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Best Way to Image and Deploy Dual-Boot Macintosh?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the going-both-ways dept.

Desktops (Apple) 124

macpulse asks: "What is the best way to image and deploy dual-boot Intel Macintosh desktops in an Educational environment? Our organization is getting ready to purchase dozens of new Intel Macs for each campus and we're not sure how to proceed. With Windows XP and Dell, we've simply used Symantec's Enterprise Ghost to deploy our images. Playing with the test Intel Macs we have, we are unable to get Ghost to work with the Mac. I've also played with Bombich's NetRestore product (which is FOSS!) but without much success. I'm curious how my fellow readers have resolved this issue. Thanks!"

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The Real Question (-1, Flamebait)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699091)

But does it run linux?

no seriously can you dual boot linux and windows on an intel mac?

Re:The Real Question (2, Informative)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699105)

Yes.. You can even tri-boot. otCamp []

Re:The Real Question (-1, Troll)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699175)

that's great that you can tri-boot, but i mean can you dual boot i really dont want osx at all

Re:The Real Question (1)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699231)

Yes, you can run a mac without os x on it.. Kind of ass backwards if you ask me, especially since every mac comes with an os x license... But hey, feel free to do what you please. It makes things like firmware updates a bit more challenging though, so keep that in mind if you do ever decide to take that route.

In other words... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18699251)

Identical to PCs if you don't want the pre-installed crap.

Re:The Real Question (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701683)

Well, as OSX is the reason that people who buy Macs are buying them in the first place, why not just buy a cheaper system and put anything that you want on it. Except OSX, of course, but as you don't want it anyway...

Re:The Real Question (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702547)

Well, as OSX is the reason that people who buy Macs are buying them in the first place
I'm looking at one because I want a small laptop that runs Linux. There are no other laptops from Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway etc that have all the requirements for the same price.
  • Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz 4MB Cache
  • Screen <= 13.3 (12.1 is awesome, 15.4 is too big, 13.3 is the biggest I'd go)
  • Runs Linux(Intel Wireless, suspend, sound, video)
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Hard drive >= 120GB
  • DVD Writer
I've priced things from Dell. I actually love my Girlfriend's Dell M1210. When I upgrade the HDD, add 2GB RAM, add DVD Writer, upgrade to the 2GHz 4MB Core 2 is more expensive than the Apple. The display is probably a little better since the same resolution on a smaller screen, but still.

Re:The Real Question (1)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18706495)

Runs Linux(Intel Wireless, suspend, sound, video)

Sadly, the wireless on Intel Macs is an Atheros chipset, and support for this particular chipset by the Atheros driver for Linux is still experimental, so you'll probably get stuck with fucking ndiswrapper...

I've yet to install Linux on my MacBook (but thinking about it) so I can't confirm, but apart from wireless I've heard that everything else is pretty dandy.

Re:The Real Question (1)

Doctor-Optimal (975263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709875)

I actually love my Girlfriend's Dell M1210.
Doesn't it get stuck in the DVD drive?

What are you having trouble with? (4, Informative)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699127)

As long as all your hardware is the same, deploying a uniform image should be possible using simple tools that have been a part of any *nix system for decades. I don't see why you would need to purchase "enterprise" anything. First install the OSes you want on one the Macs (OSX and Linux, Solaris and OpenBSD, whatever). Configure everything as you want it to be on the image. Then boot that Mac using some medium other than the disk you just did the install to (cd boot, network boot (I imagine x86 macs can use PXE just like most intel systems)). Mount a network drive and use dd to make an image of the disk you did the install on. Then write a script for doing the re-imaging. All it would need to do would be to mount that network drive and dd the image from there to the disk. You could do checksums to make sure the transfer worked if you want to get fancy. Store this script on the pxe server or boot cd, or whatever you choose to use to boot the Macs that are getting imaged. You can even set it to autorun so all anyone doing the re-imaging has to do is put in the boot cd and reboot, or connect the Mac to be re-imaged to the same LAN as the networked server and reboot. This seams like pretty much what you would do when setting up imaging for PCs, Sun workstations, whatever. Is there something in particular about Macs that make them more difficult to work with? (I'm not a Mac user)

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

grrrl (110084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699299)

Can dd be used to auto-partition the new drive while copying over the image?

Or does each partition have to be set up and then the image copied across?

Re:What are you having trouble with? (3, Informative)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699463)

DD can copy all partitions if you specify the hard disk itself (like /dev/hda) instead of a partition (like /dev/hda1).
You might have problems if the hard disks aren't the same size. If the destination hard disk is bigger than the source, you get some unpartitioned space at the end. Don't try it if the destination hard disk is smaller than the source.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

Bronster (13157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699581)

There are always some things about each image that you want to have different (hostname, machine ID, /etc/ethertab or equivalent if you have one - er, XP activation gunk)

Post installation scripts are pretty easy for your FOSS stuff (we do FAI + svn co + make -C conf install), not so easy on XP. I don't have a clue about OS X, my Mac days were pre version 8.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (0, Offtopic)

rikkards (98006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701873)

WIth Windows XP and 2000 sysprep is your friend. With a properly setup Sysprep.inf, the hardware doesn't even need to be identical other than whether or not ACPI is supported.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699675)

What free software are you using to host the "dd" that copies the network image to disk?
I have tried using the free version of bpbatch in the past but I have never got it to work correctly.
(it seems it loads itself somewhere in memory that later gets overwritten under certain circumstances. I tried to customize some of the examples provided to fdisk the HD and then copy something over from the network, but it always crashes with junk on the screen)

Maybe there are other free PXE "Pre-OS"es?

For now we use a 3com PXE image generator but it runs diskette images. This mostly limits you to use DOS, unnecessarily complicating the "dd" stuff.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

sbryant (93075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700707)

Maybe there are other free PXE "Pre-OS"es?

