The Lite Side

Apple's Original Boot Camp Installation Instructions

- 2006.04.11

Was it just me, or did anyone else catch those little jabs at Windows on the Boot Camp installation page? "If your computer becomes infected, well, what did you expect?" and so on.

Well, we know that the folks over at Apple actually wanted to say a lot more than that, so we rooted around in the trash at the Jack-in-the-Box closest to Apple HQ in Cupertino until we found

Apple's Unedited Boot Camp Instructions

Run Microsoft Windows XP on an Intel-based Macintosh computer.

Using a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc that you provide (even a stolen or previously used disk will work, although that is somewhat illegal), Boot Camp Beta 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. Unless you can only start up in Windows. In which case, you can only start up in Windows, but to restart in Mac OS X you will have to erase your entire hard drive. Again.

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. Actually, it's sort of like having gender-specific dorm rooms: Theoretically, one can't infect the other, but the reality might be somewhat different.

Boot Camp Assistant (we almost called it a Wizard but we couldn't stop puking) 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.

It will be at this point that you discover that your attempt to copy the Windows installation disk for your Dell at work failed, and you will be stuck with a useless, empty partition not unlike the quality of the life you lead.

Support and Feedback

Apple Computer does not provide support for installing or running Boot Camp Beta or Microsoft Windows software. We will snicker at you and laugh behind your back if you try to call us and whine about the lack of support we have for an unsupported product. It's a call that won't end well, with a sort of Seinfeldian climax that will consist of our asking you if you know what the term "unsupported" means; your claim that you do; and our immediate comeback which consists of, "I don't think you do."

Apple welcomes your feedback on Boot Camp Beta. However, it's extremely unlikely any of us will read it. Send your positive comments and suggestions to Send all complaints to

Warning: Boot Camp Beta is preview software licensed for use on a trial basis for a limited time. And believe us, getting it to work without screwing up your system will be a trial.

What this means is, it will probably screw up your system so don't come whining to us. Do not use Boot Camp Beta in a commercial operating environment or with important data. Like for example, using any software you actually paid for.

You should back up all of your data before installing this software and regularly back up data while using the software. But don't erase the old backup (pre-Boot Camp) with your post- Boot Camp data, because when Boot Camp makes your Mac freak out, you're gonna wanna go back to that time when your computer actually worked.

Your rights to use Boot Camp Beta are subject to acceptance of the terms of the software license agreement that accompanies the software. Glancing sideways at the license agreement is tantamount to agreeing to its terms.

Important: Before you use Boot Camp Assistant, print this document. It contains information you'll need while installing Windows XP. Of course, if you're just reading this now, you're halfway through the installation process because you started without reading the actual steps. In which case, your printer drivers won't work and you're essentially screwed.

What You Need

Here's what you'll need to install and set up Windows XP on your Macintosh:

  • An Intel-based Macintosh computer
  • 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
  • A copy of "Computers for Dummies" so you can look up "firmware"
  • At least 10 GB of free space on your startup disk (time to delete all those saved pictures of Bea Arthur)
  • Boot Camp Assistant (installed by BootCampAssistant.pkg in /Applications/Utilities/)
  • A copy of "Macs for Dummies" so you can interpret the previous instruction
  • A blank recordable CD or DVD (3 of them - one to screw up, one to scratch, and one to use)
  • Windows XP Home Edition or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later
  • A set of install codes for Windows that actually work
  • A lot more "Dummies" books
  • A case of beer
  • A towel, a little bird in a cage, and an axe dropped by a dwarf


Installing Windows XP on your Macintosh computer involves the following steps:

Step 0: Drink the beer. All of it.

Step 1: Update your computer's system software and firmware, consulting "Macs for Dummies" if necessary.

Step 2: Run Boot Camp Assistant. Don't think about Wizards while drinking beer. The results would be . . . messy.

Boot Camp Assistant helps you with these tasks:

  • Trashing your hard drive: You'll use a big honking magnet to erase your computer's hard drive.
  • Burning a Macintosh Drivers CD: After you install Windows XP, you'll use the Macintosh Drivers CD to install Macintosh-specific drivers and other software. According to "Computers for Dummies", a driver is not a video game. Get over it.
  • 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. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Starting the Windows XP installation: Boot Camp Assistant gets you started with the Windows XP installation.

Step 2.5: Get more Beer.

Step 3: Install Windows XP.

Step 3.5: Drink more beer. All of it.

Step 4: Install Macintosh-specific drivers and other software on your Windows XP volume. Pray to whatever gods you worship. Test your blood alcohol level. Any friendly policeman will be happy to assist you - just drive until you find one.

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. Good luck with that.

Important: Before you begin, make sure you have a backup of the important information on your computer's startup disk. In fact, you should back up the entire disk. Not only that, but all the devices plugged into it as well. You might want to take a look at just getting a whole 'nother computer and installing the experimental software there. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Updating Your Computer's System Software and Firmware

Boot Camp requires that you have Mac OS X v10.4.6 (or later) and the latest firmware installed on your computer. When you run Boot Camp Assistant, it lets you know if you need to update your firmware or system software. It's pretty unlikely that you do have the latest software and firmware, so it's pretty much a given you're going to have to update the firmware. Get your copy of "Computers for Dummies," look it up, follow the directions, and come back here after you've slept off the beer.

