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MultiBoot on a Laptop (Windows 8.1, XP, Ubuntu, Mac OS 10.9.2)

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Hi all. 


I will like to post a small tutorial, so maybe somebody can enjoy it and will not have to struggle like I did for 1 week to get thinks right. There are quite a few topics out there how to multi boot with 2 hard drives and so, but what about laptop users who needs to install multiple os and we have only 1 build in HDD. I will not go in huge technical details, it will be more like a roadmap, and I'm sure that there are other solutions out there as well, but this one was which suited me in the best way.




What you will need.

1) Niresh Mavericks installer (either USB HDD, either DVD)

2) An additional boot usb with your favorite Live Linux distro on it.

3) Windows installer CD's


First off all, we need to decide how may OS do we want to install and how many partitions we want. I will work with MBR so we are limited to max 4 primary partitions or we can use Extended and Logical partitions. In my cases I needed 4 partitions for 4 OS'es and 1 partition for DATA, which is shared between all the OS. :)


SO let's get started boot the computer using your boot usb, and load Linux live CD. (I used ubuntu)

Once you boot up ubuntu, make sure you install "hfsprogs". Once installed, start Gparted to make partitions on you driver. 


I have made the following paritions (feel free to create them to suite YOUR need).

1) Primary NTFS (for windows XP)

2) Primary HFS+ (for mac)

3) Extended - Logical (Ext4 - For Linux)

4) Extended - Logical (Ntfs - For Windows 8)

5) Extended - Logical (NTFS - For Shared DATA)

6) Extended - Logical (FAT32- hidden -  A backup copy of my laptop restore partition) - I will not cover now how to save and restore this.


Once this is done, you can already install Linux on the partition designed for it, if you do not wish to use linux, than don't install it.

Here you should only boot in linux - which is ok

Once done, reboot, and install windows XP on the primary partion.

After this step you should only boot in XP - which is ok.

Than install Window 8 as well. 

At this point your computer should only boot in windows 8, which is fine.

In windows 8 download and install EasyBCD (free boot management software)

In EasyBCD create a boot option for Windows XP, for Windows 8 and for Linux, restart your computer and check if you can boot in all 3 OS'es till now. 

If all is OK as it should be, we will boot up the OS X installer, if you have problems with booting OS X please search the forum for you specific problem, Niresh DVD and USB image worked out of the box on my test machines.

Once you reach the installer, open Disk Utils, and select the HFS partition we created a few steps back. Enable Journaling on it, than close Disk Util, and in the installer select this partition and carry on with the install as normal.


After the installation is complete, your system will reboot, make sure you do not remove the OS X installer media, boot from it, and instead of selecting the installer (partition or DVD) select the HDD where you installed the Mac OS (above example, will be HD(0,2) )

Let Mac installer finish all the Post installation settings, than reboot, and remove the installer media.


If everything went well, you will either have a boot0 error either Mac os will be loaded... which is absolutely fine.


Now take the boot USB with the Live linux and boot it up. Start Gpart, and change the boot flag from Mac partition to Windows 8 partition, than restart your computer.

The previously created EasyBCD os selector should come up, start Windows 8, and than run EasyBCD.


In EasyBcd go to add a new entry, but do NOT add Mac, since it will not work (that is only a small iso of chameleon boot loader).

Select NeoGrub and press the install button. Once NeoGrub is installed press the Configure button. 

A notepad should open, where you can input and configure more boot options for EasyBcd.


You can use this to create multiple boot options, but we only need to boot up our MAC OS so no need to go into to much details.

Type in the following lines in the opened notepad, at the end of the file.


kernel (hd0,0)/nst/cdboot


Save and close notepad.

NeoGrub is a version of Grub4Dos, so we tell grub4dos to use a kernel and boot it up. Normally on your first partition there should be a folder called NST already.

Save the attached file in that folder. IF there is no NST folder, make sure you create an NST folder on you first partition and save the attached file there. Of course you can save the file in other places as well but than you need to adjust the neogrub loader accordingly.


Save and close easybcd, and restart your computer.

On the OS select menu you should have a NeoGrub bootloader option now. Select it and hit enter.

If all was done nicely than you should be in the Niresh boot loader now, where you cun just press enter on the Mac partition to boot up mac.


Attention the cdboot file is NOT my work, neither my merit, i just extracted it from Niresh ISO. 


Attached cdboot:




Hope some of you will find this helpful.





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Hi! Thanks for your guide!
I had a pc with ubuntu installed in which I installed windows 8 too, and a separate partition for data. Once I did the installation of windows 8 I solved the boot problem restoring Ubuntu's Grub, which allows me to boot into the two OS.
What if I do the same with Mavericks?
I mean: create a partition in which to install it, install Niresh's Mavericks, then restoring Ubuntu's Grub (guide in italian: http://wiki.ubuntu-it.org/AmministrazioneSistema/Grub/Ripristino) and use it to boot in either Ubuntu or Windows 8 or Mac OSX?
Does it work up to you?
Thank you very much!

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