Boot Camp in Leopard: Tips and Reports

Booting a Mac from Windows using Apple Boot Camp 2.0

BootCamp 2.0 FAQ


Virtualize AND dual-boot the same Windows on your Mac

One of the lesser-publicized features of our favorite Windows-on-Mac virtualization software, Parallels 3.0, is its Boot Camp support. Boot Camp is Apple's free software that can boot Windows on your Mac natively. Parallels lets you run Windows within OS X virtually. Now that the two packages can share a single Windows installation, you can choose EITHER to boot fully into Windows OR to just hop into Windows while you're still logged into OS X.

Why would I want to do this? you ask. Well, the problem with dual-booting Windows is the inconvenience of having to restart your Mac entirely. The problem with virtualizing Windows is that it can be unreasonably slow for a prolonged session. Now that Boot Camp and Parallels work together, you can choose between virtualizing or booting into your Windows installation depending on what you have to do. Here's how to get it set up.

Install Boot Camp

First thing you should know: setting up Boot Camp is not a trivial task, since it requires repartitioning your Mac's hard drive and installing another operating system and drivers. Block out a couple of hours for this project.

What you'll need

bulletAn Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.4 with all software updates installed and at least 10GB of free space and a writable CD/DVD drive
bulletA blank CD or DVD for burning the Mac driver disk
bulletA genuine Windows XP (no Vista support yet!) installation disk which includes Service Pack 2. You cannot install XP using a disk that does not include SP2 and expect to download it after the fact. Here's how to slipstream SP2 onto an older WinXP installation CD.

Set up Boot Camp

Before you get started, free up as much space on your Mac's hard drive as possible. Here's a handy tool for visualizing and cleaning up all your disk space hogs. Then:

  1. Back up all your important data. Do not skip this step. If you're extra super-paranoid and you've got a free external disk, consider cloning your Mac's hard drive entirely. Here are some free Mac backup tools and methods.
  2. Download and install the Boot Camp Assistant. Out of the gate, the assistant will prompt you to print out the 28 page user guide. Yes, I groaned and balked at the waste of paper and ink that this would be too. But it turns out the manual was a big, comforting help later on, so do it.
  3. Burn the Mac drivers disc. Boot Camp will prompt you to insert your blank CD/DVD to burn the Mac drivers disk. These drivers will make your Mac's video card, Bluetooth, iSight, wireless and IR remote work in Windows, so this is also a crucial step. bootcamp-install-drivers.png
  4. Partition your Mac's hard drive. Now's the scary fun part. Using the Boot Camp Assistant, you'll set exactly how big you want your Windows partition to be. I chose 20GB, but it depends on how much data you'll plan to work with in Windows. Keep in mind that a partition larger than 32GB cannot be formatted as a FAT volume (but can be NTFS.) FAT volumes can be written to within OS X (while NTFS volumes cannot), but FAT is considered less reliable than NTFS. You'll be able to copy files to your Windows installation using Parallels anyway, so that's not an issue after all.
    Before you hit that Partition button, make sure all your apps are closed - IM, web browser, Quicksilver, anything that might unexpectedly write to disk during the process and bork things up.
  5. Install Windows. Once your partition's created, insert the Windows installation disk and hit the "Start Installation" button in the Boot Camp Assistant. Your Mac will reboot on the Windows XP disk and begin the trusty OS install. Two things to know when you're installing Windows XP:
    bulletWhen it comes time to select the partition to format, choose the C: partition. One false move here and you could wipe out your entire Mac.
    bulletYou'll have a choice between the NTFS or FAT Windows partition format. NTFS is recommended, though FAT is ok too.
    Complete the rest of the Windows XP installation as usual.
  6. Install the Mac drivers. Once you're completely booted into Windows, eject the installation disk and insert the Mac drivers CD you burned earlier and let Autorun take over. Once these drivers are installed, Windows will recognize your Mac's devices (like Bluetooth, the video adapter, iSight camera, and wireless receiver.) You'll have to reboot to finish this installation.

You're done! You now have the choice to start either Mac OS X or Windows XP on your Mac. To make that choice, hold down the Option key when you restart your Mac, and choose your boot partition.


The other advantage of booting into Windows natively with Boot Camp is access to internal devices that Parallels doesn't support. For example, I can sync my Nokia phone via Bluetooth using native Windows, but not virtualized Windows.

Virtualize Windows with Parallels

Now that Windows XP is set up with Boot Camp, all the hard work is done. To load your Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine, simply launch Parallels, and your new install will be listed.


When you run your Boot Camp as a virtual machine for the first time, Parallels will need some time to initialize Parallels Tools. From there you'll have access to all the yummy Parallels features, like the "Open With" Mac/Windows program context menu, shared networking, Parallels Explorer and the rest. The only bad news about Parallels is its price tag: $80 for a full 3.0 version, $40 for upgraders.


