How to Run Windows On a Mac

Two Methods:Installing and Running Boot CampInstalling and Running Parallels

Not sure how to run Windows on your Mac? Here you will find helpful tips to efficiently run Windows on Mac OS X 10.5 or later. There are two basic ways to run Windows on a Mac computer: using software called Bootcamp or software called Parallels. Parallels is an emulation software that allows you to run Windows inside a Mac OS, while Bootcamp sets up a partition and boots directly into either Mac OS or Windows. While both software are great at allowing you to use the Windows operating system in a Mac computer, each has it's advantages and disadvantages. Parallels is probably easier if you want to browse the web, log into email, or use Microsoft Office, although it's performance-intensive; Bootcamp is probably better if you want to play games and the like, although you have to reboot each time you want to change operating systems.

Method 1
Installing and Running Boot Camp

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    Download and install Boot Camp from a reputable source. Try to download the software from CNET.com or from another reliable site.
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    Turn on your Mac and log into your account.
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    Go to the Utilities folder located under "Applications" or type "Boot Camp Assistant" into spotlight search.
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    Launch Boot Camp Assistant.
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    Click "Continue."
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    Decide how much space you want for your Windows partition. You can divide space equally between Mac OS and Windows, give Windows 32GB, or assign space manually using the slider.
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    Then click "Partition."
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    Insert your 32-Bit or 64-Bit Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 DVD into your drive and click Start Installation.
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    Your Mac will restart and launch the Windows installer. Click continue/next. For Windows XP click Enter then press F8.
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    If prompted for product key enter it or leave it blank. (You can enter it later).
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    When presented with a list of partitions, select the one labeled "BOOT CAMP."
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    Format that partition and click "Continue."
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    The installation process will begin. Your Mac may restart several times.
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    Once Installation is finished and you have created a user account, insert your Mac OS X install DVD to install all of the Boot Camp drivers necessary for a smooth Windows-Mac environment.

Method 2
Installing and Running Parallels

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    Get up to date on your Mac OS. Go to AppleSoftware Update... to check whether your operating system is up to date.
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    Purchase Parallels. You can purchase Parallels by buying a physical copy or by downloading it online.
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    Start the installation process. The manner of installation depends on whether you purchased a physical copy or downloaded a copy:
    • For downloaded copies: double-click the disk image file, which is most likely in your Downloads folder. This file has the extension ".dmg" behind it.
    • For store-bought copies: inset the installation disc.
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    Follow the onscreen instructions fully.
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    In the Applications folder, open Parallels Desktop. You have several options at this point:
    • Purchase and download a version of Windows online: select FileNewBuy Windows 7.
      • Tell Parallels whether you intend to use Windows "like a Mac" (with Windows applications alongside Mac applications, on you Mac OS desktop) or "like a PC" (with Windows applications appearing in a separate window from Mac OS applications).
      • Expect this process to take at least an hour. Your computer may reboot several times during this process.
    • Install Windows using an installation disc: insert the Windows installation disc and go to FileNewInstall Windows from DVD or image file.
      • Tell Parallels whether you intend to use Windows "like a Mac" (with Windows applications alongside Mac applications, on you Mac OS desktop) or "like a PC" (with Windows applications appearing in a separate window from Mac OS applications).
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    Continue following instructions from the Parallels installation assistant.
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    Start using Parallels by either opening a Windows program or by activating the power button in the Parallels Virtual Machines list. There are several ways that you can open a Windows program:
    • In the Windows Applications folder. If you opted to use Windows "Like a Mac" during the installation, you'll have a Windows Application folder in your Mac OS dock. As you install more Windows programs or applications, they go into this folder.
    • Using the Windows Start Menu. Simply click on the Parallels icon in the menu bar and select "Windows Start Menu." Select any program from the Windows Start Menu.
    • Using the Mac OS X Finder. Select the Windows volume on your desktop, then open the Program Files folder. Next, double-clicking the icon of the program you want to use in the Finder.
    • Using Spotlight. Navigate to the Spotlight icon in the top right of your screen and type in the name of the program you want to use.
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    Install any new programs like you would on a regular Windows PC. Download a file from the internet or insert an installation disc into your disc drive. The installation process should start without a hitch.

Tips

  • When you turn on your Mac, hold down the option key to select whether you want to boot into Mac OS X or Windows.
  • Backup important information prior for installing Windows via Boot Camp.
  • These steps require an Intel Mac, otherwise you won't have the setup app.
  • There are some Macs that can run 64-Bit versions of Windows. They are: MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009), MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2008) and later, MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2008) and later, Mac Pro (Early 2008) and later.
  • If you are trying to do any sort of intensive task on Windows such as gaming, Bootcamp is the fastest choice as with emulating it with Parallels splits system resources 50/50 between OS X and Windows.
  • If you are using Bootcamp, don't worry about protecting your Mac drive as it is secured to the point where no virus can touch it

Warnings

  • Only Macs from 2009 or later support 64-Bit Windows. Do not attempt to install 64-Bit Windows on Macs that are from 2008 or earlier.
  • You must use the Mac OS X install DVD that came with your Mac. Do not use another Mac's install DVD or a retail copy of Mac OS X. If you do, you will experience frequent crashes while under Windows.
  • Piracy is illegal. If you are going to pirate any copy of Windows, do it at your own risk.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac OS X 10.5 or Later
  • 32-Bit or 64-Bit Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 install DVD

Article Info

Categories: Mac | Windows