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Windows XP on Intel Mac Confirmed 627

niemassacre writes "According to, the contest has been won - nearly $14k to narf2006 for submitting a working solution to dual-booting Windows XP and Mac OS X on an Intel-Powered mac. A thread on has confirmations from several testers that the procedure works on the 17" iMac, the Mac mini, and the MacBook Pro. Many sets of pictures and videos (such as this installation video) are floating around (and mentioned in the thread). The solution itself should be posted soon." Poit! Congratulations to narf.
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Windows XP on Intel Mac Confirmed

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  • Cool. (Score:4, Funny)

    by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @09:59AM (#14932316)
    But does it run Linux?
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by 2.7182 ( 819680 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @09:59AM (#14932322)
    Now I can dual boot a good and bad OS. (I am not saying which is which!)
  • 1984 (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:00AM (#14932332)
    My friends, each of you is a single cell in the great body of the
    state. And today, that great body has purged itself of parasites.
    We have triumphed over the unprincipled dissemination of facts.
    The thugs and wreckers have been cast out and the poisonous
    weeds of disinformation have been cosigned to the dustbin of
    history. Let each and every cell rejoice! For today we
    celebrate the first, glorious anniversary of the Information
    Purification Directive.

    We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of
    pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests
    of contradictory and confusing truths. Our unification of thought
    is a more powerful weapon than any fleet or army on earth! We are
    one people. With one will. One resolve. One cause. Our enemies
    shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their
    own confusion. We shall prevail!
                                    -- Big Brother, Apple's "1984" commercial
  • by original_nickname ( 930551 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:00AM (#14932333) Journal
    Yeah this is great news! I'm a mac freak, but this makes an intel mac a great proposition as all my work stuff is Windows based!

    Now all we need is for someone to make a hypervisor, or allow booting XP from within mac os without emulation, and we'll have a great system!

    Does this version dual boot fully with Mac OS?

    I'm sooo tempted to buy a Mac Book Pro now - my poor wallet.
  • So where's the meat? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GekkePrutser ( 548776 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:03AM (#14932361)
    Where can I get this? I haven't found any details or downloads yet...
  • MacBook Pro (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sirmalloc ( 648119 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:04AM (#14932366)
    I'd almost be tempted to buy a MacBook Pro if this works without any issues. It'd be nice to boot into Windows for my day job and OSX for home usage. The only thing really stopping me is the lack of a right-click button under the trackpad. I'm sure somebody can/has come up with a software hack to use two fingers to right-click, but I don't know how annoying that would actually be without using it.
  • I hope ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luscious868 ( 679143 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:04AM (#14932368)
    I hope everybody who dragged this guy's reputation through the mud offers him a huge apology! Maybe it's just because I'm growing older, but the older I get the more cynical I feel like people are becoming. Maybe it's always been this way and when I was a kid I either didn't notice or just shrugged it off....
    • Re:I hope ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mzieg ( 317686 ) <> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:09AM (#14932418) Homepage
      I'm thinking $14 grand would stand-in for an outpouring of apologies. It would for me :-)
    • by murderlegendre ( 776042 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:32AM (#14932636)

      Did you really read the original (yesterday's) commentary on this? It looked like a basic peer-review process to me, albeit in true /. style. A person steps up, makes an extraordinary claim, and the community of peers does its best to suggest every possibility for falsification.

      It took a while, but the truly hare-brained ideas (like a photoshopped image of a MacBook) were discredited leaving only a couple of reasonable possibilities (like a full-screen display of an XP screengrab image).

      So honestly, would you really prefer that a peer-review process work from the premise that the proposal is true, as opposed to false? While the former is certainly much "nicer", the latter is more in keeping with scientific modes of thought. I'd have expected nothing less, had I presented the same claims + shaky evidence.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The pictures were just for showing progress for the interested and narf/blanka had no interest in submitting any unquestionable proof at that point.

        The real Peer-review process was when the 10 enlisted testers verified that the solution works on their machines.

        It was completely unnecessary to come up with a zillion ways the pictures/video could've been faked when it was obvious to anyone that was easily achievable.
      • by ultramk ( 470198 ) <[ten.llebcap] [ta] [kmartlu]> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @01:54PM (#14934930)
        While I appreciate your point, I respectfully disagree. The tone of yesterday's discussion was vitrolic, mean-spirited and crass.

        There's a big difference between saying "What an obvious fake! What a lousy photoshop job! What an idiot to think that we would believe this!" and something like "While there's no reason that this couldn't be faked, there's no evidence that it has been. Let's wait and evaluate the proof when it becomes available before passing judgement."

