Dell's WinXP installer messes up OSX partitions when using Boot Camp
A few days ago I decided to install WinXP on my Intel based iMac, using Boot Camp.
Boot Camp assistant worked great, it created a new Boot Camp partition on the hard drive just as planned with a 32 GB partition. Popping in a Dell WinXP SP2 CD (from a now long gone computer) as instructed, but when prompted to select where to install XP the Boot Camp partition was gone. In fact, so was the OSX partition…
The weird thing was that the XP installer suggested I should install it to a 131 GByte partition on the disk – where did it get that from?
Luckily I have a nightly Carbon Copy Cloner job scheduled for the iMac, so restoring the OSX disk was pretty straightforward (even though it took some 5-6 hours to restore 500 GB of data).
Tried the same procedure twice more. Once with the same result, and once I the OSX partition was actually intact. But XP still suggested I’d install it to the non-existing 131 GB partition.
Fourth time I tried another XP disc, and this time also slipstreamed it with SP3 using nLite (awesome product!). And now it worked flawlessly.
After doing some research it seems that some people are having trouble using Dell XP CDs with Boot Camp. Not sure why, but using that other, generic XP CD made the problem disappear. Or if it was the SP3 slipstreaming – either way it now works. I guess you could argue that the Dell CD was intended to be used with Dell machines only, and in this case that turns out to be true.. Anyway, with the problems sorted out, dual booting works great!