Windows XP setup finished – very quickly, I might add. My Core Duo 1.6GHz 2GB RAM Mac mini appears to run native Windows XP very speedily. After first boot, I ran the Macintosh Drivers CD, which installed everything it needed (except my iSight camera, which apparently is not supported under XP – neither is the Apple Remote. Bummer.).
I booted back into OS X, to see how I would go about accessing my new Windows partition. I didn’t see any way to access my Mac partitions from XP – nothing was visible. Not even the 160GB LaCie Firewire drive (though that one does show up in Device Manager OK).
In typical geek fashion, now is the time I decide to read the documentation. After I’m done. Hmm. It seems that I made a mistake back at the beginning of the installation process – I chose NTFS as the file type for the Windows partition, instead of FAT32. There hasn’t been a good reason to chose FAT over NTFS for a long time, so it was automatic for me. But…
It seems that in order to have more than read access to your Windows partition from inside Mac OS X, you need to choose FAT32 as the file type. Oops. *sigh*
There’s no way to convert from NTFS back to FAT (though you can go from FAT to NTFS), so now I have to decide whether I want to blow it away and do it again the right way, or see if I can hack up a solution to transfer files between the two OSes.
I thought I could use the LaCie 160GB Firewire drive as a go between. Windows can’t see it as a volume, so I installed the Mac Drive Test Drive (30 day trial – how generous *rolls eyes*) software that came with the LaCie drive. After reboot, I still can’t see the drive. Mac Drive says it’s there. Once more into the documentation. Turns out there’s the same limitation – even with Mac Drive installed, it seems I’d have to reformat the 160GB drive as FAT32 in order to access it from windows. Oh, and FAT32 doesn’t support partitions larger than 32GB. So I’d have to do 5 or 6 of those. Yuck.
As an aside, what the heck is the value in this Mac Drive software if you still have to reformat the drive to a compatible file type? Shouldn’t it allow me to access HFS formatted Mac Drives?
I’m undecided as to what I’m going to do at this point. But I am very happy with the prospects. Windows XP on the Mac is freaking fast. Probably one of the fastest instances of XP I’ve ever used.
Stay tuned for updates!