A Step-by-Step Guide to a Pitfall-Free Installation of Windows XP on a Mac
By Chuck Toporek
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: April 2006
When Steve Jobs jumped on stage at Macworld San Francisco 2006 and announced the new Intel-based Macs, the question wasn't if, but when someone would figure out a hack to get Windows XP running on these new "Mactels."
Enter Boot Camp, a new system utility that helps you partition and install Windows XP on your Intel Mac. Boot Camp does all the heavy lifting for you. You won't need to open the Terminal and hack on system files or wave a chicken bone over your iMac to get XP running. This free program makes it easy for anyone to turn their Mac into a dual-boot Windows/OS X machine.
Running Boot Camp guides you step-by-step through the entire installation process, including upgrading your Mac's Firmware, creating the Macintosh Drivers CD to make XP work properly with your Mac's hardware, and using the Boot Camp Assistant to partition your hard drive and install Windows XP. You'll also learn how to avoid common pitfalls (such as previously partitioned drives and wrong disk permissions). And finally, you'll find out which Mac functions don't work in XP and which XP features backfire on a Mac. With this invaluable guide at your side, you'll finish configuring your dual-boot Mac in as little as two hours, avoiding numerous hazards and annoyances along the way.
I find it hard to dislike anything from O-Reilly even though I wasn't sure what I would get from this one. It didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know but then I'm a technoweenie. My Apple bluetooth keyboard works fine under XP btw.
Oreilly's Running Boot Camp by Chuck Toporek is obviously written for Macists (ie, you aren't supposed to like Windows, especially Windows running on Mac hardware). You are peppered with images of the Apocalypse, and comparisons what always give Macs the edge: "just another reason why the Mac is so much better". Having supported Macs in various environments over the last 12 years, I can relate to those having a Mac preference,.but don't consider myself a Macist. Of particular interest to this Non-Macist is how does it run Windows? Wouldn't it be dreamy if you had an elegent laptop that could run Mac and Windows equally well?
Toporek opens with an interesting bit of history on the challenge to dual boot mac/windows on intel Mac: a 14,000 prize apparently was sufficient motivation for someone to come up with the solution and deliver it to Apple. An interesting example of outsourcing/marketing!
Since the intall information for Boot Camp comes with the software (the Boot Camp Beta Installation and Setup Guide) and is more than sufficient to do the install, Running Boot Camp should be read for other added value Toporek provides. Is it a step by step guide as he says? Less so than Boot Camp Beta Installation and Setup Guide. Toporek has a lot more filler. All the install info is here, but it is padded with ancillary information, of varying usefulness, depending on your interest. So if you want to get right to it and just do the install, the Boot Camp Beta Installation and Setup Guide will more than succice . The Bootcamp guide is 16 pages: Toporek's is 36.
What sort of additional information is there in Toporek's tome? Toporek describes good backup possibilities, defines firmware, gives suggestions on XP Intro books for non-Windows users, adresses Install issues for custom multi-partition Mac environments and their solutions, etc
He does spend quite a bit of time on all variations of the upgrade. This information would be useful for anyone having customized their Mac (e.g., multi-partitioned drive) prior to installing Boot Camp on their MacTel. As for me, when I got the MacBook Pro, the first thing I did was install Boot Camp, so there was no prior custom configuration to overcome.
I did find one thing that made me say "I wish I had read that beforehand": Toporek indicates WHERE the Power light is; since the Boot Camp instructions say to hold the Power button down until you see it flash,I figured it would be important to SEE it flash, so I would know when to let up on the Power key,
I couldn't find the light, so I found myself holding the Power button down for the entire time, for fear of interrupting the process by letting up too soon (I escaped unscathed!).
Toporek's instructions are replete with warnings to help avoid turning your MacTel into a boat anchor or doorstop, which gets the point across that you should be very careful with the install process!