        Where I come from, the scientific process of peer-review doesn't include name-calling and obviously premature pronouncements of fakery by armchair image analysts with a copy of the GIMP and no knowledge of things like light bleed in cheap CCDs.

        Of course, this is slashdot, where making instant pronouncements about things you don't understand is practically the official sport.

  • by thelost ( 808451 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:04AM (#14932373) Journal
    and a amssive congratulation to Narf. This was an exciting contest to watch develop and definately brought out a lot of talent. Now the question in my mind is will this have any affect on the new intel-mac sales; Will people be keen to buy them because they can dual boot windows/mac os x on the same machine? Recently I bought a mac-mini (before the intel ones went live sadly) and I have to say, having used winxp for years after two weeks of my mac-mini on a KVM I'm just about ready to move over. I can't actually imagine many reasons for me wanting a PC any more. I'm not into gaming like I used to be, and mac os x is such a lovely user experience. I admit it, i'm a born again apple fan-boi! What exactly is the situation on driver support for someone booting winxp on a mac? That's what I am interested in, anyone got a clue?
    • Now the question in my mind is will this have any affect on the new intel-mac sales

      I don't know but as soon as the method is posted on the web and is verfied by the community I'll be ordering an Intel iMac. I can't wait to be able to run OS X on a Mac with the ability to boot into Windows for Half Life 2 and Counter-Strike.

  • by Philosinfinity ( 726949 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:05AM (#14932378)
    Brain: Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Pinky: I think so Brain but where are we going to find rubber pants and sod at this time of night?
  • by illtron ( 722358 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:06AM (#14932390) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that native hardware will mean that we're not far from seeing a lot of really great "not-emulation VPC-like products." This is nice, but it seems that being able to have the two up side-by side would be more useful. Wouldn't native hardware also mean that a VPC could run at nearly full speed, only taking a hit due to whatever resources were already being used by the Mac OS and applications? Still, this is a nice achievement.
    • Ideally there would be a tiny hypervisor that would allow you to switch between concurrent native Windows and OS X environments, perhaps with enough windowing capability that the displays for each could be scaled/tiled/etc, as well as allocating CPU/memory and other hardware resources.

    • There is one or two already... Xen and Q [] for example.

      There is also VirtualPC (sloow and buggy)

      I've been using VMware for years now on my personal laptop. It's barely usable in speed terms.

      But why use any of these? I'm not interested in running small PC apps my grandma gave me on a CD she got from the cover of PCWorld magazine! And there is nothing I really need to run on my Mac apart from games and doing .NET 2.0 development, and unfortunately emulation does not cut it for games.

      Let see, there is Omnigraff
  • soo..... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trelane ( 16124 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:12AM (#14932445) Journal
    if you can run Windows on a Mac now, will game developers stop porting games to Mac, since Mac users can run Windows?
  • Mirror of the movie (Score:5, Informative)

    by jmke ( 776334 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:15AM (#14932475) Homepage Journal
    Here's link to the XP on MAC video from a site which can handle a /. []
  • by thelost ( 808451 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:17AM (#14932498) Journal
    use the coral caches. I can't believe they weren't coralised in the main post

    forum php?showtopic=11731 []
    Video: .mov []
  • by Half a dent ( 952274 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:18AM (#14932517)
    ipods adapted so all audio output is in mono. Graphics on imacs converted to 16 color. Mac mouse to only have one button... oops.
  • Irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fahrvergnuugen ( 700293 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:18AM (#14932519) Homepage

    I find this kind of funny and ironic...

    Apple announces that they are moving to intel. OSX is DRM'd and bound to Macs so that it cannot be run on commodity hardware. Senior execs at Apple also state that they will not do anything to prevent Windows from running on their hardware.

    Intel Macs come out.

    Hackers get OSX86 up and running on Dells with relative ease, despite Apple's best efforts to prevent them from doing so. However, they have such a hard time getting Windows to run on a Mac that a contest is started and 13,000 dollars worth of prize money is offered.

    Oh the irony. :-)

    • Re:Irony (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mzieg ( 317686 ) <> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:25AM (#14932585) Homepage
      In Apple's defense (and I do appreciate the irony you point out), OS-X was, from the start, a far more "portable" operating system, vastly more suitable to loading on strange hardware. From it's NeXTSTEP heritage, OS-X could build on Motorola 68K systems. From it's OpenSTEP heritage, OX-X could already build on Intel x86 architectures. From it's Apple heritage, it could build on PPC systems. From it's BSD heritage, it could build on pretty much anything else. OS-X had been ported so much that it had developed a fairly flexible hardware abstraction layer.

