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Aargh-a-Knot

Info for those wanting to dual boot OS X/Windows7

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Anyone tried this with XP SP3?

Just to make sure I'm clear, I'm operating on the assumption that AHCI is what allows PCs to use more than four ATA or SATA devices. If this is incorrect, chime in.

XP SP3 supports AHCI devices if you have the right mass storage driver installed for your SATA host adapter. I usually have to do some magic to change a mass storage driver AFTER changing a drive from one PC to another, for instance, if I image a PC from IDE to SCSI such as one would do when moving an OS install from a real PC to VMWare, otherwise I get INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

This is what would happen: If I tried to boot into Windows7, it would start to boot, flash a blue screen and then reboot. The next time I would get the option to repair or start normally, but neither worked.

I found that if I switched from AHCI to IDE (disabled) in BIOS, Windows7 would boot normally, but then OS X would hang on boot.

On the Windows side you're seeing INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE and an insta-reboot, because this is the default behaviour when XP and later blue-screen. It appears this is because Windows doesn't know about the SATA host adapter when you changed its mode from "Legacy IDE" to AHCI. It's seeing a whole different device.

It appears the Windows 7 AHCI registry hack works only because Windows 7 has generic AHCI drivers pre-installed. You wouldn't be able to get away with it otherwise. Once you fooled Windows into booting with the standard IDE driver enough to install the correct AHCI driver, you were set. That being said, it doesn't sound like the same hack would work on XP.

On Windows versions older than 7, if I wanted to move from ATA to SATA, or ATA to SCSI, I preloaded the driver for the new host adapter beforehand. This could be accomplished if it were possible to simultaneously have an AHCI-capable host adapter and a "legacy" host adapter on the same PC; XP could then load the AHCI driver.

A quick Google search turned up this article on Tom's Hardware:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/196922-32-switching-storage-controllers-reinstalling-windows

I suppose it could be possible to do the switch in XP by doing it in two stages, but you'd need to borrow a separate SATA host adapter card temporarily. You'd install the card and its driver, then move the drive to the card, then switch to AHCI in the BIOS, then install the AHCI driver, then switch the drive back to the onboard host adapter. It's convoluted, but it worked for me when I had to move a Windows Server installation from a dead SCSI RAID array to a SATA RAID array recently.

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Knotty,

how did you manage to boot Win7 through Chameleon?

I get all my drives listed, when I choose SL HD it boots fine. But if I chose Win7 HD I get the black screen saying "Bootmgr missing. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot". This happens if I use Chameleon on stick or from my SL HD. However, using the F12 on boot-up I have no issues to start Win7.

Do I miss something with Chameleon? Or do I need bootcamp?

Thanks!

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Skipper,

If you are having problems booting to Win7, select to boot from the "System Reserved" volume, noot the WIn 7 drive. If you formatted your HD with the Win 7 setup, it will create this partition first used for encrypted stuff, and a system restore thing. There are trick to installing Win 7 without this partition. Do a quick Google on Win 7 System Reserved Remove....

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Knotty,

how did you manage to boot Win7 through Chameleon?

I get all my drives listed, when I choose SL HD it boots fine. But if I chose Win7 HD I get the black screen saying "Bootmgr missing. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot". This happens if I use Chameleon on stick or from my SL HD. However, using the F12 on boot-up I have no issues to start Win7.

Do I miss something with Chameleon? Or do I need bootcamp?

Thanks!

No, bootcamp is not part of the equation here. Really, all I did was the trick to add the achi drivers and nothing more. I had been using the windows7 install with efi-x, and then I just switched over to chameleon. It would only boot into windows if achi was turned off, until I added the drivers. I don't even know anything about the "System Reserved" thing that elmangomez is referring to.

good luck

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I just installed Win 7 release, and I let the Win 7 format my hard drive. In doing so, it automatically creates 2 partitions (that show up in Chameleon) the Win 7, "c-drive" and the System Reserved.

Booting to the Win7 partition gives the error Skipper mentioned. If you select System Reserved, Win 7 boots properly. This partition is invisible to Win 7, but it shows up in Chameleon, and on the Mac desktop.

Since I did not want to see that extra partition in Chameleon, I Googled a way to avoid it. The solution is simple, but it does require you to re-install Win 7.

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