Installing Windows XP with an Upgrade disc on a Mac mini

Today’s Windows Tip Of The Day™ is regarding installing XP with an upgrade disc on the Mac mini under Boot Camp. Officially, Apple says that you can’t do this — and with good reason. None of the Intel Macs have an eject button for the CD/DVD drive on the front of the machine. Only the eject button on the keyboard. Since that button doesn’t work from the XP installer, when you get to the screen where it asks for your previous version of Windows (in my case, an old copy of Windows 95 — see, it’s still useful 🙂 ), you have no way of ejecting the disc. Until now…

I first have to warn you — you will need to crack open your mini to do this. You’ll need the standard tools for opening the mini. If you don’t know how to do this, search the web for much better instructions than I could possibly provide.

Once you have the mini opened, if you take a look on the left side of the optical drive, you’ll see two sets of small solder points, one above the other. It looks like a little square all together. If you connect either the two top ones or the two bottom ones together, you can eject the CD. So, if you start your install using the normal method prescribed by Apple, but with your case off, you can then eject the CD once you get to that point in the install process.

Of course, this could’ve all have been avoided if Microsoft simply ejected the CD when it wanted you to prove ownership of the previous version of Windows. It’s not like it’s hard, and just about every drive supports software eject. Even most Linux distros will eject the CD when it wants another. Ugh. Maybe someone with a little Windows hacking mastery can hack the install CD to do this. Until then, use this method.

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