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Pre-Install Questions

What works?

  • Optical Drive
  • Network (Ethernet, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth)
  • Connectivity (USB, Firewire)
  • Sound (via headphone/speaker jack only)
  • MacBook Pro Battery Status (charge level only, not charge/discharge status)

Hint! See the Users/Drivers page for the most up-to-date information.

What doesn't work?

  • iSight
  • Apple Remote
  • Video Drivers (except Mac mini)

Until working video drivers are found, disable hardware acceleration to increase performance

Start -> Control Panel -> Display -> Settings -> Advanced -> Troubleshooting -> move the slider all the way to the left

  • Mac Mini: Bluetooth (Waiting for confirmation)
  • MacBook Pro: Screen brightness adjustment (remembers brightness from last OS X session), Numlock key, Delete key, Keyboard Backlight

Note: there is a workaround for the delete key problem using remapkey.exe. (See Drivers for how to do this.) This is vital should you join your computer to an NT domain or disable the Welcome screen and then want to log back in. Or, you can plug in a USB PC keyboard to get you by in a pinch.

Hint! See the Users/Drivers page for the most up-to-date information.

Is it possible to install Windows onto an external FireWire or USB drive?

Due to limitations of the Windows boot process it is not possible to boot Windows from an external Firewire or USB drive. It is possible to boot Linux from USB like live-CDs (eg. Knoppix) but if you do a search of this topic on the web you will find that this is not the case for Windows although some limited WinPE applications (e.g. Winternals ERD Commander) do boot from a CD.

Will my hardware overheat if I use this patch to install Windows on my Mac?

Some Macbook Pro users have reported that their MacBooks become very hot, but there have been no reports of overheating. One possible cause for excess heat is that the CPU may be working harder without a GPU to offload video-related computation. This will be resolved once an appropriate video driver is identified.

Update: On a MacBook Pro (1.83 GHz), testing with an infrared thermometer has verified that case temperatures running Windows XP under moderate use (browsing, general application use) do not exceed (and are generally lower than) the upper ranges of what the same system running Mac OS X already hits under heavy load (playing 1080HD QuickTime video trailers). For heavy load testing on XP, running two Prime 95 instances with CPU affinity set to fully load both cores (torture test, max heat generation), fans come on and increase speed, resulting in upper temperatures that still do not exceed Mac OS X highs. Will be retesting OSX with CPU-only loading for more even comparison, but the take-home so far is that XP is not causing problematic overheating on a 1.83 MacBook Pro.

Will I be able to play Windows games on my Mac?

Not yet. Working video drivers are not yet available and until that happens graphics hardware acceleration will be unavailable. Hundreds of users are testing different video drivers, so working video drivers will hopefully be found soon.

Although it is not a gaming machine, video drivers are available for the Mac mini.

  • Hint! See the software impressions page for first-hand experiences running games and other applications.

I don't have a Windows PC, can I install this using Mac OS X tools only?

Yes. A solution using mkisofs from fink has been posted on the HOWTO page. It has been tested on both a 17-inch iMac, 20-inch iMac, and a MacBook Pro.

Windows Versions and Editions Compatibility

Arguably, this could work with any version of Windows. In fact, the technique could be retrofitted to previous Windows versions and even Windows Vista. However, since the technique involves editing very specific and core Windows files, it needs to be adapted to each specific version and therefore currently only works on Windows XP Pro. As the patch is improved, expect it to work on additional versions of Windows. At this time there is a workaround to install Windows MCE. See below for specific version information.

Will this work with other editions of Windows XP?

At this time, the patch will only work with Windows XP Professional due to the fact that narf2006 and blanka coded it for SP2 only. In all likelihood, future versions of the patch will accommodate different Windows variants. Information on specific versions of XP is below


A solution to getting XP Home installed is detailed here: Windows-Compatibilty

Media Centre Edition

The problem with Windows MCE 2005 and this patch is, when you slipstream the new files to the first CD, Windows Setup never asks for CD 2 where all the MCE files are stored. This problem has been solved.

There is a modification to narf2006 and blanka's installer that claims to allow a Media Centre Edition 2005 install to proceed if the two CDs are combined onto one DVD for install.

Tablet PC Edition

While currently no updated patch or instructions allows installation of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, expect a future one to use similar techniques as for Media Centre Edition.

Will this work Windows XP SP 0 / SP 1?

You can make your own slipstream CD with NLite (freeware) and add SP2 to your SP1 CD.

