Using Boot Camp to Run Windows on a Mac
Following are the general steps to get Windows running under Boot Camp:
- Run the Boot Camp Assistant to prepare your Mac for Windows and install it.
- Install Windows.
The next couple of sections take you through the details.
Running the Boot Camp Assistant and Installing Windows
The Boot Camp Assistant prepares your Mac for a Windows installation. It aids you by downloading Windows drivers for your Mac hardware and lets you partition your hard drive to create a Windows volume. To use the Boot Camp Assistant, do the following:
- Open Finder, select Applications, Utilities, and then open Boot Camp Assistant. You see the first screen of the assistant (see Figure 25.1). Click Continue to begin.
Figure 25.1 The Boot Camp Assistant walks you through the process of preparing for Boot Camp.
- You are prompted to download Windows support software. Choose the download option and then click Continue.
- The Windows support software is downloaded. This can take quite awhile, so be patient.
- When the download is complete, you are prompted to burn the software to CD or DVD (see Figure 25.2). Click Continue, and then insert an optical disk when directed. Note that you are also given the option of storing the files on an external disk; you can use this approach if you do not have access to a CD/DVD burner.
Figure 25.2 Download and burn the Windows support software disc.
After the support software is written to disc, you are taken to the Create a Partition for Windows screen (see Figure 25.3). On the left, you see the partition for OS X Lion while on the right you see the partition for Windows, which is a minimum of 5GB.
Figure 25.3 To run Windows under Boot Camp, you must create a Windows partition on your Mac’s internal hard drive.
- Set the size of the Window partition by dragging the Resize handle between the two partitions to the left and clicking the Divide Equally button to divide the disk in two partitions. Remember that you’ll be limited to the partition’s size when you run Windows, so make sure you allow plenty of space if you are going to install a lot of Windows applications.
- Click Partition. The partition process starts and you see its status in the window. When the process is complete, you’re prompted to insert your Windows installation disc (see Figure 25.4).
Figure 25.4 When you see this screen, insert your Windows installation disc to start the installation process on the partition you just created.
- Insert the Windows installation disc, wait until it is mounted on the Mac, and then click Start Installation. The Mac restarts and boots from the Windows installation disc. The installation application starts installing files; you see the progress at the bottom of the blue Windows Setup screen.
- Follow the Windows installation screens as they appear. Here are some things to bear in mind:
- When the Windows setup program asks you where you want to install Windows, be sure to choose the BOOTCAMP partition.
- The Windows Setup program automatically reboots your Mac a few times during the installation, and each time you’ll see a screen that says Press any key to boot from CD or DVD. Don’t press any key when you see this message, or the installation process will start all over again.
- Specify your username, password, time zone, and any other preferences that the setup program asks for.
- When the Windows installation is complete, insert the Windows support disk you burned in step 4. Windows prompts you to run setup.exe.
Run setup.exe and accept the license agreement when prompted. Click Next to step through the setup.
- Make sure the Apple Software Update for Windows check box is selected, and then click Install. Boot Camp installs Apple Software Update for Windows.
- Click Finish. Boot Camp lets you know that you need to restart the computer to put the changes into effect. Click Yes to restart your Mac.
- Restart the Mac while holding the Option key down.
- Choose the OS X Lion startup volume and press the Return key. The Mac starts up under Lion again.
Switching Between OS X Lion and Windows
In an ideal world, you switch between OS X Lion and Windows by restarting the Mac and then booting into whichever operating system you want to use. Unfortunately, right after you install Windows via Boot Camp, you find that you’re living in a Windows world. That’s because Windows somewhat rudely sets itself up as the default startup volume. This means that every time you restart your Mac, it always boots you directly into Windows.
Not to worry; you can work around this problem in a couple of ways.
First, you can follow these steps to exit Windows and boot directly to OS X Lion:
- Click the Boot Camp icon that appears in the Windows notification area.
- Click Restart in Mac OS X, as shown in Figure 25.5. Boot Camp asks you to confirm.
- Click OK. Boot Camp shuts down Windows and then boots into OS X Lion.
If your Mac is off and you want to boot into OS X Lion, it seems awfully inefficient to have to boot into Windows first. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this. Instead, you can invoke the Startup Manager, and you can then choose whether you want to boot to OS X Lion or Windows.
Here are the steps you need to follow to switch between OS X Lion and Windows using the Startup Manager:
- Start your Mac.
- Hold down the Option key until you see the Startup Manager. You should see three hard disk icons: one for Macintosh HD, another for Recovery HD, and one for Windows.
- Double-click the Macintosh HD icon. Alternatively, if you want to boot into Windows, double-click the Windows icon.
Yes, you have to follow these steps every time you start your Mac. See the next section for a way to avoid this.
Setting OS X Lion as the Default OS
If you usually boot to OS X Lion and only boot to Windows occasionally, it’s a hassle to have to invoke Startup Manager every time you want to use OS X Lion. To fix this, follow these steps:
- Boot to OS X Lion.
- Click System Preferences in the Dock. The System Preferences appear.
- Click the Startup Disk icon. The Startup Disk preferences appear.
- Click Mac OS X 10.7 on Macintosh HD.