      In contrast, consider Windows, which has been successfully ported to...Alpha? Once, many years ago? Windows is far more intransigent about porting to new hardware platforms, because they've never needed to, never wanted to, and never put any friendly handles in to smooth the transition.
      • Re:Irony (Score:5, Informative)

        by adam1101 ( 805240 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:41AM (#14932739)
        In the *STEP days, Windows NT ran on MIPS, Alpha, PPC, x86, and early versions even SPARC. This was drastically reduced with the NT -> 2K transition, but then again, so was *STEP -> OS X. Nowadays, NT runs on x86-32, x86-64 and Itanium, while *STEP runs on x86-32 and PPC, so it's pretty much a wash.
      • by Phil John ( 576633 ) <(moc.dtlsratsbew) (ta) (lihp)> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:43AM (#14932770)

        Windows NT was built from the beginning to run on multiple processors, it had a very advanced hardware abstraction layer built in. The other versions never sold very well and there were problems with application support (e.g. people targetting multiple processor arch's). Apple has clevery overcome this obstacle by including "Rosetta" from the start, something similar existed for NT Alpha called FX!32 but I suspect by the time it was released it was too little too late to save the OS.

        I'm sure that the HAL is in place in NT derived operating systems to this day and if MS were so inclined they could do another port. However, there's no real business need (as there is for Apple with their transition) so it's never been done. They target the largest installed hardware base.

        The issue with getting Windows on Macintel to work is that EFI is so fundamentally different to the traditional BIOS XP expects that you require either the source code of the OS kernel to make it work or have to, as has been done here, provide essentially a bios emulator. This is nothing to do with portability or HAL's, it's about having access to the fundamentally low-level parts of the operating system, something people outside MS don't have.

  • Phew! (Score:3, Funny)

    by gentlemen_loser ( 817960 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:20AM (#14932535) Homepage
    Now that the public has done the work Bill's engineers should have done for Vista, he'll be able to sleep much better at night. /sarcasm
  • Can't play the video (Score:3, Informative)

    by SpinyNorman ( 33776 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:20AM (#14932541)
    Using the Quick Time player on Windows XP it says required compressor not available (1st time I tried it also said not available on server)... what do I need?
  • Big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:23AM (#14932564) Homepage
    Wake me up when someone lets me run Windows binaries *inside* Intel OSX. That is the achievement.

  • from macrumors (Score:5, Informative)

    by ClassicComposer ( 916856 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:34AM (#14932664) Journal
    Since it's won now, I guess I can talk. The install requires a Windows XP PC, with which Windows is already installed. From here you use Nero Burning ROM to mix files from your XP SP2 CD, copy them to a new project, and add in some $OEM$ files and folders, and fix some of the files in i386. From here, you use xom.efi (which is the bootloader), and bless it in Terminal. Once it's blessed on startup you get a pretty nice selector, and you choose Windows. From here the CSM layer pauses for 2.5 Minutes while it does whatever its doing. Then you'll get into Windows Setup.

    I should also mention at this time, you cannot reboot Windows. You need to shutdown. If you attempt rebooting it will hang at Windows is Shutting Down screen.
    from mac forums []
  • by _Pablo ( 126574 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:35AM (#14932668)
    Excellent work by Narf2006 and Blanka.

    I don't understand why some people are so negative about something which gives the user greater flexibility and choice. I love using OS X for my personal needs, but my job requires Windows and CounterStrike:Source requires DirectX, so it's made my MacBook Pro even more flexible and that can only be a good thing.

    Whilst I can imagine that some software producers will look at the situation and say "The Mac now runs Windows so we don't need to produce a Mac native version", I think the ability to boot Windows tears down one barrier to buying a Mac...if you have to run Windows then you don't need to compromise and buy a Windows only machine.

    Finally, I know you can buy a regular PC and dual-boot with a hacked copy of OS X, but it's illegal, whereas dual booting a genuine retail copy of XP on a Mac is legal and that makes it a real option for the workplace. I look forward to taking my MacBook everywhere and leaving that chunky Dell on the table...someone needs to start producing 200GB+ 2.5" 7200rpm drives fast!
  • by gurutc ( 613652 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:46AM (#14932795)
    Rather than talk about what Microsoft and Apple think, I'd love to see the marketing department at Dell today.
  • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:46AM (#14932797)
    Apple would never want to support this or even make it easy. But this is a boon. Many people such as myself who wouldn't switch previously will now consider it. In fact I am certain, my next computer will be a Conroe Mac. I predict the cool machine next year will be dual booting Mac with Conroe. Reminds of the old days when hackers liked the Amigas with x86 module that could run Dos/Amiga/Mac software all at full speed.