I added SP2 to an SP1 CD to create my own slipstream CD. I can confirm that it works and I detailed it as Win XP and Mac OS X dual boot on my MacBook Pro on my blog.

Will this work with Windows XP Upgrade Discs?

Can you install XP pro using XP upgrade on Intel Mac?


You can not use a upgrade CD to load Windows on a Mac because there is no CD eject button during the install.


When you copy the contents of your XP upgrade CD the first thing you must do is change the setupp.inf file to make it think it is a full version CD There is much information on the web about this, I used the setupp.inf file from my full XP home CD (Your Upgrade CD key will not work at this point) Slipstream this set. On the CD make a note what CD this one is, I called mine CD 1 Now copy the entire content of the original XP upgrade CD. Do not change the setupp.inf file leave it as it is found on the CD. Slipstream this version. Write to a CD then label it CD 2 (or what ever you like.) Go through the installation as normal when it gets to the CD key your will not work. Hold the restart button then hold the mouse so the CD will eject. Place the CD 2 in the drive and boot from CD when asked. I hit space bar to make it boot from the CD (after the boot loader) When asked for your CD key use the one provided when you bought XP pro upgrade. The solution is legal only if you do own a previous full copy of windows. It is not legal to change the setupp.inf and use some one else CD key. It is merely a workaround so we can prove that we do own the original full install of Windows. This is the only requirement when installing is that you must own it and not necessarily have it installed!! Why does this work? When you go into the installation and you get up to the point of CD key setup has already copied all the windows files needed to make it think you have a full version of windows installed. When you restart and boot from the CD it will look into the C: drive and it will see the windows and therefore will not prompt you to change the CD it will install smoothly.

Alternate solution (requires an external USB optical drive and the setup disc for an eligible previous version of Windows): Before booting the system, connect your external USB optical drive and insert the setup disc for a supported previous version of Windows. Boot the system from the slipstreamed XP setup disc; when the installer checks for an eligible previous version of Windows to upgrade, it should detect the disc in the external drive (you may have to press Enter once if the installer prompts you for the disc).

Which Windows XP should I use, 32 bit or 64 bit?

32-bit. All the Intel Core / Core Duo processors used to date in the Intel Mac lines are 32-bit processors and do not support 64-bit operating systems as of this writing.

Although I didn't test this with windows, I booted and installed ubuntu for 64-bit PC on my Mac Pro (partial success). The dual Xeon Mac pro definitely is 64-bit.

Installation Questions

On a MacBook Pro, the xom.efi boot screen shows the partition table entries, but says it is erasing the MSDOS partition.

Something like this: mbrupdate: Partition 0: Type EF xxxxx mbrupdate: Partition 1: MSDOS xxxxxx:xxxxxx ERASING!! mbrupdate: Partition 2: Type AF xxxxx

(The same thing happens if MSDOS is partition 2)

It then appears to update the PMBR with a legacy MBR and my MSDOS GPT partition is hidden from Windows, so there is no partition to install on, unless I create one.

Windows XP cannot recognize the partition you selected" problem when installing on iMac 17"

This worked for me when I had the above problem. Solution: I had the same problem with MacBook Pro 2GHz and it was fixed with the above solution. Screenshot

The file copy process stops at 0% and will not continue even after restarting and reloading.

Troubleshooting Questions

After burning the CD I reboot the MacBook Pro and click on the Windows logo. At the top left it says Window Setup and a message shows up that reads: Please insert the disk labelled Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 CD into Drive A: * press ENTER when ready. I am ready but nothing happens. What do I do wrong? I made the CD twice following your directions.

Macdaddybob-this also happened to me. I was trying to use a non-SP2 install CD, which won't work and gives the error message. I ended up downloading SP2 on a PC, and using a program called nLite, which makes slipstreamed install CDs. This makes a SP2 Windows install CD. From there I used xomhelper on the Mac to create a second slipstreamed install CD needed for the install on a MBP. Once this was done, everything worked as advertised. But you definitely need an actual SP2 version of the install CD.

Read-Only of All folders and could not be Changed!

In the Windows XP on my MacBookPro, iMac 17 and Mac mini, I find out that, when I show property of every folder (even new created folder), it told me that it is Read-Only. I could not change it, Buy I can copy files to these folders. And some applications will show error messages because of they do not know the folder just show them Read-Only but in fact it can be modified . Does any one know how to change the property of these folders in windows xp on Intel based Mac? Thank you!!!

Will this work on a 20-inch iMac?

The 20-inch iMac initially suffered from resolution problems. There is an alpha-version for 20" iMac (xom.efi from here), but it is still in testing!

