Mac Boot Camp Windows Emulation


The second method is easier when the Mac is already running in either Mac OS X or Windows. Boot Camp adds a Windows start-up option to Mac OS X's Startup Disk System Preferences pane and a nearly. Boot Camp 5.1 includes several Mac drivers so that Windows will recognize your trackpad, Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, the iSight (or FaceTime) camera, the Eject key on the Mac keyboard, networking, audio, graphics, and so on. A Boot Camp Control Panel for Windows and an Apple Boot Camp system-tray item will be added. By using Windows emulator for Mac, there is no need to change operating systems or get another computer dedicated for Windows as you can run Windows apps like they are native to your Mac. Boot camp is a built in utility on Mac, which lets you run Windows applications on your computer.

Jan 18, 2016  The best way to run Windows 10 on a Mac is. People are buying new Macs at the rate of around 5 million every quarter, but it seems that many users still can't make a total break from Windows. Running Solar Fire and Other Windows Programs on the Mac. We do not officially support Solar Fire on the Mac, but we have many customers who do successfully use Solar Fire on a Mac equipped with an Intel chip, Windows, and a Windows emulation program.

Jan 18, 2019 macOS does have built-in support for Windows called Boot Camp. This feature let you turn your Mac into a dual-boot system with both macOS and Windows installed on it. But if you just need to get Windows up and use a particular application, using a Windows emulator will be a better solution and save a lot of hassle. Start up your Mac in Windows or macOS with Boot Camp. You can set the default operating system to either macOS or Windows. The default operating system is the one you want to use when you turn on or restart your Mac.

Running Solar Fire and Other Windows Programs on the Mac

We do not officially support Solar Fire on the Mac, but we have many customers who do successfully use Solar Fire on a Mac equipped with an Intel chip, Windows, and a Windows emulation program like Boot Camp, Parallels, Virtual PC or VirtualBox. Besides doing emulation, these virtualization or 'bridge' programs isolate the Windows environment from the Mac environment so viruses can't jump from one side to the other.

Mac Boot Camp Windows Emulation

Do I need to run anti-virus software on my virtual Windows?

ANSWER: This depends on how you work with your Virtual Windows. If you never connect to the internet on the Windows device (no websites, no emails, no program updates, no downloads, no Solar Live), then you do not need an antivirus for your Windows.

If you ever go online and visit websites, check email, or update programs (including Solar Fire or the Solar Live notifications) then you DO need anti-virus and anti-spyware software for your PC side. (Even if you have anti-virus software on the Mac side, it can't protect the PC side.) Your virtual Windows can become infected by a computer virus or malware just like any other Windows system.

Putting Windows on Your Mac

All of the Windows emulations on a Mac require that you have a Windows disk and a license key (serial number) for Windows that you are not currently using somewhere else. An old Windows installation disk from an old derelict computer should work. Solar Fire Gold v. 7 or V8 will work on any Windows version from Windows ME and NT onwards, so you can use an old version of Windows with Virtual Box or Parallels. See below for details about the Windows requirements of the various emulator programs.

Here are notes on using each emulation program, and also on getting the Mac keyboard and mouse to function more like the way they do in Windows.

Using Boot Camp

We recommend using Boot Camp, which comes free with newer Intel OS-X Macs (or can be downloaded free from the net) and is simpler to use than Parallels. On our office MacBook laptop, Boot Camp runs Windows programs as fast or faster than they run on a regular PC. Boot Camp’s only drawback is that you can run either Windows or the Mac operating system, but not both at the same time. To switch to Windows, you need to close the Mac op system and open Windows, making it hard to share files between the Mac and Windows parts of your computer. If necessary, you can copy the files generated in Windows onto a flash drive before rebooting in the Mac op system and using the files there in applications such as email. For more info on Boot Camp, visit:

You’ll find instructions for installing Boot Camp by selecting your Mac’s Help menu and searching for “Boot Camp”. There are also instructions at this site: It's easy to make a Windows partition, and you can change your mind later and easily take Windows off again in a couple of minutes.

With Boot Camp you need to load a full version of Windows 7, 8.1 or 10. If possible, we recommend getting XP or 7 rather than Vista. If you are installing an upgrade version of Windows, you can't eject the upgrade CD when you are asked to insert the older Windows CD. (However, if you have an external CD drive you can insert both CDs at the same time and it will work. Put the older Windows disk in the external CD drive and just press Enter when the Windows install program asks you to insert the old CD.)

