Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bootcamp, sharing data between OSX and XP with 3 partitions - Advanced

This is how to install bootcamp and end up with one OSX Partition (NFS+), one XP partition (the preferred NTFS system) and one shared MS-DOS Fat32 Data partition that both operating systems can read/write to.

The detailed instructions ended up being way longer than expected, so here’s a short version for experienced users.

(A detailed version for newbie's is in the previous post)

1) Ensure you have OSX installed one 1 partition only (ie you have not partitioned with Bootcamp) reinstall if you have to

2) Run bootcamp


3) Create the Driver disk

4) In terminal window type ‘diskutil list’, note the OSX disk name.

5) Run the following (the OSX partition, Data & XP partition MUST be in this order)

sudo diskutil resizeVolume disk0s2 21G "HFS+" Data 50G "MS-DOS FAT32" XP 21G

Change ‘disk0s2’ for the name of your disk.
Change the sizes to suit your disk.

(The trick with this install is to format the ‘Data’ volume to be a format that windows doesn't recognize during install, hence the data volume is "HFS+" volume, trust me)

6) Insert the Windows XP (ensure you have serial number)

7) Reboot and hold down “C” to select the windows CD

8) Install windows (formatting volume to NTFS. Halfway through it will reboot, use the option key as it reboots AND reselect the windows CD.

9) After Windows has installed, swap the CD's so OSX Install Disk is back in the drive.

10) Reboot and hold "C" to boot into the OSX set up.

11) Using Disk Utility (Utilities menu) select the 'Data' partition, select "MS-DOS FAT32" from the drop down and click 'Erase'


That’s it.

When you boot into Windows you will have the C: drive (NTFS) with windows installed and the Data drive (FAT32) (G: in my system) with full access.

In OSX you will see two windows drives, one shared Data drive with full access, one with Win XP on it.

The only limitation is that individual files cannot be over 4gb in the shared drive, not a problem for me.

Any problems try reading the detailed description


Blogger CalabazaBlog said...


10:50 am  
Anonymous mr m said...

shinecello you rock!

now if only my damn macbook would show up

12:48 pm  
Anonymous rafalski said...

Now can you share config files among programs? I mean, can XP and OSX Firefox have common bookmarks, plugins and other settings, and Thunderbird in each system see the same emails?

3:46 pm  
Anonymous Martin said...

Same question for me. Can we share Firefox and Thunderbird profiles ? emails files and folders ?

1:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you really rock, your plan worked perfect...!

I thought I could fix the last steps using PartitionMagic in WinXP, but thats useless, however it didn't mess up the installation.

Now, I got a nice third partition accessible by MacOS and WinXP, using DiskUtil from MacOS-DVD.


12:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I followed your instructions and it all worked, but I only have 2 GB free on my OSx volume (I divided it as you suggested). I really would like to have more for the system. SO, is there a way to combine the shared volume with the OSx volume?

I would like to do this without having to reinstall the Windows since I now have some of my programs installed on it.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

5:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After succesfully installing BootCamp 1.0 with "3" partitions, as explained in your Blog, I have just tried to update it to BootCamp 1.1.1 and the BootCamp Assistant won't let me start because: "your startup disk must be formatted as a single MacOS extended (Journaled) volume or already partioned by BootCamp Assitant for installing Windows.". Do you have any suggestions on how to update it to 1.1.1 without going back to 2 partitions and loosing everthing on the side?

5:45 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article is very informative and helped me further.

Thanks, David

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1:04 am  
Anonymous cindy said...

hi! i've read through that but i am still a little blur. I am getting a macbook 2.0 GHz before sunday. I would want to run XP on my macbook as well. Would you be able to give me like a specifi tutorial on how to? pls reply at

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