How to Use Vista Beta 2 Boot Manager to Dual Boot Vista and OS X on a MacBook

UPDATE: [The trick detailed below only works if your default startup disk is set to Mac OS X. The boot.efi file only let you reboot the machine, it DOES NOT boot the system to Mac OS X partition. My MacBook was set to boot to OS X by default when I tried it, therefore I got the false sense that by booting the boot.efi, I actually boot the machine to OS X. I am sorry for the misinformation. I’ll research more about how to actually use Vista’s boot manager to boot OS X. What I really wanted to achieve is to have a boot manager to dual boot Vista and OS X at the startup without holding the Option key, and there is a perfect program for that. It’s called rEFIt.]

Windows Vista comes with a new boot manager, that is very flexible. I thought it would be nice if I could use that to specify an entry for Mac OS X. However, the technology is new and I cannot find many documentations about it. The FAQ in Microsoft’s web site does not tell you how to create a boot loader for Mac OS X. It only tells you how to create a boot loader for legacy systems like Windows XP.

I then found out that people are using a chain0 file with Vista’s boot manager to dual boot OS X and Vista for the OSx86 project. I tried that, but it did not work. The problem is that the chain0 file is not for booting Mac OS X on MacBook. What I really need is already on my MacBook. It’s called boot.efi and it’s under /usr/standalone/i386/ . The file is hidden from Finder. You will need to use Terminal application to copy it. Here are the steps.

  1. Boot to Mac OS X. Open Terminal application and type in the following to copy boot.efi to the Desktop.
    cp /usr/standalone/i386/boot.efi ~/Desktop/
  2. Copy the boot.efi file to a USB key.
  3. Boot to Vista and copy the boot.efi file from the USB key to C:
  4. Now open Command Prompt as administrator. If you don’t know how to do this, please follow the steps 1~3 in this post.
  5. We need to determine if you have a legacy boot loader in your system. Type in the command in the Command Prompt window.
    bcdedit /enum all | find "{ntldr}"

    If this command returns

    identifier              {ntldr}

    , that means you already have a legacy boot loader in your system. Follow step 6 and skip step 7. If the command didn’t return anything, skip step 6 and follow step 7.

  6. Type in the following to copy the legacy boot loader.
    bcdedit /copy {ntldr} /d "Mac OS X"
    bcdedit /set {YOUR-GUID-HERE} device boot
    bcdedit /set {YOUR-GUID-HERE} path boot.efi
    bcdedit /displayorder {YOUR-GUID-HERE} /addlast

    Note that you need to replace YOUR-GUID-HERE with the actual GUID returned by the first command. To illustrate this, the following are the actual commands and responses.

    C:>bcdedit /copy {ntldr} /d "Mac OS X"
    The entry was successfully copied to {bcfa924e-07e0-11db-9d86-accf6fd346a1}.
    C:>bcdedit /set {bcfa924e-07e0-11db-9d86-accf6fd346a1} device boot
    The operation completed successfully.
    C:>bcdedit /set {bcfa924e-07e0-11db-9d86-accf6fd346a1} path boot.efi
    The operation completed successfully.
    C:>bcdedit /displayorder  {bcfa924e-07e0-11db-9d86-accf6fd346a1} /addlast
    The operation completed successfully.
  7. Type in the following to create a new legacy boot loader.
    bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d "Mac OS X"
    bcdedit /set {ntldr} device boot
    bcdedit /set {ntldr} path boot.efi
    bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast

Now you can see there is an entry for “Mac OS X” whenever you boot to Vista, select that and you can boot to Mac OS X.


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  1. The only question now is. Is this also possible on a windows platform laptop. So if i first install Vista on my Dell inpiron 8200 and then install MacOSX86 on a different partition. And then fix the bootloader it should work. Anyone tested this theaorie already?

  2. Insp|r0n_,

    If you install Vista on a Dell Inspiron first and then install MacOSX86, you might need to use the chain0 file not the boot.efi file mentioned in this post.

  3. I tried the chain0 method on vista. But in the first attempt it didn’t work. Haven’t had time sice to try it another why. I had it working with acronis. But that was so slow during boot i switched back to my usual HDD and decided to spend so time on it again when i actually had time. If the chain0 method works for vista i will give it a try again soon.

  4. YaBlog!,

    I know. I think it’s too small myself, too. However, doesn’t allow me to change the template and this is the only template I like. The work around is to change the display font size in your browser. You can do this by pressing Ctrl key and + key simultaneously in Firefox.

  5. so after reading all the statements in this forum it is possible to use a mac os x on a pc ryt?

    all you need is a windows vista, mac os and this tutorial is that ryt?

  6. When i type the following in the command window,

    bcdedit /create {ntldr} /d “Mac OS X”

    bcdedit /set {ntldr} device boot

    bcdedit /set {ntldr} path \boot.efi

    bcdedit /displayorder {ntldr} /addlast

    i get the following message :

    The boot configuration data store could not be opened.

    Access is denied.

    please help!!!

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. » Blog Archive » How to Use Vista Beta 2 Boot Manager to Dual Boot Vista and OS X on a MacBook
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  4. 用Vista Boot Manager完成Vista和Linux双启动 at 水蘸李子.COM - V12N

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