How to run Microsoft Windows XP on an Intel-based Macintosh with Boot Camp

Using a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc that you provide, Apple’s new Boot Camp Beta software enables you to install Windows XP on an Intel-based Macintosh computer. After installation, you can start up your computer using either Windows XP or Mac OS X. The Windows XP operating system and files are stored in a separate partition on the startup disk, so installing Windows won’t affect your Macintosh files or operating system. Boot Camp Assistant simplifies Windows installation by helping you create the Windows partition and burning a CD with software drivers than enable Windows XP to work with your Macintosh hardware. Then, Boot Camp Assistant restarts your Macintosh using your Windows XP installation disc so you can install Windows.

Here’s what you’ll need to install and set up Windows XP on your Macintosh:
• An Intel-based Macintosh computer, with:
• a USB keyboard and mouse, or a built-in keyboard and trackpad
• Mac OS X version 10.4.6 or later
• the latest firmware update
• At least 10 GB of free space on your startup disk
• Boot Camp Assistant (installed by BootCampAssistant.pkg in /Applications/Utilities/)
• A blank recordable CD or DVD
• Windows XP Home Edition or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later

Installing Windows XP on your Macintosh computer involves the following steps:
Step 1: Update your computer’s system software and firmware, if necessary.
Step 2: Run Boot Camp Assistant which helps you with these tasks:
• Burning a Macintosh Drivers CD: You’ll use the Macintosh Drivers CD, after you install Windows XP, to install Macintosh-specific drivers and other software.
• Creating a partition for Windows XP: Boot Camp Assistant creates a second partition on your computer’s internal startup disk for the Windows XP operating system.
• Starting the Windows XP installation: Boot Camp Assistant gets you started with the Windows XP installation.
Step 3: Install Windows XP.
Step 4: Install Macintosh-specific drivers and other software on your Windows XP volume.

Important: You must use a single-disc, full-install Windows XP CD that includes Service Pack 2. You cannot use an upgrade version of Windows XP, or install an earlier version of Windows XP and update it later to SP2.

More info in Apple’s full Boot Camp Beta Installation & Setup Guide here.

Information and download link for the public beta of Boot Camp is available here.

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Related articles:
Apple’s ‘Boot Camp’ a watershed, could dramatically expand Mac market share – April 05, 2006
Apple’s ‘Boot Camp’ is bad news for Windows-only PC box assemblers – April 05, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Reuters: Apple’s new ‘Boot Camp’ could draw millions of new Mac buyers – April 05, 2006
Apple shares surge over 6-percent in early trading on ‘Boot Camp’ news – April 05, 2006
Apple introduces Boot Camp: public beta software enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP – April 05, 2006


  1. Ummm, can you use a physically separate hard disk to install Windows? Or does it have to be a partition on the same physical disk?

    ‘Cuz brotha, I gotta tell ya, I’m a wantin’ ta keep that sheet separate froms my good junk, a’ya’all, Chee? I mean, I just don’t wanna go gettin’ that Windows all up’n my hizzl, ‘s all.

  2. is it not possible that a virus on your Windows partition could lock the hard drive up so that the start-up screen where you choose which partition to boot into wouldn’t come up?

    This would essentially freeze you out of OS X as well. Yes/No?

  3. You don’t get it folks.

    If Apple can create an easy way to boot Windows on an Intel mac, then the reverse is true. Someone will come up with a way to boot OS X on non-apple computers.

    So the OS and the hardware are becoming decoupled.

    I think Steve saw this coming as part of the Intel path and decided to fire the first shot. But OS X on a Dell is just as possible, and just as legal, as Windows on a Mac. Apple does NOT have to sanction it, any more than Microsoft has to sanction XP on a Mac.

    The implications are many-fold:

    For one thing, Apple will be caught in an OS-2 like situation where developers will lose incentive to develop mac software. So the biggest Apple developer will be…Apple.

    For another thing, Vista will have its captive audience going ga-ga over translucent windows and exposé, and its modest security improvements, just like they went ga-ga over Windows 95.

    Now that Apple has discovered, though iPod, just how profitable it is to sell directly to Windows users, it will now sell computer hardware to Windows users too.

    Apple will keep selling its software, at a tidy profit, to the 5% or so who really like it and are willing to pay for it.

    Mac will NOT challenge Windows for OS dominance. Mac will be a boutique OS, and will decline after Vista finally comes out. Not becuase it’s a just result, but because thats the way it is.

    Look at it this way: If a 5 year old, un-secure, and ugly OS like XP can STILL have 90% market share, basically, Microsoft can bottle its farts and sell it to the masses. Yes, people will line up for Vista and it will be huge. Even if Mac is better, 9 out of 10 customers will have no idea.

  4. Hey Mervyn, your “paradigm” has so many holes in it that I don’t really know where to begin.

    One of the biggest points you omitted: What will happen when Apple starts trumpeting this feature in their advertisements?

    And they will.

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