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This page is outdated and should not be updated further. The content below is preserved purely for historical reasons. As such, any instructions or suggestions on this page may damage your system. Follow them at your own risk.

July 21, 2005 Multibooting Intel based Macs - A Step-by-step (I've added a very breif guide on how to multiboot if you use windows vista, I personally use Vista Ultimate - this edition may or may not be necessary, I'm not sure, I feel this may be a good idea because this method is rather straight forward) By Ross Carlson and Joel Wampler

How to Guide Disclaimer: We have read the NDA from Apple and do not see that this violates it. If we are wrong however someone please let us know and we'll happily remove the following. It is NOT our intention to violate this NDA or to make anyone upset. We are only trying to help others in the community by benefiting from the work we have done.

In this guide we'll take you through installing multiple operating systems on the Intel based Developer Macintosh machine. This guide was put together by Ross Carlson and Joel Wampler to hopefully get you through building a machine that can run every major operating system currently available. This guide takes about 2 hours total. Let's get started...

First there are a few things that you'll need:

  • Decide what OSes you'll install
  • Mac OS X Intel disk (the one that came with the Intel Mac)
  • Windows XP SP1/SP2 CD (if you want XP - we tested with a already SP2'ed disc)(ed: Sp1 CD works too)
  • Windows XP CD Key (obviously, just being safe...)
  • CentOS 4 [] CD's (or your favorite distro - we got kernel panics every time we tried Fedora Core 4 and CentOS worked great) (ed: OPTIONAL IF YOU KNOW HOWTO USE WINGRUB -- SEE REFERENCE)
  • CD Ejection Device (otherwise known as a paper clip - just in case...) (


  • You're going to need a Linux install so you can use its boot loader for your OS selection menu.
  • We had major issues with Fedora Core 4. At first we thought it was an issue with HyperThreading support, and we did a "linux ht=off" at boot. This worked once but never again?!? Joel was also too lazy to make some Slackware CD's with SATA support so we just went with CentOS since we had it handy.
  • Keep the CD Ejection Device handy - Apple thought it was a good idea to remove the button from the DVD drive so the only way to eject a disc if you need to is with the OS or the CD Ejection Device. So if you can't boot into an OS and you want to remove the CD you'll need that...


[edit] Quick Guide

If you're like us and hate reading through pages of crap to get things done here is the quick version of what you'll need to do. We'll explain this step-by-step down below.

  • Boot from the Mac OS X Install DVD
  • Use the Disk Utility within the Installer to delete ALL partitions
  • Use the drop down and select 3 partitions (if you're doing OSX/Windows/Linux) - YOU REALLY ONLY NEED A MAX OF 3!
  • Change the size of the partitions as you desire (make sure to leave room for all your OSes)
  • Set the first and third partition to "free space" - DO NOT FORMAT THEM!
  • Set the second partition to Mac Journeled - name it "OS X" (or what you want)
  • Write the partiton table
  • Exit the Disk Utility
  • Install OS X on the partition you created above (if you have more than 1 disk you did something wrong!)
  • Once OS X is installed and working put in the Windows XP CD and reboot
  • At boot make sure to hit a key so the machine boots from the XP CD
  • Create an NTFS partition on the first empty partition - you'll see the other two - ignore them. The partition you'll create will be called "E:", don't worry...
  • Exit the XP installer (AFTER you've created the partition - DO NOT proceed with setup).
  • Restart XP Setup (remember to press enter on reboot)
  • Now the first partition will be called C: - install to that one - Format NTFS (we recommend quick)
  • Finish installing XP
  • Once XP is installed put in the CentOS 4 disk 1 and reboot (we'll do drivers later...)
  • When the CentOS CD loads press enter to go into setup
  • Choose manual partition - create your partitions (we just did one big / partition and a 1536 swap partition)
  • At the Grub config screen add a choice pointing at "/dev/sda2" called "Mac OS X" - rename the one called "Other" to "Windows XP" (or what you want) - complete the CentOS install
  • Once the CentOS install is complete boot into CentOS
  • using fdisk mark "/dev/sda2" as the bootable partition (make sure to unselect "/dev/sda1")
  • Edit /boot/grub/grub.conf to remove hiddenmenu and timeout (so you can choose)
  • Reboot
  • When CentOS boots hit enter to get the Grub menu. Select the OS you want.
  • Enjoy - think happy thoughts for us :-)

[edit] Full Guide

Ok, so you've read the quick guide now let's take you through that step-by-step and fully explain everything.

