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Shiny new MacBook

As an experiment in self-flagellation, no, actually, as an experiment in running Windows and MacOS X at the same time, I just got a new (black! whoo-hoo!) MacBook for work; the plan is that when I get it running both Windows and MacOS X at the same time, I'll turn it over to our new account manager, Lee. Setting up the MacBook itself was trouble-free, though I do wish the network setup dialog, when it finds that you can't actually connect to the wireless network due to ACL restrictions, would present the Airport ID so you can actually add the MAC to the ACL, but I digress. It used to be readily accessible under the lift-up keyboard on the iBooks, but the MacBook doesn't let you do that. Anyway. Only problem during setup, easily rectified.

Installing Parallels Desktop RC2 was also easy, though I'd have saved myself a little time by reading the second email they sent, explaining how to get the trial activation key. I certainly hope that they don't intend to charge both for the key and the software; the free trial key I have expires a month from yesterday.

Setting up a new VM was easy, as per their instructions. Installing XP, however, has been difficult so far. Three blue screens in (latest: File usbccgp.sys caused an unexpected error (512) at line 5964 in d:\xpsprtm\base\boot\setup\setup.c), I'm starting to wonder if this is going to work. Oh, well, I'll keep going: it seems to get further along each time.

This time viaide.sys is "corrupt". Funny, it's on a CD-ROM. Oh, and you have to press any key to get the message that the setup failed and that you need to press another any key to restart and try it again.

Ah, good. Made it all the way to setup menu this time. Chose "unpartitioned space" (~8GB) and picked slow NTFS. Eight minutes later, I get a failure to copy "mshtml.dll". Sigh. So, I skipped it. We'll see if I can install it later, because we certainly can't live without it. And now, "msdxm.ocx" fails, along with "dxmasf.dll", "wmp.ocx", "mplayer2.inf", "atiixpaa.inf", "atiixpag.inf", etc... I'm bailing this install.

This time, NTLDR is missing, probably due to the aborted install. I fixed the boot loading sequence so it hits the CD first, but that didn't fix it the first time. Second time, I got a "press any key to boot from CD" and then "NTLDR is missing".

OK, so I pinged Matt and he suggested creating an ISO from the WinXP disk, so I did that. Had to recreate the original virtual disk I'd created, as it was corrupt, then attach the ISO file to the CD-ROM, but that seems to have worked. Let's see if it actually boots...

Ah, good. It does. Now running XP, no problems yet.

UPDATE: wish I'd had this article on whether to use BootCamp or Parallels a week ago, but it seems I made the right choice nonetheless.

Oh, and the final release version of Parallels Desktop seems to be ready. Got our activation key in email today.


"Had to recreate the original virtual disk I'd created, as it was corrupt, "

This bit of wisdom enabled me to get past the dreaded "NTLDR is missing" message and get the @#$%! copy of Windows XP loaded in Parallels. Thanks!

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