How to Run Windows on a Mac

Posted by Mayank on August 7, 2011 in Mac,Uncategorized

Lets face it – Macs owners are more satisfied than the PC owners, but the market share is with PC. Many of the applications or software do not have a Mac version of theirs. If you find yourself in such a situation of having to keep a PC and a Mac, there is an ideal solution for you. You can run Windows on a Mac. In fact, owners of an Intel-powered Mac can run Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris or some other operating system alongside Mac OS X on their Apple hardware.

There are several software products you can use to run Windows on a Mac. Depending on which programs you pick, you can run Windows in a dual boot environment or as a virtual operating system.

More About Dual Boot or Virtual Operating System

For dual boot, you need to partition your disk and install a copy of Windows on that partition. Advantage with dual boot is that you can run the Windows operating system on your Mac at native speed–without the performance penalty that comes with VMware solutions. Disadvantage with dual boot is that you’ll have to restart your Mac to switch between operating systems.

Mac OS X v10.5 and later includes Boot Camp that lets you run Microsoft Windows. If there’s a PC application you need to use, get a copy of Windows and start up Boot Camp. Windows applications have full access to multiple processors and multiple cores, accelerated 3D graphics, and high-speed ports and networking such as USB, FireWire, Wi-Fi, AirPort, and Gigabit Ethernet. Boot Camp drivers for Windows that let you use these features are on the Mac OS X installation DVD, as well as drivers for audio and Bluetooth. The drivers are automatically installed when you insert the disc into your Mac after installing Windows. Boot Camp supports Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 (requires Mac OS X v10.6 or later and Boot Camp 3.1 or later).

Boot Camp Assistant creates a partition just for Windows without erasing your existing Mac OS X volume.

After running Boot Camp and installing Windows, you can switch between Windows and Mac OS X by holding the Option (Alt) key at start up. Or, use the Startup Disk control panel in Windows (installed with Boot Camp drivers from the Mac OS X installation disc) or Mac OS X Startup Disk preferences to set the default operating system to use each time the computer starts up.

The other solution for using Windows on Mac is VMware solutions. Virtualization allows you to switch back and forth between Mac OS X and Windows for specific tasks without rebooting. This all-in-one method can be achieved using one of the virtualization software packages available from a variety of third party manufacturers. The most popular of these packages are Parallels Desktop for Mac and VMWare Fusion. VMWare offers slightly better performance, but Parallels supports file mapping, which means double-clicking a Windows-specific file from OS X’s Finder will automatically launch the virtual machine and open the Windows application associated with that file.

Basic Requirements

1. An Intel-based Mac. The MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, the newer Mac Mini and iMac.

2. Windows. Windows XP or Windows 7..

3. Mac software of your choice.

For the dual boot option you’ll need to download Boot Camp from Apple. Boot Camp is included in Leopard.

To go the virtualization route, you’ll need Parallels Desktop for Mac, VMWare Fusion or similar third party virtualization app.

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