Air, rEFIt, bootcamp and Vista x64 without external drive...almost

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kkrull, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular


    First made an image of the x64 Vista and copied it over the network to my Macbook Air folder.

    Second installed bootcamp and created a partition without installing Vista.

    Third I copied the files from the ISO onto the new partition.

    Fourth I installed rEFIt and shut down and re-powered on the MBA.

    Fifth I chose from rEFIt the second windows icon, "Boot boot\cdboot.efi from BOOTCAMP". (I skip over "Boot bootmgr.efi from BOOTCAMP" which doesn't work.)

    Sixth see the "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD" screen. I press a key.

    Seventh I see the "Windows is loading files..." completion bar progress all the way to the end. It gets to the last character and the machine stops.

    So close.

    I realize x64 is not officially supported.
    I realize that the external USB optical drive is the preferred Windows install method.
    I realize that I am asking for trouble attempting to install to and from the same windows partition.
    I have already used the partitioning shell to synchronize the partitions. They were not in sync originally and syncing them creates a fifth "Legacy OS" entry after MacOS, Apple Hardware Test, and two Windows OS placeholders.

    Any ideas? suggestions?

    Attached Files:

  2. macrumors regular


    Second try still no luck...

    Went ahead and unwrapped up the DVD drive.

    Installed Vista x64 from a cold restart while holding the 'C' key to bypass rEFIt since I could not get rEFIt to complete the Vista install from DVD either.

    Reformatted partition as NTFS during the Vista install.

    Completed the install. Rebooted.

    I get the rEFIt message "Error: Not Found while loading legacy loader" and "Please make sure that you have the latest firmware installed".

    Any ideas?
  3. macrumors regular



    I had never used the alt-option boot method, but this seems to be the way to go. That solved all my install problems. I love rEFIt but version .10 is not supporting x64 Vista on the Air. I will have to switch back when .11 is released.

    Once installed I still have driver issues, by default there are four devices that the non-SP1 x64 vista install cannot find and unfortunately two are for network drivers that prevent auto-update.
    They are:

    Standard VGA Adpater
    Broadcom 802.11n
    Apple USB Ethernet Adapter
    Video Controller

    I am looking for them now.
  4. macrumors regular


    Install the Broadcom driver first... will need version or later of the Broadcom adapter. And you will have to tell vista where the .inf is. Don't let windows update the driver for you or it will re-install the bad driver.

    and then Windows Update will install the two video drivers.

    As for the USB Ethernet Adapter, I gave up on that one. (solved later - see below) There is a hacked x86 version but I could not get it working on x64.

    Input Remapper I couldn't get working either. It appears that the 'fn' keys and the 'eject' keys are not recognizable by the current Input Remapper.

    But otherwise a functional Macbook Air dual booted with x64 Vista and OSX. You should be able to tripple boot just as easily but who has the space.

    Still Outstanding...

    rEFIt (try again with next 11 release)
    Input Remapper (or some other right click option)
    USB Ethernet Drivers
  5. macrumors regular


    New rEFIt...

    I spoke to the rEFIt author and it looks like the firmware memory address length is different on the MacBook Air.

    I have a prerelease of the new rEFIt and it works fine.
  6. macrumors regular


    New Input Remapper...

    I spoke to the Input Remapper author and Remapper is getting a post update that will address the 'fn' and 'eject' issues on the MacBook Air. Still no word from Apple as to why right click and the key backlighting are not working properly in boot camp 2.0.
  7. macrumors newbie

    I have big problems to install WIN XP on MBA too. Don't know, how other users solved this. Is the "original" superdrive required? I don't think so. Installing Leopard from CD/DVD (external LG) works fine, but windows doesn't. See the the Apple screen and then it seems, the machine hangs. Are you allowed to send me the prerelease? Woluld be great.
  8. macrumors regular


    What happens if you hold the 'alt' key down when you power on? Do you see the apple bootloader? Does it have another partition option? Does it see the USB LG drive? You might have to try it a couple of times.

    If you hold the 'C' button down when you boot does it force boot from CD?

    What exactly is happening when the machine hangs?

    I sent you a PM about the pre-release.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Yes, I see the bootloader with the following options: Leopard volume and the cd rom drive with the windows cd. All seems to be OK.

    Yes, it does.

    The cd rom drive begins to "work" (led indicator is lightning) for a few seconds and then it stops to work (CD/DVD doesn't spin any more). See only the grey apple in the middle of the screen and nothing happens. :confused:

    The CD/DVD are tested in my other Laptop (PC) and work fine.

    Tried without the big update of Leopard this week and with them, no difference.

    With your method and rEFIt, I got the message "Non system disk or disk error, press...." in the "DOS"-window.

    Better than before but this isn't satisfying so far :)
  10. macrumors regular


    Actually I think this means all is not ok. If you haven't already created a partition you need to use bootcamp or some other method to create a partition on which to run install and windows.

  11. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for the reply,
    I've created the partition for windows in Boot Camp, then rebooted. After that, should I see three volumes in Bootloader (Leopard, Boot Camp and CD Rom)? I'm wondering, because the Boot Camp partition is displayed in Finder :confused:
  12. macrumors newbie

    My problem is solved. Installing Windows XP on MBA worked fine with the Superdrive. It seems, that there are CD/DVD drives, which are incompatible to MBA.
  13. macrumors regular



    Here is an updated status report:
    rEFIt version 11 works well
    Right click control in Apple keyboard drivers is still broken, but the double finger click works as a work around.

