WinXP and OSX dual boot in MacBook Pro

Finally I’ve succeeded in installing Windows XP in MacBook Pro. Now it can dual boot between Windows XP and MacOS X. There’re few issues with windows xp but being able to boot smoothly between these 2 OSes are really amazing. I’ve followed this HOWTO where more and more information is being added every few hours. I think most of the minor problems will be solved soon. If you want to install it for your self or want more information this wiki is the best place to go. Here I’m posting the photos of major installation sequence and some problems I encountered.


1. Downloaded

Windows XP Pro CD that came with my Samsung Notebook is SP1 but the patch works only with SP2. So this is what I did:

2. Downloaded WinXP SP2 separately.

3. Used the free tool nLite to integrate the WinXP SP2 with the XP Pro CD (SP1) and created the WinXP SP2 CD source.

4. Then followed Step-by-step-instruction

  • Burned the customized WinXP CD.
  • Partitioned the disk using OSX CD.
  • Installed OSX.

5. Started Windows XP installation.

6. I encountered a problem with the partition listing. I was presented with following options.

  • C: Partition 1 (EFI) [FAT32]
  • unpartitioned space
  • E: Partition 2 [unknown]
  • unpartitioned space

According to the guide the correct option should be as following:

  • E: Partition1 (EFI) [FAT32]
  • C: Partition2 [Unknown]
  • F: Partition3 [Unknown]

If you choose the Partition2 then you’ll get follwing error:

7. To solve the above problem I selected the first "unpartitioned space," then pressed "C" to create a new partition. As described in this solution. After this things went smoothly.

8. Finally it’s installed

9. System Properties

10. Device Manager with unrecognized devices.

11. Downloaded the drivers from here. Ethernet works fine. Wireless doesn’t work. Wireless also works. If I press restart it will shutdown.

12. Browsing my blog.

13. Boot Choice: Mac OSX

14. Boot Choice: Windows XP

Now there’re few driver issues I’m quite sure they’ll be solved soon.

Update: You might be interested to check What’s next for Intel Macs?

If you want to try for yourself and support this site consider buying intel Macs from Amazon:


iMac 20 inch          iMac 17 inch      MacBook Pro 2GHz    MacBook Pro 1.8GHz

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Posted in Apple, HowTo, Reviews, Technology, Windows
108 comments on “WinXP and OSX dual boot in MacBook Pro
  1. Richard says:

    I love this, now I can get rid of my horrible looking Dell SFF PC and get a nice, cute Mac Mini!

    Does anyone know if this works on the Mac Mini Duo and uses both cores?

  2. Brandon says:

    So what about the Fan Driver issue? Any heat concerns… ie. playing Half-Life and toasting your CPU all at the same time?!

  3. Jake says:

    I don’t understand all the “why would anyone want to run windows on a mac”-crap. Obviously there is a huge demand. Personally I’ve been using Macs since the Mac Plus, and I’m a hardcore mac enthusiast. However, in my work I have to use certain pc applications that are not avail. for osx.

    Now I can use the same computer for everything instead of having to carry around an extra (crap) Dell laptop and I can throw out my desktop pc at work.

    I know I know… in an ideal world, there would be no companies that required their employees to use software that works under windows, or really, there would be no Windows at all…

    And I think this makes a good argument when talking to people about switching to OSX, I mean, now when PC friends of mine are whining about about how “different” OSX is, I can show them I have the choice of running both OSX and XP on this hardware, and my choice is still always OSX.

  4. Rob says:

    When all the (driver) issues are worked out and it is proven to be fully functional this will boost market share for Apple in the education market. We buy both Lenovo (IBM) and Apple computers for our school board. Now the school board will only have to purchase one computer hardware brand (apple).

    I like to use Garageband, Hyperscore ( and Piano Suite ( The last two are windows only and will not run in Virtual PC due to lack of 3D video. I will now be able to have one computer hardware platform to use with students.

    As for accessing files from the Windows partition from OSX, can the Windows partion be formatted as Fat32? If so, then you should be able to acess files from the Windows partition when using OSX.

