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09.03.2014

A Quick Guide to Running Windows on a Mac - Part 2

Part 2: Virtualisation

Virtualisaton means you set up a separate, virtual, computer that shares hardware with the physical one. We're looking at Windows here, but you can run multiple virtual machines for different operating systems (or different versions of them) - as long as you have the hardware to handle the extra load this places on your Mac.

VMware & Parallels

Both of these allow you to run Windows alongside OSX, and run Windows apps from inside OSX; you can even have Windows software in your Dock.

Trialling VMWare Fusion

Before You Begin

Before you start, you'll need Windows installation media; we explained how to do this in Part One. You'll also need to download VMWare Fusion. This is not free software, but there is a free trial. Double click the .dmg file you downloaded to 'mount' the virtual disk, then double click the icon to launch the installation.

First, Launch Virtual Machine Library

Once installed, you can then launch the 'Virtual Machine Library' window, and select the 'Windows Easy Install' feature to get started. Navigate to 'File > New > Continue' and go through to guided process there as follows:

Setting up a Windows Virtual Machine

First, select Windows as your operating system and name your virtual Windows machine in the 'Save as' field. Now you'll need to decide how many resources to allocate to your virtual machine in the 'Virtual Hard Disk' panel. You might need to play around here a bit to find the right balance for your needs and your Mac's capabilities. One thing to be aware of is the 'Advanced Disk Options' section which has a setting that allows you to allocate all possible disk space.

Installing Windows 

In the 'Windows Easy Install' panel choose 'Use Easy Install', then enter your the name that your Windows software is registered to (not your Windows username) and your Windows Product Key; you also have the option to enter a password.

The final stage is the 'Finish' dialogue. Make sure that your Windows installation media (DVD, USB or virtual drive) is present and connected to your Mac, and choose either 'Use operating system installation disc' if you're installing Windows from DVD, or 'Use operating system installation disc image file' and then navigate to the virtual drive.

That's it: click 'Finish' and Windows will install - this can take up to 45 minutes. When complete, you can run Windows on demand by running VMWare Fusion.

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