    Input Remapper is being updated as well and should fix the 'eject' and 'fn' issues.

    Not Working
    applemtp.sys is still crashing on occasion. Seems to have to do with the above right click. Crashes blue-screen hard.
    No ethernet dongle drivers expected.
    Key backlight control in Vista still intermittantly broken.
  14. macrumors newbie


    My macbook air arrived a few days ago and I'm trying to install a normal 32-bit Windows XP copy. I also didn't get the superdrive. This post is so far the best tips i've found after spending the day trauling the net. I have a few questions if you will.

    When you 'made an image of the x64 Vista' are you talking about the installer CD or an already installed copy of it from another drive/partition?

    The main problem is getting a windows XP installer CD to boot. Apple says it can't be done without the superdrive, remote booting a windows CD isn't possible. Some have managed it by setting up a boot camp install on another intel mac (with a disc drive), making a disc image of the partition and then transferring it over to the MBA - I don't have another intel mac so can't do this.

    Did you write the installer disc image to a partition and then boot that from rEFIT? and install XP on the same partition from there? If you DID then i feel my problems (and i'm sure many others) are solved! I've got the latest version of rEFIT installed -

    If that's not the case, which I have a feeling it might not be, have you got any advice on how to get standard XP to dual boot on a MBA without the superdrive and without another intel mac to make a disk image on?

    Any help would be much appreciated!
  15. macrumors regular


    I made an .iso file of the installer DVD and then copied the files out of the .iso onto the newly formatted partition.
    Yeah they say that. Someday someone will figure out how to network boot a Windows install from rEFIt.
    No, I just copied all the files out of the .iso. rEFIt did the rest. I just ran into trouble when Vista figured out I was on a FAT32 drive and it couldn't reformat to NTFS because I was installing from the same drive. You won't have that problem.
    You may want to use a thumb drive: rEFIt would see it as well.
  16. macrumors regular


    Updated status report

    rEFIt works well
    Right click with right-command+click in Apple keyboard drivers is still broken, but the double finger click works as a work around.
    applemtp.sys hasn't crashed in a while.
    ethernet dongle drivers have been modded for x64

    Input Remapper is being updated as well and should fix the 'eject' and 'fn' issues.

    Not Working
    Key backlight control in Vista still intermittantly broken. But I also have problems in Leopard. Might be my machine.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for your help KKrull. this sounds very promising! Where I am:

    I have made the partition with boot camp (fat32 ok for XP).
    I have installed rEFIT
    I have copied the files from my XP install disc ISO to the boot camp partition
    I synced the partitions using the 'partition tool' option in rEFIT.

    I restarted and another option came up in my rEFIT list entitled 'legacy boot os' or something. I chose it - it came up with 'disk error' (or something like that) in the DOS white text on a black background format. Not there yet, but still progress.

    My guess would be that I didn't copy the files from the ISO to the partition properly. I just used the finder, select all, copy, paste etc. Can I assume you copied your iso's contents to your partition in a more 'accurate' way with a terminal command or other software? If so, how!? Or should simple finder file copying have worked?
  18. macrumors regular

    I'm attempting to do the same thing and have the same question. Help much appreciated!
  19. macrumors newbie

    It seems like KKrull has solved his problem and moved on... fair enough

    If you read back through this thread it sounds like he couldn't get the installer to finish when he somehow booted it from a partition. I think the windows installer needs a lot of internal tweaking to get it to fully install off anything other than a CD. I think he just bought the Superdrive in the end. I refuse to do this.

    I explored the idea of installing windows from a USB drive. Its actually pretty complex. Theres a forum dedicated to it at ( where some guys hacked the windows installer to get it to work. You use this utility to prepare a usb drive with the installer files and boot sector. I went through all of it and UNFORTUNATELY I am sorry to report that when I tried to boot it I got an error from rEFIT saying "booting legacy OSs from USB drives is not supported by this Mac's firmware." Found another guy on some random forum who hit the same dead end.

    Sooo.... as far as I can tell this problem has yet to be solved. I personally am going to get a friend to bring over his macbook pro, install boot camp and XP, take an image and then install it on mine. This DOES work, using a utility called 'WinClone'. A guy runs through it here:

    This isn't an ideal solution though, there MUST BE SOMEWAY TO INSTALL WINDOWS ON A MACBOOK AIR WITHOUT A SUPERDRIVE! Has anyone else out there managed it? I'm all out of ideas...
  20. macrumors regular


    Actually I am still perfecting getting the x64 platform working on the Air, but yes, I did give up and crack open my Superdrive on February 11th, although I believe that since I got rEFIt recognizing the copied windows installer files that if the installer hadn't gotten stuck trying to convert to NTFS I would have made it.

    No it runs fine off a hard drive. I have been installing Windows XP that way for years. I really do think that Vista just got stuck trying to convert to NTFS.

    Has nobody been able to duplicate as far as I got in my original post?
  21. macrumors newbie

    Well this is good news for us. But no I personally have not been able to get the installer to boot from a partition. rEFIT sees it, then you get the standard DOS error 'Invalid boot disk' or something. Like I asked before, is there a special way of copying the CD's files to the partition to preserve 'bootability'?

    (Glad your still around)
  22. macrumors regular


    dragging and dropping...

    I just dragged and dropped. Normally I keep system and hidden files visible but since I dragged the files from OSX I know there wasn't any sort of special settings since I don't know enough about OSX to make any.

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