  5. Gellato says:

    there is still one huge thing everyone is missing.

    remember the days when there was that guy that just kept on coming up with hacks for itunes music store / drm protected music?…

    everytime apple updated itunes it broke the hacks.

    back to square one.

    now look at the situation. – this isn’t even a legit copy of XP! – its a hacked copy. so if you install it now – on top of the current mac OS – is that it?… do you never want to upgrade your OS again? because when 10.4.6 (or whatever) comes out, and you install it – do you think this hack will still work?.

    do you think when you install the next big jump in the mac OS – or even vista, this hack will still work?

    what happens when adobe, or any other software manufacturer updates its software? and it ‘just wont work’ on top of a hack? or on a machine that simply has a hacked OS ‘lurking’?

    back to square one.

    as of now, i can’t go out and buy a copy of XP and install it on my MBP – and keep uptodate with software. i’ll void my warrenty if i install the hack. i have no comeback if the hack causes my MBP to go to the wall. in fact, if i install this hack, im locked into ‘right now’ with pretty much no legit upgrade path.

    seem’s like it would fast become a royal pain in the ass, just like having to work in a windows environment.

  6. Hooptie J says:

    I think the people talking about illegal copies of windows seem to have little experience with the licensing.

    A copy of a Windows installer is just that, without the serial number and your certificate of authenticity its just an installer.

    As long as you hav a legit # and cert, you’re legal to install it on any box you want- as long as its one box per license, M$ is no more angy about this than they are when you build one from scratch.

    Apple ties their license to their hardware, you dont have an OSX license, unless you have an Apple Computer AND the original installer disc.

    Hence why OSX on generic X86 will be “bad”, but XP on CoreMacs will be Good.
    One way Apple sells nada, the other way Apple sells Hardware and software no matter what software you install.

    Financially- everyone wins with XP on Mac, noone wins but the 3rd partys when you put OSX on generic X86(except the bargain basement builders)


  7. Michel Wolf says:

    What I see here is the perfect marriage between good hardware and software. The Macs are extremely well designed and the OS is pretty nifty to boot to say the least. What i would like to see is an end to all poorly designed computers out there: The boring, classical, drab coloured boxes that sit on most of our desks. Think about what this could mean in the future…. any OS on the most beautiful Computers ever built!!! 🙂

  8. Few things I would like to add since I’ve received a lot of emails asking for it.

    How did you make the sp2 cd from sp1? More details please.

    1. download and install nLite.
    2. download winxp sp2 from Microsoft site.
    3. copy your winxp sp1 (all the contents from cd to hard drive).
    4. run nLite and integrate the downloaded sp2 with the copied source of sp1 ( The software is very easy to use and steps are self explanatory.
    5. Now you’ve created a slipstreamed win xp sp2 source.
    6. Follow this HOWTO

    Q2: How to solve the partition problem with MacBook Pro?

    1.Select the first “unpartitioned space,” then pressed “C” to create a new partition.
    After that just TURN OFF the macbook pro pressing power button. DON’T FORMAT using the windows installer yet.
    2. After the reboot you should see the partition layout according to the guide.
    3. Follow the guide.

    Q3: Aren’t you worried about getting you MacBook Pro toasted?

    No, it’s been verified that the fan is working under Windows XP.

    Q4: Aren’t you worried that Apple will break the dual boot and using WinXP in Mac is not legal?

    No, I’m not worried because if Apple want to break it let them do it. This is not my production desktop. I’m doing this for fun :). About the WinXP I’m using my own copy.

  9. Neikius says:

    Well, I think wine could be ported to macos now it has the same underlying architecture which would eliminate the need for dualboot wouldn’t it?

    I hope it can be ported anyway, dual boot is a weak solution.

  10. Big Peeler says:

    5 golden manbabies to you good sir. I for one welcome our new dual boot overlords, fiestacast-a-licious.

  11. The Juggernaut says:

    Is this compatible with black people?

  12. Woz says:

    Does this mean I can run Notepad and Safari on WebTV? I like to check my email on the internet sometimes.

  13. Jim says:

    Is it still true that the fan function under Win XP does not work?

  14. Jim says:

    Well i guess they do work fine

  15. Rick says:

    How about the other way around… running OSX on a PC??

  16. Bill says:

    How come babies swim so good when they just borned?

  17. Don Kelley says:

    You can also currently run windows xp as an application within osx on an intel mac. The product is called Q, it’s the osx86 version of QEMU plus a really REALLY nice gui only available on osx86.

