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Migrating a Real PC to Boot Camp

Winclone can assist with moving an entire PC operating system to Boot Camp without reinstalling Windows. You will remove the PC drive from the casing as part of this migration process. Make sure you are comfortable with removing the drive or have a technician that can remove the drive.

Don’t remove the drive yet!

What will you need:

Sysprep– The migration process uses a built-in Windows utility called Sysprep. Sysprep removes device drivers in a process known as generalizing the operating system. Microsoft provides the Sysprep utility in all Windows operating system versions.

USB External Hard Drive Case- An adapter will be required to attach the PC drive to the Mac with a USB cable. Adapters to convert the SATA or IDE drive interface to USB are available in various configurations.

Note:Sysprep will reset product activation for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, so you will need to re-enter valid licensing information after the migration is complete. Please see the Microsoft Technet articleHow Sysprep Worksfor additional details.

Summary of steps in this tutorial:

1. Run Sysprep in Windows
2. Remove PC drive and attach to the Mac
3. Migrate Windows to Boot Camp using Winclone
4. Install Boot Camp drivers

You will need to create an initial image of your partition before running Sysprep

Step 1: Run Sysprep from the Windows PC

Open Windows Explorer on Computer (C:) and enter “sysprep.exe” into the search field at the top right to locate the Sysprep application. You may also navigate to C:WIndowsSystem32sysprep. Double-click on Sysprep to start the program. The example below is from a Windows 7 system but is the same forWindows 8 and 10.

SysPrep Options

The options for running Sysprep are very simple. Select the “Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) and make sure to check the Generalize checkbox. Generalize is what removes the device drivers from Windows, so it’s very important to ensure that this box is checked before continuing. In Shutdown Options, select Shutdown.Do not select Reboot.

Sysprep processing

Sysprep will begin removing driver registrations and generalizing the operating system. The display may flicker occasionally as display drivers are removed. Once Sysprep is complete, Windows will shut down.Do not restart Windows again.

If Sysprep fails to complete, please see the Winclone FAQ: Troubleshooting: Sysprep issues

Step 2: Removing the PC drive

Once the Sysprep process has completed and Windows has shut down, you may remove the drive from the PC. Depending on the PC vendor, it may or may not be a trivial process to remove the drive. Please consult vendor documentation on safe and proper removal of the internal storage drive.

After removal, attach the drive to a SATA-to-USB adapter and connect the USB cable to your Mac. Upon detecting the attached drive, OS X may prompt you to format (initialize) the drive. Cancel this dialog box. We will be addressing the drive directly from Winclone.

Boot Camp Partition

You will need to have a Boot Camp partition on the destination Mac. Instructions for creating a Boot Camp partition can be found in the Winclone help document “Creating a Boot Camp partition”.

If the PC Windows partition is larger than the destination Boot Camp partition, you will need to first shrink the PC Windows filel system before migrating to Boot Camp. Please see the Winclone help document “Shrinking the Windows File System” for detailed instructions.

Step 3: Migrate Windows to Boot Camp

We are now ready to migrate the PC to Boot Camp.

1. Select the PC drive in Sources
2. Select the Boot Camp partition in Destinations
3. Click Restore to Volume…


You will be asked if you want to restore. Verify that the correct Winclone image and destination partition have been selected. Click Restore.

Restoring Status

The migration will begin. It may take a while depending on the amount of data on the PC drive. You can see detailed information on the progress by selectingWindow-> Open Console Log.

Completion and Startup Disk

Once restoration is complete, click OK. Click Open Startup Disk and select the Boot Camp partition. Click Restart to restart into Boot Camp.

Due to the Sysprep process run previously, Windows will present a prompt to create a new account. Simply create a new temporary account which will be removed later, then log out of this account. Windows will display your existing user account and the new temporary account. Once logged in to your existing account, you may remove the temporary user account.

Because Sysprep was run prior to creating the image, the new drivers will not be installed yet. Use Boot Camp Assistant to download the Boot Camp drivers and install after starting up into Windows. Please see the help document “Installing Boot Camp drivers” for additional details.


At first glance, the process of moving a Windows PC to Boot Camp on the Mac may appear to be a daunting task. However, using the process outlined above will save many hours otherwise spent installing the Windows operating system and programs, personalization settings and files from scratch. Using Winclone with Sysprep makes it possible to move your PC system, programs, documents and settings to the Mac in one fell swoop.