How to Dual Boot Mac OS X and Windows 7 – A Complete Walkthrough

Posted: October 1, 2010 in Tips and Tricks

This is a complete walkthrough in general on how you can install Mac OS X (Leopard) onto your desktop or laptop along with Windows 7. I know we are a Windows 7 topic specific blog, but lately there are increasing interests in people who want to have their PC to run both Windows 7 and Mac OS X simultaneously. So let me share some of my 2-year of experience of building and installing mackintosh (warning: if you are not computer savvy user you may not want to try this

Here are some of the prerequisite:

You need at least a CPU that supports “SSE 2” instruction set or above instruction set, if not you probably haven’t updated your PC in the past 5-6 years. How to find out if your CPU (doesn’t matter if you are using an Intel or AMD) suppose SSE 2 instruction set?


2.Have a copy of Windows 7 Install Disk (you will need this to fix the boot issue after you’ve finished installing hackintosh)

Get as many different Mac OSx86 distribution as possible, you will find them useful during the process of installing. Here is a list of the distributions. Be careful some of the distribution only support Intel-based PC. If you have AMD please look for the release notes of each distribution. You know where to download them (prefer get the latest edition for each)

SnowOSX Universal (this is for Snow Leopard)

Better have a different hard drive to install on if not, make sure you have at least 20+ GB free space

2GB of RAM or more

A DVD Drive (of course)

Note: before we start, it is important to backup all your data if necessary, any data lost is your own responsibility.

Let’s Get Started

Lets assume you already have Windows 7 installed. The first thing you probably want to do is to create a new partition on your hard drive. If you don’t know how to do that, check this tutorials first.

When you create a new partition please give it at least 20 GB or more, if you want to use the mackintosh for any real usage you probably want to add more disk spaces in there. (Xcode in Mac along will take almost 8 GB + spaces, so you want to give it as much spaces as you can)

Once you have created a partition it’s time to try out on installing Mac OS X on your machine.

Yes, you literary need to try out on the different distributions, if you really want to proceed and have a working mackintosh you better start looking at the hardware supportability here. Since every one of you will have a different hardware configuration, it is hard to be general in this case. The bottom line is, you want to check your motherboard (for desktop) or laptop version first. is an awesome place to go if you have some specific questions regarding your hardware compatibility and installing issue.

Once you have done enough research you will feel confident of what you are doing.

Go to BIOS make sure you are now booting from the DVD first. Insert the Mac OS X distribution you’ve obtained, personally I like to use iATKOS, since that’s the one that I got my Acer Aspire 5580 laptop to work. Yours might be different, again its all depend on the hardware.


During the initial Disk load press F8 for optional parameter. Some of the parameter you can use are –v, –F, –X, cpus=1 etc

Once you have successfully loaded into OSX go to Disk Utility you want to reformat the partition you’ve just created into Mac OS Extended (Journal) (for detail see here)

Now quit the Disk Utility and proceed the install

Be sure to click Customize when you see the Screen Above

Now its the matter of re-trying over and over again. Remember what your configuration is and apply the proper driver (kext file)

We will skip the long and boring re-trying part. Let’s assuming you have it finally working installed and get properly login into Mac OS X. You will soon find out you are not able to boot back into Windows 7 again. That’s because the boot loader you’ve installed overwrite the Windows 7 Boot Manager.

You have two option to fix can’t boot into Windows 7 issue:

The easies way is to insert your Windows 7 disk, and repair your Windows 7. If the wizard found the problem great. If not proceed to step 2


Now you probably want to manually recover the Windows Boot Loader
When you get back into Windows 7, I recommend to use this method called “tboot” what it does is basically create a new entry of boot option in your Windows Boot Manager, that will then re-direct you to Darwin or Chameleon boot loader in Mackintosh.

That’s pretty much it, if you have any specific questions please feel free to leave a comment here, and I will try my best to help you out.

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