How to: Resolve trouble between Parallels and Windows under Boot Camp - UPDATED

After seeing several threads relating to this issue, I decided to make this it's own thread instead of trying to reply to each. This article NOW resolves all issues pertaining to using Windows under Boot Camp through Parallels, INCLUDING activation. Hopefully Parallels will be able to integrate these fixes into a future release.

Before doing anything, I would recommend preparing your existing Windows installation under Boot Camp, for Parallels, before trying to access it through Parallels. If you have already installed Parallels and now have problems, don't worry, this article should address and resolve these issues as well.

Something to know upfront: using your existing Boot Camp installation with Parallels will most likely require you to activate your Windows installation a second time. The reasons for this are addressed in Section 4 of this article.

Section 1: Preparing your Boot Camp Installation for Parallels
(If you already tried to access your Boot Camp installation through Parallels, and can no longer get into Windows through Boot Camp or Parallels, please skip this step and come back to it after you have completed Section 2.)

First we need setup one Hardware profile for Boot Camp and one for Parallels. (Credit for this fix goes to logan_barnett.)

1. Open your "System Properties" either through the Control Panel or by right-clicking on "My Computer" and going to Properties.

2. Go to the "Hardware" tab and click on "Hardware Profiles".

3. Rename the current profile "Boot Camp", and then copy it. Rename the copy "Parallels".

4. Under "Hardware profiles selection", make sure "Wait until I select a hardware profile" is selected.

5. Check the properties of each profile and make sure the following options are selected:
"This is a portable computer"
"The docking state is unknown"
"Always include this profile as an option when Windows starts"

6. Click "OK" on everything.

This will allow you to choose the correct hardware profile when booting into Windows using Boot Camp or Parallels. Select the "Parallels" hardware profile when using Parallels and select the "Boot Camp" hardware profile when using Boot Camp.

Section 2: Resolving issues that may arise from installing Parallels

There are two things that I had to do to resolve the issues that arose after installing the latest version of Parallels 3 (build 5160).

First, I started receiving "Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM" when booting to Windows using Parallels or Boot Camp. (If you do not have this problem, please skip this step.)

I had to resolve this issue by restoring this registry file using the Recovery Console (I actually used MacFUSE and NTFS-3G to access the NTFS partition from OSX to do this, but will not get into how to do this. If you want to look into it for yourself, you can find information here.). I restored the "system" registry file from the latest backup located in "C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RPX\Snapshot". There is more information on how to do this here.

Section 3: Resolving issues with Stop Error 0x0000007b

After I resolved the first issue, I could boot back into Windows using Boot Camp, but was still getting a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) when trying to use Parallels. The Stop Error I was getting was 0x0000007b.

If you "Disable automatic restart on system failure" by using the boot option (F8), you should be able to see what the stop error is. If it is 0x0000007b, then see this article to resolve the trouble.

(When trying to run your Windows installation under Boot Camp, through Parallels, Windows reacts in the same way it would if you physically moved your hard drive from one PC to another. Thus, you have to do the procedure listed above to get Windows to run in Parallels.)

Section 4: Issues

Using the 0x0000007b fix appears to resolve any BSOD issues when booting into Windows using Parallels or Boot Camp, but there are a few other issues that arise from doing this:

Windows will need to be reactivated. This is because of the "Significant Hardware Changes" detected by Windows when switching from Boot Camp to Parallels, or vice versa. When using the latest version of Boot Camp (1.4), Windows has complete access to all hardware in your Mac. When using Parallels, Windows has a different Hard Disk Controller, Video Card, and Processor core count (1 instead of 2).

After Windows has been activated under both Boot Camp and Parallels (twice), you will be able to boot into either configuration without any trouble. (If you were able to prepare your Boot Camp installation for Parallels before trying to access it through Parallels, you may not have to reactivate Windows, but I am not for sure on this.)

This may be a major issue for those of you using Vista. From what I have read, Vista is even less forgiving than XP, when it comes to reactivation. If you cannot get Vista to activate successfully a second time under Parallels, I believe that you can still get it activated by speaking to a CSR in Microsoft's Activation Department.

After doing the procedures listed above to get windows to run, Windows will need to have the proper drivers installed (Boot Camp drivers for running on Boot Camp, and Parallels drivers for running on Parallels).

Parallels Tools:
It appears that after installing the Parallels Tools under Parallels, the Boot Camp drivers for Windows no longer function correctly under Boot Camp. For example, the keyboards back-light no longer works, nor do any of the shortcuts shared by the function keys. (If you find that this issue does not actually apply to your installation under Boot Camp, please ignore the fix I have listed below.)