Time passes.

Running Boot Camp Assistant

Boot Camp Assistant takes you through the process of burning a Macintosh Drivers CD and creating a new partition for the Windows XP operating system. Boot Camp Assistant also gets you started with the Windows XP installation. Or it would, if I felt like typing it all in again. Just do what I do, download the instructions off the Internet. Then copy and paste them here. Wasn't that fun?

Important: If you are using a laptop computer, connect the power adapter before continuing. Because even a 4-hour battery is going to be sucked drier than a [metaphor deleted].

Creating a Partition for Windows XP

Windows XP requires its own partition on your computer's internal startup disk. It's just jealous of the partition Mac OS X already has, and like Walmart, wants to stake a claim to some serious real estate in your neighborhood. Boot Camp Assistant creates a second partition on your startup disk for the Windows XP operating system. You can set the size of the new partition from a minimum of 5 GB to a maximum of 5 GB less than the total free space available. Just decide how much spyware you want on your machine, add 5 GB, and go with that.

To create a partition for Windows:

  1. Drag the divider to set the partition size for each operating system.
  2. Click Partition.

Boot Camp Assistant creates the new partition for Windows. Your original Mac OS X partition, with all your software and information, remains intact. You can use Boot Camp Assistant later to remove the partition if you want to restore your computer's internal startup disk to a single-partition Mac OS X volume. And we wouldn't mention this if we weren't pretty sure you're gonna wanna do that real soon now, okay?

Starting the Windows XP Installation

You can install either Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional. Either way, it's gonna take for-freakin'-ever to install this puppy. If you're out of beer, you might want to remedy that.

To start the Windows installation:

  1. Insert your Windows XP CD. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.
  2. Click Start Installation. Or is it Stop Installation to Start? I can never remember.

Your computer starts up from the Windows CD. Theoretically.

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. What this means that if you have an earlier version of Windows and you merely upgrade it, you are cheap, and our pals over a Microsoft want to have a little chat with you and your pal over dere.

Installing Windows XP

Read and follow these instructions for installing Windows XP on your Macintosh computer. Refer to your Windows XP documentation for general information about installing and setting up the Windows XP operating system.

To install Windows XP on your Macintosh computer:

0. Drink the beer.

1. Start the Windows installation using Boot Camp Assistant. If you've already started the installation as described in "Starting the Windows XP Installation" on page 8, continue with step 2 below. If, after partitioning your startup disk, you restarted Mac OS X without installing Windows:

  1. Open Boot Camp Assistant.
  2. Select "Start the Windows installer."
  3. Sign the contract on the dotted line, right next to where Satan signed it first.

Click Continue.

2. Follow the onscreen instructions. Here's an onscreen instruction for you: Chuck the beer and get some whisky.

Selecting the Windows Partition

To select the correct partition for Windows:

Select partition C:.

There's some other stuff you're supposed to do, but I'm having a really hard time concentrating for some reason.

Formatting Your Windows Partition

To format the partition for Windows:

Select either NTFS or FAT:

NTFS - No, This Fairly-well Sucks: Provides better reliability and security.

Note: If you format the partition using the NTFS file system, you will not be able to write or save files to the Windows volume from Mac OS X. Some user told us this should be at the beginning of the instructions, in big red bold font 40 points tall, but we like to hide it here in this innocuous looking paragraph.

FAT - Provides better compatibility. Only if both of you are FAT to begin with though.

Setting Up Windows

After the Windows XP software has been installed, the installer automatically restarts your computer using Windows. Umm, maybe like six or seven times. I lost count. Use the Windows setup screens to configure your Windows XP system. Don't worry, no one else knows what that means either.

Installing Macintosh Drivers in Windows

After installing Windows, use the Macintosh Drivers CD to install Macintosh-specific drivers and other software for the Windows XP operating system. The Macintosh Drivers CD installs the drivers to support the following capabilities on your Macintosh computer:

  • graphics, such as being able to display the BSOD occasionally.
  • networking, so you can become a zombie bot for homeland security
  • audio, so you can enjoy iTunes for Windows on your Mac
  • AirPort wireless
  • Bluetooth
  • Redbeard
  • the Eject key (on Apple keyboards)
  • the Power key (on Apple keyboards . . . hey . . . waitaminit . . . where is my power button?)
  • brightness control for built-in displays
  • The Macintosh Drivers CD also installs a Startup Disk control panel for Windows. This is how we're going to take over the world of Windows . . . one control panel at a time.

To install the Macintosh drivers and other software:

1. Eject the Windows XP CD.

  2. Select the optical drive (D:). Unless you have some other drive installed on D: In which case it could be E:,L:,M:,or O:.
  3. Click "Eject this disk" in the System Tasks list. Wait for it . . . wait for it . . . wait . . . okay..

