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Please note that the "XOM hack" solution effectively became obsolete with the introduction of Apple Boot Camp, which made "dual booting" easy. Nevertheless, this section is provided for "historical" interest as well as a tribute to the hard working and creative hackers who made it possible to boot Windows on the Mac prior to Apple's release.
What is XOM?
"XOM" is a term used to refer to the original open-source "hack" released by WinXPonMac (offline) prior to Apple Boot Camp or Parallels Workspace.
Users who need to "dual boot" an Intel-based Mac would be better served by Apple Boot Camp. For more information, please refer to the Windows on Mac Boot Camp Installation and Boot Camp Usage Q&As.
Users who would like to run Windows "inside" MacOS X would be better served by Parallels Desktop on Mac or VMWare Fusion. For more information, please refer to the Windows on Mac Parallels Installation, Parallels Usage, and VMWare Fusion Q&As.
The duo of creative and hard working hackers who first created the "bootloader" and determined how to edit various Windows files to make it possible to boot Windows XP on Intel-based Macs are best known as "narf2006" (often referred to simply as "narf" a.k.a Eric Wasserman) and "blanka" (a.ka. Jesus Lopez).
The original "XOM hack" made it possible to install the 32-bit version of Windows XP Pro. One user in The OSX86 Project forums modified the originally released hack to work with Windows Media Center 2005 as well.
This answer is provided primarily for "historical" purposes. Users who need to "dual boot" an Intel-based Mac would be better served by Apple's Boot Camp solution.
Although installation of Windows using "XOM" is not supported by Apple, and consequently, not recommended by EveryMac.com, WinXPonMac (now offline) posted installation instructions, the needed "bootloader" for download, a list of working drivers, and a list of Windows XP software that had been reported to work properly when the operating system was installed on an Intel-based Mac.
However, perhaps the best instructions for installing Windows XP using the "XOM hack" on an Intel-based Mac were from blog Uneasy Silence, which posted a slick video "walk through" detailing the process (now offline).
Windows XP video drivers were not released for the iMac "Core Duo" and MacBook Pro models available at the time "XOM" was released and due to Apple's introduction of Boot Camp probably never will be available. According to the WinXPonMac wiki, drivers also were not released for the internal speakers, remote, or integrated iSight camera.
Yes. As noted on WinXPonMac (now offline) installation instructions it was possible to create the custom install CD by installing Fink on a Mac and "using mkisofs and a shell" rather than creating the install CD on a Windows PC.
Not quite. Although the Intel-based Macs available at the time of its release -- the iMac "Core Duo", MacBook Pro, and Mac mini "Core Solo/Duo" models -- were capable of booting Windows XP using XOM, video drivers were not released for the iMac "Core Duo" and MacBook Pro. Due to Apple's introduction of Boot Camp video drivers probably never will be available for the "XOM hack".
According to the WinXPonMac wiki, drivers also were not released for the internal speakers, remote, or integrated iSight camera on any of the Intel-based Macs.
It is important to recognize that an Intel-based Mac when booting Windows XP is for all practical purposes the same as a Windows "PC".
As the underlying hardware is essentially identical, the Intel-based Macs running Windows XP courtesy of the "XOM hack" were comparable in speed, with the exception of video-related tasks on the driverless iMac "Core Duo" and MacBook Pro, to similarly equipped Windows PC systems when all were running Windows XP.
Gearlog, a companion blog to PC Magazine, installed Windows XP using "XOM" on all three Intel-based Macs and tested them encoding Windows Media, performing unspecified Photoshop scripts, and running Cinebench 9.5.
The authors of the blog noted that:
The MacBook Pro is the fastest Core Duo laptop we've tested running the Photoshop scripts. It's faster than other laptops originally designed for Windows. This bodes very well for the performance of an Intel-accelerated [Mac]OS X Photoshop, when that finally appears.
Given that the high-end comparison was between the MacBook Pro 2.16 15", which has a 2.16 GHz Intel "Core Duo" processor (T2600), and a handful of Windows PCs with slower processors, it wasn't surprising that the MacBook Pro bested the competition in the Photoshop test. Likewise, it wasn't surprising, lacking video drivers, that the Intel-based Macs trailed its rivals in the test encoding Windows Media.
Essentially, the test produced the expected outcome. The blog summarized that "Apple makes fast Windows PCs", which was a safe conclusion.
Immediately upon release of Boot Camp, there was a great deal of discussion regarding the future of the originally released "XOM hack" in the WinXPonMac forums.
As Apple's Boot Camp solution is clean, easy, and provides video drivers, it seems doubtful that development will continue on the originally released "XOM hack".