Download the Boot Camp files first.
The Boot Camp files include a handful of Windows drivers, two Control Panels (Boot Camp and Startup Disk), and a system task icon for the notification area (aka the Windows tray). That doesn’t sound like a lot, but you will need nearly 1.5 GB of Boot Camp files to get everything set up.
You’ll find the Boot Camp 3.0 files (required for Windows 7) on the Snow Leopard installation DVD. You can only read these files from Windows, and you can copy them from the DVD to a flash drive or a network share and install them from there.
Note: In the Boot Camp Assistant, you’ll find an option to download the Windows support software. Unless you have a MacBook Air, do not waste your time. This option does not work for any other model.
That’s nearly a gigabyte of mostly unnecessary software, but you’re just getting started. After you install those files and restart, you need to install the Boot Camp 3.1 update, reboot, and then install the Boot Camp 3.2 update and reboot.
You can save yourself some time by downloading the necessary update files and saving them to a local drive first.
Boot Camp 3.1 Software Update for Windows
64-bit (Windows Vista SP2/Windows 7) Boot Camp 3.2 Software Update for Windows
And after you're done with all that, you'll find a big mess in the Programs option of Windows Control Panel, where every single revision of every single driver package gets its own entry. On my modest little Mac Mini, that's a total of 51 packages. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to clear up this clutter.
Choose a solution for sharing and syncing files.
Assuming you’ve used the Boot Camp Assistant, you’ll end up with two partitions—one for OS X and the other for Windows. From the OS X Finder, you can browse and open files on the Windows drive, but you can’t write files to that volume—it’s read-only.
From Windows, you can read files on the OS X volume but if you try to write files to that location you get an error message.
The official solution is to format an external drive using the FAT32 file system, which both OSes can read and write. But I prefer to use a sync solution like Windows Live Mesh (works great on a Mac or Windows PC) or DropBox (ditto). Just make sure your data folders are shared and you can let the software handle the drudgery of keeping everything in sync.
Do you use Boot Camp? Any secrets you want to share? Leave them in the TalkBack section.