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I have two hard disks in my PC. (Note: Not partitions, both are different hard disks)

When I want to start Mac OS X - I just go to cmos settings (Open Firmware?) & set the startup drive to the Mac OS X hard disk. When I want to start Windows - I just go to cmos settings (Open Firmware?) & set the startup drive to the Windows hard disk.

Is there any alternate option available for this?

The other thing that I wanted to ask is: Mac OS X can easily read Windows XP partitions & even can access (at least read & copy) it.

But Windows XP doesn't even recognize the Mac hard disk.

How? / Why? / What kind of utility should I use when I wanted to view Mac OS X hard disk? (Preferably free)

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Is this on your iMac or on a Hackintosh? (The CMOS settings bit is confusing) –  Chealion Oct 18 '09 at 6:08
    
It's an obvious thing that for me. It's a Hackintosh.@chealion - U r very smart. U identified both. At office, I am using iMac. At home, I am making experiments. So, for experiments I have to use HACKINTOSH. –  Sagar R. Kothari Oct 18 '09 at 20:52
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

To dual boot between two operating systems, you'll want to look up "boot loaders". I don't have any experience specifically with running OS X on non-apple hardware, though.

The reason Windows can't read OS X partitions is that it doesn't natively read HFS+. HFS+ is the default native Mac OS X filesystem. In the past, I've used the free HFS Explorer program to copy files from my Mac drives into Windows. If you want to work on them directly, look into programs like MacDrive for Windows. Alternatively, if there is a FUSE (File System in User Space) implementation for Windows, you may be able to use that with an HFS plugin, although I have never seen it done.

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OSX also has a different partition table format. If so, Windows will be unable to even see the partitions. –  Lachlan Roche Oct 18 '09 at 2:22
    
HFS Explorer and MacDrive can both read Mac partition tables. –  phoebus Oct 18 '09 at 2:51
    
FYI. A recent (summer '09) update to the Boot Camp drivers allows access to one's Mac OS X partition. Maybe useless for this question with different drives, but maybe you could reformat your XP drive using Boot Camp? –  physicsmichael Oct 18 '09 at 21:38
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Microsoft, with the majority of the consumer PC market, has no incentive to make other filesystems available; in fact why give the competition a leg up? Meanwhile, those other OSs find it very helpful in gaining market share if they can read and write the market leader's disks, thereby making it easier to get folks to convert.

Dual booting is workable, but I've found that running a Windows image in a virtual machine on top of my Linux OS gives me the best of both.

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+1 It's 95% political, 5% technical. –  tobylane Jan 19 '11 at 15:50
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