March 16, 2006 12:06 PM PST

How the XP-on-Mac prize was won

When Apple Computer introduced the first Intel-based Macs, Colin Nederkoorn saw it as a chance to finally use a Macintosh for work.

Nederkoorn, a Mac enthusiast who works in the shipping industry, offered up a $100 bounty for the first person who could provide a replicable way to get Windows XP up and running on a Mac. Others also offered up cash, and the bounty grew to nearly $14,000. This week, Nederkoorn found a winner, two friends from California who prefer to be known only by their online handles "narf" and "blanka."

Related story
Windows XP-on-Mac contest declares winner
Getting the Windows OS to boot on new Intel-run machines leads to nearly $14,000 prize.

The winning solution was posted to the contest Web site, but it was struggling Thursday to keep up with the deluge of traffic. Nederkoorn took a few minutes away from trying to keep the site up to talk with CNET

Q: So, you found a winner?
Nederkoorn: Yeah, we declared a winner last night after testing. We had nine people testing it...three for the Mac Mini, three for the iMac and three for the MacBook Pro.

How complicated a method is it?
Nederkoorn: It's reasonably easy. A lot of the work goes on behind the scenes, but there's a lot of prep work involved. There's, I guess, two major steps. The first would be to create a custom Windows XP CD. You do that by pulling the files off the original Windows XP CD and dropping a few extra files into that and burning your own custom--it's usually called a "slipstream"--CD. The second major step is partitioning the hard drive on your Mac to have two partitions--one for Windows and one for OS X.

Have you tried it out on your machine yet?
Nederkoorn: Yes, it's up and running.

What do you know about the winner?
Nederkoorn: It's a team of two people. They are out in California. I do know their names, but they've asked me not to disclose who they are. They don't want this contest to interfere with their daily lives for the next few days--which it certainly has with mine, but that's OK.

One of the guys bought an iMac, and his friend convinced him to let him experiment on the iMac and to try and get a solution working. The two of them got it done.

Have you already delivered the prize to them?
Nederkoorn: I spoke with him last night. We are trying to figure out the most cost-effective way to get them the money. I think that PayPal charges a fee, and on this amount of money I think it is a reasonable amount. They are still deciding how they want to take delivery.

You guys have posted the method up on your site?
Nederkoorn: The method is up. There are about five mirrors up right now, but we are having trouble keeping the main site up just due the volume of traffic. We're struggling to do that.

Do you think you got your money's worth?
Nederkoorn: For me, it wasn't really a question of money; it was a question of time. I think it was worth it. I don't think I have the time and energy to do it again, but I definitely don't regret it.

Originally you started the contest to see if you could have your work machine be a Mac. Is that right?
Nederkoorn: Yeah, that's still the plan, once there are a few more drivers working and confirmed, then I can migrate my MacBook Pro.

See more CNET content tagged:
contest, winner, Apple iMac, Apple MacBook Pro, Apple MacBook


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Add your comment
Just Need Drivers Now
Well, my heartiest congratulations to the guys responsible and
to the competition in general. It seems to have done a bang-up
job of delivering a solution and I hope that the coming weeks
and months will refine the process to making it as simple as
possible, assuming that it can be simplified anymore.

However, as has been noted in the article, the problem now is
one of drivers. I'm glad to hear that XP can be booted on an
Intel Mac but the lack of hardware video acceleration means that
it's far from the product that most people are hoping for. I'm
not certain where the drivers necessary to complete the process
are going to come from (I presume that the Linux community
has faced the same problem) but I'm hoping that these issues
will be resolved by the time that I buy my Intel Mac in about 6-

I confess that I was beginning to have my doubts that this would
be done but I love being proven wrong in this.
Posted by kelmon (1445 comments )
Reply Link Flag
2 Guys do what Microsoft can't
Just last week Microsoft said that Vista wouldn't boot on EFI
machines. Yet here, 2 guys figure out how to modify Windows XP to
boot on Apple's EFI-based machine. It kind of makes you wonder
what kind of programmer's Microsoft has...
Posted by chabig83 (535 comments )
Reply Link Flag
To be fair, it probably wasn't so much that MS couldn't, but that
it just didn't. MS has had many opportunities to re-write old
code but decide not to for various reason. They have alot of
really bright people working there. Also, if you notice, When it
was reported that Vista wasn't going to run or EFI systems, they
said this of the 32 bit version. They also said that the 64 bit
version would.