Well, you can use PXELinux (part of the whole SysLinux [] thing) to boot a kernel with a RAM disk (initrd), and run whatever you want from there. You will need a basic live distribution to go in the RAM disk, which contains init,, sh and whatever other bits you need. You can keep the size down by using busybox [] . Creating a working initrd can be a little hairy, as your compile-time paths are normally different than the runtime ones, which can break some programs without a little hacking. The initrd itself is a gzip'd cpio archive. You then have to set up a TFTP server for serving PXELinux; if you want to automate things, you can have your DHCP server tell PXE-capable clients to boot PXELinux from your TFTP server.

If you are in the market for a commercial solution, with centralised management and all the trimmings, you should get NetInstall v6 from enteo software [] with OSD (OS deployment); this includes TrueImage. It costs money, but it works very well. It's a primarily PC/Windows solution, however, so imaging to/from a Mac may well not work.

-- Steve

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704063)

Ok, I hoped that maybe some ready-made PXE image would exist that boots up a small fast-booting OS that can run simple scripts to perform tasks like partitioning, formatting, copying etc.
BPbatch exactly fits the bill, but unfortunately I cannot get it to work.

Using Linux for this seems overly complicated, but it could be practical when at least a readily usable configuration would exist. I know about busybox and assembling small Linux systems, but for this purpose (merely getting new machines installed) it is too big a project.

Right now we have a working solution with the 3com stuff, which provides a selection menu and boots DOS from a selected diskette image file.
IMHO, an omission in PXE is the lack of parameter passing before the image is loaded. As it is now, you can have only a single PXE image that is served to all the systems that attempt a network boot. You could select on some DHCP parameters in the DHCP server, but there is no parameter that you can control sitting at the keyboard of the booting system.
Things would be much more usable when a simple menu was part of the boot sequence, and/or you could press a key which would be passed in the DHCP request.

Now, we can install the 3com image and have a menu that can only select between DOS diskettes, we can have the BPbatch image or we can have a PXElinux image, but there is no way to boot a PC and select between them. And the BPbatch and PXElinux images cannot be loaded from the 3com menu, or vice-versa. So we can install Windows or run a utility from DOS disk (system diagnostics, partition magic etc) but no way to install Linux, for example.

I will see what NetInstall has to offer, and at what cost. We are not a webcafe or education institute, so this whole thing is nothing like important business. Systems are normally installed only once. It is convenient, but difficult to justify a per-system license cost.

Hey, switcheurs! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18700403)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac users [] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700667)

No PXE on the current Intel Macs. They're netboot enabled, but its not quite the same thing.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18706387)

So NetBoot a Darwin installation; it's not going to be vastly different (and indeed it'll be /better/ under these circumstances because it'd understand HFS+) to PxeLinux.

NetBoot Darwin, dd image, mount partition, tweak configuration, unmount, and reboot.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709091)

No complaints by me, I'm just pointing out that PXE workflows don't work on these.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701303)

One of the biggest issues we're having trouble with (again, we are new to this) is getting ASR or Netrestore to work with an Intel Mac that is partitioned with Bootcamp correctly. We're also adding the machines to an Active Directory Domain and we've had trouble with duplicate names on both the Windows partition and the Mac partition, requiring lots of manual labor to resolve in a classroom of 25 machines. Formerly with Symantec Ghost on Dell's with XP, we would use Ghostwalker to change the SID (if needed) and told the Ghost Client (installed directly on the machines) to keep the same machine names and domain settings, requiring little if, if any manual labor.

You can fix that using sysprep (1)

hildi (868839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18712169)

I used to work in a 'educational environment'. If i could find your damn email I would tell you more details. Anyways, if you set up your windows XP image using 'sysprep' properly, you can solve the whole problem of duplicated SSID and whatever. You can even join a domain AFAIK (although i didnt get that far). Furthermore, we used a special setup... I had a linux partition with a gigantic image file of the windows partition... to distribute a new image I used 'udpcast'. In this set up, any machine could be a 'server', and cast to all the other machines.. . i could redo a few dozen machines in an hour or so, without having to muck around with any server... i just put 'out of order' sign on one of the lab machines and used it as the server. Every machine had a copy of the windows image... anyways. Via a bunch of python scripts, this was all automated and i used it to 'clean' the machines out every once in a while. ... took something like 10 keystrokes per 'client' machine and similar low amount on 'server' machine. This could probably work on Mac OSX too, although i never had the opportunity to use it.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703701)

OS X Tiger Server has functionality which allows you to dish out a particular disk image to a particular class of machine (e.g. one image for Mac Pros, one for iMacs, etc.). Create a bootable image which, when booted, writes the disk image from the network to the local disk. Then all you have to do is go to each system and boot it from the network, and it'll take care of everything else. All guified and easy, if you know what you're doing.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18705087)

I assume the OP is having trouble imaging the Windows partition, not the OSX partition.

Re:What are you having trouble with? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18706685)

I assume the OP is having trouble imaging the Windows partition, not the OSX partition.

If I had to guess I'd say he's using the Ghost feature that lets you write a unique UUID to each NTFS image, and it doesn't understand EFI partition tables. In block mode it would work fine, but Windows has an onerous registration regime so you can't just do block mode.

I would go with NetRestore (1)

Psycosys (886125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699173)

I currently work at an educational institution and we have been using NetRestore to reimage our Macs for as long as I have been there. We recently deployed two labs of Intel iMacs and have been using NetRestore to image them as well.

We started out by netbooting to image half the drive with a custom OS X install and then used the OS X install to image the other half of the drive with a custom Windows install. We decided to have two images to make maintenance simpler as if we end up having problems with either the Mac or Windows side we can easily just reinstall either one independently of the other.

