Apr 292009
Authors: Glen Pfeiffer, Ryan Gibbons

Probably the biggest question that faces anyone in the market for a new computer, especially in college, is “PC or Mac?”

Now before we give you an answer to that question, which will make half of you stop reading, we would like to call a truce. Both of us use both operating systems and have computers running both operating systems. We are not here to debate which one is better. Instead, we want to share with you how to have the best of both worlds.

You may or may not know that since Apple started using Intel processors in their machines, the “Windows” OS is compatible with Apple hardware. Unfortunately, it is against Apple’s Terms of Use to put its OS on anything else, so we’ll not show you how to do that (although it is possible).

So if you own a Mac and miss the things that “Windows” offers you (*cough*games*cough*), read on.

Things you’ll need before you start:

First, obtain a full copy of “Windows” on disc. We recommend “Windows XP.” Make sure it is “Service Pack Two” because “One” is too old.

Next, get a Mac with an Intel processor ——– this is any Mac made during 2006 or later. Click the Apple logo and “About this Mac” to see what type of processor you have. And that’s all you need to take over the world! Er, I mean, run “Windows” …

Here are several steps to load “Windows” on your Mac:

Step One: Make sure your Mac has the most recent software updates installed — failure to do so will most likely cause your computer to burst into flames! Well no, not really, but the install might not work so just make sure to check. Click on the Apple icon and click “Software Update.”

Step Two: Launch the “Boot Camp Assistant” and let it walk you through the next few steps. The “Assistant” is in the “Utilities” folder in your “Applications” folder.

Step Three: Partition your hard drive. For those of you who don’t know, partition is just a fancy word for divide — think of it as splitting your one hard drive into two unique hard drives.

This can be accomplished with hacksaw, but if you intend on actually using the hard drive afterwards, we’d let the “Boot Camp Assistant” do it for you. The assistant will ask you how much disk space you’d like to partition to the new volume. Five gigabytes is the minimum, but if you plan on installing anything more than “The Oregon Trail” we’d suggest something around 15 GB.

Step Four: Install “Windows.” Just put the “Windows” disc into your drive. It will start doing its thing and will eventually prompt you to restart. When you do, hold down the “Option” key as it starts. This will allow you to select which drive to boot from. Your choices will be your Mac hard drive, your “Windows” partition and the “Windows” disc. You want to boot from the disc this first time.

Step 5: It will start installing the OS. It will prompt you to select how to format your new drive; you want to select the FAT32 file system and make sure not to select the “Quick” install option. When this is done your computer will restart again.

Step 6: Make sure to hold down the “Option” button again. This time, choose to boot from the “Windows” partition you created earlier, not the disc. When it is running, put in your “Leopard” DVD that came with your Mac. This will install the necessary drivers to run the “Windows” software on your Mac hardware. Once it is done, you are done.

From here on out, whenever you want to switch between the systems, you can restart and hold down that “Option” key to select which OS you want to boot to. Magic./

Columnists Glen Pfeiffer and Ryan Gibbons will boot your operating system, if you know what I mean. Send questions to verve@collegian.com.

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