Boot Camp: Taking the Sting Out of Your Sin

I’m not ashamed to admit it. I run XP on my aluminum iMac. My girlfriend is ashamed of me and my brother won’t speak to me. All because of a 40gb hard drive partition and a start button.

I did it mostly so that I could play City of Heroes again (look what you’ve made me do, NCSoft! Release a Mac version already). I also like Corel’s PaintShop Pro Photo XII for quick and dirty photo editing, as I find it doesn’t require as much attention or time as Photoshop for minor changes.

Regardless of whether you agree/disagree with my reasons/excuses, there are a couple indispensable tips for those inclined to be-Windows their Macs the Boot Camp way.

  1. Do it early. One thing I learned from numerous failed attempts to use Boot Camp on my MacBook is that Apple’s OS-switcher is not fond of world-weary, crudded up hard drives. For whatever reason (maybe because it was in my  pre-AppZapper days), Boot Camp would not partition my hard drive. With my iMac I did it immediately, and it went off without a hitch.
  2. Bluetooth mouse switching sucks. In effect, installing OS X to a Boot Camp drive is like having a second computer. Which is great for some things (no sharing of system resources, for instance), but incredibly annoying for others. Like re-pairing Bluetooth mice every time you switch. Do yourself a favor and get a dedicated Windows wired or wireless mouse in addition to your BT one.
  3. Make switching easier. The tray icon in Windows is easy enough to access, but going into Preferences and Startup Disk every time I want to switch in OS X is no fun.  As a workaround, I went to /System/Library/PreferencePanes and dragged  StartupDisc.prefpane to my dock (right side of the break only). This saves a couple steps at least, and my beloved sanity.
  4. Read/Write to your Boot Camp drive. Kind of tricky, but indispensable. You may have come across this before, but this guide is definitely the best I’ve found out there. Proceed at your own risk, it’s not a perfect solution yet. But, it has saved me literally hours in file transfers.

Now, if you manage to get over the disapproving glares of your fellow Mac devotees, you’ll have a much more enjoyable Boot Camp experience.

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