The only downside to using this method I have experienced thus far is that the network in the building where the two labs are located seems to have become quite a bottleneck when reimaging. We can reimage about 10 at a time and the process takes around 2.5 hours, the fewer we do the faster they go but since everytime we have to update all of them it tends to take several days to get all 60 up to date.

Re:I would go with NetRestore (2, Interesting)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700399)

Sounds wierd, but how about a server on wheels for the imaging? roll it into the lab you're imaging and hook it up to the local switch in the room, no tie up on building network resources for other purposes either. It may sound like a better idea now since I havent slept in a while though :-P

Re:I would go with NetRestore (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701651)

Good idea, but not very useful when we have 50 labs on a campus with 25-35 computers each!

Also, this doesn't resolve the DUAL BOOT issue we're running into with Bootcamp.

Re:I would go with NetRestore (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700691)

Check into the Multicast features that came out as part of asr in 10.4.x. Its not ideal for one or two, but if you're doing a new round machines, it keeps network bandwidth from being so much of a problem.

Re:I would go with NetRestore (1)

amishguy (1087527) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703743)

I have the same setup although we have a script that has netrestore restore the one partition then the other with only 1 click to save us time. I am lucky in that our labs have gigabit networking and of course the new iMacs and the Apple Xserv (imaging server) have GB network cards. It takes about 16 mins to do each machine. Although we do try to only do a few at a time because you still get bottlenecks. Still... we can get an entire lab of 20 done in about an hour.

DD (4, Informative)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699177)

At my office, we have a master image of our desktop configuration. The image sits in a Debian box next to my desk.

When we get a new PC, we remove the drive and drop it into an external USB/IDE/SATA enclosure and connect ti to the Debian box. We DD the image onto the drive. It usually takes less than an hour per drive.

We can also image a drive across the LAN, but it's slower and we have to be present at the user's computer to boot off a KNOPPIX disc.

We have played with the idea of creating a DVD that has a cut-down debian distro and the image file. Then we can just drop in the restore disc and reboot. Come back an hour later and we're done.

You could also drop the image on the portable drive and use a boot CD to image PCs without opening them.

Re:DD (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700603)

Wouln't it be easier to

Host the image on a USB drive

(A) make the drive itself a bootable install for machines that support USB boot
(B) keep a Linux/BSD live CD on hand for those that don't support USB booting

and then there is no need open up machines and you only need to deal with the USB enclosure once.

Re:DD (2, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700767)

Yikes. Go download PING. It'll do the same thing in a LOT less time, and can do it over the network saving even more time.

An hour to image a machine?

The problem with DD is it has to write all the empty bits of the disk, too. A good imaging solution knows the filesystem and only writes the files. Since most desktops may have 5-6 gig of software on them by default, you don't want to be wasting time writing 80 or 100 gig of zeros.

Re:DD (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702625)

The problem with DD is it has to write all the empty bits of the disk, too. A good imaging solution knows the filesystem and only writes the files. Since most desktops may have 5-6 gig of software on them by default, you don't want to be wasting time writing 80 or 100 gig of zeros.

Or you can pipe dd through a compressor on the write; it will still read the zeroes, but it won't be writing them.

If you don't specify of=filename to dd, it will write output to stdout.

Re:DD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707357)

Or you can pipe dd through a compressor on the write

This will not be efficient for a great many filesystems. On Windows files deleted aren't really filled with zeroes! So you end up dd'ing and compressing a lot of unnecessary infos (for a start, even if you have the good idea of deleting pagefile.sys, there will still be, say, 2 GB of needless 0s and 1s on the disk). One way to deal with this problem if you can mount the drive easily is to do something like dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/.../temp_file. Which will fill a temp_file with zeros until the hard disk is full (of course good luck waiting for that). Then you can delete the file and do your dd/compress.

Moreover you'll still be limited by the sustained read speed of the hard disk. Reading, what, a full 160 GB hard disk at a sustained read speed of 60 MB/s (I'm being generous here) is going to be dog slow.

Anyway, as the GP pointed out, a good imaging solution knows about the filesystem. 'dd' is usually not the correct answer for efficient (time-wise and space-wise) full partition imaging.

Re:DD (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707617)

That helps taking the image... putting it back, DD still has to write all the decompressed zeros.

DD has its place, but imaging a whole desktop is not it. There are massively better free tools for that.

Mod parent up to +5 insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707027)

An hour to image a machine?

This is indeed just plain fscking crazy... Not too mention the time taken to re-image the machine once the shit hits the fan and the size of the backup.

The problem with DD is it has to write all the empty bits of the disk, too. A good imaging solution knows the filesystem and only writes the files.

Exactly! I've posted another (longer) post ranting about that and asking what would be a good, efficient, way to backup OS X partitions.

Since most desktops may have 5-6 gig of software on them by default...

Right on target. Windows + SP2 and fully patched + quite some applications (with pagefile.sys deleted) can easily and fastly be archived and compressed on a single DVD.

Sending love to you and to your 4 digits /. ID: it's good to see there are still some sane people around here.

Btw my way of backuping a Windows NTFS partition is simple:

- boot the PC using a Knoppix CD

- mount the 'C:' partition r/w

- delete pagefile.sys (it will get re-created automatically)

- umount

- use ntfsclone, pipe output to gzip then to whatever can send the compressed image across the network

Detailed infos on how to do this efficiently for Mac OS X partitions is very welcome...

Partitions (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699275)

Partition the drives, run Ghost on the Windows portion, and Carbon Copy Cloner [] on the Mac portion.

Re:Partitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18702371)

Or use Super Duper! to preserve all metadata.

three words (3, Informative)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699305)

Taget Disk Mode .... much faster than network imaging and much easier then pulling hard drives.

By the way you can use Apple restore program ASR to create a disk that will automatically wipe and restore the machine its booted on.

PS unless you have something that would require dual booting (ie 3D PC apps) it would be much easier and more secure to use a virtual machine to run windows. (parallels or VMware Fusion).

