Sunday, May 20, 2012

Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

One of my favorite PC games is still the original release of Rollercoaster Tycoon created by Chris Sawyer. Unfortunately, the game will NOT run in Windows 7 or Windows 8 properly (keeps crashing, won’t load saved games, etc.). In order to properly run the game I imageneeded a Windows XP computer. I didn’t want to deal with taking a performance hit by loading up a virtual XP machine on my Windows 8 laptop, so Instead I wanted to use Boot Camp on my white Macbook and load up Windows XP in a 32 GB partition. The problem is that I upgraded to Lion on the Macbook and Boot Camp in Lion only supports Windows 7 from here on out.

I found out that as long as you had Windows XP on a 2nd partition on the Mac BEFORE you upgrade to OS X Lion, the Windows XP OS would remain intact. So, here is what I had to do to get Windows XP as the 2nd boot option on my Macbook with Lion:

  1. Backed up all data to my Time Machine backup hard drive.
  2. Boot the Macbook with the Snow Leopard DVD.
  3. Wiped the hard drive using the Disk Utility, then installed Snow Leopard from scratch.
  4. Booted Mac OS X Snow Leopard for the first time and DID NOT perform software updates.
  5. Launched Boot Camp immediately and installed Windows XP.
  6. After XP was installed and working, I rebooted the Macbook to OS X Snow Leopard and performed all software updates and patches.
  7. Logged into my Apple ID in the Mac App Store and performed the upgrade to Lion.
  8. Performed a data restore from the Time Machine backup hard drive.

So, now I am running OS X Lion and still have my Windows XP partition intact. There probably is an easier way to get Windows XP running alongside OS X Lion on a Mac, but this was my own process for how I got it running. Yes, this process is a pain in the butt to perform but was a small price to pay to be able to enjoy a PC gaming classic.

-Joe