By the way, Boot Camp will make a Windows partition and format it for you, but you still have to let the Windows installation program format it again or it won't install properly. If you don't use Windows much, then let it make the default a small-sized Fat32 partition (which OS-X can also use). If you use Windows a lot, you might want to make a bigger partition and let Windows format it with ntfs.


Using VirtualBox

Our second recommendation would be to use VirtualBox. Sun Microsystems sponsors this free emulation program which lets you set up Windows inside a file on your hard disk, thus enabling you to run Windows on the Mac desktop. It is fairly fast, and it also works on Linux. We have tried it on the Mac. It's only a little harder to set up than Parallels and it works quite well. There's more info on VirtualBox at There is an overview on the VirtualBox site here of how well VirtualBox supports various operating systems. There is also a good introduction with a screenshot of VirtualBox running Windows 8 on a Mac in the beginning of the online VirtualBox manual.

The VirtualBox emulator will work with older versions of Windows other than Win XP, but it doesn't have drivers for hi-res video. The video driver that we used to load Windows ME and Solar Fire on VirtualBox is no longer available, but you can try this one, which is the only place we could find one any more:

Using Parallels

Parallels lets you run Windows inside a window on the Mac desktop, and you can run other operating systems on the Mac without rebooting. You can find more information on Parallels at .

With the current versions of Solar Fire v. 7.0.1 and higher, Parallels users MUST turn off Shared Profiles / Sharing.
The shared profile setting tells Parallels to share your documents folder with the Mac, but it's not compatible with a lot of programs and Solar Fire can't find any user files when it's turned on.

How to get to the necessary setting in Parallels versions 8 - 10:

How to get to the necessary setting in Parallels version 7:

Go to Use Windows on Your Mac > Set How Windows Works with Mac OS X > Share Items Between Mac OS X and Windows > Share Files and Folders
How to get to the necessary setting in Parallels version 6:

After you turn off the shared profile setting you must tell Windows to restart and also allow Parallels to move your document files back to the default location if it asks you for permission to do so.

For those using Solar Fire version 6 and earlier, you can leave the shared profile turned on.

Parallels users report that they can simulate a Windows right mouse-click by pressing Control and Shift as they click.

Using VMware

There is a setting in VMware called 'Shared folders' that needs to be turned off. Be sure the virtual machine is open in Workstation and click its tab to make it the active virtual machine. Choose VM > Settings > Options and make sure 'Shared folders' is turned off. More information on shared folders in VMware is at: *

* Note that this linked article is for older versions of VMware Workstation, but the settings are the same or very similar in newer VMware Workstation versions.

Using Virtual PC

This older emulation program does not run on any Windows version newer than Windows 7, and if you choose to use it you will need to download fixes with the program. More information is here:

When the Windows software says you need to press Control while you click, in Virtual PC you have to instead press Control and Option while you click.

Using Crossover or Wine

Windows Emulation Mode

Nova Chartwheels will work on a very limited Windows emulator called Crossover which you can review at The same is true for Wine; you can look at the Wine website for more information
However, Solar Fire will not work - probably because Solar Fire makes such extensive use of all of the graphics, font, and internet capabilities of Windows.

Adapting the Mac's Mouse and Delete Keys in Boot Camp

Using the Mouse

If the wireless mouse made by Apple doesn’t work in Windows, you might have to use a wired USB mouse instead. Most of the time I plug in a PC USB mouse, simply because I love my mouse wheel. This isn't as much of an issue as it used to be, especially since Apple has begun offering two-button mice.

Adapting the Delete Keys

On the Windows keyboard, the Delete key deletes the next character, and the Backspace key deletes the previous one. The Mac keyboard has only a Delete key, and this deletes the previous character. If this bothers you, you can get a keyboard hotkey program and reprogram the Mac’s right-hand Command key to be a Delete key that works like the Delete key on a PC. (The Command key on the Mac is the same as the Windows key in Windows, but there are two of them and you need only one.) Here's a link to a free hotkey program called AutoHotKey:

If you use this program, click on button #62 and change it to say 'Del'.

For workarounds in emulators other than Boot Camp, see the websites for those programs.

If you own Intel-based Macs, you can run OS X and Windows on one machine. In fact, it’s been possible to run Windows on a Mac for some time — with agonizing limitations. Near-extinct Mac models were loaded with Virtual PC emulation software could do Windows, too, but the program was painfully slow. Even if you find an old copy of the software, it won’t work with any current Macs.