PPS if your installing numbers of Macs in an educational setting you really have to look at Apple Remote Desktop its a one stop shop for all your Mac administration needs.

Re:three words (1)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700703)

Incorrect - Netboot over a gig link provides faster restores than over firewire (varies by data size, but we save 2 min per image), and is significantly more scalable.

Re:three words (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701337)

Target disk mode is useless in a lab of 25-35 Intel Macs that need to be reimaged in under an hour.

Apple System Restore, Mac OS X Server, and NetBoot (4, Informative)

Chris Hanson (1683) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699337)

Mac OS X includes a feature called Apple System Restore. You can access it through Disk Utility and use it to create an image of a partition or a whole disk, and replicate that image to another partition or whole disk - even over a network. There's also a command-line version in /usr/sbin/asr. I think Mac OS X Server will even let you NetBoot a system on your network and have it automatically restore its local disk from an ASR image.

I have not done this, but I assume you'd be able to set up a system exactly as you want it to be set up - with both Mac OS X and Windows partitions - and create an ASR image from that, which you can then restore and use at will.

What the fuck they teach nowadays? (0, Troll)

Demena (966987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699341)

Use bloody "dd" for christ's sake.

Re:What the fuck they teach nowadays? (-1, Troll)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699457)

Please don't forget - these Apple people are simple folk with oversized designer coffee tables...

Re:What the fuck they teach nowadays? (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703019)

No. DD isn't flexible, saves extra data, and isn't designed for networking. Real imaging tools should include multicast, compression, and auto partition resizing--both shrinking and expanding. DD's fine for at home, but not so good for lots of systems.

Don't Partition (4, Informative)

ktappe (747125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699505)

We had pondered this same question when we first got our Intel-based Macs. Then we tried Parallels and never looked back. It solves several problems:
  • No need to partition, an action which (to our knowledge) cannot be automated over netboot.
  • Both OSes can be included in a single, NetRestore-able disk image.
  • No need for end users to reboot to change OSes.
So I strongly suggest you re-examine your decision to use BootCamp, and instead examine Parallels. By switching to Parallels you can use well-established tools such as NetRestore, RadMind, and other off-the-shelf solutions.

I also must disagree with one of the other responders who recommended Target disk mode. While this is good for a few computers (and is a great tool for making your source .dmg you'll deploy using the above tools), it does not work well for reimaging hundreds of Macs that are widely distributed across a campus. It requires that each technician be equipped with a firewire drive, which tend to grow legs. Also, more and more security-conscious companies (and colleges) are locking down computers so that neither USB nor Firewire drives can be used and/or forbidding the use of such devices. And then you'll have the problem of keeping each Firewire drive up to date with exactly the same image instead of just updating a single, master .dmg on the server as you can when using NetRestore.

True, it can be tricky to get NetBoot to work across subnets, but we got around that by putting multiple NICs in our NetBoot XServe, one for each subnet. (Yes, we tried Bombich's boot-across-subnets solution but could not get it to work, probably because of how our routers are configured.)

Re:Don't Partition (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699911)

Seconded. The only reasons to use Bootcamp are:

(1) cost [Parallels is very inexpensive, but not free]
(2) if you have high performance graphics requirements like games
(3) if you have multi core requirements.

If single core, non-accellerated performance will do, Parallels is a much better choice. Aside from being able to concurrently run OSX, XP and linux, the ability to work with the XP and linux OS images is superb; they're just files in the OSX filesystem. They're sandboxed, you can even isolate XP from the network entirely, which solves a whole *bunch* of malware problems, and you can back things up trivially.

The manufacturer also says they are looking at the multi core and accelerated 3D performance issues, and if those go away... poof to Bootcamp.

Re:Don't Partition (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18706623)

(1) cost [Parallels is very inexpensive, but not free]
(2) if you have high performance graphics requirements like games
(3) if you have multi core requirements.

Just some notes:

(1) One of the catalogs offers Parallels for $7 with purchase of a Mac - BootCamp I heard will cost $30 when it's out of beta.
(2) VMWare Fusion solves (soon) this for some Direct-X apps
(3) VMWare Fusion solves this

Re:Don't Partition (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700941)

Parallels really sucks, they just get attention because they were the first available and old-school Mac fanboys keep waxing on and on about it. The support really sucks for it as well. It's better than the old Virtual PC, but VMWare is a much, much, much better VM solution.

If you want a native Windows experience, you go with Bootcamp.

Re:Don't Partition (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703097)

Parallels for Mac is more feature rich than VMWare. Things like drag-and-drop of files and coherence are really nice, and I'll be switching away from VMWare when Parallels updates their Linux workstation product.

Re:Don't Partition (1)

aftk2 (556992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709895)

Can VMWare share a Boot Camp partition like Parallels can? I'm not (just) asking to be snarky - I'm really curious; this is the reason we bought Parallels.

Re:Don't Partition (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701269)

Well, indeed part of the reason we've selected Bootcamp is because of the cost of Parallels and the performance advantage of Bootcamp. Our initial tests show that we'd need about 2GB of RAM in our iMacs just to make Parallels happy enough to run half-ass. Several of our classes use high performance Windows apps like AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max, etc that require graphic card acceleration as well. They work horribly under Parallels.

From experience: DON'T (3, Insightful)

tbo (35008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699681)

I know from experience that supporting dual-boot is a huge pain. We have a bunch of dual-boot Win XP / Linux machines (with an Xserve running OS X Server providing file and authentication services). Supporting a dual-boot machine is harder than supporting two single-boot machines. Why? Because each machine will typically spend almost all its time in only one OS. This means that automatic software updates, virus def updates , daily/weekly/monthly cron jobs, etc., won't happen on the other OS, and you'll have huge maintenance nightmares.