    I’m using it now to run windows xp sp2 on my macintel. It’s about as fast as vmware is on a linux host when you install windows xp pro as a client os. In other words, you can’t run games in it really, but it’s great for business applications when you need them (if there isn’t an equivalent for OSX intel available). Also good since it’s somewhat faster than rosetta for things like photoshop and illustrator – they run natively in windows under Q on my macintel, but they run in emulation on my osx machine as mac versions. Sort of wacky huh?

    Q is free and available at:

    you need to download the latest UNSTABLE build, NOT the stable one (Which is ancient and wont’ install any windows versions at all). version 871 and I’m sure future versions install windows xp perfectly, but it must be xp sp2 and you must have valid key etc.

    there’s nothing like running windows as an application under OSX – the coolest thing in the world to see on your monitor. Puts windows in it’s place heh heh heh

    good luck!

  18. Don Kelley says:

    oh yeah, and to the guy who asked “how about the other way around, osx on a pc”, it’s been done for months. Thousands of people use OSX every day as their main operating system and it’s running on their dell pcs or home built pcs. I even have a blog about it online…

    anyway, check out for a forum all about it, or go to for information directly from the brain of the hacker who brought OSX to the rest of us. There are lots of downloadable dvds of it as well, but highly illegal to post about that of course so I’ll let you figure out how to break the law if you choose to do so.


  19. Peter says:

    Do you see a question mark for a split second right before the shiny Apple logo appears? I see that on my MacBook, but I don’t see it on any of the videos showing iMacs dual booting.

  20. Managed Dedicated Servers says:

    How does it run? The speeds how do games or video fare on this laptop?

  21. Bhaidaya says:

    Werd! Thanks for the post. I’m UP! Or Down! (depends on which social circle is reading this)

  22. Niranjan Kunwar says:

    yes, the question mark appeared before the apple logo but it’s gone after installing the Chipset driver.

  23. Joel says:

    I have put osX on my IBM Thinkpad r40.

  24. House says:

    Has anyone tried to install the new 10.4.6 on their Macs that are now running Windows as dual boot?

    does windows still work after the update?

  25. shpilman says:

    Jeg hilser til klovnen. Jeg liker klovner veldig godt! Jeg har vrt p sirkus og sett klovner.

  26. Hans Woehlck says:

    so, since itunes uses your ethernet MAC address for authentication/machine identification, does your dual boot macbook pro count as one or two computers?

  27. Your blog is interesting and informative. Thank you

  28. david says:

    Pretty neat solution I agree, though there is a better one. I’ve been using the Parallels virtualization solution since beta’s now on beta3 and I have to say… I think it knocks the Bootcamp solution into a distant second. I’ve got two virtual machines on it- both performing flawlessly on on my MacBook- and with Beta 3 fedora core 5 is stable too. I’ve posted some pics on my blog at – the performance is near enough native speed- if I had to guess I’d say as fast as my old Toshiba Centrino @ 1.4ghz, if not a little bit faster. The beta testing process seems to be very feedback orientated, with a new beta appearing regularly.

    There promising the ability to run the virtual machines in full screen, as well as have multiple machines open. Machines fire up in under 20secs (a little longer for fedora- what with it running through all its startup gubbins). Once machine is up and running both it and OS X run smoothly. It’s only $39.99 (with vat its around £34gbp) and with the companies forward focus and constant inovation and improvement I think this product will only get better and better.. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  29. idiot says:

    This 17′ Macbook Pro is out! It has better resolution. I think it will work even better with Vista.

  30. Wow, this is very cool!

    I definetly have to try this when I get my Mac book pro!

  31. sinistral says:

    Has someone found other drivers for the macbook intel ?
    like the webcam or Video Controller Driver

    thanks & bst rgds

  32. Paul M says:

    I just came upon this site while I was trying to partition my mac. Very Thorough, thanks!

  33. Adrian says:

    Hey! I am going to buy a mac book i think is good enough but i just wanted to know about the games, if a create the partition in my hard drive i could play the games without a problem using windows? the performance of the computer changes too much using either of the OS??

  34. Roger says:

    This is a great step to setting up a machine to cover all bases, thanks for the great info.

    I like Mac’s because of the security, photo editing speed, etc but since most applications I work it, since my career is in IT, I need to be able to work with Windows. Having a dual boot Mac is the ultimate setup in my opinion. I foresee a MacBook in the near future rather than a new PC based IBM or whatever.

