Mac users are reporting serious problems with Apple's Boot Camp, the software which lets Intel-based Macs run Windows. Ironically, some users have said been stuck with Windows, with their hardware left unable to reboot the Mac OS.
In a discussion thread on Apple's technical support Web site, more than a dozen users reported that Boot Camp successfully partitioned their hard drive and allowed them to install a working version of Windows, but then would no longer allow them to switch back.
"It all worked fine until I wanted to start up OS X. Then the startup screen never progressed. I actually left and came back an hour later and it was still just the gear thing spinning around," wrote a user from Chicago.
"Now I'm stuck with a XP/Apple (scary!)" wrote another user.
Apple's announcement of Boot Camp a week ago had an effect akin to mass hysteria on users, the IT industry and the business community, even seeing Apple's stock price jump 10 percent.
All this excitement seems to have led some users to install Boot Camp without taking many precautions, ignoring the fact that the software is a "beta" product, and that Apple said at the beginning it wouldn't offer technical support.
"This isn't a minor glitch, but a major problem. Barring erasing my drive and reinstalling OS X, I am stuck with an Apple laptop that only runs Windows," wrote a user. "I don't want solutions that entail using the command line. I would like something from Apple saying that they recognise the problem and are working on it."
"Apple should consider taking Boot Cramp off distribution immediately!" wrote another.
Other affected users were more philosophical about their quandary. "A bit scary, but that's life on the bleeding edge," wrote one user.
A number of users said they had been forced to erase their hard drives and re-install Mac OS X, restoring their data from backups. Others said they had been able to fix the problem using command-line tools or Apple utilities such as Repair Disk.
Apple said it does not offer support for the Boot Camp beta. The software will be built into a future edition of Mac OS X.