Windows on Mac: A Couple of Questions

macOS & Mac Apps

I'm hoping to finally make the MacBook plunge in the not-too-distant future, but for a number of reasons, I'm going to need to run Windows on it as well. So here are a couple of questions that have been giving me pause:

1. I've read a lot about talking Windows installers for installing Windows using BootCamp. If I'm going to have sighted help, and don't need to worry about speech during setup, do I need anything special to install windows, or just a plain old copy of the Windows OS?

2. In the event I get a MacBook without a CD, exactly, am I supposed to install Windows on it? Obviously a CD isn't an option. Is there a guide somewhere that walks through this process?

3. If I'm correct, Macbooks don't have Home and End keys. This may work fine for Mac OSX...but Windows screen readers make heavy use of these keys (not to mention Windows programs in general.) How am I supposed to use an NVDA command involving the Home or End keys while running Windows via Bootcamp, or jump to the start or end of a line in MS Word? Same question for Pg Up / Pg Down (or do Macs have those?)

Thanks to anyone who can help me out - you guys are awesome!



Submitted by jane suh on Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hello, I would like to answer your number two question.
You use your function keys, along with your arrow keys.
For example, you use to perform a home command, you press your function and left arrow

Submitted by Usman on Thursday, February 12, 2015

As for not having an optical drive, you can purchase a thunderbolt drive from apple. I believe they're around $80.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Thursday, February 12, 2015

Jane, thanks for the tip about Fn + arrows. I just wanted to be sure there was a workaround for Windows.

usman: But is there any way to install Windows without a CD at all? I'd rather not buy an external optical drive just for that. Can Windows be installed off of a USB drive?

Submitted by Matthew C on Thursday, February 12, 2015

In reply to by Joseph Westhouse

Hello Joseph. You might want to look into Vm Ware fusion. There is a lot of information up here about that. The nice thing about it is it runs along side the mac. You don't have to reboot to the OS like you would if you created another section on the drive for it. Also You can install a .ISO file of windows. It acts like a virtual drive. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Friday, February 13, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello Joseph,

1. If you have sighted assistance, you won't need anything special to install Windows using Boot Camp.

3. It's possible to install Windows from a bootable USB drive, and I've done so many times. Basically, once you have a Windows ISO file (I bought mine directly from Microsoft and they came as digital downloads), you copy it to the desktop of the Mac and then run Boot Camp. It'll take care of the rest--creating the actual setup disc it needs for the installation process. One thing to note -- it seems that the older USB 2.0 flash drives work better, and one absolutely needs an 8GB capacity or higher.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Friday, February 13, 2015

Michael - thank you so much! That gives me a lot more confidence moving forward.

Submitted by Sean Terry on Friday, February 13, 2015

hi all. I'm really wanting to put windows on my Mac. But. I can't seem to find a copy of the windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit ISO. I have the Product Key from my pc's version of windows and was playning to use that to make it valid. Could anyone help me? THx.

Submitted by Usman on Friday, February 13, 2015

correct me if I'm wrong, but you can only install and register windows on one machine. for instance, if you have a windows PC, as far as I know, you cannot use it's product key to install windows on another computer unless its a enterprise addition with a key that will work on multiple computers.

Submitted by Maldalain on Sunday, February 15, 2015

Personally I did not like running both OSX and Windows in bootcamp; less battery life, heating issues, tedius remapping of the keys. Nevertheless, I am having it here and it is really good as you don't have to move between different machines to get your work done. I used SharpKeys to remap my Macbook keyboard to have missing keys such as the application key or the insert key. My main concerns are the battery life and the heating.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Sunday, February 15, 2015

Do you see a significant heating and battery life issue when running Windows in Boot Camp? I could understand that with VM Fusion, where the two operating systems are actually operating side-by-side, but if you're just booting to Windows, I find that a little surprising. Can anyone else comment on this issue?

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Sunday, February 15, 2015

There doesn't seem to be issues for me. I'm running the latest version of bootcamp and battery life seems ok, for to five hours, with it fully charged. As for heating, I don't know since my laptop is on a table and will hopefully always be there.