Boot Camp software from Apple shook up the computing public upon its apocalyptic arrival in April 2006. Boot Camp graduated from beta, or near-finished, status with the arrival of Leopard. Boot Camp Assistant software is stored in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder.

Boot Camp itself is free. Dev c++ include library. You have to supply your own single-disc or downloadable full-install version of Windows; an upgrade disc won’t cut it.

It’s also important to note that you can use a 64-bit version of Windows, Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate), Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. Consult Apple support to see which Mac models are compatible with which versions of Windows. In its current incarnation, Boot Camp isn’t compatible with 32-bit versions of Windows.

Other requirements follow:

  • An Intel Mac with OS X version 10.6 or later

  • At least 2GB of RAM and 20GB of available space on the Mac’s storage drive that you want to donate to Windows

  • A blank CD or USB storage device that you’ll use for Windows software drivers

If you don’t run into snags, the entire installation should take about an hour.

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Running Windows On Mac With Bootcamp

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are optimized for a touchscreen environment, though you can use it with a standard mouse and keyboard. For now, Macs don’t support touchscreen computing.

To install Windows 8 via Boot Camp, you still must have a legitimate Windows 8 license from Microsoft and a Win8 installation disc, assuming that you have an optical drive. If you don’t have an optical drive, you may be able to create a Windows installer from an ISO file downloaded from Microsoft on a USB flash drive that’s 8GB or larger.

Because snags are possible, back up all your important information on the Mac’s startup disk.

Basic training

Following are the basic steps to get through Boot Camp:

  1. Run Boot Camp Assistant (in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder) to make sure that you have the latest firmware on your computer and to install any support software from Apple that you might need.

    You’ll find any updates at Apple support. If you’re using a portable computer, make sure to connect the power adapter. You will also be given the option to create a Windows 7 (or later version) install disk for which you’ll need a USB flash drive and an ISO image downloaded from Apple.

  2. Follow the prompts in Boot Camp Assistant to create a partition for Windows.

    You’re essentially carving out an area of your hard drive for the Windows operating system,. This partition must be at least 30GB and can swell to the total free disk space on hand minus 30GB. If you don’t plan on doing much in Windows, keep the partition small.

    Drag the divider to set the partitions for both OS X and Windows, or click Divide Equally to make equal partitions. You can’t resize a Windows partition after creating it, though you can replace it with a larger Windows partition.

    If you have a Mac Pro with more than one internal hard drive, you can select which drive to partition. If any of this makes you nervous, know that you can remove the Windows partition later and go back to a single-partition Mac.

  3. Insert the Windows CD or a USB flash drive with the Windows ISO file and then click Start Installation.

    If you exited Boot Camp Assistant before installing Windows, open it again, choose Start the Windows Installer, and click Continue.

  4. When you’re asked to choose the Windows partition, select the partition that says BOOTCAMP.

    You may have to scroll down to see it.

    Don’t erase any partitions that you see or create a new partition here. Failure to heed this warning could wipe out your entire Mac OS X startup disk.

  5. (Optional) If you see a listing for Drive Options, click it; otherwise, proceed to Step 6.

  6. Reformat the partition by using the Windows installer: Click Format.

    You’re using the reliable and secure NTFS file system, but you won’t be able to save files to Windows from Mac OS X, at least not without a techie workaround.

  7. Follow the onscreen instructions to finish installing Windows.

    Boot Camp 5.1 includes several Mac drivers so that Windows will recognize your trackpad, Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, the iSight (or FaceTime) camera, the Eject key on the Mac keyboard, networking, audio, graphics, and so on.

    A Boot Camp Control Panel for Windows and an Apple Boot Camp system-tray item will be added.

As with any new Windows computer, Microsoft requires that you activate your Windows software within 30 days.

Switching operating systems

You can go back and forth between OS X and Windows on your Mac, but you can’t run both operating systems simultaneously under Boot Camp. Instead, you have to boot one operating system or the other — thus, the name Boot Camp.

Restart your Mac, and hold down the Option key until icons for each operating system appear onscreen. Highlight Windows or Macintosh HD, and click the arrow to launch the operating system of choice for this session.

If you want OS X or Windows to boot every time, choose app → System Preferences, click Startup Disk, and choose the OS you want to launch by default.

Mac Boot Camp Guide

You can perform the same function in Windows by clicking the Boot Camp system-tray icon and selecting the Boot Camp Control Panel. Click either the Macintosh HD or Windows icon, depending on your startup preference.

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