Install Mac OS X On A Dell

by on December 22, 2007

Q: I have a Dell desktop computer with Windows XP and Internet Explorer, an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 250 GB hard drive. I would like to format my hard drive and install Mac OS X. Is it possible? If so, how can I do it?

A: I am elated whenever a computer user asks about switching away from Microsoft Windows. Allow me to provide a little bit of background information, so that you can better understand my upcoming answer to your question. Apple (the creator of Mac OS X) has always had a vastly different business philosophy from Microsoft (the creator of Windows). Apple believes that it is best for a company to retain full control over its own products, while Microsoft believes that it is best to partner with other companies in order to reach the largest number of potential customers.

This explains why Microsoft Windows comes pre-installed on computers from literally hundreds of computer manufactures — Acer, Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. — while Mac OS X is only pre-installed on Apple hardware such as Macs and iPhones. When one purchases a copy of Windows from a store, it will run on any PC. Windows can even run on Macs, thanks to an Apple technology called Boot Camp! But when one buys a copy of Mac OS X from a store, it can only be installed on Macs.

Obviously, hackers and other geeks are a resourceful bunch! So despite Apple’s wishes, it is possible to install OS X on your Dell and other Windows-based PCs thanks to the OSx86 Project. However, the installation process is extremely complicated. Only the geekiest computer users should attempt the installation of OS X on non-Mac hardware. Here is a list of reasons why you should consider NOT attempting the installation:

  1. It is illegal to run OS X on non-Apple hardware, such as your Dell.
  2. Thus, if you were to encounter any problems with Mac OS X while using it on your Dell, Apple and many Mac users would be totally unwilling to help you.
  3. The skills required to install and maintain OS X on a Windows-based PC are quite honestly beyond 90% or more of today’s computer users. This may seem like a harsh analysis of the situation. But it is the truth.
  4. OS X is “optimized” to run on Apple hardware. Running OS X on non-Apple hardware will not provide as pleasant an experience as you would get running OS X on a Mac.
  5. Mac OS X is known for its stability. But on a Windows-based PC, you could encounter crashes and other undesirable behaviors. You might even lose your important computer files!

So in short, I am advising you to not attempt the installation of OS X on your Dell at this time. But you do have some alternatives. Please think about the following:

  1. From the specifications that you have provided, it is obvious that your Dell is rather new. But if you have some extra money in your bank account, consider purchasing a Mac. Websites where you can purchase a Mac include the Apple Online Store and That is the surest way to use Mac OS X successfully. And if you have a retail copy of Windows, you can even install Windows on your Mac.
  2. Mac OS X is based on an operating system called Unix. There are many offshoots of Unix. One that you may have heard of is called Linux. Unlike Mac OS X, Linux can be installed on just about any computer in existence. Furthermore, Linux is free!
  3. The version of Linux that I recommend is called Ubuntu Linux. In fact, Dell has recently become a supporter of Ubuntu.

I wish you luck in choosing an alternative to Microsoft Windows! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any further questions, or something to share.

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