    Why this won't negatively affect SW developers view of mac sales:
    The average Mac user is never going to set up a dual boot (especially given no support, difficulties involved) so this really won't impact software developer plans (ie they won't stop making Mac software). Even those who dual boot will probably prefer to have native Mac versions of software. In the end all Macs sold will be potential buyers of Mac software. That is why this is a perfect solution, no official support and difficulties make it something only those who MUST have it will do, so it will not have any significant percentage of people using a Mac, but buying Windows software for it.

    Why this is better than booting OSX on a whitebox:
    Booting windows on a Mac, is a legal solution. Apple has said they are not doing anything to stop it. So you can have legal OSX and legal WinXP on the mac and keep them both updated with ease. Also the Mac which has less HW support will be running on it's intended platform. Windows should have no problem running on the same hardware. Contrast running pirate/hacked OSX on the whitebox (the only way to do it) which will always be of questionable stability and a fight to upgrade without breaking it.

    Way to go guys!
  • by mnemonic_ ( 164550 ) <> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:57AM (#14932909) Homepage Journal
    Colin has received a solution from narf2006 [] and is currently testing it. Meanwhile, narf2006 has revealed some details on his method; he patched the Windows XP kernel [] to get VGA working, and wrote a custom Compatibility Support Module (CSM) [] to allow booting XP from EFI.

    According to Intel documentation [], using a CSM that plugs into the EFI framework should allow for booting BIOS-based operating systems:
    A contemporary implementation of the Framework on a PC includes a CSM for supplying services to operating systems that do not boot using EFI and for supporting legacy option ROMs on add-in cards. For legacy boot the Framework initializes the platform's silicon and executes EFI drivers.
    In the words of Jim Cramer, "booyah."
  • by CyberDave ( 79582 ) <(davecorder) (at) (> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @02:38PM (#14935465)
    Now that the directions are out, it looks like it requires doing a little slipstreaming to the Windows XP CD (and apparently one that has SP2 in it already).

    For those of us who work in IT, like me, and have already created a slipstreamed XP CD with the latest security updates (and storage drivers--thank god for that! no more F6 during an install), I want to know how to add the XP on Mac fixes to that already-prepared CD. Oh, and I want to know how to do that without having to go and actually figure it out myself (mostly because I don't yet have an Intel Mac of my own to play with). WINNT.SIF I can handle, but I'd rather leave TXTSETUP.SIF to someone more knowledgeable (hopefully that will work with the iastor drivers that are already inserted into my CD).

    From a quick glance at the patch provided, it looks like it provides the iaStor drivers for the Windows installer to be able to access the hard drive (since the Intel Macs appear to use an Intel 945 chipset with ICH7 storage, this makes sense, since you can't exactly hit "F6" during boot to load the drivers from a floppy. It also looks like it adds a custom framebuffer driver, since the X1600 is apparently one of the few things that doesn't have working drivers yet (everything else seems to be supported by the generic Intel Chipset drivers, the generic Marvell Yukon Gig-E drivers, the generic Broadcom WiFi card drivers, etc). I guess the X1600 issue isn't an issue on the Mac Minis, since those have Intel 950 integrated graphics.

    In any case, this is the greatest news I have heard in a long time. I really want to get a MacBook Pro to replace my aging Power Mac G4/500 DP and my crappy eMachines laptop, and I want to dual-boot Windows XP just so I can play games at LAN parties without having to drag my desktop system around (and run a few bits of Windows-only software). For day to day use, nothing beats Mac OS X.
  • by mr_zorg ( 259994 ) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:37AM (#14939734)
    It seems to me that the only reason you need a PC to do this is because the author is only familiar with Nero Burning-ROM to create bootable discs. It certainly isn't easy to do on the Mac, but if I've got it right, this should work. I don't have an Intel Mac to test on, can someone try this? First, install Fink. Then install the "mkisofs" package. From there, unzip the solution given and cd into that directory in terminal. Insert your XP install CD. Then run these commands:

    cd src
    ditto /Volumes/YOUR_XP_INSTALL_CD .
    cp -r ../patch/ .
    cp ../boot.img .
    cp ../xom.efi .
    cp ../howto.txt howtomac.txt
    mkisofs -b boot.img -no-emul-boot -boot-load-seg 1984 -boot-load-size 4 -c boot.catalog -iso-level 4 -r -J -V XP_ON_MAC -o ../xp_on_mac.iso .
    Note that the mkisofs is long and may be wrapped on your screen. But it should be all one line... This will create an ISO that you should be able to burn with Disk Utility. I've taken the liberty of putting the xom.efi and howto instructions on the ISO as well to make things simple. Then, just follow the howto instructions in section II "The Installation". Hopefully that works! Let me know!

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972