Bootcamp using dell restore disk?

Ak907Freerider

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Original poster
Apr 19, 2012
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Ok so I have a dell laptop that never gets used and I have the restore disk for it. I need windows for just 1 program that I use. Can I use the restore disk in boot camp to install windows on my iMac?
 

Dirtyharry50

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May 17, 2012
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I doubt that very much as it is likely to have a customized installation routine to install Dell drivers, etc. and Bootcamp requires a retail Windows install disc or thumb drive to install from (I think. I did mine from disc). You cannot use a Windows upgrade disc either. It must be a legitimate retail copy of Windows. Be sure to run Bootcamp one time to verify which version is required for your particular Mac. It tells you this early and then you can exit back out until you are ready to proceed. I mention this because on my mid-2011 iMac Bootcamp only supports installing Windows 7 which works fine for me as that is what I own. It won't install Windows 8 on this Mac I presume because they did not create drivers specific to my now older model. So it is a good idea to just fire it up before spending anything to ensure you buy the correct Windows.

PC restore discs almost always in my experience are very specific to the hardware they shipped with and are not a bare retail Windows install disc.
 

Dirtyharry50

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May 17, 2012
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True but even if the drivers are for a dell the iMac should do its own drivers
I think I may have not been clear enough. The DELL disc is almost certainly going to have a custom installation routine that Apple's Bootcamp won't know what to do with and the files on the disc are probably not in the same places as a retail Windows disc are.

A recovery disk for some laptop does not equal a Windows retail disk at all. Sure, Windows is on it but that is all they have in common. The installers are different. The setup of the disk's directories is different. I've used plenty of them over the years.

Feel free to try it if you want but I would expect the process to fail and then you will need to try and reverse the attempt with Bootcamp, etc.
 

Ak907Freerider

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Original poster
Apr 19, 2012
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Ya oh well no biggie only needed it for 1 program. I only need it maybe once a year if that. I can deal with the slow laptop for the price of a windows retail disc.
 

SaSaSushi

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Aug 8, 2007
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Takamatsu, Japan
Feel free to try it if you want but I would expect the process to fail and then you will need to try and reverse the attempt with Bootcamp, etc.
I agree it's almost certainly not going to work but I don't think there will be anything to reverse either. The BootCamp installer requires you to insert the Windows installer media prior to installing anything.

No harm in trying it, although it's bound to fail.
 

Dirtyharry50

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May 17, 2012
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I agree it's almost certainly not going to work but I don't think there will be anything to reverse either. The BootCamp installer requires you to insert the Windows installer media prior to installing anything.

No harm in trying it, although it's bound to fail.
Yeah, you are right I think. I seem to recall it asking for the disc and verifying that before it began doing anything to the hard disc in preparation for installation, etc.