Figure out what OS each machine needs to run, and install that one only. Another poster suggested Parallels, which is a great way to handle things if you only occasionally need a non-OS X OS.

Re:From experience: DON'T (1)

g-san (93038) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699755)

There could be a few security implications also, namely being able to mount the other OS volume and edit/delete files. Or put "del $USERPROFILE/*.*" into C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\happy.cmd

I could go on all day!

Re:From experience: DON'T (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701411)

If you make the Bootcamp partition NTFS, Mac OS X is unable to write to it - only has read access to NTFS partitions.

Parallels has the same problem. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701525)

Parallels cheaped out and use a local disk share with full local user rights for drag-and-drop.

If you want to use Parallels as a sandbox, make sure you have "Enable sharing for drag-and-drop" disabled.

Re:From experience: DON'T (1)

amishguy (1087527) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703935)

Well.... easy now. A windows / linux box is a little different than a Win / OSX box on the new intel macs. You are correct in that you have delays in updates but I wouldn't go so far to say that this is any different that supporting 2 machines. In Windows with a good group policy any of your updates or virus defs will update as soon as the machine comes on. If you are using the right tools with OS X, (like Apple remote desktop) you can also have them run tasks when the machine comes on. Also using apple remote desktop you can issue one command and reboot all the machines in to windows. You could script that if you really want to be sure that both sides get the updates you are looking for. In a school setting (such as mine) the dual boot is amazing! Students have access to multiple OS's and applications all in one room. ...I'm not sure what kind of cron jobs you need to run on a workstation anyway

Will Parallels work for multi-user systems? (1)

biftek (145375) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699735)

Lots of people have suggested Parallels (with good reason), though I'm curious whether it can handle various different users logging in to a single Windows disk image (not simultaneously). AFAIK the logged in OS X user needs full permissions on the disk image, so that's a bit of a security issue. The alternative could be one image per user, though that would suck for maintenance and also disk space?

Also for the people suggesting ASR for a dual-boot cloning solution - will that work with non-HFS partitions?

Re:Will Parallels work for multi-user systems? (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701447)

This exact same question has come up in our discussions about Parallels vs Bootcamp. And how do you add a Parallels Virtual Machine to an Active Directory Domain under a multi-user Mac which is also attached to the domain? More questions, LOL!

Re:Will Parallels work for multi-user systems? (1)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703603)

This depends.
Will the Parallels VM have it's own IP?
If so, no problems. The OS in the VM will be seen as a unique machine by the server.

Re:Will Parallels work for multi-user systems? (1)

batzo (168271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709659)

> This exact same question has come up in our discussions about Parallels vs Bootcamp. And how do you add a Parallels Virtual Machine to an Active Directory Domain under a multi-user Mac which is also attached to the domain? More questions, LOL!

Works fine... your parallels VM looks like a completely seperate machine to the AD server. everything pretty much works as you'd expect. even WSUS updates work fine

Clonezilla (1)

XmasterX (847435) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699857)

Have you looked into DRBL [] ?

It has a program called Clonezilla [] that serves the images by multicast or unicast. I use that at work for installing the machines with multi-boot (WindowsXP+Ubuntu) and it works just fine and prety fast too :)

The only thing that you have to try is if it work with mac, but i think it will because of the way that the program does the image of the disc.

Don't (1)

The Mysterious X (903554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18699903)

Bootcamp is beta software with several large known bugs, and should not be used in a production environment. Also, the regular imaging tools won't work, you need something that understands GPT partition tables (from the Department of Reudundancy Department). Basically, from the sound of it, you don't know what you are doing, which for a large scale deployment in a production area, can only end in disaster.

Re:Don't (1)

TrentC (11023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701115)

Bootcamp is beta software with several large known bugs

I was under the impression that all Boot Camp did was allow you to resize an existing HFS partition, insert some EFI extensions so that XP/Vista can load and allow you to select an OS on startup, and burn a drivers CD for you.

A recent build of Boot Camp includes a host of updated drivers, which appear to fix most of the problems I've heard described about.

What "large known bugs" are you referring to?

Re:Don't (1)

The Mysterious X (903554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702365)

Take a look at the apple discussion board for bootcamp; there are stories of about 1% of iMacs being unable to run bootcamp at all, the British keyboard layout has no double quote key, resizing paritions in several cases has hosed systems, just to choose a few.

Re:Don't (1)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18705179)

1% is a small percentage, and the Brits are all stuck on a small little island, compared to the rest of this big ol world. . . so those don't really sound like "large known bugs" That sounds like those little pesky little gnats. lol

Re:Don't (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701559)

>Basically, from the sound of it, you don't know what you are doing, which for a large scale deployment in a production area, can only end in disaster.


Let me clarify that I can image a lab full of Macs with ONLY Mac OS X installed just fine, no problems.


I can image a lab full, or an entire campus, of Dell PCs with XP just fine as well - in fact, it's even easier.

What we're running into a problem with is imaging DUAL-BOOT machines with Bootcamp. Apparently there are some round about ways to do it that are labor intensive - my reason for using Ask Slashdot was to see if some obscure method out there exists that someone has had success with. My question didn't have anything to do whether I know what I'm doing. I'm just one member of a 40 person, 12 campus team who has to deal with this issue and we've had many discussions on it. Many of us are extremely smart and talented.

Judging by some of the initial responses to this question - it's obvious most educational institutions haven't run into this issue, or are just using the long, drawn out labor intensive way. Or are avoiding it altogether and using Parallels, which has its own issues (especially when used in an Active Directory environment), not to mention the performance hit.

I want something on the Mac to work as elegant as Symantec Ghost or Acronis Disk Image.

Don't be quick to comment unless you've used macs (3, Informative)

pete345 (1087427) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700085)

The only way to do this is to copy the entire drive, bit for bit. If you clone each partition, you lose out on the wacky Apple GPT/MBR stuff, which means your copy of Windows will die. The guide on NetRestore [] seems adequate but highlights the complexity. It should be possible to copy a drive image for osx, windows, and then update the GPT and MBR manually to match it, though.

