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Getting Into Boot Camp – Xavier Downing – Medium

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Hi! I am a software developer, and have learned the Swift programming language used to make apps for the iPhone, and I recently enrolled in a coding boot camp to further advance my knowledge. At the boot camp, I’m currently studying the Ruby programming language, revisiting SQL (which is a language used to speak to relational databases), and will soon get into JavaScript, a programming language used for web development. This is my first blog, and today I will not be discussing programming languages.

Bummer? I know. However, since this is my first blog, I am at the starting point of number zero, and since computers start counting beginning at zero (and not one), I thought is would be best to start off with a technical topic dealing with zero coding, and its a topic that helped me along prior to getting into coding. I will though discuss about the boot camp…just not the boot camp that I’m currently attending…. and that is… the Boot Camp Assistant for the Mac OS!

Boot Camp Assistant is a utility that allows a Mac user to install a copy of the Microsoft Windows operating system along the existing Mac OS, and it allows a Mac computer to behave like a native PC running Windows. Boot Camp Assistant is packaged with the Mac OS since OS X Tiger, however, I discovered it later on my first Mac that ran OS X Snow Leopard, which I obtained after undergoing a series of PC failures with my old Dell and HP laptops.

…too many of these will make you go Mac an never turn back…

Boot Camp Assistant really came in the clutch for me during this time since I was attending college online and working as a technical support representative from home, and both work and school required that I have a PC running Windows in order to run required software.

To access Boot Camp Assistant, you can search your Mac for it by clicking the Spotlight Search icon, typically located on the right side a Mac computer’s menu bar….

…it’s the magnifyinfg glass icon …
…type in “Boot Camp Assistant” here…

…or you can open up a Finder Menu (usually located on the left side in the Dock), and select the Applications folder located in the Sidebar. From there, scroll to find the Utilities folder. open it up, and then select the Boot Camp Assistant app.

…the smiley face on the left is the Finder

SPECIAL WARNING:: If you decide to do this procedure, please back up your Mac files before running Boot Camp Assistant. This utility is going to manipulate the structure of your computer disk for it to hold both your Mac and Windows OS, thus there is a potential for data loss, and if you lose data, you will not be able to recover it without having a backup copy of your computer. Mac computers have a built-it in back up system called Time Machine, so please use it if you have no other alternative — click on the Apple Menu, then select System Preferences, which will bring up four rows of options — Time Machine should be listed in the fourth row down — you will need an external disk to do any kind of back up.

Once you’ve backed up your computer and opened Boot Camp Assistant, on Mac OS Mojave, you’ll be met with the utility’s Introduction window, just follow the instructions before pressing continue. From there, you’ll be asked to adjust the size of your disk as well as choose the file the contains that Windows installation software…..yes… you will need to have you own copy of Windows to install Windows… you won’t get a free copy from just using Boot Camp Assistant.

NOTE: if you do not have enough disk space, Boot Camp Assistant will warn you that it will not continue with the Windows Installation until you free up some space. But if you have enough space, just place your mouse over the area showing your macOS, then click and drag left or right to allocate the appropriate size for your macOS and Windows environment.

Now it’s time to select the Windows installation software. Back on my first Mac running OS X Snow Leopard, the Windows installation software was on a disk that went into an optical drive, and this drive can run even when Mac OS is not running. However, these days, optical drives are no longer standard on Mac computers so now Windows installations software needs to be in an ISO file for it to be installed on a Mac.

Luckily I saved my old Windows installation files from my old Dell and HP computers

NOTE: Now you can load an ISO file directly from a location on your Mac disk, and I will do just that for this discussion; however, when installing Windows on a Mac in the past, the Mac computer would boot out off the Mac OS and run the Windows installation directly from the optical disk, and the Mac OS would be unavailable during the installation. This process may have changed during the Mac OS revisions but if it did not, then it’s possible that the installation will not continue. If you receive an error, you may need to save the ISO file on an external drive before you run Boot Camp Assistant so it can install while the Mac computer is logged out of the Mac OS.

WHHATT???!!! Boot Camp only supports Windows 10 now? This was not the case in the past. I was able to install Windows XP thru 8.1 from when running OS X Snow Leopard, and I was successful in doing so until I stopped with OS X Maverick. Now what are we to do? Hmm…let’s see if Google can help us out…

Looks like I can download Windows 10 directly from Microsoft, anywhere else would be ill advised…

Just following the prompts and…

Eureka! I have now have a legitimate copy of Windows 10. Now let’s proceed with the installation.

Hit cancel if at this point you do not want to install Windows…I just wanted to discuss the Windows installation on a Mac, but not actually install it on my current Mac… so I’m clicking on cancel.

So there you have it. You now know how to install Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp Assistant, and you can now run almost any Windows software on your Mac. From my experience, Windows performed much better on a Mac using Boot Camp Assistant than it did when running on my Dell and HP. There are other ways to install Windows on a Mac, such as installing it in a virtual machine like Parallels or VM Fusion. You will be able to run Windows side-by-side with your Mac OS however, you take a performance hit since you having your Mac run two operating systems simultaneously. Perhaps one day I will blog the specifics in getting that done, but for now, have fun getting into Boot Camp.

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !