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Dual Boot Win7 And Snow Leopard

#1 User is offline   AxeluteZero 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 01:12 PM

Hello.

I've been scourging the internet trying to figure out an easy way to dual-boot Windows 7 and Snow Leopard on an Intel-based Dell laptop (a Studio XPS 16). I'm no computer genius but I've reformatted drives before and done some very basic command prompting...

Is it possible to do so, and will it affect my computer's BIOS or cause hardware problems in any way? I plan on starting from scratch (IE formatting the hard drive completely and using two separate partitions). Also, can it be done using a Snow Leopard upgrade CD...? I don't have an actual copy of Snow Leopard, so I'd have to purchase an upgrade disc and use that, correct?

BTW, I currently have Vista Home Premium SP 2 (64 bit) and would be upgrading to Windows 7 HP 64 bit.

Thanks for the advice!
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#2 User is offline   lutra 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 03:09 PM

View PostAxeluteZero, on 16 October 2009 - 01:12 PM, said:

Hello.

I've been scourging the internet trying to figure out an easy way to dual-boot Windows 7 and Snow Leopard on an Intel-based Dell laptop (a Studio XPS 16). I'm no computer genius but I've reformatted drives before and done some very basic command prompting...

Is it possible to do so, and will it affect my computer's BIOS or cause hardware problems in any way? I plan on starting from scratch (IE formatting the hard drive completely and using two separate partitions). Also, can it be done using a Snow Leopard upgrade CD...? I don't have an actual copy of Snow Leopard, so I'd have to purchase an upgrade disc and use that, correct?

BTW, I currently have Vista Home Premium SP 2 (64 bit) and would be upgrading to Windows 7 HP 64 bit.

Thanks for the advice!


There is absolutely no ill effects form dual booting on a system other than diminished disk space (obviously). Other than that, your system will work exactly the same as it was. You can even have six operating systems on a single computer as long as you have the space to run them all.

Now to get to the part where we determine if it's possible. Windows is good about supporting all types of hardware, in fact it works with most of the computers out there. Apple, however, has always limted their support for hardware in fear of loss profits by people building their own systemsm. So OSX is where you're going to have the problem. Your system is intel based, so that's a good sign. But it has to have the right chipset too and sometimes takes tweaking to get working correctly.

Now, if you want to get Snow Leopard on your computer, the only way to do it is to load Leopard, then upgrate it to Snow Leopard. The upgrade disk is just like a Windows 7 upgrade disk, it will not install unless the previous version is on there. So, again, you will have to buy both Leopard and Snow Leopard.

The other option that you have is to use something like VMWare or VirtualBox to run a virtual version of Snow Leopard. Now, when you virtualize an OS it will not run exactly as well as just booting up the OS, but it's pretty good. I do it from time to time with Linux. Now, you can get these virtual operating systems (called appliances) through downloads, though any free downloads of Windwos or Snow Leopard, though they work, are an infringement of copyright. However, legally obtained disks can be made into virtual appliances.
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#3 User is offline   techie4fun 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 03:12 PM

View PostAxeluteZero, on 16 October 2009 - 01:12 PM, said:

Hello.

Intel-based Dell laptop (a Studio XPS 16).



I'm not sure if that's legal (if it's illegal, it can't be discussed on the forums). I'll let Smax, our mac guru, answer this.

Quote

Is it possible to do so, and will it affect my computer's BIOS or cause hardware problems in any way?
I don't know of any problems that could result from this. There shouldn't be a problem..

An upgrade CD? This will be tough! You need an actual copy of Leopard for the install to go properly.

This post has been edited by techie4fun: 16 October 2009 - 03:13 PM

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#4 User is offline   KStrawn 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 03:13 PM

View PostAxeluteZero, on 16 October 2009 - 01:12 PM, said:

Hello.

I've been scourging the internet trying to figure out an easy way to dual-boot Windows 7 and Snow Leopard on an Intel-based Dell laptop (a Studio XPS 16). I'm no computer genius but I've reformatted drives before and done some very basic command prompting...