Re:Don't be quick to comment unless you've used ma (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701601)

+1,000,000 - THANK YOU! This complexity you speak of is exactly what encouraged me to Ask Slashdot.

Is there not a bit for byte clone tool for Mac OS X that works with the Intel Mac GUID partition map?

It would be nice if there was a tool as easy and elegant as Ghost or TrueImage for the Mac that worked regardless of how it was partitioned.

use sysprep & etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18712293)


i used a system like this on our wintel machines. and though mac is 'different', its not that different...

every machine had two partitions.. one linux, one windows. inside of linux, there lived a gigantic file that was the windows image. to 'deploy', i booted everyone to linux, then 'udpcast' ed a new windows image file. then each client would unpack the image file to the windows partition using ntfsclone (python scripts made this automagic). thus, any machine could be the 'server' and everyone had an identical copy of the image file. and you could 'clean' a machine by itself easily, without access to any server/network/etc... just re-unpack the image file.

now, on your mac situation, you could do the same thing, every machine has two partitions... linux and OSX. only youll have a gigantic file that is the OSX image. to 'deploy', you boot everyone into linux, then udpcast a new OSX image file to each client. then unpack the image file to the OSX partition, using .... err... yeah. some kind of program that writes image files to HFSplus partitions. i dont know what this might be, its kind of a clincher. but if that step is not too hard, you basically could use all the same tools we used at my 'educational institution'.

now, if you are wanting OSX and Windows XP, you could have each machine have two gigantic image files... one for XP, one for OSX. the XP image can be unpacked to the XP partition, the OSX to the OSX partition.

of course, this is a 'waste of disk space' but honestly, first of all, discs are huge nowdays, i never had to use up more than like 20% of the space... and second of all, 'lab computers' do not need to worry as much about that... people come in, type their papers, whatever.

As for the 'domain setup problem' on XP... use sysprep. It will take a day or three to get working, but use google and youll be up and saving time in the long run. As for the problem with OSX... surely it has some kind of scripts to automate its setup so it doesnt duplicate its names etc.

im posting anonymous b/c my normal account gets -1 (bad karma). if you want to discuss this further, reply here and we can email.

Why dual anything? (1)

SameBrian (945591) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700091)

I definately would not go with the Boot-Camp method for a few reasons (I think they are all mentioned somewhere, so I won't re-iterate them). If you want to have Windows or another OS on the machine, I would use Parallels or VM-Ware. However, I think that an even better solution would be to have a server running MSTSS and have students remote-desktop ( ?) into Windows from the Macs. Although, Coherence mode is pretty cool... PS: Has anyone had a problem where their clock is wrong after booting back into OS X from Boot Camp Windows XP?

Re:Why dual anything? (1)

topham (32406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700889)

The clock problem related to Windows storing local time in the on-board clock; while Apple stores UTC.

There are registry flags for Windows to override the default behaviour and use UTC for the on-board clock.

Re:Why dual anything? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704977)

A substantial number of the 50 faculty MacBooks we deployed last Fall were for people who will be running Windows most of the time (and in a few cases, all of the time). Any configuration that runs OS X as the primary OS would not make sense in this situation (and anything that required broadband network connections would be certifiably insane), so "dual" boot with the WinXP partition set as the default is what we went with.

How about an Xserve? (1)

ZenShadow (101870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700139)

I would recommend checking into purchasing a machine with OS X Server installed.

It has built-in facilities for booting and imaging systems over a network, in addition to facilities for distributing updates. The documentation doesn't look like it supports Windows partitions, but you could (at least in theory -- check with Apple ;-) add a startup script to your image that uses command-line tools to set up a new partition and dd a Windows image to it, then have it delete itself.

I haven't personally done this, but from what I've seen in the docs, it looks looks like a good approach. You might also be able to do the Windows side with an AppleScript or something, but I'm not that deep into the Mac world.


Virtualize! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18700151)

Dual booting is possibly the worst way you could possibly attempt to do this. You are far better off using virtualisation such as Parallels or VMware. There may even be built in virtualization in 10.5. I work for a University where we are even considering virtualizing the main OS on the hardware using Xen (not an option on OS X yet). The only big problem we've hit really is that of passing through specialised hardware to the guest images where it is requires (typically 3d).

CCCloner & Winclone (3, Informative)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700511)

I've done a certain number of these and tried a few solutions, in the end we used Carbon Copy Cloner ( and Winclone (, although you could use ASR with an OS X Server for the Mac part, Winclone is definitely the best solution to image Bootcamp, works very well. You use the diskutil command-line version to partition your drive, then restore the Mac portion using CCC or ASR, then Winclone. It works with FAT or NTFS.

Re:CCCloner & Winclone (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701789)

HEY Thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for - a very simple way to work with Bootcamp partitions!

I'll be giving this a try, thanks jeffasselin!

Dual boot? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18700527)

If you're the sort of person who needs to run Windows for some reason or other, please just kill yourself. Already the world is full of too many tunnel visionaries.

Re:Dual boot? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700651)

You are aware that in making that comment, you yourself are a tunnel visonary right?

There are valid reasons to use just about every OS out there, including Windows. Get over yourself.

