Print 43 comment(s) - last by kelmon.. on Mar 20 at 2:41 AM

The contest is now officially over

So it's official. A programmer named Blanka was able to get past all of the EFI issues and has provided a working solution to natively run Windows XP on an a Mac. The programmer can now claim the $13,854 prize thanks to his video of the installation and booting of Microsoft's ubiquitous OS on an Intel-based iMac. posted this on its site:

Contest has been won - updates to follow shortly. All further donations will go into an account to sustain the open source project that will be launched with the initial solution.

You can head on over to Engadget to see a 7.7MB video of Windows XP on a Mac.

For those of you unfamiliar with the contest, here were the rules for $13k prize:
  1. Instructions must boot Windows XP (at least), not Vista or any other version of Windows.
  2. Windows must be able to coexist with Mac OS X and each system may not interfere with the operation of the other (basically a traditional dual boot system where one OS is running at a time)
  3. Your method, upon starting the computer, must offer the user to boot either OS X or Windows XP (hint: GRUB / LILO)
Update 03/16/2006: OnMac has now posted the solution and have included a few mirrors to handle all of the traffic. Included is a bootloader and a "how to" guide in zip format.

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By nordicpc on 3/16/06, Rating: 0
By NFS4 on 3/16/2006 9:55:28 AM , Rating: 1
You need Quicktime or Quicktime Alternative

By nordicpc on 3/16/2006 10:24:12 AM , Rating: 2
I'm on a Mac.


By Deadalus on 3/16/2006 11:21:40 AM , Rating: 4
You're on a Mac and you can't view a quicktime video? Are you joking?

By nordicpc on 3/16/2006 12:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I was. All I get is the lovely Q in the middle of the window. Must be a Safari thing.

By Bull Dog on 3/16/2006 1:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
Just give it a few minutes to load

By Souka on 3/16/2006 5:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
I can't play the video either. I downloaded it, opened with Quicktime 6.5.2.

"Quicktime cannto play video because necessary componets are missing and components cannot be found on Quicktime website" well, message went something like that....

I'm on WinXP btw...

By Clauzii on 3/18/2006 12:28:25 AM , Rating: 2
Update your QT to 7.0+

By Clauzii on 3/18/2006 12:34:40 AM , Rating: 2
And deselect possible QT codecs in other installed codecpacks U might have.

By Rampage on 3/18/2006 5:09:43 PM , Rating: 2

By ksherman on 3/16/2006 10:13:15 AM , Rating: 2
Now the question: How easy is it for us to do?

RE: next
By kelmon on 3/16/2006 11:57:55 AM , Rating: 3
Indeed. Proving that it works and actually doing it yourself are 2 entirely different things. However, given that about 9 people were able to do it themselves on various Intel-based Macs in about a day does bode pretty well. My outstanding questions run pretty much as follows:

1. How big a risk is this? Should problems be encountered is it possible to just go back to the factory defaults or will my Mac be FUBAR?

2. While not an issue with an iMac or Mac Mini that always need to have mouse plugged in, can I right-click in XP using a single button MacBook Pro's trackpad? Plugging in a standard mouse isn't usually an issue but it'd be handy to be able to Control-Click to achieve the same result if a mouse isn't convenient at that time.

3. How many partitions am I going to need to enable OS X and XP to share data? OS X resides in a HFS+ partition that Windows cannot read, XP should reside in an NTFS partition that (I think) OS X cannot read, so a 3rd FAT32 partition?

A couple of additional points that have been noted:

1. The solution author notes in his Flickr comments to questions posted that, at present, XP is running without hardware video acceleration as the current ATI drivers don't work. So, right now, that rules gaming out for the Intel Mac's under Windows XP but he's hopeful that this situation will change soon.

2. A poster in the Macrumors forums claims to have been one of the testers and noted that he wasn't able to get the solution to work on a 20" iMac. It's hard to verify if this is true but is worth bearing in mind when the solution is officially posted for others to try.

