Boot Camp and Windows 7: A Comprehensive Illustrated Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on installing Windows 7 using Boot Camp on a Mac. Yes, you read that right—Windows on a Mac! While some might consider it sacrilege, there are practical reasons for doing so. Let’s dive into the detailed, step-by-step process, complete with numerous images to guide you through.

The journey begins by launching the Boot Camp Assistant, located in Applications > Utilities. This utility is your starting point for running Windows on your Mac.

Upon starting the Boot Camp Assistant, you’ll be greeted by its initial setup screen. Apple provides a printable guide, but if you’re following this tutorial, you can save some paper and skip printing.

Next, you’ll need to partition your hard drive. I allocated 32 GB for Windows since I don’t require much space, but you can adjust this based on your needs by dragging the partition sizing controls.

Once your partitions are set, you’ll have the option to either start the Windows installation immediately or wait until later.

If you’re ready, insert your Windows 7 DVD, click ‘Start Installation,’ and your Mac will reboot from the DVD.

Apologies for the less-than-stellar iPhone photos of the Windows installation screens. Capturing this part of the process is tricky since screen capture tools don’t work during the OS installation.

The installation process involves several restarts. Remember, you’ll need to hold down the option key during each restart to ensure your Mac boots from the correct partition. If you don’t, it might try to boot into macOS instead.

During one of the restarts, you’ll see the option to select a language for your Windows installation. Choose your preferred language, then click ‘Install now.’

It’s crucial to read and accept the license terms provided by Microsoft. If you don’t agree with them, you can stop the installation here.

Otherwise, check ‘I accept the license terms’ and proceed.

Since we’re setting up a new installation of Windows, select ‘Custom (advanced)’ when prompted to choose the installation type. This is the best option since there are no previous OS files on the Boot Camp partition.

Select the Boot Camp partition and choose ‘Drive options (advanced)’ to format it and ensure it’s ready for Windows installation.

Confirm your choices and proceed with the installation. Windows will now copy and unpack all necessary files from the DVD to the Boot Camp partition. This process includes several automatic reboots; remember to hold down the option key each time.

Once the installation is nearing completion, you’ll need to select the ‘Windows’ partition at each reboot to continue the installation process instead of booting from the DVD.

After the final reboot, Windows will perform initial setup tasks like checking for hardware compatibility and setting up default drivers.

You’ll then proceed to create a user account. Choose a username and computer name, and set a password for your account. This step is crucial for security and personalization.

Next, enter your Windows product key.


Edward is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, Edward brings insightful reviews and updates on the latest Apple products, from the iPhone and iPad to the MacBook and Apple Watch. His articles are both informative and engaging, making complex tech topics easy to understand. When he’s not writing, Edward enjoys exploring new apps and features on his Apple devices, always staying ahead of the curve.