How to Setup Boot Camp on Mac

How to set up Boot Camp on a Mac by Lucas Saunders

I can't tell you how many times I have had people approach me for help with boot camping their Mac. This post will describe a step-by-step process how to install Windows 7 onto your Mac. In simple terms, Boot camp is a built-in utility that supports,  depending on your computer’s hardware and OS X version, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.  

How to get started

First off you need some requirements:
  1. An Intel-based Mac with a built-in or external USB keyboard, and a built-in trackpad or USB mouse.
  2. Mac OS X v10.5 or later.
  3. The latest firmware updates available for your Mac.
  4. At least 10 GB (for Windows XP or Windows Vista), 16 GB (for 32-bit Windows 7), or 20 GB (for 64-bit Windows 7) of free space on your startup disk (for the Windows partition).
  5.  Boot Camp Assistant, which is located in /Applications/Utilities/ . You can also open Launchpad and type Boot Camp Assistant in the search field.
  6. Supported Windows installation media. Boot Camp does not include Windows
  Second, you want to go ahead and back your computer up. I recommend using time machine (I love it). If any one has questions about time machine let me know and ill put up another tutorial for that.   Now that you are backed up, apple has been nice enough to have a boot camp manual Here Naturally... but I’d like to help make it all a little clearer.  

Step 1:

Go to finder and look up "utilities"     Go to finder and look up "utilities"                

Step 2:

Find Boot Camp Assistant and open it Find "Boot Camp Assistant"            

Step 3:

Select the option to add a Windows partition, select other options you need, and then click Continue.

Here are the other options you can choose:

  • If you want to install Windows from a USB flash drive and you have a Windows 7 ISO image, select the option to copy the image to a USB flash drive. If this option isn’tavailable, your computer doesn’t support installing Windows from a USB flash drive.
  • If you haven’t already downloaded the Windows support software for this computer, select the option to download it. In a later step, you’ll install the Windows support software on your Windows partition.

Step 4:

Follow the onscreen instructions for the options you selected. When you’re asked to create a partition for Windows you need at least 10-20 gigs of space for the software, but I would recommend at least 30-50 gigs.  

Step 5:

Insert your windows 7 disk or your usb drive and click install.  

Step 6:

Once the windows side starts up, follow the onscreen options until you are asked where to install windows.  

Step 7:

When you are asked where to install windows choose partition “BOOTCAMP” Choose partition “BOOTCAMP”            

Step 8:

Select drive options (advanced) Then choose format. Format "BOOTCAMP" partition            

Step 9:

Select next and your computer will restart on windows. Okay, now that you have boot camp there are a few things you need to know. Once installed your mac will only start on window’s side. The way to choose between the mac and windows side is to restart your computer. As soon as you hear the start up sound, hold the option key and the two partitions will show up on screen. Choose the mac side.   To make it so your computer starts on the mac side unless forced by this “option key restart” you have to go to your system preferences. Once there select your Mac OS X disk instead of the windows disk. Go down to the bottom and lock from further changes.   Lastly something I use is Quickboot. This is an easy way to switch from windows to mac and back again without restarting your mac. I’ll leave a link at the bottom for a free download.   Thanks!

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Publish Date:

2013-03-08 18:38:50

Last Modified:

2017-03-07 13:26:31