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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Windows XP install on Mac Intel

As we may have all been reading lately, a winner has been declared in the running contest to get this done. The winner of the contest, known only as "narf," will pick up a cash prize of $13,854, accumulated through donations from contest supporters and other third-party sponsors. As reported in Ars Technica, here are some more details about this feat.

Here is what you'll need:

A Windows XP Pro (SP2) CD. Apparently, it does not have to be a bootable CD, but it does require the i386 directory at root level.

The file.
Nero Burning ROM
A blank CD
A PC of course...
20-30 minutes

The instructions lay out the entire process in an abbreviated manner for those users who are more adept at performing "advanced" tasks like repartitioning drives and such, and in a more basic, step-by-step manner for users who might be slightly intimidated by the exercise. When you get down to it, you're creating a custom XP bootdisk, with some of the Microsoft files replaced with patched files created by narf. The files modified/added in the i386 folder are:


In addition there are several files being replaced and/or added in the $OEM$ directory:


The final 5 items are replicated in the $OEM$/TEXTMODE directory. Once the custom Windows XP bootdisk has been developed, a repartition is required on the iMac's disk to contain both HFS+ and NTFS partitions, which for most people, means you're probably going to have to blow away your current install. Mac OS X will be installed to an HFS+ partition and you'll be installing an xom.efi bootloader which will then allow you to install Windows XP from your new disc.

At this point you're more or less dealing with a situation no different than your run-of-the-mill budget PC.

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