Boot Camp 4, OS X Lion and Mountain Lion: Frequently asked questions

Learn more about Boot Camp and its features for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

General Boot Camp questions


What is Boot Camp?

Boot Camp is software included with OS X Lion and Mountain Lion so you can run compatible versions of Microsoft Windows on an Intel-based Mac.

What is new in Boot Camp 4.0?

  • Electronic Software Distribution
    Use the Boot Camp Assistant to create a CD or USB media to install the latest Boot Camp drivers for your computer. You should get the newest drivers available any time you install Boot Camp.
  • Support for the Windows 7 ISO installer 
    Install Windows with an installation disc you provide or, on Mac computers that do not have an optical drive, with a USB flash drive that contains a Windows 7 ISO image downloaded from Microsoft. The Boot Camp Assistant will offer to create this image on supported computers.
  • Upgrade or "clean" install Windows without using the Boot Camp Assistant
    If you want only to upgrade the version of Boot Camp or Windows on your Windows partition, you don’t need to use Boot Camp Assistant. Instead, choose Help > Help Center in Finder and search for “upgrade Boot Camp” or “upgrade Windows.” 

Installation and partitioning questions


Which versions of Windows work with Boot Camp 4.0?

You can use Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, or Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate with Boot Camp 4.0. Windows XP and Windows Vista are not supported with Boot Camp 4.0. 

Does Windows 8 work with Boot Camp 4.0?

Are 64-bit versions of Windows 7 supported?

I have a Mac Pro with a Mac Pro RAID card (Redundant Array of Independent Drives); can I install Boot Camp on my Mac Pro?

Boot Camp does not support the installation of Windows onto a Mac using a Mac Pro RAID card or software RAID.

Which application should I use to create a Windows partition?

Use Boot Camp Assistant (located in the Utilities folder) to create a partition for Microsoft Windows. Boot Camp Assistant works only with an Intel-based Mac that has a single hard disk partition. Boot Camp Assistant creates a second partition on your existing startup disk for the Microsoft Windows operating system, or allows you to install Microsoft Windows on another drive if you have more than one internal hard drive installed.

Boot Camp Assistant does not erase your existing partition or existing Mac OS X installation when it creates a new partition for Microsoft Windows.

Important: Do not use disk utilities not made by Apple to partition the drive before using Boot Camp Assistant. Doing so may erase the disk.

If I have more than one hard drive, can I install Microsoft Windows on any drive?

You can use Boot Camp to install Windows on any internal hard drive, but not on an external hard drive.

I have a wireless mouse and keyboard, but they don't seem to respond when I try to select a partition or type an account name during Windows installation. What is happening?

The drivers for your wireless mouse and keyboard are not installed yet, so you cannot use them. You need a wired mouse and keyboard to install Windows. When your installation is complete, install the Windows drivers from the CD or USB media that were created when you initially ran the Boot Camp Assistant. This should resume full function of your wireless keyboard and mouse.

Startup questions


How do I choose which operating system will start up my Mac?

After running Boot Camp Assistant and installing Microsoft Windows and Boot Camp drivers, press and hold the Option (Alt) key while you start up your Mac to switch between Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Use the Startup Disk control panel in Windows or Mac OS X Startup Disk preferences to set the default operating system to use each time the computer starts up.

What can I do if my computer starts up to a black screen with white text that says "No Boot Disk Attached"?

This message means that the Windows partition cannot start up, usually because of an issue with the drive formatting. The Boot Camp Setup Assistant creates the Boot Camp partition, but the Windows installer must format it to make it "bootable".

  1. Start up to Mac OS X and run the Boot Camp Setup Assistant again.
  2. Remove the Boot Camp partition and re-create it.
  3. Install Windows again, this time using Windows to format the partition.

Refer to the Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide PDF document for more details on installing Boot Camp.

Why doesn't my external FireWire, USB, or Thunderbolt disk appear in the Microsoft Windows Startup Disk control panel?

External FireWire, USB, and Thunderbolt disks are not recognized by the Startup Disk control panel in Microsoft Windows. To start up from a bootable external drive, press and hold the Option (Alt) key while the computer starts up, then select the external disk.

Drivers, Mac features within Microsoft Windows, and miscellaneous questions


Which drivers are included with the OS X Windows support software (drivers) download?

The Boot Camp 4.0 software includes these Mac drivers for Windows:

  • Apple Bluetooth
  • Apple Keyboard Support
  • Apple Remote Driver
  • Apple Trackpad
  • Atheros 802.11 Wireless
  • ATI Graphics
  • Boot Camp control panel for Microsoft Windows
  • Boot Camp System Task Notification item (System Tray)
  • Broadcom Wireless
  • Intel Chipset Software
  • Intel Integrated Graphics
  • iSight Camera
  • Marvel Yukon Ethernet
  • nVidia Graphics
  • Cirrus Logic Audio
  • Realtek Audio
  • SigmaTel Audio
  • Startup Disk control panel for Microsoft Windows

I have purchased music and video from the iTunes Store. Do I need to authorize my computer in Mac OS X and in Microsoft Windows?

Yes, you need to authorize one computer for Mac OS X and one computer for Microsoft Windows if you wish to play music or video in both operating systems, even when the operating systems are installed on the same computer.

Why don't CDs and DVDs eject using the Eject key on my Apple keyboard when running Microsoft Windows?

The Apple Keyboard Eject Key software may not be installed; make to install the Windows support software (drivers) as described above and in the Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide PDF.

Why are more resolutions available for my display with Microsoft Windows than when with Mac OS X?

Mac OS X shows only recommended resolutions.

Why doesn't my keyboard's numeric keypad work in Windows?

Press the Num Lock key to enable the numeric keypad in Windows. If your keyboard doesn't have a key labeled Num Lock, try pressing the Clear key.

If my keyboard has no Insert key, how do I turn the Insert function on and off?

Use the Help key if your keyboard doesn't have an Insert key.

Are SDXC cards supported by Boot Camp 4.0?

Yes, SDXC cards are supported on Macintosh computers with an SD card slot and Boot Camp 4.0. You'll need to install the Windows support software (drivers) to enable this feature.

Is there an upgrade path from Boot Camp 3.x to 4.0?

Yes, you can install Boot Camp 4.0 drivers by using the Boot Camp Setup Assistant to create a Windows support software (drivers) CD or USB storage media.

Where can I get support for Boot Camp 4.0?

Apple provides phone-based assistance for Boot Camp 4.0 for ninety days after the purchase of an eligible Apple product. You can extend this period by purchasing an AppleCare Protection Plan. Boot Camp 4.0 works only with computers running OS X Lion. Support articles and discussions are available on Apple's support website.

Important: Apple does not provide technical phone support for installing, using, or recovering Microsoft Windows. Support is available for using Boot Camp Setup Assistant, as well as installing or restoring Boot Camp software while started up into Windows. 

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