The only way you can get around this issue (since you cannot uninstall the Parallels Tools unless your are running Windows under Parallels) is to: change the Parallels Services (in the Windows Services Manager) from Automatic to Manual, stop the running service(s), disable the Parallels "startup" options (using Windows Defender or MSCONFIG), and reboot. After completing this, in addition to everything else, there should be no problem with using Windows under Parallels or Boot Camp.

Additional Comments:

I think these issues should have been addressed in detail, by Parallels, before releasing a product that has the ability to utilize the Windows installation under Boot Camp as a virtual machine. And it is my opinion that resolving these issues, or integrating these fixes into their existing product, should be Parallels top priority!

If Windows is running natively on Boot Camp, then Parallels should be able to run Windows seamlessly without having to use the fixes listed above, causing the Boot Camp drivers to malfunction, or (if possible) causing Windows to have to be reactivated.

I would recommend that Parallels create an install file that would need to be run in Windows under Boot Camp, as a prerequisite (automatically resolving these issues or applying these fixes), before allowing Parallels access to the existing Windows installation under Boot Camp. Parallels will also need to be very clear with the fact that Windows will need to be activated twice for everything to work correctly.

If anyone has any additional information about these issues, or has found this information helpful, please reply to this thread.




How do I use a WinXP Boot Camp partition with Parallels?

The latest release of the slick Parallels Desktop application does indeed support you using a Bootcamp partition as a virtual machine disk within the Parallels application. In fact, there are two ways you can hook in the Boot Camp partition, either as a bootable vm, or as a secondary hard disk on another WinXP vm (that is, as disk "D:" or similar).

The former, having a single installation of Windows XP accessible both through Parallels and Boot Camp, sounds like a tremendous capability, so that's what I set up, and here are the exact steps I took...

Just about everything happens within Mac OS X, so your first step is to start up Parallels Desktop, then click File --> New.... Now you'll need to choose which type of OS install you want:

Installing a New OS into Mac's Parallels

Rather than "Windows Express", however, choose "Custom", then choose "Windows" and "Windows XP" when asked what OS you want to install. Next you'll need to specify how much RAM you want to allocate to the virtual machine: like any other Windows installation, the more RAM, the better. I suggest at least 768MB if you can spare it. Next up, you'll see:

Mac Parallels: New OS: Virtual Hard Disk Option

You can guess the proper choice here, "Use Boot Camp". Now you'll get to specify what kind of networking interface you want between your virtual machine and your Mac OS X system. I suggest "Shared Networking (recommended)". Then it's time to come up with snazzy name for the new partition:

Mac Parallels: Windows XP: Naming the VM

Okay, so maybe "WinXP (Boot Camp)" isn't the most exotic of names, but at least I'll remember the configuration!

That's basically all there is to it. When you first run the new virtual machine, it'll ask that you type in your (Mac) admin password. Not a worry, Parallels is just configuring everything properly. More excitingly, you'll get to see this:

Mac Parallels: WinXP: Initializing Parallels Tools

Eventually the warning banner went away and I found that there was some sort of problem and the mouse wasn't working. I simply shut down the vm and restarted it. Parallels warned me that this might be a bad idea, but since I couldn't use the mouse to select "Shut Down", stopping the Parallels vm was my only choice.

Fortunately, while it did reinstall the Parallels tools yet again, it worked more smoothly this time and my mouse worked from the very first time I saw an arrow cursor in the vm. Once I went to log in to Windows, however, I got this interesting message:

Mac Parallels: Windows XP: Re-Activation?

Next up was yet another error:

Mac Parallels: Windows XP: Couldn't Install Drivers Post-Install

I followed directions, waited and left it alone, and a few minutes later it rebooted Windows and other than being cranky about me not yet having reactivated WinXP, it all worked just fine! Here's proof of my WinXP working just fine off the Boot Camp partition:

Mac Parallels: Windows XP: Running off Boot Camp Partition!

The final test, of course, is to shut down my Mac and reboot in Windows XP through Boot Camp to confirm that nothing's broken...and... it worked like a charm. Rockin!

Now, a few things I noticed: first off, it seems to me that I must have installed the Parallels Tools into the Boot Camp vm at least four times, which is definitely weird. In fact, it appears that you have to reinstall it every time you restart the VM, which is a bit annoying. Further, while most of my apps worked alright, the slick anti-virus program AVG wouldn't work in Parallels mode, though to my surprise when I was booted up in Boot Camp it still worked like a charm. (also AVG does work fine in Parallels with a non-Boot Camp partition, so this is some anomaly of this rather odd configuration)

Otherwise, an interesting and reasonably smooth sequence of events, and I hope this illustrated tutorial will help you too configure your Parallels Desktop to work with a Boot Camp Windows XP partition.

