How to Dual and Triple Boot Windows 7, Apple Mac OS X and Ubuntu 9.10 on a Laptop/Computer

Screenshots of OS's on my Triple Boot Machine.

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Mac OSX installed on my Dell Inspiron 1520.Windows 7 installed on Dell Inspiron 1520Ubuntu 9.10 (Latest) installed on Dell Inspiron 1520
Mac OSX installed on my Dell Inspiron 1520.
Mac OSX installed on my Dell Inspiron 1520.
Windows 7 installed on Dell Inspiron 1520
Windows 7 installed on Dell Inspiron 1520
Ubuntu 9.10 (Latest) installed on Dell Inspiron 1520
Ubuntu 9.10 (Latest) installed on Dell Inspiron 1520


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This tutorial is intended for people who have some to a lot of knowledge of computers, partitions and OS's. If you plan on formating your computer you might consider my other hub:

The total time to do this all in 1 go should be around 3+/- hours. I wont post links on where to get the DVD's. (Google).

//Ay Guys I just installed the latest Ubuntu 10.04 and it works great with dualboot for those wanting to experiement or a too nervous of going the whole way..yum :)

What You Will Need.......To Get Started

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  • A copy of iATKOS, iPC, Kalyway DVD (Snow Leopard not supported yet)
  • Windows 7 RTM DVD
  • Ubuntu 9.10 (latest) DVD
  • A decent working computer/laptop
  • A second internet source (incase anything goes wrong)
  • Printed version of this guide (unless viewing off another machine)

Suggested Laptops are Dell Inspirons, Acer and HP.


Click edit above to add content to this empty capsule.

I do not take any responsibility for any problems you receive from following this tutorial. By following the tutorial you are agreeing to enhance your laptop/computer machine under your own responsibility and desire.

Lets Begin :^)

Step1: Install Windows 7

Installing Windows 7 is easy and should take between 15mins - 40mins (machine dependent).

First you'll need to boot up with a Windows 7 DVD you presumably have burned already. I Prefer erasing a hard drive and "clean installing" Windows on there. Upgrade if you want doesn't matter. Once installation is complete, reboot and your machine should go straight into Windows. Set up Windows to your likings and install drivers if needed.

  • If you want Windows 7, Ubuntu and Mac OSX (Triple Boot) go to step 2.
  • If you want Windows 7 and Mac OSX (Dual Boot) go to step 3.

Step 2: Install Ubuntu (not necessary)

There are 2 main ways to install Ubuntu. I'll be doing the way I find easiest and user friendly.

Log into your Windows and insert the Ubuntu Disk. If the installer opens automatically great. If not browse the disk and look for Wubi. Run Wubi and the installer should appear. As an installation option select "Install inside of Windows". This is the easiest way to install Ubuntu for even the most novice of computer user. Select a drive (Use the same as Windows), select a minimum of 7 gigs of space for Ubuntu. Enter your username and password for your new account. Installation should take around 30 minutes or less.

Reboot your machine and Ubuntu should appear under Windows 7 highlight it with the arrow keys and press Enter button. Ubuntu will start up now. Install any nessesary programs, drivers and explore your new Ubuntu :^) . Shutdown you machine.

Congratulations thus far you should have Windows 7 and Ubuntu Successfully installed and working. Grad a drink and food now.

  • Proceed to step 3 to install Mac OSX

Step 3: Install Mac OSX

Boot up into Windows 7. In the start menu search "computer management" (Here is were we partition a drive for Mac). In the left panel select Disk Management and partition 15GB or more for Mac OSX. The Partition should be formated as Fat32. Insert the Mac OSX disk and reboot.

Boot into the Mac OSX disk. When prompted to install in 'x' seconds type "-v" without quotation marks. A bunch of writing should appear and stay on the screen for a about 5 mins or less.

When prompted go to Disk Utility at the top panel and select to erase the partition you plan on installing Mac OSX on. Format the partition as Mac OS Journal. Close the window and select install. Let it install, this should take around 20 minutes. Afterwards Mac OSX with boot up, you may notice you don't have sound yet and your resolution is the greatest.

Step 3: Install Mac OSX - - continied - -

Now its up to you to install the drivers your new Hackintosh machine will require. For Dell Inspiron Users I'll be putting together a package for you to download to get the drivers. But till then do a little googling.