Overall, however, I'm happy with the news. When I finally get my MacBook Pro later this year I should be able finally dispose of my old Pentium 4 system that is falling to pieces and play Dawn of War on my laptop. Fantastic.

RE: next
By slashbinslashbash on 3/16/2006 2:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
OSX can easily read/write from NTFS drives. I've got a 12" PowerBook G4. I was shocked when I plugged in an NTFS-formatted USB2.0 external hard drive and it just worked. I only needed to copy some stuff from the drive to my Mac, so I didn't test the writability of it, but I have friends who have told me that it works just fine.

RE: next
By kelmon on 3/16/2006 3:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
Cool. I connect quite often to PCs using SMB but have never attempted to read/write to a NTFS formatted drive. Thanks for the news.

RE: next
By Deadalus on 3/17/2006 7:51:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure you can only read but not write to NTFS drives. At least I could never do so with my external firewire drive.

RE: next
By abakshi on 3/17/2006 8:57:18 AM , Rating: 2
OS X can read from NTFS drives.

The newest versions can sometimes write to NTFS volumes, but apparently it's not a very safe system to work with (I've heard from people who have lost drives full of data from a messed up OS X NTFS write operation).

RE: next
By Zoomer on 3/17/2006 9:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
Can one see/copy files to/move files on the Mac OS X partition when booted to Windows and vice versa?

Unfortunately, Windows is only able to read/write to FAT, FAT32, and NTFS filesystems. OSX 10.4 Tiger is able to read and write to FAT32 filesystems natively as well as HFS, UNIX, etc, however it can only mount NTFS filesystems as read-only. Windows can however read/write to HFS+ volumes with 3rd parts apps such as MacDrive. More info at:

RE: next
By kelmon on 3/20/2006 2:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
That's pretty good news. I would spend most of my time using OS X and only boot Windows when necessary so it is unlikely that OS X will need any of the data stored in the Windows partition but quite likely that XP will need access to my OS X data files. I'll definitely check out MacDrive when the time comes.

Thanks for the info!

By rqle on 3/16/2006 10:20:40 AM , Rating: 2
I like it the other way around. OSx on PC hardware. Does that exist?

RE: gg
By nordicpc on 3/16/2006 10:25:16 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but there are only 2 motherboards that Intel makes with EFI. So you kind of have to build your own Mac.

RE: gg
By StuckMojo on 3/16/2006 10:26:14 AM , Rating: 2

Yup. Google for it and you'll find some forums and such with patches to make it run on various hardware combinations. There's forums sites dedicated to just that.

RE: gg
By ksherman on 3/16/2006 10:52:16 AM , Rating: 2
Google: "OSx86" and that will get you to the best site around for that kinda stuff... I have it running on my AMD machine... unfortunately, they still dont have any drivers nVidia video Cards... of course, the nForce chipsets are not supported very well... but it does bot and work!

RE: gg
By AnaxagorasZeres on 3/16/2006 11:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
Googling 'maxxuss' would be more useful.

And then you have to either buy a Mac so you can get the Intellized version of Panther, or you need to grab a torrent. I'm assuming most people who're running OSx86 stole it.

RE: gg
By AnaxagorasZeres on 3/16/2006 11:47:05 AM , Rating: 2
Dammit, I meant the x86 version of Tiger . I put Panther because I haven't upgraded yet.

RE: gg
By BladeVenom on 3/16/2006 6:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but Apple has been having their lawyers shutdown websites that show you how to do it.

By JustAnAverageGuy on 3/16/2006 4:04:07 PM , Rating: 3
I love how the guy managed to crack/get around the x86\Intel\Mac\EFI protection, yet somehow doesn't know how to use a tripod. Camera was shaking so bad. :(

RE: ...
By Milliamp on 3/16/2006 5:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
Was the vid sped up? If so it would explain why it seemed to shakey.

By goku on 3/16/2006 10:06:04 AM , Rating: 2
The guy probably programmed a "virtual bios" by using EFI, he let the bios run as a layer (I think). While this is in a way good news, I don't really see the appeal though to buying a largely unupgradeable machine that is way over priced.

