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By now, you're surely aware that your Macintosh runs Mac OS X, which is its operating system. However, you can also run Windows on your Mac if you care to, and you can run it natively in its own partition. I'm going to show you how to do that now. So we'll go to the Go Menu, and I'll select Utilities, and I will launch Boot Camp Assistant. Boot Camp Assistant will create a separate partition for Windows and then it will walk through the installation process on Windows.
Now, if you've ever set up a PC before and installed Windows on it, you're actually going to find this easier to do than it is on a Windows machine because Boot Camp takes care of answering all the questions that Windows prompts you with. In this case, all we have to do is click on Continue. Now, we have two options here, either we can download the Windows Support Software for this Mac, or if you've already downloaded those files, you just have to click that option and proceed. We need to download the Windows Support files so we will click Continue.
And the Mac goes off to the internet, looking for those files, and then it will download them. You may be wondering exactly what this Windows Support Software is. It's the stuff that allows your Apple hardware to work with Windows. So for example, support for your mouse and your keyboard and your trackpad. At this point, you would see a couple of options. One is to burn a copy to a CD or DVD, or you can save a copy of this Windows Support Software to an external drive. If your Mac doesn't have a CD burner, you can just choose that second option.
Either way you decide to go, make sure that you keep a copy of the software because you're going to need it after you install Windows. We're going to go back so you can see what happens in this process. We'll say we have already downloaded the Windows Support Software, because indeed, we have, and I'll click Continue. Now as I said, Windows needs its own partition and this is where you tell the Mac how much space to give Windows. You could just Divide Equally. I think that's a little generous. You can take this dot here and drag it, to determine the size of the partition.
In our case, I'm going to give it 30 gigabytes, and then all I have to do is click Partition. This will create a separate volume for Windows. Now, don't worry that you're going to be deleting anything. What's actually happening here is OS X is actually doing a little housekeeping. What it's doing is taking the files that are on the part of the hard drive that will become the Windows partition and it's moving them to the part of the hard drive that will be the Mac OS X partition. Once it completes the partition, you'll see that you now have a Boot Camp volume as well as your Mac volume.
Now it will prompt you to do the installation. As the window suggests, insert your Windows disk and once you've done that, then you click Start Installation. When you start the installation, it will restart your computer and then it will install Windows from that Windows disk. Once your computer restarts, you will see a window showing that Windows is installing software. At this point, you're simply going through a Windows installation. So, enter information as requested, click the proper buttons, and eventually, Windows will be installed on your Mac in that separate partition.
Once Windows is installed, you have a couple of ways of getting into it. One is through the Startup Disk System Preference. You will find that your Windows partition is there, you can select that, Restart, and you'll boot into Windows. Don't worry, when you get into Windows, there is going to be a special control panel that you can use then to boot back into your Mac. Another option is you can restart your Mac and hold down the Option key, at which point you can choose to boot into your Windows partition. And that's Boot Camp Assistant.
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