Almost done, we're heading to the final steps. When you reboot and select Windows you'll notice that your unable to. Reboot your computer but insert the Windows 7 (or even Vista) and select "repair" when its done loading. Select "Startup repair", this should take about a minute or so. Reboot and you'll notice Mac OSX is missing. Boot into Windows 7 and download a program called "EasyBCD". Open the program and select to add entry (We're going to add the Mac OSX entry. From the drop down box select Mac. Under Drive select "boot". Now reboot and there you go.


Last thing you need to do is update your programs and software on your OS's. You've officially completed the Tutorial.

Don't be shy to check out my other pages and comment and take a short look at the poll below, thanx..... don't forget to comment if it works well.

Comments 82 comments

jian 7 years ago

does this tutorial work? anyone has tried it?

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 7 years ago Author

The tutorial does work, I've tested it myself on my laptop and it worked like a charm :)

Zech 7 years ago

IT WORKS!!!!!!!

I've been trying to do this since OSX came with intel support. I've already had OSX Installed on both my Toshiba Satellite L35 and Dell Studio, WORK GREAT! BUT i wanted to dual boot with windows 7, this is the only one that i don't get errors!

Frearfactory 7 years ago

Any luck with the Dell Inspiron package yet?


L3B0 profile image

L3B0 7 years ago Author

Yup, worked with me

Help please 7 years ago

Great tutorial ,, but the problem is that i don't use windows , i am a linux ubuntu user so now , without using windows to boot . how can i dual boot between linx ubuntu and mac os ,

using The Linux ubuntu bootloader or (GRUB) , any ideas ??

Steve 7 years ago

windows root system32 hal.dll corrupt or missing

When I boot under the OS X I get the above message.

Any suggestions?



L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author

Reply to "Help please"

Sorry I made this with the intent of it being for windows users might take some thinking and I'll post when/if I find something.

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author

Reply to "Steve"

If its a boot problem, you might have to re-install the OSX again, if still not maybe future/newer releases of this will be out with a fix for you.

Fede 6 years ago

Is it posible to use Chameleon as boot manager?

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author

Im not to sure on that, ill try finding out when i have some time.

Rob Carson 6 years ago

Having issues, I'm only installing Mac OS X and Win 7 64bit, I have Windows 7 booting but with EasyBCD I can't get mac (it did boot before 'fixing' win 7) to boot, it just acts like the mac partition doesn't exist. When changing the drive to 'boot' it just reverts back to C:/... anyone got any ideas?

Video Express profile image

Video Express 6 years ago from Boston, MA

This is a great tutorial. I have a large old mac laptop at home. But, was thinking of getting an Asus netbook for the commute by train and at work. I was thinking of installing Ubuntu because notebooks seem to only come with Windows 7 mobile. I will give this a try when I get one.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia

G'day this seems like a great tutorial however I would like to know the reasoning behind installing these three operating systems on to one machine. Can someone please give me a logic explanation?

titi 6 years ago


This seems like a nice tutorial I'll try that once I get home thx :)

Anchorite 6 years ago

I've got a Leopard 10.5.4 DVD and a Snow Leopard Upgrade 10.6 DVD and a Sony VAIO E series, and even though the BIOS is set to first boot to internal optical drive, it won't boot to either Mac DVD, always says no OS found. Any ideas? Boots into Parted Magic and Win 7 DVD's just fine.

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


The laptop will only boot into special Mac OS Disks which you need to download from internet somewhere. It won't be able to read original Mac OS disks. This also explains why it only boots into the Win7 DVD perfectly. Query again if you have more questions.

Hope this helps you.

Anchorite 6 years ago

OK, thank you for confirming that for me. I will try that, the iPC or iATKOS or whatever might work. The triple boot you described is exactly what I strive for. I hate to give up on Mac since I already bought it.

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


iATKOS is the one I used but I've heard iPC is a good choice, all up to you on that one :).

andrew5500 6 years ago

(I am a beginner)I am thinking of trying the dual boot, I have a 320gb Hard Drive, already has Windows 7 installed, and since it was almost filled up, I bought another 1tb hard drive. currently, it is unallocated, it has nothing right now, and i am wondering if it is necessary to reinstall windows 7 on the 1tb? I am really new to this and i am asking if we can just install mac on my 1tb and still dual-boot?

