Boot Camp 3.0, Mac OS X 10.6: Frequently asked questions

This article contains answers to common questions about Boot Camp.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

More details on some of the topics discussed in this FAQ can be found at

What is Boot Camp?

Boot Camp is software included with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard that lets you run compatible versions of Microsoft Windows on an Intel-based Mac.

What is new in Boot Camp 3.0 for Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)?

  • Read Mac Volumes - Using Boot Camp 3.0, you can open and read files on Mac OS X volumes when booted into Windows. You can also copy photos, documents and other files from a Mac OS X volume into the Windows partition.
  • Support for advanced features on Apple Cinema displays - The Boot Camp control panel includes new features that allow you to change the behavior of the power button on an Apple Cinema Display and disable the display's brightness controls.
  • Improved tap-to-click support - The ability to tap the trackpad to click the mouse button is now supported on all Mac portables that run Boot Camp.
  • Command line version of the Startup Disk Control Panel - A system administrator can now change the startup disk selection of a Mac running Windows using Boot Camp through a command line utility. For more information about how to use this feature, see Boot Camp: Restarting into Mac OS using the command line.

Installation and partitioning questions


Why can't an upgraded version of Microsoft Windows XP or a full version of Microsoft Windows XP that does not include Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later be used for installation?

An upgraded version of Microsoft Windows XP cannot be used because you are required to validate your copy of Windows by inserting an original Windows CD, but there is no way to eject the first disc until after Windows installation is complete and the Boot Camp drivers from the Mac OS X 10.6 DVD are installed.

Important: Boot Camp supports only Microsoft Windows Home Edition and Professional with SP2 or later, and Microsoft Vista. The required Macintosh-specific drivers provided by Apple are only intended for these releases.

I have a Mac Pro with the Mac Pro RAID Card. 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 (Redundant Array of Independent Drives). See Mac Pro and Xserve RAID Card: Boot Camp does not support RAID configurations

Are 64-bit versions of Microsoft XP and Vista supported?

64-bit versions of Windows XP are not supported using Boot Camp. 64-bit versions of Windows Vista are supported on some Intel-based Macintosh computers using Boot Camp 2.0 or later. See Boot Camp: Mac computers that work with 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows Vista for more information.

During installation, the Microsoft Windows installer asks me to format the Windows partition using NTFS or FAT. Which should I use?

If the partition is 32 GB or smaller, you can use either FAT or NTFS. If it's larger than 32 GB, or you are installing Microsoft Vista, then you can only format it using NTFS. Mac OS X can read and write FAT volumes, but can only read NTFS volumes. Refer to your Microsoft Windows documentation if you are not sure which best suits your needs.

I used the wrong Windows disc during installation and now it is stuck in the drive. How do I eject it?

Restart the computer and hold the eject button on the keyboard. The disc will eject.

While installing Microsoft Windows, I see that my hard disk has several partitions. Which one should I install Microsoft Windows on?

Use the partition labeled BOOTCAMP.

Important: Do not create or delete any partitions, or select any partition other than BOOTCAMP. Doing so may delete the contents of your Mac OS X startup volume.

When I try to run "setup.exe on the Mac OS X 10.6 DVD, this alert appears: "There is no default application specified to open the document 'setup.exe'."  Why?

You can only run this program while using Microsoft Windows. To install the drivers, insert the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard DVD immediately after successfully installing Microsoft Windows. The installer should start automatically. You only need to install these drivers once.

If you have AutoRun turned off, double-click the "setup.exe" file. If you are upgrading and previously had MediaFour MacDrive for Windows installed, Windows may not recognize the Mac OS X Snow Leopard disc. See this MediaFour site for instructions.

My Microsoft Windows volume appears on the desktop when I'm started up in Mac OS X, but I can't rename it or copy files to it. Why?

If the Windows volume was formatted using NTFS, Mac OS X can read it but not write files to it or rename it.

Which application should I use to create the Windows partition?

Use Boot Camp Assistant (in Mac OS X) to create a partition for Microsoft Windows. Using Boot Camp Assistant will not erase information on the Mac OS X volume. Boot Camp Assistant only works 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, if you have more than one internal hard drive installed, it will allow you to install Microsoft Windows on another drive. You can choose the size of the Windows partition when running Boot Camp Assistant, but it must be at least 5 GB and leave at least 5 GB of free space on the disk for the Mac OS X partition. Be sure to create a partition large enough for the version of Windows you intend to install and the additional files and applications you may install later.

For example, if you have an 80 GB hard drive with 50 GB of space in use (30 GB free), your Microsoft Windows partition can be between 5 GB and 25 GB (30 minus 5) in size.

Note: 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 third-party disk utilities to partition the drive before using Boot Camp Assistant. Doing so may erase the disk.

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 work when I try to select a partition or type in an account name during Windows installation.  What is wrong?

The drivers for your wireless mouse and keyboard are not installed yet, so you cannot use them.  The use of a wired mouse and keyboard is required to install Windows.  Once your installation is complete, you can install the Apple Windows drivers off your Mac OS X DVD.  Then, pair the wireless mouse and keyboard to your system using the Bluetooth Control Panel.

Starting up questions


How do I choose the operating system that starts up (boots) my Mac?

After running Boot Camp Assistant and installing Microsoft Windows and the Boot Camp drivers, hold the Option (Alt) key when you start up to switch between Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. 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.

My computer starts up to a black screen with white text that states "No Boot Disk Attached." What can I do?

This means that the Windows partition is not bootable, usually because of a mistake in formatting the drive. The Boot Camp Setup Assistant creates the Boot Camp partition, but the Windows installer must format it to make it bootable. Boot into Mac OS X and run the Boot Camp Setup Assistant again. Remove the Boot Camp partition and re-create it. 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.

My external FireWire and USB disks do not appear in the Microsoft Windows Startup Disk control panel. Why?

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

Drivers, Macintosh features within Microsoft Windows, and miscellaneous questions


Which drivers are included on the Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) DVD?

The Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) DVD contains the following 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 have 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 though 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 sure you have installed the Macintosh Drivers from the Mac OS X 10.6 DVD as described above and in the "Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide" PDF document.

Why are more display resolutions available when using Microsoft Windows than when using Mac OS X?

Mac OS X displays only recommended resolutions.

In the Microsoft Windows XP Startup Disk control panel, icons for removable discs such as CDs or DVDs appear even after they are ejected. Why?

In Microsoft Windows XP, removable disc icons remain in the Startup Disk control panel even after they are ejected.

My keyboard's numeric keypad does not work in Windows. Why?

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

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

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

Where can I get support for Boot Camp 3.0 or later Macintosh drivers?

Apple provides phone-based assistance for Boot Camp 3.0 only for 90 days after the purchase of an eligible Apple product. You can extend this period by purchasing an AppleCare Protection Plan. Boot Camp 3.0 is supported on computers running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard only. Online support is available at

Learn more

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 booted into Windows. Support articles and discussions may also be available on Apple's support website.

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