Quad-Booting On An Intel-based iMac

I would like to quad boot my iMac with OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Linux. It has a 250 internal HD and a 250 Western Digital External HD. So, I was going to put Windows XP and Vista on the External, but Windows doesn't like that idea. So, I have decided to have the 4 OS booting drives (how ever you want to phrase that) on the internal and just have space on the external. But i was wondering if it would work to just have the two Windows OS-s booting off the internal and storing EVERYTHING (apps, docs, games, etc) on the external? That would leave room for the Mac and the Linux on the internal right? If that is the case, and I were to by a laptop later, would I be able to use all the programs and stuff without installing them again on the laptop.

So, I was wondering if someone could explain to me what would probably be best for me, and the what to do. I have done some research on this, but I don't think I have found anything about the process from a Intel-based iMac. And some people have a specific order it has to be installed in. Cus I have XP and OSX install disks now, and I am getting the Vista disk at thanksgiving. As, for the Linux disk, my roommate has the ???Ubutu??? disk.

Random Questions:
Would it work to have 8 partitions (4 start-up disks and 4 storage disks) or is that just a waste? Or is that what I need to do?

I would also like to know if just "copy-and-paste"ing would work to back up my OSX Files. I have a lot of music and stuff that i don't want to lose (1994 songs, 3 games, college papers, system preferences).

Can/is the booting disk be the same as the... storage disk?

How does instillation of Vista affect XP or vis-versa?

Is there a way to repartition/resize a hard drive without deleting it? in any OS?

Any info is extremely helpful! Thanks

PS im new to linux, so any info would be great (links to websites, etc.)


Sorry if this is the wrong spot to ask.
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Hi jhollowayj, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies :smile:

It's not the wrong place to ask, it's definitely one of the most on-topic threads here :smile:

Before you begin - are you sure this is what you want to do?
Apple has made everyone's life incredibly difficult in order to discourage crackers from installing OS X on a normal PC.

This is what you're going to have to go through: Triple Boot via BootCamp Ubuntu - OnMac.net Wiki
Well, I need some of these OS, but I don't have the money to get new computers... would there be another way?

A few questions on the reading:
does terminal wipe the hard drive when you partition it, or no?

And how do I get the Vista on my machine? Would it be the same as XP or no?

What are the different format types and restrictions for each OS?

SlipStreamed XP-SP2 disk??? is that adding the uhh... XOM thing? Or is that straight from Microsoft?

Why does XP have to be the last partition? And is Vista picky as well?

Does Linux need a lot of storage?

Sorry for so many questions.


Hey, would this be a good way to go, changing the size of the partitions of corse?

Quad-Boot: MacOS/Vista/XP/Linux - OnMac.net Forums

And what partition sizes would you guys recommend?
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Your data should be preserved just fine when you resize according to those steps.

The guide you found should do the trick. A slip-streamed XP SP2 disk just means that a normal XP CD with SP2 added to it.

Linux doesn't take much storage.

XP has to be primary, but not necessarily last. Vista can be anything, as can Linux.

Good luck. :smile: