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  1. #1

    Lightbulb MacOS, WinXP, Vista, Linux on MacBookPro. With Grub Hiding -- How?

    First off, to give you an idea where I'm coming from, I'm running dual independent WinXP installs using Grub hiding, plus linux distros on my desktop right now.
    HowTo: Multiple, Independent WinXP Installs on the Same HardDrive via Grub

    I really like Grub's hiding option as I can quarantine my dual WinXP installs and prevent them from messing up each other. One install is used for uni work and the family, the other is my sandbox if you will.

    Getting in a MacBook Pro though, and thanks to EFI no longer can I just let Grub run the show.

    A loose I idea of the hard drive setup I'd like, in Linux nomenclature. 250GB Scorpio or Spinpoint M, should be enough room.
    hda1 - MacOS 30GB
    hda2 - WinXP 30GB \___ on the fly partition hiding between these two (see link if I'm not clear)
    hda3 - Vista 32GB /
    hda5 - Linux Swap 3GB
    hda6 - Universial Fat32 Partition 500MB-- small partition for univeral bits like Firefox profile
    hda7 - Linux 15GB
    hda8 - Linux 12GB

    Virtual installs via VMWare Fusion in OSX:
    hda9 - WinXP 25GB, Vista 27GB, Linux 15GB = 67GB

    Remaining space used as universal Fat32 Storage partition:
    hda10 40GB or so of universally accessed Fat32 storage
    (may just combine hda9 and hda10 though)

    I would love to add a WinXP sandbox to the list, but as you can see there isn't a primary partition available for it. Not sure if anyone here knows how to run WinXP on a logical or if it can even be done.

    Well, can it be done? My desktop is pretty easy. Just install WinXP, hiding it via Grub or via cfdisk (and chaning the partition type to hiddenNTFS) and then installing WinXP again on the second partition. But this MacBook Pro config looks like it's going to be on a whole new level.

    My hunch is I could use BootCamp with two options, MacOSX or Grub, and then upon selecting the Grub option, I can select from the list of WinOSes and Linuxes avaiable.

    Any insight?



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    Dual,independant WinXP installs via Grub hiding, VectorLinux 5.1.1SOHO, 5.8SOHO.

  2. #2


    It can be done.

    rEFIt - Myths and Facts About Intel Macs
    For triple-booting you’ll get only one item in the built-in chooser, but you can use GRUB, LILO, or NTLDR to act as a second-level menu to choose between Windows and Linux.
    Just how to do it is the question now.

  3. #3
    Banned jan1024188's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Well, I never tryed that on Mac so I dont know how to manage to configure bootcamp to open GRUB.

    About partitions.
    Leave Mac OS X partition as primary, but on other disk space make an huge extended partition.

    In that extended partition make all partitions you need (logical) (for XP, Vista, and Linux).

    BTW> I have 2gb of RAM so I dont have swap partition at all.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    You can install WinXP and Vista on an extended partition?! Didn't know that you could. I kept getting mulitple no-you-can'ts when setting up my dual, indi XP desktop config. If WinOS will install to a logical, why use it instead of primary? It would give the option of a XP sandbox though.

    Hum, my MBP has the default 2GB too. Actually thinking about going 4GB as I'll be running OSX with 512MB VMs of WinXP, Linux, and as needed Vista, so only 512MB-1GB for OSX. Let's say though I'm running Linux natively with 2GB, sans swap, what would happen if I did some computer graphics deal that filled up the 2GB ram?

    Thanks mate.

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Juan Pablo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    No, Windows XP can't live on an extender partition, it doesn't even like be in another partition that is not the first one.
    Always install XP on a primary partition
    Put your hand in an oven for a minute and it will be like an hour, sit beside a beautiful woman for an hour and it will be like a minute, that is relativity. --Albert Einstein
    Linux User #425940

    Don't PM me with questions, instead post in the forums

  7. #6
    Yeah. Hum, jan1024188 have you ever been able to put WinOS on a logical yourself?

  8. #7
    Banned jan1024188's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I had an NTFS partition as Logical but never WinOS...

    Sorry if I provided wrong information

  9. #8


    Sure, NTFS is used on logicals all the time. WinOS installation is another matter however. (;

    Even more of a bummer as I have less primary partitions than I thought I did thanks to that loathsome EFI.

    $diskutil list
    #: type name size identifier
    0: GUID_partition_scheme *111.8 GB disk0
    1: EFI 200.0 MB disk0s1
    2: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD 111.5 GB disk0s2

    Fears substantiated here.

    I'm not too sure what I'm looking at here. Are three primaries in use? That's what it looks like to me. If so, all these people running WinOS on their MacBooks are using a 4th primary aka no extended?!

    Am I just confused, or is there indeed only two choices -- another primary for windows, or an extended? Hum, maybe I could make that EFI 200MB partition a logical..



  10. #9
    Here's a link dealing with refit. Confirms the EFI partition => one less primary to work with. Maybe someday EFI will catch on and the number of primary partitions will cease to be an issue for some time to come, but right now it's awfully annoying...

    Installation on MacBook - openSUSE


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