Lots of the users that have moved from a Windows-running PC to a Mac were worried that making this switch involves leaving all of the files behind and starting from scratch. This is a very legitimate concern especially if we take into consideration that Windows-compatible applications are not available on the Mac, much like many games that will only run on Microsoft’s OS. The good news is that nowadays you get the best from both worlds since Macs are now able to run Windows natively with the help of the Boot Camp technology developed by Apple.
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What this technology does is creates an independent partition on the Mac’s HDD where you will have the possibility to install Windows. For using Boot Camp you will have to boot your Mac from that separate partition and once you have done this, Windows is going to run just about the same way as it does on a regular PC.
You should know that Boot Camp is not the only solution available for running Windows on Mac, as there are other similar apps like VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. However, Boot Camp is totally free and offers the best performance when compared to other similar virtualization apps. If you have made up your mind and decided to install Boot Camp on your Mac, you should know that it is compatible only with the systems that are powered by Intel processors so it won’t run on a Mac that has a PowerPC processor. It is important to note that in Lion, Boot Camp will only work with Windows 7. You will need a minimum of 16GB of available storage if you plan on running the 32-bit edition of Windows 7, while for its 64-bit counterpart you must have at least 20GB available. Needless to say, you also must own a Windows installer disc or a disc image with the appropriate serial number.
Due to the reason that Boot Camp is going to create a partition so it might move some of the data on your hard drive during the process, it would be a wise idea to perform a system backup so that you will not lose any important files that you have stored on the Mac’s hard drive. To perform the backup you might consider using the bundled Time Machine software which came with OS X. Also bundled with the Mac OS is the Boot Camp Assistant which you can locate in the Utilities folder that is found in the Applications folder. After you launch it, you’ll notice a first screen called Introduction that provides an overview of the Boot Camp software. In the next window you will observe a couple of options that you have to choose from, like Download the Latest Windows Support Software From Apple and Install Windows 7. In some cases it also show another option called Create a Windows 7 Install Disk, which is for those Macs that don’t have a media drive, like the latest Mac mini or the MacBook Air. If you own one of these two products you must enable the option and then select continue. In part two we’ll continue explaining the process of installing Windows 7 on a Mac.