"biosed" reports that pressing F4 and then F7 allows you to change the video mode for the 20-inch iMac. Try to change the resolution to: 640x480x32 and it very well may work. "sim20" on IRC reports and has screens of his 20" with XP installed. "teras" also reported that by installing the alternative xom.efi and by pressing the FKeys, the installation works up to the end.

With both installs that I did it was required that you do the install twice. Using the above settings 640x480x32, the drive is formatted looks like it is installing, but there is no drive letter the first time that you install it partition # 1 and partition # 3 the 2nd partition does not have a drive letter. On the second install all drives have drive letters and will work.

Does the built-in IR Receiver (specifically the Mac Mini) work as a generic USB IR Receiver in Windows?

Not at this time.

Why won't any of the regular Windows video drivers work?

Existing ATI video drivers don't work because they usually hang while doing an I/O probe. The firmware on the ATI video in the Macs is different from the firmware on "normal" ATI PC video cards, thus the drivers get confused. This seems to be the major problem for the moment, but there could also be a conflict with the EFI loader or the video drivers making BIOS calls of some sort (which is unlikely).

Take a look at the Drivers Page from time to time. If there's a video driver for WinXP on a Mac, you'll find it there first.

After selecting the Windows flag and hitting enter, the flag turns upside down and nothing else happens.

Run through the install again, making sure EFI is E:, XP is C:, and OSX is F: Make sure you install to the partition that was created with Disk Utility. Do not delete the partition within the windows install, just install on it and reformat it to NTFS / FAT32. Longer note: if your Windows installation seemed to go fine, and it's only on the reboot that the flag turns upside down, this is a fairly common occurrence. Generally, just reinstalling XP is sufficient to clear the problem (reboot with the CD in, select Windows with the arrow, hit enter then tab, then press any key when prompted by the setup CD). If it's going to work, it doesn't matter what format you choose -- FAT/FAST works fine for most users (and is the preferable option, since OSX can read it), even if it failed the first time. Also, you cannot run the install properly if connected to a DVI or any projector type display on a Mac Mini. If you are and you get the upside down Windows logo try connecting to a "standard" VGA type display.

After I installed Windows on my Mac, the fan now runs non-stop (even in Mac OS X)

If it is a Mac mini and RAM was added, then check that the fan jumper cable was reconnected. It is located inside the Mini at the front of the PCB. The fan will run non-stop unless you reconnect this cable.

Otherwise, you may need to reset the SMU (System Management Unit)

Error: CD hangs at 2nd "2000:0EFE int 13_48" after "Patching succeeded."

This thread is discussing this issue.

The system starts and show the first entries like "2000:0E...." hold down the F6 key and wait until the CD-ROM stops. 20-30 sec. or so... Then press ENTER. Now the system shows you something like patch has applied and start into the blue screen for partitioning Windows.

Post Install Questions

Can I access data on Mac partitions when booted into Windows XP?

Unfortunately, Windows XP is only able to read/write to FAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems. Windows XP cannot read or write data on a Mac partition without extra software such as MacDrive 6.

  • Note: Reports direct from the manufacturer indicate that MacDrive 6.1 works.

Can I access data on Windows partitions when booted into Mac OS X?

Mac OS X can natively read and write data on FAT32 partitions, as well as, HFS, UFS (NEXTStep), etc. The default partition format for Windows XP is NTFS, however, which Mac OS X can natively read but not write. [1]

Can I update OS X to a newer version? / Can you come up with a script that will auto-bless the xom.efi?

Yes, you can. But the system defaults back to the apple boot.efi file. You will have to re-bless the xom.efi file to get dual boot back and anytime you open the StartupDisk Control Panel.

I haven't tested this yet, but you should actually be able to do this the way Clay and I (chrisbw) were testing his attempt at the solution. If you were to create another small HFS partition, put the xom.efi file on it, and bless it, you should be able to hold down option on boot and select either your Mac OS X boot partition, or the small HFS partition with the xom.efi blessing. Only downside to this is that once you boot to the xom.efi partition, you'll still have to go and pick Windows from the xom's boot menu.

How do I get Ctrl-Alt-Delete to work on a MacBook Pro?

There is a workaround for the delete key problem using remapkey.exe. (See Drivers for how to do this.) This is vital should you join your computer to an NT domain or disable the Welcome screen and then want to log back in. Use Apple(windows)-U to access Universal Access and Onscreen Keyboard and click ctrl, alt, and del.

