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 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!

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