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OS X – Triple booting XP, Vista, and OSX86 (vista bootloader and chain0 method)

This recipe will explain how to boot your OSX86 install using the Vista bootloader. This recipe assumes you have installed XP and Vista prior to OS X.

Props go out to original poster: jjhare over at

First things first; no i did not figure this out on my own rather have decided to compile the posts i’ve found and info into a nice and easy recipe. I had originally tried to use WinGRUB to do my booting but had quite a few problems with it so i decided to try this route and got it working!

Here’s a list of my setup and install notes:

Operating Systems installed:
-Windows XP Prof (located on my main hd, first partition, c:)
-Windows Vista BE (located on my main hd, second partition, d:)
-OSX86 10.4.8 JaS w/SSE2/SSE3 AMD_Intel build (located on my second hd, first and only partition; harddrive was marked as active prior to install and formatted as FAT32 and then erased w/disk utility for mac os x)

Files you will need:
-chain0 (get over here: )

Also, basic knowledge of BCDEDIT in Vista will help.

Step 1. Install Operating Systems.

The order I installed was as such:
1. Windows XP to C:
2. Vista to D:
3. OSX86 to my 2nd harddrive (only one partition)

Step 2. Download the chain0 file from the above link (they list the location where you can find the download)

Step 3. Copy the chain0 file to the root of your C: (ie c:\chain0 )

Step 4. Boot in Vista, open up the command prompt as the administrator (do this by going to start > programs > accessories > right click on Command Prompt and choose “Run As”, choose Adminsitrator account and enter password.

Step 5. Once you have the command prompt open, type the following to get a list of what our bootloader currently is setup:

BCDEDIT /enum active

If you have not edited your bootloader and changed the name, XP prob will show up as “Previous Windows Installation” or “Existing Windows Installation”; it will also have an identifier that looks like similar to this (different numbers/letters of course): b3009909-aca0-090-099909

Step 6. Copy the existing Legacy (ie the b3009909-aca0-090-099909 entry), type this command (using our above legacy entry example):

BCDEDIT /create {b3009909-aca0-090-099909} /d “Mac OS X”
and hit Enter
(this will add the “Mac OS X” entry to the bootloader screen.
You should a completed successfully message.

next we will need to change the path to point to our chain0 we copied to our C, again using our example entry i’d type this:

BCDEDIT /set {b3009909-aca0-090-099909} PATH \chain0
and hit Enter.

You should a completed successfully message.

finally type this command:
BCDEDIT /set {b3009909-aca0-090-099909} device boot
and hit Enter

Step 7. Finally, if you want to change the default os to boot or add a timeout value, follow the instructions located here:


-if you are unable to boot OSX and have it installed on a different harddrive than Vista/XP, try booting into Vista and then right-click on My Computer > Manage. Go to the Disk Management area, and be sure that the OSX partition is set as active on the harddrive (if its not on the same harddrive as your xp/vista installs)

-if you get errors but do see the “Mac OS X” boot option on the bootloader, you may need to copy your chain0 file to the root of the vista drive. You will want to boot to Vista or XP to do this.

-link to jjhare’s post:

-link to page at osx86project’s wiki on chain0:

    Test system:
    AMD Athlon X2 3800+
    2GB DDR
    500GB s-ata hdd (vista/xp)
    20GB p-ata hdd (osx)
    Motherboard: MSI RS480M2 (ati chipset)
    ATI X800 pci-e 128mb vid card
    NEC DVD Burner
    Dell 24″ LCD
    OSX Version: JaS OS 10.4.8 AMD Intel SSe2 SSe3

Jimmy S
Jimmy S
Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.


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