Bashour Note:  Its possible the mouse problem this user had was due to the fact that he did not boot into Windows XP natively through Boot Camp and install Parallels Tools for Boot Camp package in it before first boot in Parallels Desktop for Mac as per instructions below from Parallels.
* Boot from BootCamp partition. Another long awaited feature that lets you boot your 32-bit Windows XP residing on Boot Camp partition directly in Parallels Desktop for Mac.
IMPRORTANT! You need to boot in your Windows XP natively through Boot Camp and install Parallels Tools for Boot Camp package in it before your first boot in Parallels Desktop for Mac.
NOTE! It is not possible to suspend Virtual Machine connected to Boot Camp for integrity reasons.
NOTE! Running Boot Camp in Virtual Machine will need to reactivate your Windows XP installation.

If you want to convert your Parallels VM to VMWare Fusion you need this

If you want to use the BootCamp Partition in all 3 ways bear this in mind

"I have been using Parallels on my Core 2 Duo MBP for a little over a month now. I read that both Parallels and VMWare Fusion can read a Boot Camp partition allowing the user to switch back and forth between the programs without a problem.

Its been working great with Parallels since I got the MBP, and when VMWare Fusion was finally released I decided to give it a try.

Thats when everything went funky.

After loading up VMWare it recognized the Boot Camp partition as I'd hoped. I told it to go ahead and load it. Vista (Business) started loading (yippy) and then rebooted. It did this again and again.

So I stopped VMWare, rebooted my Mac and tried to load Boot Camp. Same reboot/loop. To solve the problem I loaded up the Mac OS and ran Vista from Parallels again. From then on everything has run as expected (including loading Vista from Boot Camp).

I'm guessing this has something to do with Parallel's drivers it installed in Vista. If I have time again, I'll research this more and see if I can get them both to see the partition just fine (so I can have the choice of which program to load for whatever my needs are for the day).


Posted By Jeff Coughlin / Posted At 8/7/07 1:06 AM


@Jeff, yeah, that's actually mentioned amongst the Parallels problems because it messes with the Boot Camp Windows install. If you boot up your MBP and select Windows, then reboot and select Mac OS X, then fire up VMware... it will run Boot Camp just fine (as long as you don't use the Boot Camp partition from Parallels)."


How I migrated my Boot Camp setup into Parallels...

Yes, you read correctly. Colddiver on the Parallels forum did it and it works but it was a painful process.

The challenges are as follows:
1. Backup your Boot Camp partition and convert it into a VM .hdd file.
2. Repair your Windows install so that it can work under the significant hardware change

The process is as follows:
1. Boot on Windows and clone your drive (I used the evaluation version of Snapshop (
1.1. You will need lots of disk space for this. In my case I had to save the snapshop files on my mac partition (through MacDrive)
1.2. This snapshot file will have to be made available to a Parallels VM so put is somewhere you can share it through Parallels Shared Folders.
2. Create a new virtual machine in Parallels and install Windows on it. Once it boots, install Snapshop.
2.1 Configure "Shared Folders" to make your snapshop files available to your new VM.
3. Create a new HD for your newly created virtual machine. Make sure it is as big (or bigger) than your Boot Camp partition.
4. Configure the new drive within Windows. For XP, instructions are available here:
5. Once your new virtual drive is available, open Snapshop and restore your Boot Camp cloned drived onto your 2nd hard drive.
6. Create a new Parallels VM that will use your virtual HD that now contains your restored Boot Camp partition.
7. You are not out of the wood yet... If you try to boot the new VM, it won't work. You need to boot from your Windows install CD and and enter the repair console to repair your Boot.ini file. Instructions on how to do this are here (follow method 2):
8. After doing this, my install still didn't boot (even safe mode didn't work - boot freezed after loading the Mup.sys driver) so I had to boot (again) from the windows install CD, select setup and repair my windows install as per the following instructions:
9. Reboot (again) your new VM, install Parallels tools
10. Now if you want to get rid of the Windows selection screen at boot time, you will need to edit your boot.ini file to remove the entry that links to your boot camp partition. Instructions on how to do this are here: In my case, all I had to do was to delete the last line.
11. Now you probably open the Add/Remove programs control panel and remove the Mac drivers needed for Boot Camp.

After going through all of this, you will have to reinstall all the windows updates you installed in Boot Camp (the Repair process reverts to the original Windows version) but you should have all your data, applications and settings intact. In my case, everything worked. I use Windows in a corporate environment and after going through that process, I still had all my logons to various corporate domains, all the corporate apps worked...