How to Configure Boot Camp on Your MacBook - dummies

How to Configure Boot Camp on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

Ready to install Boot Camp on your MacBook? The process is surprisingly easy and takes far less time than it takes to install Windows afterward. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Boot Camp Assistant.

    The Assistant resides in your Utilities folder inside your Applications folder. Use Launchpad to reach it quickly: Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, click the Utilities folder icon, and then click the Boot Camp Assistant icon.

    It’s a good idea to click the Print Installation & Setup Guide button on the Introduction screen. Keep this additional documentation handy just in case you have questions about running Windows.

  2. Click Continue at the Introduction screen.

    The Boot Camp Assistant Support Software screen appears.


  3. Click the Download the Windows Support Software for This Mac radio button and click Continue.

    Boot Camp Assistant can copy these drivers to a blank CD, blank DVD, or to an external drive. The CD is the easiest choice. You load this disc after your Windows installation is complete, and it provides all the drivers that Windows needs for your Mac’s hardware.

  4. Choose the size of your Windows partition and click Create.

    Again, you can devote more hard drive space to your Windows partition than the amount recommended by the Assistant, but don’t forget this important fact: What you reserve for use in Windows cannot be used by Mac OS X Lion! (In other words, don’t devote 300GB of your 500GB drive to your Windows partition because you’ll cramp your style within Mac OS X.)

  5. Reboot if required.

    You may be prompted to launch the Assistant again.

  6. Click Start the Windows Installer and click Continue.

    From this point on, you’re running the Windows installation program, just as you would be if you were using a PC. (Well, actually, you are using a PC now.) Follow the on-screen prompts, which differ for each version of Windows.

When prompted by the Windows Installer to choose the partition to format, choose the partition named BOOTCAMP. Formatting any other partition will likely result in the loss of all your Mac OS X files and data. (This is why you should always back up your existing system before putting Boot Camp to work.)

After Windows has been installed, load the CD you burned with the drivers and support software. Windows should automatically run the Boot Camp driver installation program for you. After the drivers are in place, you’re ready to do the Microsoft Dance.

Are you moving your stuff from Windows (running on your old PC) to, well, Windows (running on your MacBook)? Brings an entirely new meaning to the term Switcher, doesn’t it?

If so, the files and folders on your existing PC can be copied directly to Windows running on your MacBook by using the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard (in Windows XP) or the Windows Easy Transfer utility (in Windows Vista and 7).