Setting Up MS Windows and Protein Explorer on Intel Macintosh OSX

Note that this works only on Intel Macs, not on PPC Macs (so not on G3, G4, or G5).

We recommend using a Windows virtual machine (not BootCamp). A virtual machine means that Windows appears in a window on your Intel Mac desktop, just like any other application. You do not have to reboot to access windows. You can use your Mac desktop and applications right alongside, and concurrently, with Windows.

We recommend using Desktop for Mac from Parallels.Com for installing a Windows virtual machine on the Intel Mac OSX desktop. Parallels was the first to provide this technology, and we have tested it ourselves. It is well designed, well supported, and Protein Explorer works perfectly in the Parallels Windows virtual machine. Other companies may provide excellent support for virtual machines, but we have not personally tested their products.

In order to proceed, you will need software licenses for Desktop for Mac and for MS Windows, and the Windows installation DVDs.
  1. Purchase a license for Desktop for Mac from Parallels.Com, and download Desktop for Mac. Downloading it guarantees that you start with the latest version. If you purchased a boxed Desktop for Mac in a store, use only the license key from the box -- don't use the DVD because it is likely superceded by a more recent release.

  2. Install Desktop for Mac following the latest online instructions at Parallels.Com.

  3. Using your Windows installation DVDs, install Windows following the latest online instructions at Parallels.Com. Parallels has automated the Windows installation, and it is faster and easier than installing Windows on a PC!

  4. Now, you should be able to see the Windows Desktop in a window on the Mac desktop.

  5. In Windows, use Internet Explorer to download the free Firefox browser (for Windows) from

  6. In Windows Firefox, you can now run ProteinExplorer.Org.

  7. Optional: You can download Protein Explorer into your Windows virtual machine. This is recommended if you want to create MolSlides. The download link is on the FrontDoor of Protein Explorer.

  8. Windows Update can install the latest updates and security patches to your Windows virtual machine automatically. This is a good idea, but can be postponed or skipped if your only planned use of Windows is for Protein Explorer. The first time you run Windows Update, it might take up to an hour or more to install all the available critical updates. The time it takes depends on how old were the DVDs that you used to install Windows. If you upgrade Windows XP to Service Pack 2, it can take over an hour. To run Windows Update, start Internet Explorer, open the Tools menu at the top, and select Windows Update.

Feedback to Eric Martz.