For example, he mentions twice (he mentions lots of things twice, actually) that you should be careful to make the partitions different sizes so boot camp won't be "confused" but it is pretty clear in the XP install you just need to pick the partition labeled C: for XP, which he notes will help you avoid overwriting your Mac partition! No, we definitely don't want to do that,Since a dual boot environment means setting up a lot of things twice, we don't also want to have to redo the Mac partition. (For me it was installing Office and Outlook/Entourage, AntiVirus, Browsers, widgets, Networking, VPN, Wireless, you get the picture. I am sure it will expand to other applications as the weeks progress)
One important issue Toporek discusses is the difference in Mac and PC keyboards. While I am not as concerned with his example as it pertains to screen capture or using the Apple shortcuts, I was interested in the Ctrl-Alt-Delete issue which I discovered the hard way. If you set up basic security on XP using login, password and Ctrl-Alt-Delete (pretty standard), you will be locked out completely. L The "Delete" key on the MacBook Pro is mapped as a "Backspace" key, and does NOT function as a "Delete" key, regardless of its label. I had to (drive to my office on Sat and..) attach a USB keyboard, select Ctrl-Alt-Delete to login to XP, download a Server 2003 Toolkit, use a remap application to make the "Delete" key to really function as a Delete key and not as a "Backspace" key. Of course, this means I lost my Backspace key; definitely annoying, but I do have the option of remapping some other key for that,
Toporek mentions Bluetooth doesn't work on XP because there are no Macintosh drivers. I can add the fact that there isn't a driver for backlighting on the keyboard either, a feature sorely missing for XP.
Toporek could also mention the need for the ability to right click in XP. The MacBook Pro touchpad is single-click and doesn't allow a mechanism for right-clicking. Fortunately, another download saves the day. You can install the Apple Mouse Utiltiy (http://www.geocities.com/pronto4u/applemouse.html).
For me the real interest is in how well XP runs software on this Intel Mac: The choice of what I am booted to most often is determined by what software I need to run most frequently: I find I am usually booting to XP, since I need to use Remote Desktop for server maintenance (there is an OS X Client,
but is very limited) and MS-SQL Server and Enterprise manager. I also have at least two browser apps that use activex that require me to boot to XP.
Users not concerned with such Windows-specific software won't have this problem, of course.
Drawbacks overview? XP appears to take longer to boot, you have to jump through hoops to get Ctrl-Alt-Delete and Right-click, no drivers for back-lit keyboard. It would be nice if the boot menu didn't force you to select the Option key to display it, if it could function more flexibly, like allow a countdown or stay on the boot menu until a choice is made.
Does it run XP equally well as OS X? Definitely not,the devil is in the details. But it is a step in the right direction, and hopefully when it is out of Beta they will have most of the remaining kinks worked out
Does having XP on a Mac really "seem wrong on so many levels" ? No more than running a music store, virtual hosting sites, and building Windows Ipod software, in my opinion. I would think the health of Apple would be motivation enough to break through the OS religious issue. It might just be a good business decision for Apple.
The MacBook Pro is a nice laptop to run XP on, and with the necessary adjustments to the Intel/XP world, we could see a new player in the laptop hardware world. The next step I am sure, is to make the laptop run XP only, which many XP users would require,and could be a requirement to compete with other major laptop manufacturers.
Lastly, since we are on the topic of multi-boot, you might want to look at another option in Beta, Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X, http://www.parallels.com/., which allows the user to run independent virtual machines on top of OS X on Intel Computers. One final option that was mention is chained multi-booting, where you can use Boot Camp to boot to XP, then have XP boot another operating system such as Linux, Think of the possibilities and the additional configuration hours! The MacBook Pro and all these options should keep us busy for a long while,
I'd like to say thanks to O'Reilly for this helpful tool -- thanks, guys. And double kudos because this PDF is published without DRM at all -- so I don't have to worry about not being able to open it. I once bought a PDF format book from Amazon, a Hemmingway title that's nearly out of copyright. What happened? Predictably it didn't work at all with Adobe's reader and I ended up pissing away my money and cursing all DRMed books. Thanks for your support, guys!