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Dual-booting OS X & Windows XP – Limited to 10.6 Snow Leopard?

2214 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 5, 2012 12:48 PM by dalinian RSS
dalinian Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Oct 31, 2012 3:48 AM

I have an October 2008 vintage MacBook Pro 17-inch*, which will shortly be revitalised with an OCZ Vertex 4 512GB solid state drive, and with the boost in available disc space, I’m exploring options for dual-booting OS X and Windows.


* Model ID: MacBookPro 4,1 – Order No: MB766LL/A – Mfg. Part No: A1261 – full spec at EveryMac:

» 7-early-2008-penryn-specs.html


I have installation discs for:

• Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

• Windows XP Home Edition SP2


My understanding is that the Boot Camp version in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard will allow me to set up dual-booting between these two OS versions. My natural geek instinct would be to upgrade OS X → 10.7 Lion → 10.8 Mountain Lion, but as I understand it the Boot Camp versions in 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion only support Windows 7.


Q. Does this mean that if a successfully dual-booting ‘10.6 Snow Leopard + Windows XP’ MacBook Pro has its OS X upgraded (→ 10.7 Lion → 10.8 Mountain Lion), it will no longer dual-boot Windows XP?


BTW, I’m aware that I can run a virtualised Windows XP inside Oracle VM VirtualBox under OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion (and other virtualisation software is also available); I’m interested in the reduced-complexity full-throttle option of dual-booting Windows XP.

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), MacBookPro 4,1 – MB766LL/A – A1261
  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 Level 4 (2,735 points)

    To answer your question, I will give you 2 answers.  First off, it is not officially supported, so it may work, but if it doesn't you can't get support from Apple to make it work again.  Now that I have given the official answer, I will give you what I consider to be the "real answer".  I have not done this myself, but I have read from others that they have done just what you are looking to do.  I will add the warning that I have read from others that when they performed the upgrade, it did do something which caused the Boot Camp to stop working, and they could not get it to work again, so it seems to be a crap shoot.  Keep in mind that installing Lion or Mountain Lion wants to put a recovery partition on your boot volume, and Boot Camp only supports a total of 4 partitions on your MBP internal drive, so the EFI, MacOS, MBR, Boot Camp & Recovery partitions gives you too many partitions on the drive.  If you can perform the install without creating the Recovery partition, then you have a much better chance of it all working properly.

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,855 points)

    Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8 can coexist with existing Windows XP and Vista partitions, but cannot be used to create new ones.




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