I'm all for nocking Microsoft, but it needs to be for the right
reasons. Congrats to the two guys who accomplished this, but
realistically neither Apple nor Microsoft were actually attempting
this, nor did they say it was an impossible task.
Posted by rfelgueiras (189 comments )
Link Flag
Re: 2 Guys do what Microsoft can't
As I posted recently in a different forum (about Microsoft)...

"Never in the field of software development has so little been
produced by so many"

Apologies to Winston Churchill
Posted by (4 comments )
Link Flag
I Would Swap in a Heartbeat
Apple - are you listening? I much prefer Apple's desktop and laptop hardware, and there are many things about Apple software that I would love. The problem is I have so much legacy Windows work that I could not contemplate leaving it all behind. But give me a simple and stable way to dual boot a Mac, to include WinXP, and still support all my current hardware such as printers, external hard drives etc, and I would be down to the nearest Apple store in a heartbeat. Jobs, you are so paranoid about Microsoft that you may be missing a huge market potential.
Posted by PaulM (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Motivation for Virtual PC
When the Intel based Macs came out, Microsoft hesitated to say
whether or not there would even be an Intel version of Virtual

Now that there is a semi-simple way to run Windows on a Mac, I
think it would be motivation for MS to get going. People will
want to dual boot and they will be sitting with a shelved product
that could be making a lot of money by allowing people to run
Windows *inside* Mac OS X. They would make the money from
Virtual PC *and* the OS license.

I don't see them hesitating very much longer.
Posted by jeromatron (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Crazy Idea
What if MS decided to sell a version of XP designed for Macs using this technique? Incorporate it into one step just like loading XP on a PC. Might increase the number of Macs sold. I don't know if I would want XP on my Mac. I think it's more I want OSX on my PC :)
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Link Flag
Next Challenge?
Multi-boot machines are certainly be great for some people. But
I'm more interested in a multi-os machine that doesn't sacrifice
speed and performance. The PC emulators came close, maybe now
that light in the tunnel isn't a train coming at me....
Posted by Randy MacMillan (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Forget PCs
Maybe the next challenge should be something totally different. I'm thinking of offering a cash prize to the first person to port Linux to his own pacemaker. That would take both technical savvy and nerves of steel.
Posted by JFDMit (180 comments )
Link Flag
pirated software
Does he have a valid license key? How did they get around the protection? or will his machine no longer work after 30 days due to WPA?
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Duh Windows Piracy
Windows XP Pro Corp edition is not crippled like the other versions of windows. Enter a key and you are done.
Posted by tadpohl (1 comment )
Link Flag
Fast OS Switching...
If Apple developed a more user-friendly way to switch between OS's, I would toss out my PC and buy a PowerMac. (When the new Conroe chipped PowerMac's are launched of course)

I know from my experience in the protected streaming media business, that every MAC user is angery over not being able to play media protected by Windows DRM. The ability to switch OS's, on the fly, would alleviate this blockage.

and of course, I would still have Windows for my gaming needs.
Posted by NRU235 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Useless complaint.....
If you want XP in addition to OS X, buy a cheap PC, XP included,
and network it via VNC. Now you can run both machines from the
Mac easier than from a partitioned hard drive. I know, I run four
PC's at the moment, plus five Mac;s from my main G4, via ARD and
VNC. Works great! And no XP compromising my Mac's.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag

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