camp, then installed SL on an external drive.
     

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