[edit] Install OS X (about 20 minutes - Very Fast)

Before rebooting from OS X put the OS X Install DVD in the drive. Reboot. Make sure to watch the machine at reboot so you can hit enter to boot off the install CD - otherwise it will just boot into OS X. Most of this is just like a standard OS X installation. The key issue here is making sure that you partition the disk properly. Basically OS X MUST be on the second partition (from our testing Windows XP MUST be first - correct us if we're wrong). If you're going to triple boot (or more) you'll need at least 3 partitions. If you plan on running OS X, Windows XP, and more than 1 Linux distrobution you still only need 3 partitions here (you can chop up the third one later with Linux). As soon as the installer begins you'll need to load up the "Disk Utility" - by using the "Utilities" menu and choosing "Disk Utility". This will let you select the disk and repartion it as you want. On the left you'll see your drive, mine is a "152.7 GB Maxtor". Highlight this and click "Partition" over on the right. You'll now what to change the "Volume Scheme" to "3 partitions". All three partitions should show as "Untitled 1, Untitled 2, Untitled 3". Select the first and third partitions (seperately) and change the "Format" to "Free Space". Now select the middle partition and make sure it's "Mac OS Extentded (Journaled)". Now set the sizes of the 3 partitions as you want (we did 60GB for Windows - the first partition, 40 GB for Mac - the second partition, and the rest for Linux - the third partition). Partitioning the disk correctly is the most important step so make sure you get this right! Once you've got your partitions sized the way you want click "Partition" in the bottom right corner. You'll get a warning that all data will be destroyed, just click "Partition". Once the partitioning is complete close the "Disk Utility" and return to the installer.

Now that you're back into the OS X install you should see only one drive to install on, at the size you set above. If you see more than one or it's not the size you expected relaunch the Disk Utility and verify everything. DO NOT proceed with this if you're not sure, you'll probably be wasting your time and have to start over later. Once OS X is all installed you can proceed to install Windows XP.

[edit] Install Windows XP: (about 45 minutes)

Before rebooting from OS X put your Windows XP SP2 CD in (we tested with a already SP2'ed CD since we knew that included SATA drivers - if you use the base XP CD and it works just let us know). Once you've got your CD in reboot OS X.

As the machine boots be sure to watch for the "Press any key...." to boot from the XP CD. The XP install will begin as normal. The key thing in the XP install is selecting the right partition to user. You MUST put it on the first partition on the disk. In our case this is the 60GB one right at the beginning of the disk. You will see a drive labeled "C:", this is really the OS X partition - we CAN NOT use that one. What you'll need to do is select the first partition and click "C" (for create) - take the default size for the partition. You'll now be back at the partition table but your first partition will be labeled E: - this is bad, we can't use that. Now you'll need to press F3 to exit the installer. Don't worry, we'll come back here in a minute and the first partition will become C:

Once you've restarted the installer and gotten back to the partition choice make sure that the first partition is labeled C: - if it is you're good to go, if not check your work. Select the C: partition by clicking enter - you'll get a message about another active partition, just ignore this we'll fix this later when we install Linux. Hit enter to proceed. Format the partition (we always use quick) and continue with setup.

When XP boots into the GUI portion of setup at the end you'll be asked about joining a domain. Don't try it, the network driver won't be loaded at that time so you won't be able to. See below for notes on getting the drivers installed for all the hardware - this is just an install guide for the basic OSes...

Once you've got Windows XP installed pop out the CD (you'll need to right click on the drive in Windows Explorer and choose eject) and put the CentOS 4 disc 1 in. While we're sure your favorite distro *might* work (we actually used RedHat Enterprise Linux 4.0 first) - we picked CentOS since we had it around (and again Joel was lazy and didn't make us a Slack CD with SATA support). we'll no doubt run other distros soon... Reboot.