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


You should be able to install Mac OS on the 1TB HD. As long as the two OS's are on different Hard drives/Partitions then it should be OK.

andrew5500 6 years ago

Ok, thanks for responding, im downloading iATKOS now, hopefully everything will go OK!

andrew5500 6 years ago

Me again. iATKOS didn't boot up the installer, so I tried iPC instead, worked perfect. I picked mu drivers and patches then installed. After it installed, it asked to reboot into mac so I rebooted but it rebooted into windows instead. I reinstalled Mac 3 or 4 times but it never boots into mac. Since windows boots up fine, I don't need to use the windows 7 install disk to repair the startup. So should I download EasyBCD and follow your guide from there?

andrew5500 6 years ago

Ok, now I seem to have the same exact problem as Rob Carson a few posts above me...

Chuck McNutty 6 years ago

i have a sony vaio with a 320g hd with windows 7 already installed. i do not have a win 7 install disc. i have some vaio program that installs it for me. will i need a windows install disc? also i have leopard and snow leopard install discs i got from my friend will i need iATKOS? if so will leopard be fully update-able once installed? all help would be greatly appreciated!

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


I sorry to say I'm not 100% sure on what to do in your situation, I suggest you re-install Mac but look at the drivers and options you select when installing. If not that then check the BCDEasy. You may have to create another bootup option alongside Win7 that "connects" to the Mac OS side of things.


@Chucky McNutty

Often laptops come with a disk to install the current OS (I have a Dell Version), so that program you have should be fine. You will need a iATKOS/iPC etc type disk and will not need original Mac OS disks. On the update side I think there are various contributors to get this from. Just a little Google is needed.

Chuck McNutty 6 years ago

ok i partitioned my disc and i have 100g of unallocated space on my drive. do i need to make a new simple volume from it or just leave it as is? thanks Chuck

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author

@Chuck McNutty

I would suggest you create a new simple volume from it. When you install the Mac OS you format the that particular drive again in "journal format"...but that is explained later on in the tutorial.

Kimo 6 years ago

will this work on ubuntu 10.04

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


This should, if it has the Wubi installer.

Kimo 6 years ago


Thanks so much, I wanted to do that from ages but I wasn't sure how to do it. Thanks again man.

Casey Jones 6 years ago

Hi. The idea of Wubi seems brillian, but for whatever reason it doesn't sit well with me to install an operating system that way... Would it really be so much more difficult to install Ubuntu to its own partition? Are there any potential pitfalls I should be aware of if I took this route instead, with otherwise the same setup?

Thanks for the guide! It's very helpful. [-:

vips 6 years ago

i got as far as installing macosx but then when i restarted it said partition error and i cant do anything. any solutions? thanks

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author

@Casey Jones

I installed Ubuntu into its own partition using the Wubi installer so that should be fine.



No solutions that I can think of really sorry, my best option for you is to restart and re-install the Mac OSX.

ravi 6 years ago

Brother Should It Be FAT32 For Ubuntu Tooo ?

Kxrae 6 years ago

Hi. Can you help me? I had burn my MAC OS X and it Can't load when i tried to install it and I've tried a thousand different way/option to figure it out how to install it but nothing seems work for me and i was wondering if you could help me. My problem is when i insect the disc and like everyone said, you have to wait at least a min to wait it load but it didn't and the only thing it shows up is repair windows and blalala... can you tell me what's the problem of it? And as i remember you've mentioned before that *The laptop will only boot into special Mac OS Disks which you need to download from internet somewhere.*.. You mean by software? Please can you tell me how to install it? Btw my OS now is windows 7, and I'm using laptop *Acer ASPIRE 4935*. Please any information that would help me means a lot to me. Thanks! reply me asap. I'm waiting.

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author

@ravi, I preferably use Ubuntu on NTFS..but I think FAT32 should work just as well too, go ahead and try it out.

@Kxrae, The disk you burned may be damaged or scratched even lightly. Or the image burned to the disk was corrupt somehow. Those are my two best bets for you. Try re-downloading and re-burning to see if the problem is resolved if not, contact a member of the InsanelyMac, iATKOS, KALYWAY or iPC to see if more experienced members can help :)

tushar 6 years ago

first two steps goes fine.


the disk utility can not erase fat32 volume

when i click erase it all partitions disappears.

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


That is extremely strange, I'll do my best to help out though just keep checking back for an update.

Jeg 6 years ago

I have not tried this yet but will soon do when i get my new envy 14... got iPC and ubuntu ready. If i installed ubuntu last, could i get the grubloader to work? What loader would show if I did your method?

