Friday, October 10, 2008

Setting up a Mac Pro

We recently acquired a new Mac Pro workstation for some electrophysiology in the Pfaff Lab and I've had quite a time setting it up. I'll avoid the details of what went wrong to protect the innocent (and guilty), but below are three very important things I've learned about installing Windows on a Mac.

1. If you need PCI cards or other non-USB peripherals, Parallels and VMware Fusion will not work for running windows; use Boot Camp instead.

2. Boot Camp installations should be done with Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), not SP3. After installing the Windows Boot Camp Update 2.1 (link), SP3 can be installed via Windows Update (although I have yet to try this part).

3. Do not delete or modify any of the partitions other than the partition made by the Boot Camp assistant during the Windows XP installation. This could render either Windows or Mac OSX useless and warrant a trip to the Apple Store. Small, seemingly unnecessary partitions are used by the Mac to read the various volumes and drives in the computer.

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