Preparing your System for Mac OS X

Friday, September 30, 2011

imageWhen you decide that you want Mac OS X on your computer, you have a decision to make. Do you want Mac OS X to become the sole operating system? Do you want a Dual boot?

Making Mac OS X Your Only Operating System

If you plan to build a custom PC with Hackintosh in mind, or want to permanently get rid of Windows it is possible. Just like Windows and Ubuntu and all Linux distributions, Mac OS X is an operating system. Whether it be on Apple or non-Apple hardware, given the right kexts and settings, and run on the reasonable hardware, it will run as smoothly as if it were on a Mac.

To prepare for this system, all you have to do is have the disks ready and do everything from the Mac OS X installer which will be shown in Installing Mac OS X on your PC Part 1: Drivers (Tutorial will be ready soon).

Dual booting Mac OS X With Windows

If you want the “best of both worlds” – being Windows and Mac OS X, you will need to have Windows installed first.

Linux Users:
You can also dual boot Mac OS X and your favorite Linux Distribution. In this case, you must install your favorite Linux Distribution First.
If you want a Tri-boot system (Windows, Linux and Mac), stay tuned for our post on it.
Then, from within Windows or Linux, you will need to use a disk partitioning tool to create the Mac partition.

In Windows Vista and newer, you will not need to download a partition manager as one is built-in to the operating system. However, if you are running Windows XP, you will need to download an install a partitioning tool. A good and free one is EASUS Partition Manager.

Windows XP users:
Download EASUS Partition Master Home
To access the Disk Manager in Vista and newer,  type “partition” in the Start menu search box and you will see “Create and Format Hard disk Partitions.”

Once in Disk management, right click on the hard drive that you wish to install Mac OS X on and choose “Shrink Volume.”

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You will then be prompted for the size of the new partition. Enter in the size that you want to shrink in MB. Note that by default, it will display the maximum amount that can be split through shrinking.

Once you hit Shrink, it will create the new partition, but you aren’t finished yet. When it finishes, you will see a block of unallocated space. Right click on it and choose “New Simple Volume” and format it as NTFS. Make sure that the partition is a primary partition (It will be a different color from your other partition if it isn’t primary).

In order to keep the Windows partition in tact, we will need to do something else. You will need to right click on your new Mac partition and choose “Mark Partition as Active.” Doing this will tell the next installer – regardless the operating system – to write its necessary boot files and boot loader to the new partition instead of the Windows one. By doing this, you save yourself the hassle of trying to fix a broken Windows installation after installing Mac and you avoid yourself the hassle of consequently having to repair the Mac’s boot loader as well.

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Side Note:
This also applies if you are installing a Linux distribution or a different version of Windows on another partition. Once you have installed the new operating system, you may decide that you don’t want it to be the first thing that boots – as that is what the active partition will do. To Make your original Windows partition first priority, right click on the partition and choose Mark as Active. The next time you open your computer, your BIOS will recognize the partition you marked as active as the hard drive to boot off of.

Now that you are all set up for single or dual boot, you can proceed to the next part of this tutorial.

Mac OS X on your Computer Series
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