Jeg 6 years ago

also, this is leopard 10.5 rite? Can i update to snow leopard 10.6 afterwards? Would you be able to tell me how to do this

Brady 6 years ago

I was trying to partition and every time I try to create a partition it says I need to make it dynamic instead of basic. How do I partition it so I can keep it basic?


L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


This is leopard 10.5, if you want to have 10.6 {SNOW LEOPARD} then I suggest you install 10.6 off the bat as the way to update 10.5-->10.6 is tricky, I don't even do it.


The best way to partition is using the Windows CD/DVD. It is simple and usually removes any problems trying to partition. If you have been trying that route then your next best bet is some sort of application to assist you via Windows.

Dale 6 years ago

I have a problem. After I type in -v , a bunch of writing appears and then it freezes. Please help! I'm using a Acer 5251 laptop.


Chad 6 years ago

I have 3 separate drives,a 500gb for osx,a 1.5tb for win7,and a 160gb for ubuntu, will this tutorial work the same way and can I use Chameleon for my bootloader?

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author

@Dale, try typing in -v -f, that might just help...if not then your best bet is to try re-burn the disk as it may be corrupt or something.

@Chad, that should work perfectly fine. Having separate Hdrives in my opinion is safer. If something goes wrong with the one, you have others to fall back on :)...go for it!

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NickSimpson 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Illinois

Thanks for the cool tut L3B0, always looking for some new ways to tinker around with mac os x.


Joseph 6 years ago

Hey I am trying to Triple Boot Windows 7, Ubuntu 10.10 and Mac OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard, I know how to install all three of em, but the problem comes at the time to boot one of those OS's. I was trying to use Chameleon Bootloader 2.0 RC3, but it only detects Windows and OSX. Then I tried easyBCD, and you can see all three of em, but if I select OSX it wont boot. Then I tried GRUB, same results as easyBCD, except that instead of OSX not booting, its Windows...

Any help truly appreciated, plz email me so i can get notified

Haverlorn 6 years ago

Hey dude, thx for this easy tutorial. i will use the Snow_Leopard_10.6.1-10.6.2_SSE2_SSE3_Intel_AMD_by_Hazard files.... will it work with win7x64 ultimate? :)


L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


I think they should work fine, havn't used 10.6 yet...but I would think so :)

johny14 6 years ago

I have one question. Can I do this operation on a netbook? Is that possible?

magnexor profile image

magnexor 6 years ago

I used to triple boot on my Macbook Pro, but that was with Windows Vista instead of 7...

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 6 years ago Author


I heard it works well with netbooks...notably Dell notebooks? :)

SeXy vHeRn 6 years ago

Hi L3B0,

Thank you for the tutorial. i was really appreciated it. Here's my scenario..I tried installing Ubuntu on my WIndows 7, after i reboot my pc, during verification of installation driver of ubuntu was stopped due to error of partition or something, but i didn't create partition. I just locate ubuntu on the drive on which my win7 installed.So, i try to create a prtition for ubuntu, but still no luck! Error still appears. Please help. :((

Joel  6 years ago

Just as an aside to this tutorial...

with the ubuntu 10.10 CD you CANNOT install using these exact instructions.

If you are doing a clean install of all 3 OS', follow this process during your windows install:

If you follow the step by step, you will not get a root directory created. This is due to the way windows7

creates partitions.

You will need to delete 200mb system partition that win7 creates before you do your win7 install.

To do this, you will need to go ahead and let the system create it out of the unallocated space. When windows says it will create the system partion click ok.

Once that is done, DELETE the windows partition that it just created. Leave the system partition there.

You will now have the system partition and the unallocated space.

Extend the system partition by clicking on extend. Extend it to the size of your entire drive.

You will now have on single partition that says system.

Now format the system partition.

Once done, you can install windows on this partition without issue.

After a lot of trial and error I have successfully triple booted win7, meerkat and OSX on a full size lenovo n100 3000.

If you have any questions - djetaine @ gmail . com

HomeMadeSin 6 years ago

Great tutorial, thanks. Is it possible to access your off-line e-mail across the three OS's? Probably not possible, but it doesn't hurt to ask...

Luke 5 years ago

Does this support AMD processors?

varun 5 years ago

okay, i just got myself a new dell inspiron 15R, 5gb ram, 500gb hard-disk, and it already has windows 7 home 64bit installed, and i want a triple boot with ubuntu 10.10 and snow leopard 10.6.

i donot want to completely format my hard-disk.

do you reckon your method should work with my system and my requirements of maverick meerkat and snow leopard?

