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How to dual boot a Mac with Windows 7 and OS X

Run two different operating systems on your Mac

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Running two operating systems on an Apple Mac isn't as difficult as you might think it is, in fact it's relatively simple. Here we show you exactly how to dual boot a Mac with Windows 7 and OS X, in a few easy steps.

Every modern Macintosh includes Apple's Boot Camp Assistant app to make dual-booting a Mac a simple process.

The easiest way to do this is with an .iso image of Windows 7 and a 4GB or larger USB 2.0 flashdrive. 

Open Boot Camp Assistant (in /Applications/Utilities).

Make sure your empty flashdrive is inserted and your computer is connected to the internet. The download can be large, around 1GB.

With the three options already checked, press Continue. Your Mac will download the essential Windows drivers for your machine, then copy the .iso image of Windows onto the flashdrive to make a bootable stick.

You're then asked to select the size of the Windows partition. You can select Divide Equally with one button, or manually slide to make your own choice.

We would advise 40GB or more for the Windows partition.

Your Mac will momentarily become unresponsive during the partitioning process. When it's done, the computer will automatically reboot and start installing Windows 7.

When Windows asks which partition to install on to, select the one already labelled BOOTCAMP. Then click Format below to create a Windows-friendly NTFS partition.

After the install process is complete, you'll need to install Apple's drivers. These were downloaded on to the USB stick in a folder marked WindowsSupport.

Double-click the setup.exe file, and let the installer complete the job of installing all the software drivers necessary for the display, network adaptors, keyboard and trackpad (for portables).

Total time to complete will vary with Macintosh. For current models with SSD storage, expect the entire process to complete in 20 minutes or less, including driver installation.


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