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Installing Boot Camp on Leopard using XP Home OEM

Posted on 2008-06-13
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I am waiting for my new iMac to arrive (switching over from Dell to a Mac with this purchase).  I plan on installing XP via Boot Camp on the system when it arrives.  The hitch is that I do not have a licensed version of XP at this time (my other copy is installed on my old desktop which will be used by my kids in the future).  I have been looking online for full versions of XP Home (don't really need pro).  I can get a full version of XP Home SP2 for $199 via Dell, but I also found on CompUSA.com a copy of XP Home OEM SP2.  

I assume this is a legal version to purchase and should also install correctly via BootCamp (and Fusion).  

Thanks
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Question by:erinch
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by:jhyiesla
jhyiesla earned 250 total points
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If you're buying from a reputable source like CompUSA then I would say that yes, it's a legal copy.  Might be worth the asking them exactly what does the OEM mean.  

As far as installing it twice on your Mac, you will run into registration problems. I just did that with an iMac.  I purchased a copy of Windows XP Pro OEM (there's that term again) and installed it running in a Parallels VM.  Then I did boot camp and installed it again...thinking that it was the same machine and it probably wouldn't even balk since all the hardware, etc was the same...wrong.  It would not let me register it again.. guess it sees the VM as having different hardware.  Since this is a work machine and I have extra licenses at work I just used one of those.  I'm not a licensing expert so I don't know if I would have contacted MS and did the automated thing if it would have allowed me to register it again or not.
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by:erinch
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Am I misunderstanding Fusion as I thought that Fusion would access my XP partition and run XP that was installed there.  Is that not correct?  

I will contact CompUSA about the OEM.  

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by:jhyiesla
jhyiesla earned 250 total points
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No, sorry my error.  You can, as I have done, create a VM that lives on the Mac OS that uses space carved directly from the currently running Mac OS  or you can create one from the Bootcamp partition...I don't usually do that becuase...well I don't :)  Had forgotten that it was possible to carve out a VM from the BC partition.
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BW00 earned 250 total points
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Like jhyiesla said, you can run Fusion or Parallels in two ways:
A virtual machine that lives within the Mac OS X system--the files are on the same partition
-or-
you can run your BootCamp partition from within Mac OS X as a virtual machine.

Both are viable options.  The latter would not have any licensing issues, since the BootCamp partition would appear to be the same computer to Microsoft regardless of whether it is being run by Fusion/Parallels or independently, and you would not need to register your operating system again, since you had already installed when you created your BootCamp partition.

Some people prefer not to use a virtual machine this way because you have to specify the operating system size when you create your BootCamp partition.  You want it to be large enough to fit all your applications and data, but you don't want it to be unnecessarily large that you are losing space on your main operating system.  Resizing the BootCamp partition is non-trivial and would probably require expensive software to repartition or backing up both your operating systems and starting from scratch with the new sizes specified.  A virtual machine that lives solely in Mac OS X can change in size as necessary to accommodate what you do with Windows.  The disadvantage of course, you always have a performance disadvantage when running Windows, and you have no option to boot Windows natively.

Regardless, if you chose to run Windows only as a virtual machine inside of Mac OS X, you should be able to contact Microsoft's customer support.  Using the OS on the same computer, even if in multiple VMs, is completely within the licensing agreement.  If you explain what you are doing, they will probably give you a second license to use.  I have worked with Microsoft before and they have been very accommodating when it comes to licensing issues.
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