Joel 5 years ago

Luke, this will work with AMD processors but you must have at least SSE2 support. You can check with a program called CPU-Z

Varun - I have responded to your question via email.

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 5 years ago Author


This should work perfectly fine :)

pinki 5 years ago

I already have installed ubuntu and win 7. Will be a problem to install directly mac osx ? I have 20GB free

Sunny 5 years ago

will it work with a snow leopard retail DVD

martijn 5 years ago

hi first off the tut looks nice and decent. Secondi got a question. I am using windows 7 and ubuntu 11.4 with the grub bootloader ad boot manager. Now can i just make a new partition for Mac OS X or should i reinstall from scratch?

Stas 5 years ago

Hello!Do i need to erase my harddisc before installing anything?If yes do i need to format it as fat32 or ntfs?

L3B0 profile image

L3B0 5 years ago Author

@martijin, use any partitioning program, you can use the standard one that comes with Windows or you can boot up the OSX disk and partition it from there.

@Stas, no that is not necessary at all. You'll just need to create a new partion formatted to the OSX format, "Journel Extended". This can be done using the OSX disk.

Jon 5 years ago

hey, I almost got it but, I got a problem. Every time I boot Mac OS X, it says "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button..." Does anyone know how to fix it?

tony 5 years ago

hello i seem to be having a problem with my macbook pro,i installed window7 on it n now i want to get rid of it but it seems its stuck on my laptop, the macbook pro wont install the original mac osx 10.6.7 that came with it. can any one help on how i can get my mac bck n running on mac osx..... thanx

AppleOrangePear 5 years ago

What does the -v flag do exactly?

AWEsome kid 5 years ago


Just go to your nearest apple service provider


-v means verbose, it displays what is happening during the installation.

curious 5 years ago

does anyone know if this is possible to do from a snow leopard cd yet?

ADITYA BALIGA 4 years ago



Greywacke 4 years ago

Had to create a boot repair disk or ubuntu being installed on one partition - only through that did the windows 7 bootloader want to be replaced. however - i am still struggling to even read the mac o/s x lion dvd 0o

pavan 4 years ago


can anyone tell me how to triple boot atkios l2,windows 7 and xp?

thank you

spyker 4 years ago

the best way is

# insert the OS cd\dvd

# restart

# the computer will show an os {if u inserted the os disc}

# install that on the drive that u wish \ make a new partetion

# Work with ur OS

newfyworld profile image

newfyworld 4 years ago from out in the Boonies

Nice. I am making a new partition right now, waiting for it to complete... Let's hope that this works out as you said, because if anything else happens, that would be a real bummer... I doubt that anything else would happen though :3

Todd 4 years ago

Would this work with a cloned copy of a mac? have one on a portable hard drive, but can't figure out how to boot that from my regular computer. This would work and free up the hard drive. THANKS in advance!!

DASA 4 years ago

I m gonna try this out

newfyworld profile image

newfyworld 4 years ago from out in the Boonies

Sorry I haven't said anything about this in two weeks, but it isn't working for me. I used EasyBCD to make an entry in my boot record to boot from the ISO, because I didn't have a disc big enough to burn the image on it. I booted from the image, and it hangs on the Apple logo. For the first few minutes, it's just the Apple logo screen. Then, this random icon appears on the Apple logo. The icon is like a 'no entry' type sign. Please help! (By the way, my computer has an AMD core)

Rahul Juneja profile image

Rahul Juneja 4 years ago

Hi! I have ubutnu and windows xp installed on my pc. I first installed first xp and then ubuntu and have no problems! i am a big fan of mac and wanna install it on my intex pc! i wanted to know that after installing osx, will i be getting an option in bootloader for booting ubuntu?

krishna dev anand 4 years ago

Please tell me.........How to Triple Boot Windows 7 ,Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Apple Mac OS X Lion 10.7,3 on Dell Inspiron 1545............

Rendy 3 years ago

can i triple boot with VAIO VGN-CS36LJ i have dual boot ubuntu and 7...?? are its will works in my Laptop...?

Johne758 2 years ago

I got what you intend, thankyou for putting up.Woh I am lucky to find this website through google. Being intelligent is not a felony, but most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor. by Lazarus Long. ebdbdfadgeag

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