  35. Muju says:

    Hello guys i would like ask u question one thing. Can i boot to window on my laptop is ibook g4.
    it is cpu speed is 1.3 and memory is 512mb and 40 gb. Do u think my laptop going work??

  36. russcal says:

    can you also dual boot xp and osx in macbook? not the pro one. because it also has intel right.

  37. Muju:
    you cannot boot windows in G4 natively, but can install windows on the Virtual PC inside OS X (this would be very slow although).

    yes, you can dual boot xp and osx on macbooks too! now the there’s Bootcamp from Apple!

  38. Brian says:

    Help…..I installed boot camp and tried to install Win xp Pro on it and i get to the
    point where it wants me to hint “Enter Key” to continue installing, Key obard dose not respond.
    Tried to use USB Keyboard it still dose the samething. The worset part is that when i boot it it looks for the CD and wants it to install i could not even go back to the MAC OX 10.4.7 to boot up.

    appreciate the help

12 Pings/Trackbacks for "WinXP and OSX dual boot in MacBook Pro"
  1. […] If you’ve made the move to Mac recently, but still miss windows for some reason, here are some instructions on dual booting both operating systems on a MacBook Pro. This was not possible until last week, so you’re likely to be the first kid on the block able to do this. (via) […]

  2. […] After installing Windows XP in MacBook Pro and having received tons of comments and emails from the readers I’m just wondering what’s next? For users, for Apple and for Microsoft. Being able to dual or even tri-boot intel Macs (actually any single hardware) would be a bliss. Imagine having seamlessly, legally and with full support booting a single machine with OSX, Windows and Linux. I don’t think normal home users would be excited about this for now but this would be a nirvana for majority of geeks. For Windows users (like me), they can easily see and try for themselves what’s it that makes the Mac users so religious about their OS. And if they can find this X factor that hooks the Mac users then this might even trigger a mass migration from windows to Macs. […]

  3. […] This blog has some great pictures as well as step by step process on installing Windows OS X on a MacBook Pro (if you feel so inclined.) I have for the longest time thought this would be a great idea, and I still do, but lately I have been thinking about the cost of the hardware. I could get a more powerful laptop for a $1000 less, and install XP and Linux on that. I have been leaning toward Linux recently since it is basically free (other than time invested.) But, I have to admit, if funds permitted, I would get a MacBook Pro and triple boot that bad boy. The blog has some great links that go into drivers as well as other software projects that are already sprouting up around the installation of Windows on Mac hardware. Who would have thought this would ever happen. I never could have thought it. […]

  4. […] How to really do evil to your nice and shiny MacBook? Make it dual-boot Windows XP. Ungh […]

  5. […] WinXP and OSX dual boot in MacBook Pro Vía: TUAW […]

  6. […] Recently I’m getting pretty obsessive with apple. Reading all forms of news and apple related blogs. For the past few weeks most of my Internet reading is related to apple. After my first encounter with macbook pro, then Installing XP on Mac and now with the release of Boot Camp, it looks like Apple is everywhere… […]

  7. […] After monkeying enough with the new MacBook Pro; Installing Win XP and opening it to take out the stuck DVD, we’ve finally settled with Boot Camp (not sure for how long ). Actually I really wanted to try the Mac OS X but due to the MacOnXp and Boot Camp thing the MacBook Pro was hanging around with me and my boss like a pendulum. So, now we’ve settled down and I’ll have one week of uninterrupted Mac OS X environment. I will not use any Windows for a week to see whether I can live without it. If I find it worth I’ll buy a MacBook Pro for myself and will join the club of switchers. BTW, this switcher’s blog is very interesting and I’ll also share my Mac experience here. […]

  8. […] I downloaded the patch and followed the instructions. It’s quite easy to install. I’ve posted the photos of major installation sequence and some problems I more | digg story […]

  9. […] I downloaded the patch and followed the instructions. It’s quite easy to install. I’ve posted the photos of major installation sequence and some problems I more | digg story […]

  10. […] Page Summary: Getting Things Done is about getting organized and freeing your mind for more important stuffs. I think most of the minor problems will be solved soon. Also, a lot of companies require certain software on the laptops, aka windows only. The blog has some great links that go into drivers as well as other software projects that are already sprouting up around the installation of Windows on Mac more | digg story              […]

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