Is it possible to do so, and will it affect my computer's BIOS or cause hardware problems in any way? I plan on starting from scratch (IE formatting the hard drive completely and using two separate partitions). Also, can it be done using a Snow Leopard upgrade CD...? I don't have an actual copy of Snow Leopard, so I'd have to purchase an upgrade disc and use that, correct?

BTW, I currently have Vista Home Premium SP 2 (64 bit) and would be upgrading to Windows 7 HP 64 bit.

Thanks for the advice!


I think the Mac OS is really a bad way to go. It is basically crippleware when it comes to hardware support. And that's because of cr@pple's stupidity to integrate Mac Exclusivity into the license agreement.
Best regards,

-Kenny Strawn
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#5 User is offline   techie4fun 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 03:19 PM

Quote


I think the Mac OS is really a bad way to go. It is basically crippleware when it comes to hardware support. And that's because of cr@pple's stupidity to integrate Mac Exclusivity into the license agreement.


This is your opinion, not his.

This post has been edited by rgreen4: 17 October 2009 - 07:23 PM
Reason for edit: fixed quotes

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#6 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 03:59 PM

View Postlutra, on 16 October 2009 - 03:09 PM, said:



Now, if you want to get Snow Leopard on your computer, the only way to do it is to load Leopard, then upgrate it to Snow Leopard. The upgrade disk is just like a Windows 7 upgrade disk, it will not install unless the previous version is on there. So, again, you will have to buy both Leopard and Snow Leopard.




To my knowledge, this is not true. All previous versions of the Mac OS have allowed you to do a "clean install". While I have not upgraded to Snow Leopard myself, I would assume it is the same (and that is consistent with what I have heard about it). Thus, you should be able to install Snow Leopard just fine without Leopard needing to be installed. FWIW, this is precisely what I did when I installed/upgraded to Leopard on my MBP...I installed Leopard on a new hard drive (I was also upgrading the hard drive) so technically the installer had no clue that I had Tiger installed.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#7 User is offline   lutra 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 04:15 PM

View Postsmax013, on 16 October 2009 - 03:59 PM, said:

View Postlutra, on 16 October 2009 - 03:09 PM, said:



Now, if you want to get Snow Leopard on your computer, the only way to do it is to load Leopard, then upgrate it to Snow Leopard. The upgrade disk is just like a Windows 7 upgrade disk, it will not install unless the previous version is on there. So, again, you will have to buy both Leopard and Snow Leopard.




To my knowledge, this is not true. All previous versions of the Mac OS have allowed you to do a "clean install". While I have not upgraded to Snow Leopard myself, I would assume it is the same (and that is consistent with what I have heard about it). Thus, you should be able to install Snow Leopard just fine without Leopard needing to be installed. FWIW, this is precisely what I did when I installed/upgraded to Leopard on my MBP...I installed Leopard on a new hard drive (I was also upgrading the hard drive) so technically the installer had no clue that I had Tiger installed.


Ah, then I was mistaken. Everything I have seen has always said it upgrades from Leopard, including Apple's site itself. I just assumed it was only an upgrade disk unless you did something shady.
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#8 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 04:19 PM

View Posttechie4fun, on 16 October 2009 - 03:12 PM, said:


I'm not sure if that's legal (if it's illegal, it can't be discussed on the forums). I'll let Smax, our mac guru, answer this.



It is unclear if this is "legal" or not.

Per the Apple EULA, ALL "retail" versions of the Mac OS are technically "upgrade" licenses. This means that you technically need to have a previous license. And since the only way to get a "new" license is to purchase Apple hardware, it can be claimed that you are violating the EULA by installing the OS on non-Apple hardware.

Plus, it specifically states in the EULA that the Mac OS must be installed on Apple hardware.

Now, it is not clear if these provisions are enforceable on end users. This is kind of what the Psystar case is about, although even if Psystar wins (which from just about any "neutral" legal analysis that I have seen is highly unlikely) or loses, the ruling likely will not apply directly to an "end user" purchasing the Mac OS and installing on their own hardware (Psystar is NOT an "end user").

