How to Fix Boot Camp Problems on a Mac

Introduction

Boot Camp is software developed by Apple, in cooperation with Microsoft, designed to run Windows on Mac hardware. By using Boot Camp, you don't have to choose between Apple macOS or Windows. Instead, you can install both and simply switch between them by rebooting and selecting the other OS.

This guide will help you resolve issues you may encounter with Boot Camp on your Mac.

Boot Camp

1 Check Compatibility

Always Check Compatibility

Unfortunately, not every Mac can run every version of Microsoft Windows. Before proceeding further, navigate to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204048 in any web browser to check compatibility requirements to install Windows with Boot Camp on your Mac.
Address bar with web site typed into it

? What issue are you having?

  1. I am having issues with my hardware
  2. I need help creating installation media
  3. I see a "Could not locate the OS X boot volume" message when I try to boot my computer
  4. I get an error about free space during setup
  5. I get a partition error during setup

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Boot Camp is software developed by Apple, in cooperation with Microsoft, designed to run Windows on Mac hardware. By using Boot Camp, you don't have to choose between Apple macOS or Windows. Instead, you can install both and simply switch between them by rebooting and selecting the other OS.

This guide will help you resolve issues you may encounter with Boot Camp on your Mac.

Boot Camp

Always Check Compatibility

Unfortunately, not every Mac can run every version of Microsoft Windows. Before proceeding further, navigate to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204048 in any web browser to check compatibility requirements to install Windows with Boot Camp on your Mac.
Address bar with web site typed into it

Windows support software installs drivers and applications on your computer specifically for your mac which enables functionality of your hardware. Typically, Windows support software runs after windows is installed on your Mac. In rare cases, Windows support software doesn't launch and you may have one or more of the following issues.

  • An error message says that Apple Software Update has stopped working.
  • One or more screen resolutions are missing or unavailable for your display in Windows.
  • You can't adjust the brightness of your built-in display in Windows.
  • Your Apple mouse, trackpad, or keyboard isn't working in Windows.
  • You don't hear audio from the built-in speakers of your Mac in Windows.
  • The built-in microphone or camera of your Mac isn't recognized in Windows

 Boot Camp installer

  1. Click on the Start Menu.
    Start Menu
  2. In the search bar type File Explorer and click File Explorer in the search results.
    File Explorer typed in search bar and File Explorer highlighted in search results
  3. Go to the OSXRESERVED drive which is typically Drive D.
    OSXRESERVED drive highlighted
  4. Double click on the BootCamp folder.
    BootCamp folder highlighted
  5. Double click the Setup file to start the installer.
    Setup highlighted
  6. Press Next.
    Next highlighted
  7. Click I accept the terms in the license agreement and then click Install.
    License Agreement with agree and  Install highlighted
  8. If prompted, click Install to install any device software/drivers.
    Install button highlighted
  9. Click Finish.
    Finish highlighted

Before your restart your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.

  1. Restart your computer.

If You're Running Windows 10

  1. Select the Start menu.
    Windows 10 Start button
  2. Select (1) Power, then select (2) Restart.
    Start menu with Power and Restart highlighted. Screenshot

If You're Running Windows 8

  1. Open the Charms Menu by moving your cursor to the right corner of the screen.
    Windows 8 Start Menu, Charms Bar open, indicating corner to open Charms Bar.
  2. Click on the Settings icon.
    Windows 8.1 settings button
  3. Click on Power.
    Windows 8.1 charms bar showing Power icon highlighted
  4. Click on Restart.
    Windows 8.1 charms bar showing restart highlighted

If You're Running Windows 7

  1. Select the Start Menu.
    Start menu
  2. Select the arrow next to Shut Down.
    Start Menu with the arrow button highlighted
  3. Click on Restart.
    Restart highlighted
Check to see if your issue is resolved.
  1. Click on the Start Menu.
    Start Menu
  2. Click the search icon.
    Search icon highlighted
  3. In the search bar type File Explorer and click File Explorer in the search results.
    File Explorer typed in search bar and File Explorer highlighted in results
  4. Go to the OSXRESERVED drive which is typically Drive D.
    OSXRESERVED drive highlighted
  5. Double click on the BootCamp folder.
    BootCamp folder highlighted
  6. Double click the Setup file to start the installer.
    Setup highlighted
  7. Press Next.
    Next highlighted
  8. Click I accept the terms in the license agreement and then click Install.
    License Agreement with agree and  Install highlighted
  9. If prompted, click Install to install any device software/drivers.
    Install button highlighted
  10. Click Finish.
    Finish highlighted
  1. Click on the Start Menu.
    Start Menu
  2. In the search bar type Windows Explorer and click Windows Explorer in the search results.
    Windows Explorer typed in search bar and Windows Explorer app highlighted in search results.
  3. Go to the OSXRESERVED drive which is typically Drive D.
    OSXRESERVED drive highlighted
  4. Double click on the BootCamp folder.
    BootCamp folder highlighted
  5. Double click the Setup file to start the installer.
    Setup highlighted
  6. Press Next.
    Next highlighted
  7. Click I accept the terms in the license agreement and then click Install.
    License Agreement with agree and  Install highlighted
  8. If prompted, click Install to install any device software/drivers.
    Install button highlighted
  9. Click Finish.
    Finish highlighted

In order to install Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp, you need a disc image (referred to as an ISO). If you have your Windows install media you can make your own disc image from your install media.

