Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HowTo: multibooting XP, OSX and Linux (tips and video) on a MSI Wind

well, after struggling with a bad dimm of memory in my MSI Wind; i am back on the Wind booting path. :) 

previously i had setup my MSI Wind to triple boot XP, Vista and OSX Leopard however i've been receiving quite a few remarks and comments on my triple booting video about 'why no linux?' on the Wind. 

So, today's post will be for the Linux/Ubuntu fans out there that want to see how the Wind performs w/Ubuntu 8 on it.  in this post, i hope to highlight some tips and a general plan of attack on doing a triple boot setup of OSX, XP, and Ubuntu on the Wind (concepts are applicable to other netbooks/laptops/computers).

keep reading for the video and details!

first, lets start out with the video of my MSI Wind booting all three operating systems (due to youtube's 10min clip limit, i had to break the video into two clips) also, the total time of both clips is about 19mins so you've been warned!

Part1 (XP install and start of OSX setup)

[youtube Wmn09tY-n_8] 

Part2 (OSX install and ubuntu install)

[youtube gnNTj2xdhMw]

the guide below is not meant to be a step-by-step howto on installing but rather more of an overview with some tips/info that i've found useful in dual/triple booting off a single harddrive.

Overview of system setup and requirements:

  • MSI Wind laptop (duh! hehe)

  • External DVD/CD-ROM 

  • XP Prof install cd

  • OSX Kalaway install dvd

  • Ubuntu install cd

  • optional:  upgraded harddrive and added memory

  • optional: osx compatible wifi adapter (factory msi wind adapter will not work)

  • medium to intermediate level of OS installation/disk management/command line usuage

  • half a day to do the install, work out the kinks :)

  • all data backed up to external hdd, dvds, etc (never a bad idea to backup)

Hard disk partition overview:

One of the most important things to consider or think about whenever you dual or triple boot multiple operating systems on a single harddrive or system is the size and setup of the partitons. 

the setup i used for my MSI Wind;

partition1 = XP and NTFS (legacy ntldr bootloader)
partition2 = OSX and HFS+ (darwin bootloader)
partition3 = Ubuntu and ext3 (using swap file vs swap partition; avoids logical drive; grub bootloader)

For the sake of our sanity, i will explain the order of setup on a brand new harddrive or one that has had all of its partitions and non-logical drives removed (unpartitioned). 

  1. we will create our first partition1 for XP when we do the installation of XP.

  2. the partition2 we will created in XP as a partition but will format it during the OSX install

  3. the final partition3 will be created when we install Ubuntu (we will do this manually).

Operating system installations:

OS Install 1: Windows XP

Boot to your Windows XP installation CD

Let it load up the installation wizard. 

If you had windows xp installed already and want to redo your whole installation (ie wipe everything out), XP will tell you that a previous version is already installed.  Follow the prompts to remove the previous XP installation.

Once the previous installation has been removed; you will be brought to the screen that asks you where you want to install XP.  For the sake of simplicity/ease, we will delete ALL partitions that are listed (again, remember to BACKUP DATA prior to doing this!!!).

Next, we will create a new partition for XP by hitting the letter 'c'.  Also be sure to change the total disk size of the partition from the default size to what we want.  (i have a 250gb hdd, i made my xp partition 110gb).   Select the partition we just made and hit Enter on it.

XP will now ask you to format the harddrive; i usually just do a quick format in NTFS.

Then just go through the XP installation like you normally would.  Once you have XP loaded up, you will want to get your drivers all reinstalled.  

However, prior to installing OSX Leopard; we will create the partition for OSX in XP using Disk Management.

  • Right-click on My Computer > Manage

  • Go to the Disk Management section

  • You should see your main harddrive showing and on it you should see the XP partition and an unpartioned area.  Right click in the unpartitioned area and choose to "Create Partition". 

  • This will be the partition we will install OSX.  So we will not need to format it or assign a drive letter (choose none for now) since we will do this w/our OSX installation dvd and Disk Utility.

OS Install 2: OSX Leopard

Boot to the OSX Leopard installation DVD (you will need a patched version of course, i used kalaways)

You will get a command prompt asking to Hit F8 for options or any key to boot; i usually hit F8 to get the command line.  At that command line, type -v to turn on verbose logging (shows you whats going on in the background) and then hit Enter.

OSX will start going through loading the installation disc and hopefully will bring up the OSX Leopard installation wizard. 

Once you see the OSX Leopard welcome screen; you will see the Apple icon and choose the Utilities menu.  Under here, choose Disk Utility.

This will open up the Disk Utility; on the left hand pane you should see your harddrive listed and also you should now see 2 partitions.  the XP NTFS partition and the one we created after installing XP (prob labeled as dsk0s1).

Click on the dsk0s1 (non XP partition) and then click on the Erase tab.  Now, lets format this partition to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the Volume format, give the partition a name like OSX and then click on Erase.  This will take only a few mins to complete. Once its done, quit out of the Disk Utility (it will bring us back to the Welcome installer screen)

Now click Continue and accept the license agreement.  Then when it asks for the Destination drive to install on, choose the OSX partition we just formated/erased and click Continue.

On this next screen, there is a Customize button at the bottom, be sure to click this!!! We will want to customize the install for our MSI Wind's hardware and processor.

I choose these options for my wind:

  • Kernel = only choose the Vanilla Kernel

  • Video Drivers = only choose the Intel > GMA950 (if we have issues later, we can reinstall the kext files; i'll post a link at the end of this blog).

  • Network Drivers = choose the RTL1000 only (we may need to come back after installing to add our wifi drivers, we can do this using an program called Pacifist).

  • Audio = i leave the defaults checked

  • Mobo Chipsets = uncheck all of these.

  • Applications = i add of them in since they are very useful ones

Once we have the above packages checked/unchecked; click Done.

This will return us to the Installation wizard, lets start the install by clicking Install.

The installer will verify the install DVD; you can skip this to save time.  Now OSX should install; this will take about 30-45 minutes.

Once the install is completed; it will reboot your machine and hopefully you will load up to the Darwin bootloader and OSX.  Tweaking the system will not be covered in this post.

OS Install 3: Ubuntu

Boot to the Ubuntu Installation/Live DVD.

Click on Install Ubunut option; it will load up the installation wizard and again may take a few minutes to do so.

Once it loads, we will go through the wizard.  When you get to the partitioning/disk setup; we will do this manually.  We will create a new ext3 primary partition  for Ubuntu.

After we choose our installation options, we will have the final confirmation screen.  BE SURE TO CLICK ON ADVANCED so we can change where the GRUB bootloader is installed; change it from the default MBR to /sda/dev3 (dev3 = 3rd partition).

Then click Install and let Ubuntu do its thing.

Hopefully we after the installation completes we should reboot and in turn have the Darwin bootloader showing us the three different operating systems.

Once you verify you can boot to each operating system; you can come back and finish up the installs by installing the device drivers, applying any tweaks or patches, etc.   I will not be covering these in this post since this post is probably WAY too long already.

Good luck my multi-booting peeps! :)