As such, it not necessarily against the forum rules to discuss...but it is not something that I personally am inclined to assist with. If someone wants to try it, then I will wish them well, but not assist. All I will say is that if you are REALLY inclined to try to install the Mac OS on non-Apple hardware (such as a Dell laptop), then it can be done typically and doing some searching on Google will likely lead you to instructions on how to do it. I will say that it is NOT necessarily an "easy" thing to do. Thus, if you are a little "technically challenged", then you might have trouble doing it.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#9 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 04:28 PM

View Postlutra, on 16 October 2009 - 04:15 PM, said:

Ah, then I was mistaken. Everything I have seen has always said it upgrades from Leopard, including Apple's site itself. I just assumed it was only an upgrade disk unless you did something shady.


It is technically an "upgrade" disk (i.e. you technically need to own license for the Mac OS by way of a previous version), but it does not need to "detect" the old version of the Mac OS to install.

Unlike Microsoft, Apple does not really employ "authentication/activation" stuff...at least not in the same sense that Microsoft does. There are two basic issues that prevent the Mac OS from installing on non-Apple hardware by default...1) the fact the Mac use EFI rather than BIOS and 2) I believe Macs still have a hardware specific ROM included that the Mac OS looks for. Thus, to install the Mac OS on non-Apple hardware, you have to deal with the EFI issue and somehow trick the Mac OS about the lack of an Apple ROM (which is nominally Apple's "copy protection" stuff that is nominally serves a similar purpose to Microsoft's activation stuff). The point is that if you have Apple hardware, then it came with a version of the Mac OS and thus the whole "copy protection" stuff is not an issue and it is "known" that you are "upgrading" even if you currently do not have the Mac OS installed on that Mac.

Now, to be fair, you can also do "clean installs" with Windows upgrade disks as well (this is again what I did with Vista and plan to do with Windows 7 when my upgrade comes in the next week or so...unless they changed their policy for Win7). It is just more of a pain in the rear to do than with the Mac OS.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#10 User is offline   AxeluteZero 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 06:28 PM

Wow, didn't expect such great replies! :)

Ok. I've pretty much come to a decision... I think I'll end up buying a low-end (used) Mac rather than dual-booting. It'll save me some HDD space in the long run and it's not 100% essential that I get OS X running, it was simply a matter of convenience.

Thank you for your replies!
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#11 User is offline   KStrawn 

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 07:32 PM

View PostAxeluteZero, on 16 October 2009 - 06:28 PM, said:

Wow, didn't expect such great replies! :)

Ok. I've pretty much come to a decision... I think I'll end up buying a low-end (used) Mac rather than dual-booting. It'll save me some HDD space in the long run and it's not 100% essential that I get OS X running, it was simply a matter of convenience.

Thank you for your replies!


Excellent choice! By buying a refurbished Mac and upgrading it you can save yourself plenty of $$$! Macs are only expensive when new. By buying an old one that runs Leopard and upgrading it to Snow Leopard you've just bypassed Apple's money cap. That's because once a new Mac OS comes out it becomes of popular demand and the old OS gets flushed down the popularity toilet. Therefore, taking a refurbished Leopard Mac and upgrading it will save you a thousand dollars or more.

Another word of advice: Since Macs are Intel-based (most of them) nowadays, you can also run Windows 7 on the Macs. The only thing you can't do as of yet is run a Mac OS on a PC. You can, however, run Windows on a Mac.

This post has been edited by KStrawn: 16 October 2009 - 07:36 PM

Best regards,

-Kenny Strawn
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#12 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 04:01 PM

View PostAxeluteZero, on 16 October 2009 - 06:28 PM, said:

Wow, didn't expect such great replies! :)

Ok. I've pretty much come to a decision... I think I'll end up buying a low-end (used) Mac rather than dual-booting. It'll save me some HDD space in the long run and it's not 100% essential that I get OS X running, it was simply a matter of convenience.

Thank you for your replies!


This is certainly a potentially good option. You might also check out refurbished Macs on Apple's site (the advantage is that you will get the one year Apple warranty...and can purchase the extended warranty if you are so inclined).

One key thing to keep in mind...if you do go this route, if you want to either dual boot Windows or run Windows in a virtual machine environment, make sure the used Mac is an Intel based Mac. Older PowerPC Macs will not be able to dual boot with Windows...they can use an emulator to run Windows (note: an emulator and virtual machine environment are TWO completely different animals), but it is typically EXTREMELY slow to go that route.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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