Bootcamp Run-Around

I have been thinking about setting up my Macbook Pro with a Bootcamp partition ever since VMWare Fusion Beta 3 announced that you could use your Windows XP (or Vista) partition as a virtual machine.  Last week I found out that a class I’m taking at the end of July requires you to install the classroom software and supporting files on Windows, so that was my “final straw” to get Bootcamp set up with Windows XP Pro.

That was where the easy part ended….

I downloaded and installed the Bootcamp Assistant software. When I attempted to run it, the program informed me that, since I had more than one partition on my internal drive, that Bootcamp couldn’t run due to incompatibilities with partitions made with OS X’s Disk Utility (see this post for why I had set up more than 1 partition). I REALLY didn’t want to have to completely reinstall all my OS and applications, but at the same time, I have to get this software set up and ready for this class before it starts in a couple of weeks.

Enter SuperDuper!  I happened to have an external firewire drive lying about the house, so I used SuperDuper! to clone my primary partition to the external drive.  I then rebooted my machine, choosing the firewire drive to boot from which left me free to re-partition the internal drive.  Once that completed, I used SuperDuper! one more time to mirror the external drive back to the internal drive.  VOILA! I was right back where I started as far as all my applications and settings were concerned, but now the internal drive was set up and ready for BootCamp to do its thing.

The one down side to this is that I had to move the contents of my 2nd partition to a folder under my home directory.  Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but in doing so I lost the case-sensitivity benefits I had under the separate partition that I used to house project files in.  I suppose I’ll just have to be even more careful than before now that my testing environment won’t catch those types of things for me.

Anyway, all tolled it probably took about 3 hours to do the two mirrors and get Windows XP configured on the BootCamp partition.  But even then, it was a whole lot faster than if I’d wiped the machine and started from scratch.

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