Installing Windows XP on our Intel iMac

by Oliver Breidenbach

As you've probably heard about now, Apple has made a cool piece of software available called "Boot Camp". Of course I had to sit down and try it out immediately. This is what I find.


2006-04-05 11:49:19
As great as solitaire is, I am really wondering about the other great games, namely the 3D ones. Can I boot Half-Life 2 on this thing, for example. Games like this are honestly the only reason I would want Windows, and I do not have the funds to buy a dedicated gaming machine, so I am really curious to see how well this works.
2006-04-05 12:20:32
Oliver, thanks for the blow-by-blow description. I think making this option available will be a good thing for the Mac platform and for developers like you. Once people use XP and OS X on the same machine, the advantages of OS X will become very apparent to new Mac users. As for the difficulty in selling OS X-only software to owners of dual-boot Macs, I don't think it will be that bad. Mac software will run on a Mac. Plus, it's pretty clear that something with a Mac OS label is made for OS X, while the Windows logo is associated with Windows. I could be underestimating the difficulty, but if anything, I think this development will help small developers like Boinx.
Oliver Breidenbach
2006-04-05 12:23:44
Zac, unfortunately, I do not have any 3D games on hand. I will probably get some on friday, but can't make promises.
Oliver Breidenbach
2006-04-05 12:25:07
Erik, anything that sells more Macs helps. :-)
2006-04-05 13:49:19
Incredible laughs... hilarious article, please make a second part of that one! :-)

I tried that on two 20" iMacs today. One wouldn't let me update it's firmware and now refuses to install Mac OS X on the internal HD. I guess this is the iMacs revenge for the tried insult. The other one runs fine under Mac OS X and works with XP. I tried the Halo and Unreal Tournament 2004 Demos which ran flawless. Even F.E.A.R. was playable, though I'm to scared of first-person-shooters to walk around a corner. *jk*

I also could boot from an Ubuntu 5.10 x86 install CD. Didn't have time to install yet, but it would boot. Makes me wonder about the current Vista pre-alphas and maybe even OpenSolaris...
NextSTEP x86 anyone?

2006-04-05 13:51:22
This is great news. One step closer to being able to use a Mac at work - it will need to be officially supported rather than Beta, but I can count down the days to Leapord.
2006-04-05 13:54:51
Don't think you'll be able to competitive 3D game under Windows on a Mac.

In fact one really can't 3D game well on any Mac except a PowerMac and a decent video card.

So with that, I expect the new Intel PowerMac's with Lepoard will be a hot sell, until Vista and new games come out of course.

Because M$ is requiring thier DirectX to be used in video cards with OpenGL running hobbled on top of that.

So somewhere, somehow, something is going to change. Like no more Mac specific video cards.

I'm afraid we are being gently guided down the road to Vista and Apple will become a giant PC vendor.

Phil U.
2006-04-05 13:57:11
When was the last time an Apple software product was available publicly while still in beta?

X11. It was mentioned in an article this morning - I think it may have been Giles Turnbull.

Oliver Breidenbach
2006-04-05 14:03:14
I'm afraid we are being gently guided down the road to Vista and Apple will become a giant PC vendor.

And there I thought we Germans had a monopoly on pessimism. ;-)

2006-04-05 14:05:14
Thank you MacLemon for the info. I really may have to sell my PowerMac and pick up an iMac. Games have never been a strong enough motivator to get me to use Windows full-time, but I think they are strong enough to get me to say goodbye to my relatively nw PowerMac.

And in response to MacDude, the iMacs are definitely competitive gaming machines. A 2GHz Core Duo with an ATI X1600 is no slouch of a machine. Sure the PowerMacs will be even more so (and upgradable) but the iMacs (and MacBook Pros) are rather nice gaming machines (now that they can run Windows).

On a more pragmatic note, I am a CS major in school and being able to boot Windows for some of my assignments would save me a trip to the computer lab.

2006-04-05 14:05:56
I'm glad Apple did this. For the time I'm using 2 portables (Wintel and Powerbook G3 with a upgraded cpu), and it's not a very functional solution. If you have tried to bring 2 portables with you on a plane, you'll understand what I'm talking about. Since I was planning to buy a new Powerbook/MacBook Pro, this solution will be hugely beneficial to me.

Btw, I love the sticker on the iMac.

Small Paul
2006-04-05 15:21:39
Yeah, sweet article :)

"I am very curious to see how this works out in the market. Of course, now a bunch of people will buy a Mac because it looks good and run Windows on it."