I use dd + a live cd (2, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18700543)

I typically use a live Linux or BSD CD, and then use 'dd'.

if you have a usb drive mounted to /mnt

[replace ad0 with hda if using Linux, or the appropriate device if neither]
create image
image storage: netcat -l -p PORT_NUMBER_HERE | split -b 1073741024 - img_name-
image source: dd if=/dev/ad0 | bzip2 -z -9 | netcat STORAGE_MACHINE_IP PORT_NUMBER_HERE

local USB HD
dd if=/dev/ad0 | bzip2 -z -9 | split -b 1073741024 - /mnt/img_name-

Restoration involves:
destination machine: netcat -l -p PORT_NUMBER_HERE | dd of=/dev/ad0
image storage: cat img_name-* | bunzip2 | netcat TARGET_IP PORTNUMBER

usb drive:
cat /mnt/img_name-* | bunzip2 | dd of=/dev/ad0

Of course, this has the problem that it requires typing out a couple of commands and it does not autoconfigure your machines (so you have to go in and manually make any needed changes), but it's a fairly inexpensive process.

It's a UNIX system, you don't need a live CD (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701473)

You can netboot OS X and use the same commands. You can even make it automatically do the install from launchd, either unattended or after login, and there's GUI tools for setting that part up.

The way to do it if you are of any decent size (1)

norkakn (102380) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701669)

1: Create a diskless netboot that has disk utility and terminal
2: Prep both your final images (including radmind for the OSX one) for ASR multicast
3: Start both asr multicast jobs

Then on each computer, boot into the netboot image, reformat and then drop down the images with asr. If you're slick, this can all be scripted into launchd.

Re:The way to do it if you are of any decent size (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701809)

Will this work with Bootcamp partitions?

Re:The way to do it if you are of any decent size (1)

norkakn (102380) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703405)

Sure. You should be able to stick everything inside the DMG. If you really plan ahead, you should be able to do it with only one image. That way, launchd just needs to call asr and reboot afterwords.

Re:The way to do it if you are of any decent size (2, Funny)

twistedcubic (577194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703185)

The way to do it if you are of any decent size

You boys are getting pretty explicit nowadays!

Boot Camp needs frimware updatews to work and EFI (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18701863)

If you are useing a Image the system may think that is does not need a update when it does as apple sends out the firmware updates by the apple updater in OSX.
Also they use the GUID Partition Table (GPT) and EFI there is also an EFI boot partition that is needed.
Some times apple sends out systems with updated drivers / systems files that are newer then updates on apple update / apple website.

Here's my dual-boot recipe (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18701973)

Setting up a dual boot Mac OS X/Windows XP environment on an out-of-the-box Mac

Mac OS X Install DVD, or a bootable FireWire/USB drive
BartPE CD with Ghost
Windows XP SP2 CD
Intel Mac (with all firmware updates applied)

Once you've created your master Mac/PC images (using Ghost on the PC and Disk Utility/Apple Software Restore on the Mac), here's how they're deployed.

1. Either boot from Mac OS X Install DVD or a FireWire/USB HD. Launch Disk Utility, restore HD with your Mac image.

2. Boot off your Mac image on internal HD. Launch Boot Camp, which you installed on your Mac image during creation, in /Applications/Utilities. Skip 'Burn a Mac Drivers CD.' Split HD equally. Insert WinXP CD when prompted. Start install.

3. The machine will boot the WinXP CD and begin setup. All we need to do from this CD is to format the partition created in Step 2. Format the Windows partition NTFS (Quick).

3a. Do not delete this partition, just format it. if you delete it, your XP restore will be unbootable. (everything is sandboxed from the HFS+
side, so no worries about your Mac side).

3b. Although it may be tempting, don't skip this step - attempts to partition for Boot Camp, then simply Ghost out XP image result in an unbootable XP environment. The NTFS formatting from the XP CD is necessary for successful deployment.

4. Once format is complete, and 'scanning C drive...' begins, shut down machine manually with the power button.

5. Restart the Mac, eject the WinXP CD by holding down the left-click button at startup, hold down the Option key and boot Mac OS X from internal HD. Boot from BartPE CD and Ghost out your WinXP image from FireWire. Reboot into Windows.

6. Finished. Run whatever post-restore actions you have (NewSID, DeepFreeze, etc...) You already installed the Mac-specific drivers for XP during image creation.

I've done this myself (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702869)

We used portable Firewire drives (bootable) with various images on them. We'd boot from the FW drive, use Netrestore to image the computer, then boot the computer, update the firmware for Boot Camp (dunno if that's necessary anymore), then boot from a Norton Ghost CD and image the Windows partition across the network. Not the fastest or most autonomous way to do it, but it worked pretty darn well. Netrestore rocks.

Mac OS and Windows XP (2, Informative)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18702911)

I work in a K-12 Education district (primarily apples) and we have noticed a few quirks if you have been using non-intel apples and are changing to intel apples.
To start, you want to create a GUID Partition Table on your external drive. This will allow the drive to boot from an intel mac. The older "Apple Partition Map" will not boot from an Intel, so this is the foundation step.
Once you've got that ready, you will want to use Carbon Copy Cloner [] from Bombich to make your image(s) onto your external drive. I would second the earlier discussed notion of using parallels as it has worked well for both our tech savvy, and not so tech savvy employees. (Read: Parallels doesn't require a computer degree to use)
Install as small a copy of OSX as possible onto the external drive. This will allow you to boot from the external drive, run Carbon Copy Cloner or NetRestore (whichever poison suits you best) and then deploy the image(s). Having OSX bootable from the external drive will also enable you to make any partition changes you need on the mac's hard disk.

Standard imaging practices apply, run your updates, install any software you intend to have on every machine, and repair permissions on the disk before making your final image. Rum is optional, but highly recommended, as it can make the time spent waiting for the image to complete fly by.
Why is the rum gone?

Re:Mac OS and Windows XP (1)

macpulse (823760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704549)

What are you using to deploy the image? The same external boot drive?

So after you take the image, you then pass the external HD around to the other 24 Macs (25 in a lab in our case) and boot each one and push the image back to them?

Is there a way to do it with less manual labor, and without Mac OS X Server?

Since Netboot has difficulty working accross vlan segments, is there a way to make Mac OS X client work as a Netboot server? Say, have our instructor station in the room be the Netboot server?