Submitted by Usman on Sunday, February 15, 2015

Actually, the typical battery life on a 2013 MBP is around 9 or even 10 hours. On windows, the most I got was around 5 hours so battery life is drastically reduced. the reason for this is that OS X is a very efficient battery and power mapping not found on windows. this is how Macs running OS X can get double the battery life than windows running on the same machine.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ah, so the battery life issue isn't anything to do with BootCamp per se, it's just a difference in how hard the OS makes your computer work? So the only "more efficient" option would be to simply have a Windows computer - and even then, you're not going to get drastically better battery life from most of those, I imagine.

Submitted by Maldalain on Monday, February 16, 2015

Hi there,
Yes mine heats up quickly, maybe because I use Windows in Bootcamp to do intensive OCR stuff. Still I am wondering why it is totally different on other computer I use for the same function. I have a Lenovo I5 laptop, and it does not heat however multitasking I am. On the Lenovo I can put it freely on my lap, put it on a carpet closing all ventilation slots, even keeping it just next to the heater without any heating fears. Maybe it is because the Macbook is made from Aluminium? I have read somewhere on the web that this is a real issue, and some posted their heating readings compared with other laptops. Yes, on OS X it is amazing that you feel no heat comes out of the machine.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I just realized that I've been assuming this whole time that the significantly faster processor on the MacBook Pro would be advantageous when using Windows. Do those of you who run Windows in Bootcamp on your machines have Pros or Airs? I'd be open to getting an Air since it's cheaper (and I don't need the retina display...) but not if it'd significantly affect the Windows performance.

Submitted by Andy B. on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I use Fusion 7.1 with Windows 8.1 X64 pro. My VHD is around 200GB, 4GB of memory, 2x1 processors, and I have the VM set to stop swapping out read/writes to the disk (use as much available memory as possible). Running the Windows 8.1 VM constantly gives me around 15 hours of battery life, and there is no overheating. My MAC feels cool to the touch 99% of the time. I also have Ubuntu 14.10 X64 installed in a VM, and performance is beyond good.

Submitted by Justin on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

For my needs, if I ever buy windows again, I'll buy a dedicated windows machine. I won't ever dual boot on a mac. or run a VM. I just don't see the need for my use to run windows on a mac. I was thinking on buying a cheap windows laptop a couple of years ago, but didn't see the need as windows isn't as efficient as OSX is on a mac. I had windows on a mac using VM a few years back but scrapped windows altogether due to it's lack of efficiency. Keep your windows machine around, even though you have a mac or are thinking of buying one, I say. Just my thoughts on the issue however.
TC all.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Andy, it's interesting that you didn't see any performance issues when so many did. I'm assuming from the battery life that you're using a MacBook Air?

Justin, the problem is I don't currently have a machine at all, other than my work computer and my wife's laptop. My laptop kicked the bucket, so I'm looking for a replacement, not a supplement. It's going to be a stretch to afford a MacBook at all, let alone a MacBook *and* a Windows machine. So it's going to have to be one or another for me - and the draw of the MacBook is that, for the additional price of buying the Windows OS, I can at least use both operating systems.

Submitted by Usman on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I can run a full final cut pro project as well as do batch converting on Logix and my mac book pro will continue to stay cool to the touch. However, running windows, it heats up quickly if I run something like office products or even running multiple tabs in IE.

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ah, i understand you. Windows on a mac seems like it's kind of a resource hog even maybe in a virtual machine. I don't know as i don't run windows at all, but from what I hear on this site or from researching, it just seems like running windows on a mac takes loads of processing power, especially office products. Personally, the mac does everything I need it to do like using MS office with iWork suite of apps, and other stuff that I need to use, mainly text edit.

Submitted by Andy B. on Thursday, February 19, 2015

My MAC is a MACBook pro, not an air. I have found that an air has 3-5 hours of battery life. The MAC book pro that I have has an I74th yen processor set, 8GB memory, and is a late 2013 model.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Thursday, February 19, 2015

This is interesting...traditionally the Air gets much better battery life than the Pro. I wonder if the Pro gets better battery life than the Air on Windows because of the more powerful processor? The battery life you reported running Windows on your Pro is longer than I thought the Pro battery even lasts while running OSX, so that's very surprising...

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, February 19, 2015

Plus, it all depends on what kind of hard drive you use. If it's mechanical, that takes more power, plus the CPU, If I'm not doing any kind of CPU intensive stuff running OSx, then i get somewhere around 7 hours or so.