  1. Insert your Windows DVD or USB installation media.
    Disc in CD Rom trayUSB flash drive being plugged into PC
  2. Click the Spotlight icon.
    Spotlight highlighted
  3. Type Disk Utility in the Search bar and click on Disk Utility from the search results.
    Spotlight with Search bar and Disk Utility app highlighted
  4. Click the File menu.
    File highlighted
  5. Click on New Image.
    New Image highlighted
  6. Click on Image From (with your CD/DVD image listed).
    Image from (Windows DVD/USB installation media) selected
  7. Under format, make sure DVD/CD master is selected.
    DVD/CD master highlighted
  8. Click Save.
    Save highlighted
  9. When the image is finished, you will be prompted to click Done.
    Done highlighted
  10. Open Finder and locate your disk image.
    Finder.
  11. Select the image in finder. Wait a couple seconds and click the file one more time.
    Rename File in finder
  12. Change the .cdr to .iso and hit Enter.
    File extension highlighted
  13. Click Use .iso.
    Use .ISO is highlighted
  1. Restart the computer in whichever operating system you are in.
  2. Hold the Option key down when your mac restarts.
    Option Key Highlighted
  3. Choose the operating system that you want to boot into.
    Mac Boot Options

If you try to install Windows using boot camp but you don't have enough free space, you will receive a message stating The startup disk does not have enough space to be partitioned. If you get this error, you will need to free up some space on your drive.

Not enough free space error

As a general rule, you will want to have a minimum of 40 Gigabytes of free space before attempting to install Windows on your Mac.

  1. Find your drive on your desktop
    Drive icon.
  2. Either Control Click or Right Click on your drive and click Get Info.
    Drive context menu with Get info option selected. Screenshot.
  3. Look for Available space and take note of free space.
    Drive properties with available drive space shown. Screenshot.
  1. Select the Apple menu and then About This Mac.
    macOS Mojave Apple menu with About This Mac highlighted.
  2. Select Storage.
    About This Mac with Storage highlighted
  3. Select Manage.
    About This Mac Storage with Manage highlighted.
  4. From Recommendations, you'll be able to use these tools to optimize, reduce clutter, and find large groups of files. Look through the items here for simple places to check to help clear unneeded files from your computer.
    Storage Management Options

Check to see if your issue is resolved.

If you do not know how to setup boot camp you can click the "Show Me How" button below.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

If you use Time Machine to create a Time Machine backup, it could prevent you from installing Windows on boot camp. The general reason this happens is because this space used by your snapshots is not reported as used space by macOS. It will typically give you an error stating your disk could not be partitioned. The following steps will help you to clear these snapshots from your computer.

Partition Error

Deleting local snapshots will remove any saved Time Machine backups from your system. Removing these backups will remove the ability to restore to them at a later time.

  1. Click on the Spotlight icon.
    Spotlight icon highlighted
  2. Search for Terminal.
    Terminal typed in search bar and Terminal highlighted in search results
  3. Type in exactly what is displayed in the following note:

    for i in `sudo tmutil listlocalsnapshots / | tr -d com.apple.TimeMachine.` ; do sudo tmutil deletelocalsnapshots "$i" ; done

  4. Press Enter.
    Command typed in terminal
  5. If prompted, enter your password and press Enter.

Check to see if your issue is resolved.

If you do not know how to setup boot camp you can click the "Show Me How" button below.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

FileVault 2 encrypts your files on your drive to make them secure. Boot camp will sometimes have problems partitioning drives that are encrypted with FileVault. This guide will walk you though disabling FileVault encryption.

To Disable FileVault:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    screenshot of apple menu with system Preferences highlighted
  2. Click Security & Privacy.
    screenshot of system Preferences with security and Privacy highlighted
  3. Click the FileVault tab.
    FileVault tab highlighted
  4. Click to unlock the Lock button, then enter an administrator name and password.
    Lock icon highlighted
  5. Click Turn Off FileVault.
    Turn Off FileVault button highlighted
  6. Click Restart & Turn off Encryption.
    Restart and turn off encryption button highlighted

We will now check for errors on your boot drive using Disk Utility.

Running Disk Utility can take a long time, especially on larger hard drives. Please make sure you won't need your computer for at least 1 hour before beginning this step.

  1. Click on spotlight icon.
    Spotlight highlighted
  2. Type Disk Utility in the Search bar and click on Disk Utility from the search results.
    Spotlight with Search bar and Disk Utility app highlighted
  3. In the bar on the left, highlight your boot disk.
    Internal HDD Selected
  4. Click the First Aid button at the top.
    First Aid button highlighted
  5. Click Run.
    Run button highlighted
  6. Disk Utility will scan your hard drive, and attempt to repair any issues it has.

    If you are prompted to complete the repairs yourself, or get an error about disk failure, reach out to Apple Support immediately.

  7. Click Done to finish.
    Done button highlighted

Check to see if your issue is resolved.

If you do not know how to setup boot camp you can click the "Show Me How" button below.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

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