Vista on an Imac using WDS

This was just so funny I had to post it here. My work (K-12 Education) is pretty much a Macintosh shop as far as the desktops go (6:1 Mac/PC). There are a couple Win heads running around the shop and they decided to use the WDS server I brought online last year to image a brand new iMac with Vista to see if it would work. To their amazement (and mine), WDS dropped an image of Vista Business onto the iMac and it runs natively. With a few simple steps, you can turn your iMac into a Vista box, without the use of boot camp or other virtualization technology. I am not sure why you would want to do this to a brand new iMac, but nonetheless it works! The following is the process they followed…

Make sure you have a workable discovery CD as you will specify the CD Rom as the bootable device on the iMac. Follow the process mentioned in an earlier post (here) for creating a discovery CD, but make sure you use the Server 08 boot.wim as the base. Simply slipstream the Ucon Marvel network driver from the Leopard DVD into the discovery CD before creating the bootable iso file. Once you do that, burn a new discovery CD.

The iMac’s hard drive cannot be formatted during the initial WDS image process, so you must first boot into an OS disk (USB, Firewire, or CD/DVD) that gives you MS-DOS partitioning capability. Wipe the second partition on the iMac completely (leaving the 200MB EFI partition) with the OS disk of your choosing, then insert the discovery CD and reboot. On boot, the only selection you will have is to boot via the CD. If you slipstreamed the Ucon Marvel network driver correctly, you will receive and IP address upon boot and be connected to the WDS server. Select the Vista image from the image store and you are off and running.

When it comes to the disk utility, DO NOT DELETE the second partition, just format it. If you delete the second partition, it automatically blows up the 200MB EFI partition and you will need to start the process over. Once the second partition is formatted, select next and continue the image process. A few minutes later, you will have a workable Vista box on the iMac. You will need to insert the Leopard DVD to load drivers on the missing devices in the control panel.

Have fun running Vista on the iMac!!

This link has pictures of this little project.

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