2. Insert the Macintosh Drivers CD. Surprisingly, this goes in the CD drive you just emptied. The installer should start automatically. It won't, though, if you're something of a jerk, so if you have AutoRun turned off, double-click the "Install Macintosh Drivers for Win XP.exe" file. Then double-click the "Open the Floodgates of Doom.exe" file. Then double-click on "Internet Explorer." A window will pop up which will display the number of infections and spyware programs currently residing on your system.

Caution: This may overheat your processor. Or your computer may explode.

3. Follow the onscreen instructions. If a message appears that says the software you are installing has not passed Windows Logo testing, click Continue Anyway. What could possibly go wrong?

Some windows appear only briefly during the installation, and unlike TiVo you can't back up and read them again.

If it appears that nothing is happening, there is a very good chance that nothing is actually happening, or there may be a hidden window that you must respond to. This is one of the little annoying things that Windows does just to annoy the heck out of you.

Check the taskbar or look behind open windows. If you see anyone looking back, call the police immediately.

4. After your computer restarts, follow the instructions in the Found New Hardware Wizard (uhhh . . . uhhh . . . gulp . . . that's better) to update your software drivers.

5. Follow the instructions for any other wizards that appear. In case you see Gandalf, cast a Misdirection spell and roll a d20.

Important: Do not cancel any of the driver installers. If you do, the computer may explode.

If you haven't yet burned a Macintosh Drivers CD, please do so in a ventilated place.

Switching Between Operating Systems

Boot Camp Beta makes it easy to pick which operating system to use whenever you start up your computer. You can also specify which operating system to use by default when you start up. Another way to accomplish this is to get another computer, which is in fact even easier.

Selecting an Operating System During Startup

To select the operating system to use as you start up:

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Immediately press and hold the Option key until the disk icons appear on your screen.
  3. Press ctrl-alt-del which saying "There's no Place like Start" three times.
  4. Press option-p-r-command-shift-left bracket and yell, "Twister!"
  5. There is no step 5.
  6. Select the icon of the startup disk you want to use, and then click the arrow beneath the icon.
  7. Start over and do it again, because more than likely, it won't work the first time.
  8. Go get some drugs. Start quoting lines from "Airplane!"

Setting the Default Operating System

If you really really need to do this, you'll know how. You don't need a stinkin' manual for that.

To use Startup Disk preferences in Mac OS X:

  1. In Mac OS X, choose Apple > System Preferences.
  2. Click Startup Disk. Wait for it . . . wait for it . . . wait . . . okay, NOW!
  3. Select the operating system you want to use by default. If you don't pick OS X, bad things may happen to you. Baaaad things.
  4. If you want to start up that operating system now, click Restart.

To use the Startup Disk control panel in Windows XP:

  1. In Windows XP, choose Start > Control Panel. Don't shut down. DON'T SHUT DOWN! DON'T! Damn. Now you've ruined everything, and you have to start all over, including the beer. If you are in Category View, click "Performance and Maintenance." If you are not in Category View, I don't really know what you're supposed to do. Go get in category view, I guess.
  2. Double-click the Startup Disk control panel.
  3. Select the operating system you want to use by default. (Pick Mac! Pick Mac! Pick Mac!)
  4. If you want to start up that operating system now, click Restart.

Removing the Windows Partition

If you no longer want to use Windows on your computer, you can use Boot Camp Assistant to remove the Windows partition from your startup disk. This returns the disk to its original configuration as a single-partition Mac OS X volume.

To remove the Windows partition from your startup disk:

  1. Start up in Mac OS X.
  2. Quit all open applications and log out any other users on your computer.
  3. Open Boot Camp Assistant.
  4. Select "Restore the startup disk to a single volume" and click Continue.

Warning: Make a backup of the important information on your Windows volume before removing the Windows partition. Windows XP software and all other information on the Windows partition will be erased from your startup disk.


If you're having trouble partitioning your startup disk or using Boot Camp Assistant, check here for possible solutions.

I can't partition my startup disk.

This is most likely because you don't have a startup disk. Go pick one up in a tumble-bin at Walmart.

You cannot use Boot Camp Assistant to partition and install Windows XP on an external drive.

This is because we don't do Windows.

Windows XP didn't install properly.

This isn't our fault, and it isn't our problem.

The Macintosh drivers weren't successfully installed.

Third time's a charm.

I can't eject my CD or DVD.

Yer a Mac virgin, aren't you? Get a paper clip.

My computer doesn't always show the correct date and time.

Try setting the clock.

I can't adjust the brightness of my display.

You need fresh batteries in your display gizmo. That'll be a $200 service call.

The following features are not supported in Windows XP:

  • iSight cameras
  • the Apple Remote
  • the Apple USB Modem
  • the keyboard backlighting on MacBook Pro computers
  • computer functions keys
  • common sense
  • good sense of color balance
  • any software that starts with "i-"
  • your old copy of OS 9
  • that one game about flying a paper airplane around a room and catching it on fire
  • your old HP printer that runs from a dongle that emulates an old Mac serial port
  • your Apple IIe emulator you use while still trying to crack "Leather Goddesses of Phobos"
  • the Apple "splat" command key - very interesting, eh?

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