Un-Install Questions

How can I uninstall Windows and revert to Mac OS X only

If this doesn't modify the EFI permanently, then why is it when I remove all partitions and recreate one partition that the Mac OS X Installer tells me that I can't install on this device and the Active Installer Log of OS X Installer Disc states an nvram error with 'efi-boot-device' unknown or not found?

After installing this patch, the Mac will then have two partition tables defined at the same time. A legacy MBR and a GPT. On the Mac, the MBR takes precedence over the GPT. However, under normal circumstances, the MBR does not define any partitions, and instead relinquishes control to the GPT. The Mac OS X installer will only install to a hard disk configured this way. The xom.efi boot loader alters the status quo. It takes the GPT, copies the partition definitions defined there, and creates an MBR which takes control over the GPT. This is needed because the Windows installer is not GPT aware, and will blindly follow the MBR. But under this new scheme, the OSX installer will refuse to install, even though everything else (diskUtil, diskutility, fdisk, pdisk, EFI and OSX themselves) will work fine and will simply follow the layout defined on the MBR. If you need to reinstall your machine to its original settings, simply wipe the partition tables (GPT and MBR) using a command line utility like diskutil and then repartition. Note: To do this with the GUI Disk Utility app during OS X install erase the entire disk before creating the partitions.

Revert to Mac OS X only using the graphical installer

  • Insert the Mac OS X Install DVD
  • Start the Mac and hold down the C key as it boots to boot off the Mac OS X Install DVD
  • Choose your language
  • From the Tools menu, choose Disk Utility
  • On the left-hand side, click on your hard drive
  • On the right-hand side, choose the Partition tab
  • Under Volume Scheme, choose 1 Partition
  • Click on the Options button at the bottom (on some Intel Macs it is not present - see Apple documentation below)
  • Choose GUID Partition Scheme, and press OK
  • Click the Partition button
  • Once complete, exit Disk Utility
  • Continue the installer, and you should be able to install OS X on your hard drive again

(For further information, see this Apple documentation: [2])

Revert to Mac OS X only using command line tools

  • Insert the Mac OS X Install DVD
  • Start the Mac and hold down the C key as it boots to boot off of the Mac OS X Install DVD
  • Choose your language
  • From the Tools menu, choose Terminal
  • Type: diskutil list
  • Find the disk you want to blank and note the device number (it will be something like /dev/disk0 -- in which case you would need to note "disk0" )
  • Type: diskutil zeroDisk disk0
  • Wait while the disk is zeroed.
  • Once done, quit Terminal, then quit Installer
  • As soon as the display goes dark, hold the cmd-opt-P-R keys, to reset the nvram
  • The Mac will chime again, and hold the C key again to boot off of the Mac OS X Install DVD
  • Choose your language
  • From the Tools menu, choose Disk Utility
  • Use Disk Utility to re-create a single partition disk

Other Questions

Can I install and boot a single full partition of Windows XP without Mac OS X on the drive? And How?

Is it legal to download the official

Yes, but a premade installation CD of Windows XP SP2 is not legal to redistribute.

Is it legal to mirror it on my server?

We have ample bandwidth to host files, and will be updating the install files frequently. The best place to get the latest files will be

Why when in Windows on Mac Mini Solo does it just freeze and restart when installing a program from a CD?

I'm currently working on this issue right now. -Colin

Does this adversely affect warranty and/or technical support including extended Apple Care?

At current time, not fully investigated. But as the changes made are purely software based then there should be no problems. Except that those at Apple Care will not assist with any XP related problems and if the computer is ever sent of. It is most likely that they will refuse to fix it unless OS X is installed on it.

What is the official response from Apple and Microsoft?

Up to April 05, 2006, there was no response from either Apple or Microsoft.

However, Apple has recently released a program called Boot Camp which will allow users to dual boot into either the forthcoming OSX "Leopard" or Windows XP.

More information can be found on Apple's website:

Is there a way to automatically boot osx, but after restart being able to choose either xp or osx?

Is there a way to install windows xp without erasing the existing osx partition?

This can be done using the beta version of iPartition from Coriolis Systems. If you purchase the software you will receive a download link that includes the link for the beta universal version. You cannot run iPartition directly on the computer that you will be installing Windows on because it cannot shrink the parition from the booted hard drive. If you have 2 Macs, connect the one that you want to install Windows on to the other in firewire mode. Run iPartition and you can then shrink the OS X partition via firewire. Once you have done this, create an MS-DOS partition in the free space. During the Windows install choose this free space and create a partition.

A new, and much easier way to do this, is to use Apple's new BootCamp software. Find it at