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How do you install Windows 7 on an Intel Mac using Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop for Mac, VMWare Fusion, and VirtualBox?
Each company -- whether it is Apple with Boot Camp, Parallels with Desktop for Mac, VMWare with Fusion or Sun and the open source community with VirtualBox -- provides instructions to install the program and install and setup operating systems including Windows 7.
The most important step before doing anything further is to absolutely backup everything before installing any of these programs and Windows 7.
Apple provides a detailed PDF document covering Boot Camp 3.x provided by MacOS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" with the details of installation, but the company FAQ also summarizes the installation procedure as follows:
First, use Software Update to ensure your computer's Mac OS X operating system, Boot ROM, other firmware and software are up-to-date before installing Windows 7.
You'll need both your Mac OS X v10.6 installation and Windows 7 installation discs. Here is the general process:
- Install Windows 7 using the Boot Camp Setup Assistant (located in /Applications/Utilities), which partitions your hard drive and walks you through the installation process. The process differs depending on whether you are performing a new install of Windows 7 or an upgrade install from an earlier version of Windows (see Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide for more information).
- After completing the Windows 7 installation, install the Apple Boot Camp Windows drivers from your Mac OS X v10.6 (or later) Install DVD.
- Upgrade the drivers to Version 3.1 with Windows Apple Software Update, or manually download them from here.
Parallels, VMWare, and VirtualBox likewise each provide documentation to install the respective programs and setup a compatible operating system like Windows 7. VMWare even goes a step further and provides a helpful tutorial video specifically geared toward installing the company's Fusion software and setup for use with Windows 7:
Site sponsors PowerMax and Other World Computing both sell a variety of solutions for running Windows on Intel-based Macs, including virtualization solutions from Parallels and VMWare as well as Apple's Boot Camp, which is provided with MacOS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard".