Jump to content
davidpope

Boot camp just broke 2 new iMacs

Recommended Posts

Hi experts all. I thought I'd share this cautionary tale and ask for your advice at the end:

 

I bought a shiny new 20 inch iMac intel 2.33 Ghz, 1GB Ram for my wife and family to play games on - particularly Windows games (of which we have a fair few lying about). I updated all the software in the usual way - including grabbing the firmware updates that Software Update found for me - installed Parallels and found that it wouldn't play the Windows games CDs I inserted. So I downloaded Boot Camp, installed it and followed the instructions to the letter to install my copy of XP. As far as I knew this copy of XP would work as well as it previously had in my PC at work or under Virtual PC on my PowerBook or my G5 Dual 1.8 tower. Well it crashed on install, so I hit F3 to quit out of the Windows installer and that's when my problems began. Try as I might, I could not reboot the machine. I got a startup chime and a white screen, and no matter what key combinations I tried - and I tried them all: PRAM, Safe mode, fsck, alt, N, D, C, Shift Option Control Delete, Disk Genius, DiskWarrior, System disk, Windows XP disk, Boot Camp windows drivers disk - the thing refused to boot up at all. So I called Apple. The machine had been in my possession for all of 10 hours, and once they had established that it would not even read the System disk, they promptly ordered me a replacement and TNT arrived the following day to remove the broken machine.

 

To cut this interminable story short - you guessed it - the replacement machine exhibited exactly the same problems. This time I didn't bother with Parallels though - I went straight to trying to install XP with Boot Camp with exactly the same sad results. Once again I called Apple, and once again they have ordered me a replacement. The broken iMac no.2 will be picked up by TNT tomorrow. But on the phone the second time the tech tentatively suggested that the problem might lie with my copy of XP, and that if I had tried a legal licensed copy of XP I would not have had these problems. Is this true, I wonder?

 

Just to give my story an added twist, as iMac No 2 was giving its last gasp, trying to boot up, the postman delivered my legal, licensed, shrink-wrapped pristine OEM copy of Vista Home Premium. I have opened the packet, and carefully put it down again. I think I'm going to take the Apple tech's advice and hold off from trying Boot Camp on my third new iMac until Apple states unequivocally that Boot Camp supports Vista. Or do you collectively think I should fork out £89 for a legal, licensed, shrink-wrapped pristine copy of XP with SP2 and try to break a third iMac by installing it under BootCamp? Has anybody actually done so? Does the blessed thing actually work?

 

Sorry for the long post. What do you think I should do now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Or do you collectively think I should fork out £89 for a legal, licensed, shrink-wrapped pristine copy of XP with SP2 and try to break a third iMac by installing it under BootCamp? Has anybody actually done so? Does the blessed thing actually work?

 

Sorry for the long post. What do you think I should do now?

 

Well I didn't have any copies of XP lying around, so I bought a new "legal, licensed, shrink-wrapped pristine copy of XP with SP2" off of newegg.com and it installed perfectly the first time on my MacBook Pro. Was your copy of XP SP2 or was it some earlier version? Because I know that Apple specifically states that you must have SP2 Home or Professional in order for bootcamp to work properly.

 

It does seem highly unlikely that a new copy of XP would fix the problem, but just so you know... it did work for me. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think it would depend on where you got your .. ahem.. not-so-legal... copy of windows.. there might be files missing or errors when burning the cd etc. whatever. stuff happen like that. and when installed on a pc, it might not make any difference. (i know because i've installed ripped copies of xp on a pc. there were errors when installing, but i had no noticeable side effects when i booted up). but on a mac? i dont know, havent tried with that older (non sp2) disc. but i have used a disc with sp2 and it worked fine. so on a brand new imac, 2 for that matter, there should be no reason for it to completely break if you follow apple's directions explicitly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made my SP2 cd from a legal copy of XP and then slipstreaming the SP2 files into it which worked ok with bootcamp, so I guess that's like using a copy.

 

To be honest, I'm surprised apple replaced your computer. They do say that bootcamp is beta and is unsupported. So they are perfectly entitled to tell you to bugger off. Use parallels if you're concerned about killing your computer again. I've given up with bootcamp, parallels works fine for me. All I need is like two windows apps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The failures you encountered (whether it be from a non-legit copy of XP or not) are all software related. You didn't break any hardware doing this. You should have been able to boot into your install DVD and reinstall OSX at the very least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how check summing the disc like OS X does would have prevented this..... frankly, the machine shouldn't be so fragile that if software installs wrong it hoses the system... that just doesn't happen on a regular PC, if it's something wrong with the boot volume, the system will still post and you can boot to CDs or a floppy.

 

It's Impossible to hose the entire system by installing an OS.

Edited by Goatman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This happens because the EFI has to be altered to emulate BIOS (which is just like flashing your BIOS - which is pretty dodgy at the best of times) - I'd expect anyway. It's really the only thing that would prevent you from getting to any boot volume.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might be of help: VMware Fusion is an alternative to Parallels and it looks like they're implemented 3D-accelleration support! That means that you could probably install Windows XP in a virtual machine and run advanced 3D games from there! The bad news is that it's not out yet...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An update! First thanks for all your replies and advice. iMac no 3 is now with me, alive and well - AFTER INSTALLING VISTA HOME PREMIUM on Boot Camp! It runs like a dream and plays all my children's PC Games, to their delight. I haven't yet got the wireless network to work properly though, or the iSight camera, but I extracted the other drivers (for Sound and microphone) from the Boot Camp XP drivers package, without any problems.

 

In the end I believe that my XP copy never had SP2 in the first place, so that was why it screwed up the previous two iMacs. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Vista, a Mac isn't a Mac, just a computer. A damn fast computer. Aero even works on a Mac mini.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a vey similair problem, it wouldnt install.

 

Lucky for me though it didnt effect Mac OS X.

 

The guys in the apple store suggested i waited until leopard, when the official release of boot camp is released.

 

After hearing you broke 2 iMacs i think ill wait!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

×