Monday, October 3, 2011

How to install Windows 7 on your Mac

Considering that the latest Mac systems, led by the new generation of MacBook Air, managed to attract even just by design, customers that were proud owners of other brands of notebooks, there are many potential buyers who will want almost immediately after buying a MacBook, to install a Windows operating system.

For an easy installation you will need the installation DVD with Windows 7 and the DVD, or lately the USB stick with OS X that came with your system. The DVD/USB stick containing OS X will be later necessary to install the drivers. In the case of the MacBook Air, it's necessary you have an optical drive with USB connection - unfortunately with a remote optical drive we can't install Windows, this method is reliable only to install a version of OS X.

The first step is to start the Boot Camp Assistant utility found in Applications\Utilities. On the first page you will see that this tool is dedicated to optimize the installation process for Windows XP and Windows Vista. It's worth mentioning that although Windows 7 is not mentioned among the information in the application window, it can be installed installed without problems .

After you get past the first wizard page, you have the option to choose from to create or modify a partition that you have want to install a Microsoft operating system, or to jump to the installation if you have turned to another tool to create partitions. If you choose to create the partition for Windows 7 with the native utlitz, you will be greeted by an intuitive interface with a slider that you can move horizontally defining how much space is allocated to the partition with Windows.

The next step to start installing the new operating system is to insert the disk with Windows 7, then the installation takes off by click the Start Instalation button. At this stage, your disc is checked, whether or not bootable, then the system is rebooted after a few seconds and start installing Windows.

What is Boot Camp actually doing?  For a few seconds it emulates a BIOS instead of EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface), a condition necessary because only an operating system from OS X 10.4 (Tiger) can run on such a platform.

If we define what is EFI, this is a more complex replacement, closer to the idea of an ​​operating system, for the classic BIOS on most PCs. Originally developed by Intel for more complex systems, like servers, EFI is now developed by the United EFI Forum. Because of its reliability, recent models of motherboards from ASUS and Gigabyte and others have already replaced the classic BIOS with EFI. Unfortunately, this replacement is not reflected in native support for installing OS X. To run a native Apple operating system, you will still need a Mac.

After this stage, the operating system runs without any problem or difference to how you would install any other Microsoft operating system. First, you must choose that you want to install an operating system, not to fix one, then you must click on the option that involves installing a "clean" operating system, not an upgrade. On the next screen, the only thing you have to do is click on the partition named Bootcamp and confirm your choice with Next.

After you've managed to boot for the first time with the Windows 7 interface, Apple suggests to insert the OS X installation disc to install Boot Camp. What's strange is, considering that the Apple system has an eject button on the keyboard eject button and, although you have your drivers installed, the button doesn't work, the only option is to open Windows Explorer, right-click on the optical drive and from the context menu select Eject.

If you prefer to manually install newer drivers from the internet, unfortunately you still have to install Boot Camp utility from the DVD with OS X. Without this application you can not in any way to boot in OS X, and you can't access the data on the MAC partition. Boot Camp also installs a driver that lets you access in read-only mode the content on the HFS partition where you installed the native system. This option is ideal for situations where all your music collection is kept on the Mac, but want it to be accessible while running Windows.

To access the latest version of Boot Camp, with the latest drivers for your system, enter the Apple site. The only thing you have to be careful about is to install the version of System Bootcamp, suitable for your system: 32 or 64 bits. If you decide you want to start OS X at some point, just right click on the symbol next to the clock for Bootcamp and select "Restart in OS X".

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