Do I have to install Windows 7/Bootcamp on a clean install of OS X?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sean1218, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Sean1218 macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    I need to reinstall Lion asap, but I just found out I won't have a copy of Windows 7 for another week or two to install using bootcamp.

    I'm wondering if I can just reformat and install Lion, then when I get the Windows 7 key, I can install Windows 7 then?

    Will that cause any possible problems?

    Also, I was wondering where programs are installed for use in Windows 7? Do I have to allocate some amount of hard drive space to it that I may or may not be able to add/remove from later on? This is always a pain because it's hard to judge how much I'm going to use.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yes on the second question; the way Boot Camp is set up, it requires a separate partition of the hard drive reserved exclusively for the Windows installation. So yes, you'll need to make it big enough to hold Windows itself, any apps you want to install on Windows, and any user files, prefs, etc that Windows and the apps you'll be using need. It might actually be possible to resize the partitions on the fly, but I wouldn't count on that--safer to just reserve as much as you'll reasonably need.

    And if I'm understanding your first question correctly, no, there's no problem at all wiping the computer, installing Lion, and then later using Boot Camp to create a Windows partition and install Windows then--it's designed to work exactly that way. In fact, it's possible to remove and re-create the Windows partition without affecting your OSX install, if you want (though of course you'll need to reinstall Windows from scratch).

    Added tip: This may have changed under the latest versions, but the last time I tried you actually didn't' even have the option of pre-partitioning for Boot Camp--you NEED to install OSX on a full-disk partition, then later use Boot Camp to split off a chunk of the disk for Boot Camp (which won't require messing with your OSX install so long as you have the free space). I made the mistake of pre-partitioning some systems, then installing OSX on one partition, at which point I discovered Windows won't install on that partition--I needed to delete it, expand the OSX partition, then use Boot Camp to re-create the Windows partition to get it to work.
  3. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    You can use bootcamp at any time although it is often better to use it earlier before you start putting a lot of data on your hard drive. This is because when bootcamp makes a new partition, sometimes there could be mac data written on that section of the HDD and you will have to defrag to create some contiguous free space in order to create the partition. Just install OSX to the whole HDD and then use bootcamp when you get windows.

    As to the amount of space you should allocate to the windows side, I would just give the windows partition any space that you don't think you will need on the mac side. Unless you plan on using windows a lot, you probably won't need a ton of space. If you think you do, I would just get a larger internal HDD before you go through the process.

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