Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dual boot Windows on a Hackintosh

One of the reasons why I built a hackintosh was so I could have Mac OS for work then boot into Windows and play games. For me, Mac OS has always been about work; it's the OS of choice for the designers I worked with and the de facto OS in publishing. It was a big deal in the days before Macs had Intel processors, but not so much anymore. To be honest, Mac OS just feels more familiar, so I'm sticking with it. But when it comes to games, you really need Windows. There's no way around it. Windows is best for gaming. Most of my Steam games live there too.

If you want to review how to get Mac OS onto a PC in the first place, click here.

There are a number of ways to get Windows onto your hackintosh. I chose the simplest way, which is installing Windows in an entirely different drive and using the BIOS to select which drive to boot from. Here goes:
1. Disconnect all your hard drives except for the one where Windows is going on.
2. Go to the BIOS and go to your boot options. Boot from your DVD drive first, hard drive second.
3. Insert the Windows 8 installer in your DVD drive, and restart.
4. Follow instructions and install. It's just like installing Windows the normal way.

Once you've got Windows 8 up and running, it's time to get your Mac OS back.
1. I had some trouble because my PC wouldn't recognize the drive with Mac OS, so I had to plug in the drive with Mac OS first while leaving everything else unplugged. Then I had to restart. You might be able to skip this step and go ahead to number 2.
2. Turn off your PC and plug in all your hard drives.
3. Set your boot priorities in the BIOS again. I chose Mac OS (on my SanDisk drive) as my first priority. You can do it the other way around.

Now if I want to go to Windows, I just have to hit F12 when I turn on my computer to select which drive to boot from. (The key for your computer might be different.)

So there you have it! Now my hackintosh can boot into either Windows or Mac OS. Like I said earlier, there are other methods, but I think this one is the simplest.

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