Re:Mac OS and Windows XP (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18707859)

What are you using to deploy the image? The same external boot drive? So after you take the image, you then pass the external HD around to the other 24 Macs (25 in a lab in our case) and boot each one and push the image back to them?
I use more then one external hard drive in this case. We actually created an image of a stripped down osx install (800megs, anything further and I would have been getting ridiculus) for easy external HD prep. Just duplicate the image to however many external discs you feel you need, then go image crazy.
I would also reccomend that you multiply the bottles of Rum in this instance, as it does tend to run out halfway through...
As for the rest, I feign ignorance. (Read: I don't have the foggiest clue)
Why is the rum always gone? *stumble* Oh, thats why...

NetRestote & Parallels (1)

Bucky_the_Geo (664896) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704227)

We've got two Intel-Mac labs imaged using NetRestore from an X-Serve. It works great. Windows XP is running on all of them via Parallels. We don't partition. One image creates both the OSX and Windows environment. The only issue we've come across is licensing for software on each platform. Some of our software is site licensed, but other software is on a per-seat basis.

This is interesting too (0, Troll)

imaroboninja (1087551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704423)

OMG thats almost as funny as the real story behind 100 Million iPods []

what about an efficient way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18706683)

I've seen lots of comments suggesting to either use 'dd' or commercial tools. The problem with dd is that it's all but efficient. For example I prepare clean Linux image by using a good old tar and then compressing the image (use your favorites switches or redirection to do all this, including remote backup, on one line...). This results in "lightweight" files. For NTFS partition I use ntfsclone (included in latest Knoppix for sure) and redirect output to, say, gzip. In this way clean XP + SP2 + all security patches can be made to be very lightweight too (according you deleted pagefile.sys and disabled, say, "restoration" points, unnecessary "uninstall" directories, etc. which are all kinda pointless once you're using full-system imaging).

My point is: experience has shown it is not convenient to archive 20 GB partitions or more. It is way more interesting to have a "ready to go" fully patched system (even with some apps) that fits on, say, a DVD. I can't imagine keeping tens of 20 GB+ copies of various systems. This simply won't scale. You need an somehow efficient way to archive all this. Not too mention re-installing shall be way faster when you're saving only actually used data, instead of the whole disk, mostly empty (if you're talking about imaging new systems/nearly pristine systems). I've read about people dd'ing whole disks under less than an hour: wtf? I recently archived a whole XP + SP2 + all patches + applications in, what, 8 minutes. A whole hour to backup a new system... Dude, you're smoking some very inefficient crack. Not too mention that you need a second hard disk to keep the image safe and hard disk are not known to be that reliable. I'd way rather have my whole system image fit on DVDs. Easier to carry around, easier to duplicate, cheaper, etc.

For some partitions types (e.g. some QEMU file systems that, eg, Xen and KVM can use when emulating/virtualizing Windows), you have to fill the empty space with actual zeros, to be sure zero'ed sectors shall be efficiently compressed (dd if=/dev/zero helps here ;), etc.

I know how to efficiently archive Windows (both real and virtualized) and Linux partitions / systems, but I'm not that much into OS X yet...

So my question is simple: does anyone know an easy, efficient way (both time-wise and space-wise, though the two are related) to archive OS X partitions? Any numbers are very welcome (like the partition's size, the used space and the final image's size) and any hints too (like, say, would it be usefull to mount the OS X partition from a Knoppix CD [is this possible!?] then do a dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/mac_partitition/temporary_file and then delete the temporary file to be sure that the image [done how? you tell me...] is more efficiently compressed?).

I'm asking only for OS X, because doing it efficiently for the Windows and/or Linux partition isn't a problem. I do really think that doing it efficiently for OS X (which I don't know how to do yet, for I haven't looked very much into that yet) and efficiently for Windows/Linux (which I fully know how to do) would be way more interesting than "dd'ing" the whole hard disk (good luck for keeping various "restoration points" using a "full hard disk dd" technique).

I think this topic is way more complex than simply saying "use dd" or "use $$$ software XXX".

Some suggestions (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18707267)

> Did you figure out the problem with changing the partition size and cloning back the XP loadset with Ghost?

From one of my collegues at work in charge of his own dept at our university.

The key is that bootcamp doesn't make the partition "active".
So we have a CD that boots into DOS to run fdisk to activate the partition.
Then it's golden."

Another issue

" I was having problems getting my Ghosted XP load onto my new mini (I could Ghost to the bootcamp-created partition, I could use my 'fdisk' DOS CD to make the partition active, but the damn partition won't show up in an "option" startup "

"So, I grabbed "rEFIt": [] "

"Installed this -- was able to "fix" my Windows installation -- then remove it and Windows shows up in the EFI boot options now."
It seems like a pretty cool EFI replacement -- you can use it to set up a "triple-boot" system.

NetRestore FTW! (2, Interesting)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710603)

We had to work this out in a hurry after a sudden decision to buy 70 iMacs - NetRestore saved our butts!

We netboot to restore the OSX image, then simply roll the XP image as a post action. You can then reimage independently using netrestore. (We actually still use ghost for deploying some software, and the rest of our images - NetRestore is faster and easier!)

Our only initial problem was getting the NTFS partition there to roll to, as ntfs-utils (NetRestore uses these to work with the NTFS filesystem) was having none of creating it itself!

In theory you could automate the process entirely if you bypass bootcamp.

Our mac image takes roughly 6 minutes to deploy, in groups of 5-6 over a gig link, and weighs in at about 5 gig, excluding the xp image.

Turn the mac into an external firewire drive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18711661)

Why bother removing the drive when you can just hold down the "t" button at boot, and then your mac becomes ax external firewire drive, just plug it up to any machine with firewire, turn on the mac, and hold down "t" when booting, then use whatever imaging program you are used to.
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