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My exciting Boot Camp experience.


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My exciting Boot Camp experience.
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almost2mac
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
 
2006-07-23, 22:43

Just got my mac (wonder if there's a way to change my userid?) and did Boot Camp today. It certainly does what it says, although I can't imagine my frustration had I not been moderately familiar with computers in general and Windows.

First problem: Bootcamp won't run until it's absolutely sure you've upgraded your firmware. I had upgraded my firmware...it's a new computer and I remember doing it; the fan ran at full speed for a short bit. Whole nine yards. My SMC (I think that's the acronym?) showed the correct version number Bootcamp requires. Won't let me do it.

Searched the apple forums and figured out that's something that happens...and it requires you to burn a firmware restoration CD. Downloaded that, burned the CD and ... Is my computer mooing? What the heck is that sound it makes when it burns? That can't possibly be good.

Apparently this was just some passive aggression on the part of my Imac knowing I was going to be unfaithful. It says to power on the computer but hold the power button until the white LED gives me the correct series of tricky winks, then put in the restoration cd and let it do its typical Mac simple thing. When I hold the power button, it flashes a bit then there's this REALLY ANNOYING BEEP and it ... boots up normally.

After doing this several times with no luck, (IT'S SUPPOSED TO GO FAST FAST FAST slow slow slow FAST FAST FAST) I read more on the forums, and ... oh. Intel macs don't do this for some reason. Guh. I've already broken the cellophane hymen on my expensive new copy of windows.

After some more searching I click on some alternate link that is a firmware upgrade that's apparently the super secret firmware upgrade and kaboom, bootcamp is all set. I burn the osx/xp hybrid driver disk and MOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Holy cow that thing doesn't like burning CD's. I'm a little worried as the grinding fades as it gets ... I guess further out on the disk. MOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOO. UND NOW VE PARTITION. Yay for the mac interface, just slide the dividing bar wherever. I gave windows 25 gigs. Partition...partition...partition...(you see, I grabbed some ram that seemed to be the right type, but is actually wrong, so I'm doing this with 512meg....) partition....partition......

All done. And now we put in the xp disk and reboot....<blong>...........blinking cursor. Weird to see on this futuristic new computer. Aaag...the blue meta screen for windows has never looked uglier. Holy TRS-80 Batman. Oh. Doesn't recognize the format of the drive. Of course not. It wants to format. Cool.

Format.....format.....................format...... ...............didn't realize 25 gigs was that much. I haven't had a lot of experience with formatting hard drives... but yeah. format....... format.....

And then <ahhh ahhh AHHH...> windows begins and there's a looooooooooong sequence of copying cryptic dll's and sys's and 0e0's. I'm used to upgrading from a previous version, so this is the first time I've actually *put* windows onto a computer that didn't have it already at least partially installed. Since it can't just copy for a long period of time and ask me questions later, I have to babysit it for (it says) 34 minutes. Luckily there are occasional screens of intermittent sales copy about how easy windows is to use and all the different things you can do with it in this fugly Wargames font/resolution. No wonder Mac people hate Windows. I'm embarassed for it, almost. Especially when I hit the screen about how there are simple centralized upgrade centers to download updates from so your computer "just works". In quotes.

So 34 minutes go by....forgot to mention I have the wireless bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Luckily Windows seems to have magically figured out the keyboard, but the mouse doesn't work. I can type in the bits of registration/localization info it wants. But the mouse cursor stays resolutely in the center of the screen. Then it reboots. Windows says it's optimizing my screen resolution for better visuals in blocky text. And it wants me to hit enter. Unfortunately it's forgotten how my keyboard works. And the mouse is still there and won't let me click okay. I go to dig out a corded usb mouse wondering if it's at a state where it will recognize it. Plug it in, still doesn't work. I have to hardboot with the power button.

Left the disk in...it asks if I want to boot from the disk...Do you?....Do you? Do you? no....Microsft Windows XP. Whoosh, whoosh...blue (Knight Rider light). Guess it didn't care about making the screen pretty after all. It boots to the desktop, and there are the usually things that pounce...it now wants to figure out what all my usb devices are. All at once. And Security Center starts pulling my sleeve wanting to know if I realize my computer is not secure. OOooookay...I know that.... One of the windows says to stick in a driver disk if I have one, and I do. OSX masquerades as an InstallShield program and quickly has it out in the background with several windows, cluing it in on what the heck these strange shaped attachments are. Apparently as this program is beta, they haven't quite hashed out how to warn people about wireless keyboards and mice.

After a lot of somewhat random tweaking, (I've never done any bluetooth before) the mac recognized the mouse. After several more tries, the keyboard started working too. Whew. Reboot somewhere...and the display driver kicked in and ... whoa - XP in RIDICULOUSLY HIGH RESOLUTION!

At this point it's basically XP...and it continued to nag me about antivirus software, so I downloaded the free version of AVG and it was quite satisfied with that. Windows updates...reboot, more Windows updates...

And...it's pretty much working. If you go to My Computer and click on the disk drive there's an "eject" option added on the left side, you can also go to control panel under...oh which is it...the bottom left option in category mode....has a new "eject disk" icon.

Something I didn't expect. The mac desktop has a new drive listed...the windows partition. I can browse those files. I haven't tried to see if I can alter them or not, but I may try to save a text document and see if it shows up over there.

I'm very impressed with Bootcamp. I'm glad they're stressing it's a beta, and hopefully the experience with in the new Mac OS will be a lot smoother.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2006-07-23, 23:45

Boot Camp, two words. Just for the record. Yes, the inconsistency of CamelCase in various products is maddening.

I glad to see you were successful despite the troubles.

For what it's worth, Mac OS X can read FAT and NTFS partitions, but it can only write to FAT partitions. You might want to take that into consideration before using Windows for too long; if you chose NTFS you may want to start over with FAT.

NTFS writing is still AWOL simply because it's another proprietary MS format. We should probably thank our lucky stars that we at least have reading which has been successfully been reverse-engineered. There have been some open-source efforts to try writing with NTFS, but none have been reliably successful.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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almost2mac
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
 
2006-07-23, 23:58

Gruh! Of course I did NTFS instead of FAT.

I suppose I'll have another screed about uninstalling that, or is there a quick and easy button?

Can I just drag the partition into the trash?
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pilot1129
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
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2006-07-24, 00:03

use the boot camp assistant, it'll allow you to remove the partition and then start over
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2006-07-24, 01:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by almost2mac
First problem: Bootcamp won't run until it's absolutely sure you've upgraded your firmware. I had upgraded my firmware...it's a new computer and I remember doing it; the fan ran at full speed for a short bit. Whole nine yards. My SMC (I think that's the acronym?) showed the correct version number Bootcamp requires. Won't let me do it.
Actually, the SMC firmware is unrelated to Boot Camp. It's the non-SMC firmware you need to update.
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alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2006-07-24, 07:04

Or rather have a USB flash drive that you use to transfer files back and forth.

Windows should live on an NTFS partition anyway, it's a lot healthier for it.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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almost2mac
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
 
2006-07-24, 15:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes
Or rather have a USB flash drive that you use to transfer files back and forth.

Windows should live on an NTFS partition anyway, it's a lot healthier for it.
Haven't tried my flash drive...do these play well cross platform?
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turbulentfurball
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Québec
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2006-07-24, 16:05

So long as you use FAT!
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2006-07-24, 17:12

Yup! Any FAT-formatted USB flash drive should work just fine. I've used three of them between a Windows PC and Mac without any problems.
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alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2006-07-24, 17:15

And a FAT formatted flash drive is a lot safer than a FAT formatted Windows partition.
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