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Using Boot Camp Assistant to Install Windows on Your Mac

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Using Boot Camp Assistant to Install Windows on Your Mac
Using Boot Camp Assistant to Install Windows on Your Mac
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

Boot Camp Assistant, a utility included with the Mac OS, provides the capability to add a new partition to your Mac's hard drive in order to install and run Windows in a fully native environment. Boot Camp Assistant also provides the Windows drivers necessary to use Apple hardware, including such key items as your's Mac built-in camera, audio, networking, keyboard, mouse, trackpad, and video. Without these drivers, Windows would still basically function, but the key word here is basic, as in extremely basic. You would not be able to change video resolution, make use of any audio, or connect to a network. And while the keyboard and mouse or trackpad should work, they will only provide the simplest of capabilities.

With the Apple drivers that Boot Camp Assistant provides, you may discover that Windows and your Mac hardware are one of the best combinations for running Windows.

What Boot Camp Assistant Does for You

  • Partitions your Mac's hard drive without losing data.

  • Provides the necessary drivers for Windows to recognize and use all of your Mac hardware.

  • Provides a Windows control panel that lets you select the environment the Mac will boot into. (Your Mac already has its own preference pane for selecting the boot environment.)

  • Includes the ability to remove the Windows partition and restore that space for use by your Mac.

What You Need

  • Boot Camp Assistant 4.x. or later. This document was written and tested using Boot Camp Assistant 4.0.1.

  • OS X Snow Leopard or later

  • 20 GB of free space on your hard drive or SSD.

  • A USB keyboard and mouse or built-in keyboard and trackpad.

  • A full install disc of Windows 7.

  • A blank CD or DVD, or an MS-DOS (FAT) formatted flash drive.

  • A CD/DVD optical drive.

Special notes:

This document was written and tested using Boot Camp Assistant 4.0.1 with OS X Lion 10.7.3. The process outlined here should work fine for Boot Camp 4.x or later with Snow Leopard or Lion, although there may be slight differences in the names or images shown in the guide.

If your Mac has an earlier version of Boot Camp Assistant, or earlier versions of OS X (10.5 or later), you can find a detailed guide to using these earlier versions of Boot Camp Assistant here.

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