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Ask Max: Windows and Mavericks on a Mac mini

Asked on 07/31/2014:

Hello, I just purchased a Mac mini from your company about a week ago. I was wondering if you can please point me in the right direction as to where I can find bootcamp on my Mac that is running OSX Mavericks? I would like to install Windows natively so I can have both flavors in one machine. Any help and advice is appreciated.


There is an application that is supplied with your Mac mini inside of the Utilities folder called Boot Camp Assistant (Applications > Utilities > BootCamp). That Application handles partitioning of the drive and acquires the proper drivers and software for Windows to recognize the Mac Mini’s hardware profiles. You will, however, still need a few things:

  1. A retail or OEM Windows 7 or later installation DVD. A DVD supplied from another computer won’t work properly, as it’s hardware locked to the previous machine. This causes validation and activation errors.
  2. A 4GB to 8GB USB flash drive. This is for temporary storage of the Boot Camp driver packages needed to get Windows to properly acknowledge the Mac Mini’s hardware.

This process actually makes a pretty impressive Windows machine, as it excludes the bloatware, and unwanted trial software that other PC manufacturers pre-install.  

Please note:  Mavericks is no longer supported by Apple. In fact, you can't even download it anymore. Unless you're running some uncompatible software, I recommend upgrading to the latest version of OS X. It will look different than Mavericks, so it will be a bit of a learning curve. In the long run, however, you will be safer doing things online because you will benefit from the latest built-in virus protection, etc. Since iPhoto is also no longer supported, all your pictures will be transfered to Apple's new app Photos. Again, different look, but you won't lose any information.

As always, it is recommended that you back up your system before making major changes like updating the OS. With Apple's Time Machine, it's very simple to set up. After this set up, your computer backs up your system every hour, so you will always have a recent backup. Contact one of our Mac Experts to get an external hard drive for use with Time Machine, if you don't already have one, like this one from LaCie.

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