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First things first: thanks to help from several generous people, I now have the funds to pay for classes! I can still use a job here and there to help cover semester expenses, but for right now I'm focused on knowledgy-type things. :D

Second: due to recent software needs and hardware failures, but a distinct lack of money to pay Apple, I've been making my own modifications to my Mac laptop. One of these upgrades has been a new...well, old, but repurposed...hard drive. I'm now pleased to say that I have OS X back on my laptop, in addition to reasonably-sized Windows and Linux partitions.

Currently I lack a consistently working CD drive, or if it manages to work, I still generally have to sacrifice the disk because it gets horribly mangled by the drive. Needless to say, installation has been...challengingly creative. Linux is back and running, with almost no problem; Mac willingly installed to an external hard drive and the drive worked upon insertion into my laptop (OS X also installs to Macs in target disk mode, but that assumes you have OS X already installed). I've also utilized the command `dd` in more ways than I knew was possible.

But Windows leaves me stumped. I can perform a [complicated] fresh install of Windows and get it to boot, but it has almost no drivers, leaving it pretty much a useless box (I haven't yet figured out how to install the Mac drivers without inserting the OS X install DVD). I can dd-style copy the old XP partition data to the new partition, but it won't boot. I can fresh install XP then manually copy the old XP files over -- it boots, has drivers, but is also inundated with service errors and supposedly corrupted files that won't go away even after disk checking, registry hacking, and multiple other supposed fixes.

I'm going to stew on this for a bit...suggestions are welcome! Once again, here are the parameters:
1) Macbook Pro 3,1 laptop

2) combination GPT/MBR, triple boot using rEFIt

3) existing [smaller] installation of Windows XP Home on what is now an external drive -- last confirmed working and not corrupted

4) CD drive mostly unusable -- solution should limit or eliminate dependence, and also assumes only using disks that can be destroyed. I don't currently have a way to burn copies of double-layered DVDs like the OS X install DVD, but I have extracted it as a .dmg image. Not sure if I can do anything with that yet...

5) fresh installs of Windows yield a marginally working display, and sometimes a working USB port (both don't always work, and sometimes neither works). It lacks ethernet, wireless, touchpad, and often laptop keyboard support (although the keyboard *is* partially dead on the only side with the ALT and CTRL key).

6) XP must be able to boot, and must have a way to install Macbook drivers without direct Internet access or the OS X DVD
Creative hacking, go, go! :D

And now the lessons learned:

-- I learn about Linux because it is like a best friend that I can't help but want to get to know better.

-- I learn about Mac because it is like the annoying aunt who spit-washes your cheeks even when you're an adult, makes you put on a dress, and asks you why you haven't found a good man yet. I learn just enough to avoid the problem buttons, but I'd like to confine my interactions to the computing equivalent of family holidays and funerals.

-- I learn about Windows because it is like my bitter enemy that I enjoy making kneel down before me and listening to it squeal. Bwahahahaahaha! Unfortunately I can't do away with it yet, as it seems to be a necessary evil in my life.

UPDATE

on 2010-11-25 02:41 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] le-bebna-kamni.livejournal.com
I tried downloading the drivers from Apple, but it kept complaining that I needed a previous version of BootCamp already installed; I tried downloading drivers from torrents, but they seemed to be corrupted in some way, and I ended up having to reinstall Windows.

Finally I realized that disks usually only become damaged during insertion/removal. Solution: take my DVD drive apart, put in the DVD, pray it doesn't try to spit the disk out because of [what I suspect to be DRM] bugs in Apple's DVD drives for my laptop; install the drivers; take the drive apart again and remove the DVD.

Of course, *after* I got the drivers installed, I had a friend offer to pay me an external hard drive in exchange for technical support. lol

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