I dunno, they'll have to buy (or acquire) a proper version of Windows as well.

"How do I communicate to the customers that our apps run on Macs running Mac OS but not on Macs running Windows? It sounds easier than it is. Heck, it is a Universal App, it should run anywhere, right?"

That's a very good point. I guess that's why they're repeatedly and firmly saying that Windows is NOT SUPPORTED, etc.

"When was the last time an Apple software product was available publicly while still in beta?"

I know! Do you think they planned this as an April Fool, but then accidentally wrote the software and figured what the hell?

Mike Burns
2006-04-05 18:00:08
One question: how about the COM ports on Windows? I have some Windows programs that make use of serial ports to control external devices. It would be nice if the COM ports would map to the USB ports which in turn could run a Keyspan or other external adapter that would provide serial capability. Probably too much to ask for.
2006-04-05 19:18:21
One question: how about the COM ports on Windows? I have some Windows programs that make use of serial ports to control external devices.

This is the ONLY reason I still have a PeeCee at home. My dive computer s/w is Windows only and uses a comm port!

Serial-USB adaptors should come with drivers to map the USB port to a comm port. Some of them work under VirtualPC as well apparently, but its a bit of a hit-and-miss affair apparently.

Thank you Apple!! Now I can buy a nice new iMac and put it beside my existing G5 PowerMac and bin the PeeCee!!

Now, the only part of the equation left is to put a 'video in' port on the back of the iMac and let me use the iMac display on two computers without having to mess with remote control s/w! That will mitigate one of my general complaints about AIO computers as I can reuse the screen with on the iMac with another faster box in the future! The other complaint is lack of video card upgradability, but I doubt that one will ever be possible :-)

2006-04-05 22:18:14
oh man that was funny. I lost control of my laughter...girlfriend thinks I'm a freak. well duh. Couple of thoughts coming from a "switcher" now mac lover and forced to use winders at work person. There are other reasons to run winders on a mac. I have several sports training devices that do not have mac software. I have to either run VPC or run a winders box. I'm lucky to have a work laptop that I use for those but would rather have them on my home apple machine. I also dink around with robotics and the PIC and Stamp software is PC only. I"m sure there are other specialty apps that would fit this scenario as well.

The gaming thing is a non issue for me. There is not one game that I've wanted to purchase and play that I could not get for a mac. Sure there are tons out there that I might find interesting, but I stick to ones my friends introduce me to and being short on time and money for games I have a blast playing those. There are mac versions of most every genre out there: FPS, sims, sports, education. Anyhoo. funny stuff. Keep it coming!

2006-04-05 22:28:13
The dual-boot capability fills a need. But I would much rather see the ability to run both OS's concurrently, so that I don't lose my OS X just to run a NetMeeting or some other Windows proprietary appliance. I think this is what VMWare makes possible, and at faster than emulation speed. Concurrency is much more convenient and, I would think, a far better way to produce "switchers."
Oliver Breidenbach
2006-04-05 23:08:56
oh man that was funny.

You know, just my thoughts when I finished installing XP.

Maarten Meijer
2006-04-06 00:15:10
Dual Boot really got Linux accepted as well on windows machines ;)
The thing is that basically you never reboot your Mac, you let it sleep, untilk a syste, update is required. So Dual Boot is 1980's useability and definitely in contradiction to everything that is Mac to its users.
But... it suregenerates a lot of free publicity, and will sort of help Apple get into the large crowd that still asks after explaining the benefits of Mac OSX : "yeah, but does it run Windows?"
So this is purely aimed at switchers: Windows users are used to (re)booting back into Windows itself several times a day, so to them Dual Boot may seem progress.
I'll wait for the Intel port of VPC to use OSX and Windows concurrently, or better still wait for the small Wintel Mini and run that with MS Remote Desktop
Will Macdonald
2006-04-06 01:21:29
Re: Com Ports

I use Virtual PC 6 & Windows 98 on a powerbook, with a usb to serial cable. This provides a fully functioning serial cable. My Siemens S55 phone required this setup to update the phones firmware. It worked fine.

2006-04-06 10:36:11
why wasn't it that easy for me. i did everything by the book yet when windows began to install it never got to the screen where you choose your partition. instead i keep getting an error with no real steps for fixing it. my macbook pro is only 1 week old so i do not understand why this won't work. hopefully it gets going soon cuz i am kind of excited about having both operating systems available.