RE: Programming
By Donegrim on 3/16/2006 10:25:08 AM , Rating: 2
ah, but the mac mini core duo is comparable to similar machines recently made for the PC world that actually cost more. Plus being able to dual boot Mac OSX and windows might be worth the cost for some.

By McTwist on 3/16/2006 10:06:08 AM , Rating: 2
Is it possible that he could've gutted Apple's components and replaced them with PC parts?
Either way this is cool.

RE: Crazy/awesome
By Bull Dog on 3/16/2006 10:14:05 AM , Rating: 2

Before you run out and buy an Intel-based Mac...
By Bonrock on 3/16/2006 12:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a quote of the creator of this contest (taken from the Macworld article on this subject):

Nederkoorn notes that with this process in place, all three current Intel-based Mac models can run Windows with the exception of the 20-inch iMac, but he suggests a fix will be ready by the time a download is available. He also offers a variety of caveats — native graphics drivers aren’t in place yet, for example, so there is limited video performance — a blow to Mac gamers who had hoped for a solution that would let them play Windows games on their new Mac hardware.

“There is no chance you could play a game using this solution, aside from minesweeper,” said Nederkoorn. “It looks like a fix for this may be a ways off yet.”

So if you're about to run out and buy a Mac with the intention of dual-booting to Windows for games... You can't (at least yet).

By ksherman on 3/16/2006 3:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
Thats funny to me... That is exactly the reason I hardly ever use the OSx86 drive in my compy was because of Video drivers (for nVidia)... really makes an OS run very slow and severely limits the things you can do...

Interesting, but how functional?
By krill242 on 3/17/2006 4:13:56 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all about the multipurpose hardware in the datacentre these days, its the way to go... so I want the same at home too, of course.

For my music interests and interface experimentation interests, my main sit-down dual-head workstation needs to be able to run my business and be my playtoy at the same time.

Proper hypervisors will negate the need for this idea, but here's a use case for what Apple is selling today, with this EFI/BIOS wrapper wang they came up with.

If I had three OSes on my local disk (or on an otherwise attached LUN), and each of them had a good hibernate function (and drivers that can cope with that state)... you could switch back and forth between OSes with at least keeping local state happy (no good for actual running services or keeping connections up - buy a server).

Would make a portable core duo Mac with a fast disk and a heap of RAM a very versatile investment.

Anyone know when VMWare or Xen will be emulating EFI in their VMs?

RE: Interesting, but how functional?
By kelmon on 3/20/2006 2:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that OS X versions of these products are expected later this year. This should coincide with MacBook Pro time for me when Merom hits the product line and at that point I should be able to evaluate the various options available to me (which should be be i) Dual-Boot, ii) VirtualPC-like emulation, or iii) Virtualization). I have an old Windows XP PC in the house that I keep for playing the odd game and if I REALLY need Windows for a job but given its age, low performance and the space that it takes up I would really like to get rid of it. Since I have been planning to upgrade my PowerBook anyway, being able to run XP (or even Vista) would allow me to kill 2 birds with one stone and that'd be great. The decision on the implementation to use will greatly depend on the convenience/performance ratios of each solution. In real terms I think this is going to come down to whether Virtualization or Emulation solutions will give Windows full access to the video hardware in the laptop, although even that is not possible at the moment for the current Dual Boot solution on the iMac and MacBook Pro.

By Darkwolfind on 3/16/2006 9:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder how he got around the EFI issue. Kinda curious to see if he made a new bios for the machine?

RE: Interesting...
By Wahsapa on 3/16/06, Rating: 0
By albundee on 3/16/2006 12:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
By AggressorPrime on 3/16/2006 4:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
This is sweet. Although I don't use a mac, I always like software mods. Congratz!

The other way around!
By Clauzii on 3/16/06, Rating: 0
RE: The other way around!
By HPTech on 3/17/2006 8:49:50 AM , Rating: 1
Already done.

RE: The other way around!
By Clauzii on 3/18/2006 12:31:10 AM , Rating: 1
Funny - did You throw my Reply away?

Yes, I found out. Thanks...

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