Secrets to Running Multiple Operating Systems

Multibooting on Your Intel-Based Mac

Q. Can I install Windows Vista to dual-boot with Leopard on my new Mac?


A. Yes. OS X 10.5 (Leopard) includes the final version of the Boot Camp multiboot configuration utility. To start the process, launch Boot Camp Assistant in Leopard's Utilities folder. You'll see an option to print an installation guide before getting started--definitely print it out, but be forewarned that it is 25 pages long. Boot Camp Assistant defaults to creating a new 5GB Windows partition, which is too small for Windows Vista. Two buttons below the partition graphic let you choose whether to divide the hard disk equally between Mac OS X and Windows or to create a 32GB Windows partition. If you aren't concerned about disk space on the Mac side and you don't need more than a few gigabytes of extra space on the Windows side, click 32GB. To maximize your Mac OS storage but still give Windows Vista room to breathe, drag the divider between the two partitions to the left until the Windows partition is roughly 20GB. Then click Partition to continue the installation. The Apple installation guide that you printed out has all the information you'll need to complete the installation, including installing hardware drivers and dual-boot configuration software from the OS X installation DVD.

Q. Can I configure Tiger to boot both OS X and Windows?

A. Not any more. The beta version of Boot Camp, which is no longer available for download, was designed to stop allowing new multiboot configurations after September 30, 2007. Pre-existing OS X 10.4 Boot Camp multiboot configurations continue to work, but you can't create new ones. If the Boot Camp beta is already installed on your Mac, you may be able to add new Windows or Linux partitions by setting the date back to some time before September 30, 2007. In any case, Apple recommends that technique as a way to enable the Boot Camp Assistant in order to uninstall Boot Camp beta after September 30, 2007.

Q. Can I multiboot Leopard and Windows XP?

A. Yes, but Apple warns that you should only install Windows XP SP2, and that attempting to upgrade your original versions to SP2 will fail. Lincoln Spector explains how to create an updated Windows XP SP2 install disc in his Answer Line Q&A, "Slipstreaming Service Pack 2 on an Old Windows XP CD."

Q. How do I select which operating system boots up?


A. You select the default boot OS by using the Startup Disk utility in OS X's Preferences or by using the Boot Camp Control applet in the your Windows installation's Control Panel. Regardless of the default startup OS setting, you can select the OS you want when you power on the computer: Simply hold down the option key until disk icons representing the installed operating systems appear; then select the OS you want to boot with, and click the arrow beneath it to boot it.

Q. Can I use Boot Camp to create a triple-boot configuration with Max OS X, Windows XP or Vista, and Linux?

A. No. Boot Camp Assistant won't allow you to create another partition if it finds that more than one already exist on the hard disk. To triple-boot, you'll need to install and use the free rEFIt boot menu utility, which lets you add more than one other operating system to your Intel-based Apple computer.

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