Yes, you CAN run Windows on your Mac!

Yes, that's right, running Windows on a Mac.  This isn't new to those of us who have been using virtualization, but with the introduction of the Intel-based Macs, users have a whole new area to explore running Windows or Windows based applications.

For virtualization, there were many options to run on the older Mac OS like Virtual PC and GuestPC.  These types of applications emulated a PC environment inside an application that ran on the Mac OS.  This was functional but each had limitations most notably the speed at which they ran Windows.

But now Macs have the Intel chip sets and everything changes.  You have some new options that weren't available before.  For running Windows, you can use a virtual environment still (Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion are some example options here) or you can run it directly on the Mac hardware.

Mac's software that allows you to do this is Boot Camp (comes with Mac OS X 1.5 Leopard).  Boot Camp essentially emulates a BIOS which will then allow you to boot to a Windows XP or Vista CD and install directly onto the Mac.  You can do this using their instructions which would give you a dual boot environment (Mac and Windows), or you can install Windows as the only OS on your Mac.

 To run Windows as the only OS on your Mac:

1) Insert Windows XP CD or Windows Vista DVD into the drive.

NOTE: You must use a licensed copy of Windows XP Home Edition or Professional, or Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate.

2) Boot the Mac computer and during the boot process , press and hold the option key.


3) This will bring the boot menu and one of the options should be the /CD DVD.

4) You will boot into the familiar Windows boot process, follow this as normal.

5) When selecting a hard drive and partition, you will need to create the disk as an MBR disk.

a) Press SHIFT+F10 to get a command prompt

b) Run diskpart and convert the GPT disk to an MBR disk (this must be done for the primary boot drive only).

282793  HOW TO: Change a GUID Partition Table Disk into a Master Boot Record Disk in Windows XP

WARNING:  This will erase all data on this disk and you will no longer be able to boot it to any MAC operating system.  You will need to boot back to your Mac OS CD/DVD to reset the disks and reinstall your Mac OS (which will erase all data on the disk again).

c) Close the command prompt window and you can now select this drive for installation with Windows.