[edit] Install CentOS 4.0 (about 30 minutes)

Now that you're booting from the CentOS 4 disk you can just press enter and go. Proceed with a standard CentOS install but make sure you manually partition the drive (using Disk Druid). When you get there create 2 new partitions - 1 swap partition (we made this 1.5GB - 1536) and 1 partition for the OS (named "/" - we made ours 20 GB - again size these based on what you want to do - we chose 20 GB here leaving 30 GB for later in case we want a 4th or 5th OS).

After you've created your partitions you can continue with the installer. The next important thing is the Grub boot loader configuration. You can do this later but it's definetly easiest to do it here. When you get to this page click on "Add" - the Device is "/dev/sda2" we named it "MacOSX". We also renamed "Other" to "WindowsXP" so it would display nicer. We chose to make "Mac OS X" the default OS, you can choose the one you want. After these changes you can proceed and install CentOS the way you want (selecting your packages, etc).

If you selected something other than CentOS as your default OS make sure to hit enter right at boot time so you can select the right OS. You'll need to boot into CentOS first so you can set your bootable partition to the OS X partition os that OS X will boot correctly. If you try to boot OS X now you'll get Windows XP instead (why we're not sure). We're also going to set it so that you get the menu each time to make things easier. So boot into CentOS now. Finish the CentOS welcome stuff.

[edit] Configure Grub

ed: Please note that you can use WinGrub and not install CentOS. However, you must read the WinGrub User Guide to learn to use it.

If you don't use CentOS, you can keep format the 3rd Partition in Fat32 and share files between Windows and Mac.

Once you're booted in CentOS you'll need to edit a few things. First we'll need to change the bootable partition using fdisk (yes there are other ways, this one is just easy to explain). Once you get booted go to a shell and type:

fdisk /dev/sda (to launch fdisk)
a 1 (to turn off bootable for partition 1)
a 2 (to turn on bootable for partition 2)

Next we need to tell Grub to always show the menu and never time out (this is optional). Make the following changes to the file /boot/grub/menu.lst:

add # in front of:


Save and quit. Reboot and you should have the Grub boot menu to select your OS.

[edit] Selecting Your OS

Now that you've got everything installed you can reboot and choose your OS. The Grub boot menu should come up and let you select your different OS. We've setup a forum on our site at Forums [] and we'll do our best to give you a hand and answer any questions for you.


[edit] Authors

[edit] Driver Installation

Ok, now that you've got your shiny new OSes installed you'll need some drivers. We got everything running great in XP but did have some problems with Audio in CentOS (we wanted to finish this guide so we scratched that for now). We were able to determine that the motherboard is basically a Intel D915GUX [] board (or at least it's VERY close) and since Intel is Linux friendly you can grab pretty much all the drivers from there. Here are some quick links for you:

[edit] General

  • Motherboard (we think - at least very close): - Intel D915GUX []


  • Chipset (Should Work): - Intel D915 or D815
  • Processor: - Intel Pentium 4 (Most Suitable) or AMD Athlon (NOT 64-bit)

[edit] Windows XP

  • Networking: Intel PRO/1000 MT Server Adaptor []
  • Video: Intel 82915G/82910GL Express Chipset Family []
  • Audio: Intel High Definition Audio Controller (Realtek Codec) []
  • Other Device: There is also one of the Trusted Computing chips on the board - Windows Update will install the driver for that...

[edit] Linux

  • Networking: Intel PRO/1000 MT Server Adaptor []
  • Audio: Intel High Definition Audio Controller (Realtek Codec) []

As we said we didn't finish the Audio driver for CentOS - we just haven't had time yet - we'll post a new story if/when we get that all worked out and as we get other OSes installed on this computer. We hope this has been helpful - enjoy!!! . .

[edit] Mac

[edit] Time and timezone setting

Tested with combination of Mac OS X 10.9.4 + Windows 8.1 + Arch Linux

[edit] Mac

Use your setting for time a timezone.

[edit] Windows

Create utc.reg file with content

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation] “RealTimeIsUniversal”=dword:00000001

and execute it.

[edit] Linux

Execute commands as root

set-local-rtc false
timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Berlin

This page was last modified on 31 July 2014, at 16:08.
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