How to wipe Mac OS out of your MacBook

What an eventful week. As I sit here waiting for countless installs on my VM to get MCMS up and running, I thought I'd take the time to blog about my beloved MacBook Pro.

As some of you already know, I tried really hard when I got my second MBP to like MacOS. I ran exclusively on it for a while, and was running everything under Parallel, and then on Fusion.

The combination of lack of Aero, my mostly windows exclusive world, and with all its bad things the comparatively fantastic outlook (albeit I didn't try entourage), I switched back to full time bootcamp on vista.

After a while though, I realized that no amount of uninstall would reduce my Mac OS partition size, and keeping gigs and gigs of used space around just for the occasional firmware update got me thinking, why am I keeping Mac OS around at all? And as I installed on my main OS way too many beta and alpha of different products, it was time for a big cleanup.

So here's the steps I followed to be running a Vista only MacBook Pro.

  1. Install Bootcamp 2.0 from the Leopard DVD. Follow the steps to burn the drivers CD and let it repartition your drive.
  2. Reboot with the Vista install CD.
  3. Don't install anything, go to the recovery console (on the first screen, instead of Install now use the repair bit.
  4. When you're in the console type diskpart to start the disk management utility.
  5. Wipe the whole drive completely, removing every volume and partition (yes that includes the EFI partition, but so far I've not seen any benefits in keeping it around, considering the very poor EFI use being done on the Mac).
    You do this by either select drive 0 and clear, or select partition n and delete override until none is left.
  6. Once all the partitions are removed, convert your drive to MBR by doing a select drive 0 and convert mbr
  7. Restart the machine and go through the installation screen. When asked to select your drive, do not create anything on it, just select the unreserved space and let Vista do the rest.

Bootcamp is actually several components:

  • An update to provide a legacy BIOS for non EFI-aware OSs.
  • A partition manager with dynamic resizing of HFS+ partitions and NTFS / FAT partition creation capability, with a dual GPT / MBR partition synchronization.
  • An install applet that runs the previous two
  • A set of drivers packaged by Apple, and containing Apple and other vendros drivers in one big install.

Now I think there's one point that's not been explained much. The reason why you convert your disk to MBR in my earlier point is because GPT is not supported as the boot partition for windows. It's a bit of a pain point to figure it out, and when you switch to MBR you won't be able to install Mac OS on that drive again. The way to make both coexist is to provide both a GPT and an MBR on the drive. The mac partitioning utility supports that, and if you run another tool like Partition Magic you may be able to make everything coexist.

As for me, I don't need or use Mac OS, and finally got all my software installed.

I wonder if using hacks I've seen published here and there, I could run Mac OS in MS Virtual PC? Or maybe install it on an external USB Hard drive?