Although Apple has provided Boot Camp for those who likes to have Windows OS on their system, it is still a daunting task because of its complicated installation process. There are disk partition, dual boot, switching between OS, …Even being a tech-savvy guy, I don’t  want to create two systems on the same machine: be there, done it with Linux on WinsXX.

When I had had my Classic Mac eons ago, I bought and used Parallel Desktop, but it was painful to wait and watch. Obviously, my Classic just didn’t pass muster because of inadequate CPU and memory for the demands of. I ended up buying an used IBM desktop for my self study course.

In 2017, in order to run WinsXX OS on Mac, the choices are Parallel Desktop, VMWare, Boot Camp and Virtual Box. The decision was easy for me, I pick that one that is simple and free: Oracle’s Virtual Box. I had mine setup in last than 30 minutes, and it’s running great. I set it up so that I can run the defunct Microsoft Money 2004 on my Mac, and give my laptop to my mom. After I bought the Mac Mini(2014), my Win10 laptop has become redundant.

But before you start, here are the caveats you should take note:

  1. need and authenticated product key, and the version of Windows OS you want to install. Microsoft offers free ISO (disk image) for Win10.
  2. I used a USB memory stick to store the  Win10’s ISO, but you can try loading directly from Mac’s Desktop, if you save the file there, when you set up the Virtual Box.
  3. Make sure you read Virtual Box manual provided by Oracle, especially if you are a novice.
  4. If your CD/DVD drive doesn’t work, liken mine, you will need to create an ISO for the program disk, and mount it for installation. (You can create a Mac’s  .cdr image and convert it to ISO, Mac will do it for you when you change the extension)
  5. Pay attention to the settings for the VBox, it may get complicated.
  6. VBox manager will set a network-like connection, so you can use files directly from the Mac. Drag and Drop is possible to, but I haven’t tried it.

I am surprised that the Vbox running Win10 is actually fast, even though I only allocated 2MB of RAM for my virtual machine. Everything seems to run perfectly as if you have a separate computer; I connected to my network printer with no hassle.

This setup is probably more suited for light use. If running memory demanding software, Boot Camp may be a better choice.

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