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Stupid Questions -- Partition Mapping


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There are quite a number of "easy" tutorials for installing vanilla OSX, but all of them seem to make one of several assumptions:

  • The installation is to a machine dedicated to running OS X,
  • The installation is to a blank or otherwise unused hard disk,
  • The disk is given a GUID partition map.

In my case, none of the above are true. The machine in question (a ThinkPad Z61t, which should have a good shot at running correctly) is the laptop I use all the time. It already has Debian Linux installed, and the disk partition scheme is MBR. For me to change the partition mapping on the disk would be a huge pain in the neck, as I'd have to copy off everything, reformat the disk with a GUID partition map, copy everything back, and then maybe OS X will work.


So: Is GUID partition mapping absolutely necessary to ensure OS X running successfully, or can I reasonably expect MBR to work just as well? As a general rule, can OS X be installed as the second OS alongside an existing installation, or does it insist on being installed first?


My thanks in advance for any advice.

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