Macbook air and Windows 7

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by qw1478, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys, great forum.

    I am trying to install windows 7 on macbook air, through an external DVD drive, since USB didnt work for me. The DVD is detected and ounce I click start windows installation, the system boots and gets stuck at the gray boot screen with the apple logo. What is causing this? how can I solve this?

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    #2
    This is only for noobs like me so if you're a Mac pro, I suggest you leave rather than waste 10 mins reading only to complain about how "DUH" this thread is.

    Having read through several websites about the topic, I finally embarked on installing Win 7 Home Premium in Boot Camp and came across somethings not mentioned in said website. A true IT geek will probably not encounter any problems but for the IT idiot out there like me, please read this to avoid wasting your time & effort or giving yourself a heart attack.

    Firstly, get a wired mouse & keyboard as your trackpad & keyboard wouldn't work till Boot Camp drivers are installed.

    If you are totally new to Boot Camping I suggest you read this....http://gizmodo.com/5387353/how-to-su...win-7-on-a-mac

    Now if you've done your research you'd know about the screen going black when you attempt to install Win 7 on your iMac and the need to manually delete a driver to resolve this. For the uninitiated, details are over at...http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2009/10...new-27in-imac/

    Now, if money is not an object I suggest you get the FULL version of Win 7 not an upgrade and that will make life a lot easier. But if you have a budget AND you're an IT idiot (like yours truly), listen up.

    There are many sites out there teaching you how to do a clean install with Win 7 Upgrade. The site I referred to was...http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/cle...rade_media.asp which was most enlightening. HOWEVER the author obviously did not write it for Boot Campers in mind as yours truly found out the hard way.

    Problem with doing a clean install with Win 7 Upgrade is that the product key is not recognised. Don't talk about activation, it doesn't even accept the damn product key! So leave the product key BLANK. And make sure you UNTICK the option to automatically activate when you're online.

    After Win 7 is installed, DO NOT waste time installing Boot Camp drivers from the OS X disc yet. First, try to activate Win 7. It will first ask for your product key. If my experience is anything to go by, Win 7 will tell you the key is invalid.

    You then need to install Win 7 on Win 7. Earlier you chose "Custom install" and selected the location. This time choose "Upgrade". Yes, you are upgrading Win 7 to Win 7. Don't give me that look! Go f*ck Bill Gates!

    The upgrade process is A LOT longer and your MBA will reboot several times. You HAVE to be beside your MBA if not when it reboots, it will go into OS X which is not what you want at this stage.

    After a decade and a half, everything is ready and when you try to activate your Win 7, the product key SHOULD be accepted this time and your activation should also be successful if my journey is anything to go by.

    NOW you can pop in the OS X disc, install Boot Camp drivers, run Boot Camp update, etc. With some luck your trackpad & keyboard should now work. Luckily I was still using an external usb wired keyboard so no issues but I'm still trying to get my Magic Mouse detected in Win 7

    I did not know all of this when I started so what happened was I installed the Boot Camp drivers in Win 7 BEFORE I tried to activate it. When the activation failed, I upgraded Win 7 to Win 7 as per the website and got a scary error msg.

    After some research it turns out that Win 7 is unable to upgrade Win 7 due to the presence of Boot Camp drivers So I had to uninstall Boot Camp drivers from Win 7, reboot and then upgrade Win 7 to Win 7, activate Win 7, reinstall Boot Camp drivers and update Boot Camp.

    Hope this helps and may your first experience be better than mine!

    courtesy of derrickgoh at http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?p=44354268#post44354268
     
  3. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #3
    I appreciate your intent with this post, but let me tell you I completely disagree about the complexity of installing Windows 7. I installed 64-bit Windows 7 on my MBA without any of your instructions and did so completely fine without any problems other than a fully illuminated keyboard backlight and a fully bright MBA native display. The only instructions I used were Apple's own Boot Camp instructions.

    Advice to everyone... buy the right Windows 7 version. DO NOT STEAL THE SOFTWARE by buying an upgrade disk. Don't say that you somehow are justified to steal the license because you're poor. If you have a full version of Windows, I believe you will not have any problems. Those that use an "upgrade" disk aren't really paying for the full experience... and therefore they don't get the "full experience." Of course it's more difficult to "CHEAT" Microsoft and use an upgrade disk. With Apple, they're getting most of the OS paid for via the premium for the hardware. Microsoft doesn't force you to buy its hardware, therefore the OS costs a little more... very fair deal from my viewpoint.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #4
    Sorry, I forgot to reply to your original post. Did you first go into Boot Camp within OS X and partition the drive and print the instructions?

    As the other poster stated you would need other instructions and items... I didn't need any alternative instructions nor an external keyboard, mouse, nor display to install mine. Are you using a full Windows 7 disk?

    I will go find my Boot Camp instructions if you did exactly what it said and are using a full Windows disk. Let me know and feel free to shoot me a PM for immediate assistance, and I can try to help you out.

    Good luck.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #5
    - What the heck are you talking about? Install Win 7 on Win 7? :confused:
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    #6
    Vista allows you to upgrade in-place a previously installed version. The reason you would do this is to get around only buying an upgrade version of the software. What you do is:

    1. Wipe your machine and then Install the upgrade but don't enter a licence key. Vista will allow you to do this assuming that you will enter a legitimate key sometime later
    2. Upgrade the installation - do an archive and install - but enter your upgrade licence key.

    This allows you to install Vista on a blank machine and I presume the same is true of Windows 7.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #7
    - all of which sounds daft, and not legal. Quite why anyone (not you) would complain about this being difficult or clunky is beyond me. As Scottsdale said, buying the correct version in the first place avoids all this pain.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    In your basement
    #8
    what about the poor guy who doesn't have a superdrive, has win vista and wants to upgrade to win 7 without doing all the legwork?

    though i suspect that'd be the demographic which is about 1% of the population, and the other 99% are being cheap, but nevertheless, my point is not invalid.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
  10. macrumors 6502a

    spriter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    #10
    I am one of that 1% without an SD. I doubt WinToFlash will work as the MBA seems to refuse to boot from any USB device other than the SD.

    There have been lots of posts about Refit but it didn't function as a workaround.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #11
    No SD, No Tech Knowledge = Almost Screwed

    I'm currently running XP on bootcamp and don't have a SD or any external drives.

    I'm wondering if its wise or even remotely possible to upgrade from XP to Vista then to 7 without the use of an external drive. School has provided me with a Microsoft Academic Alliance account, which means that I am probably able to download the full versions of Vista Professional and 7, so the full install/ upgrade disk shouldn't be an issue. But I'm kind of stumped with regards to the installation of Max OSX driver disk.

    Is it possible that I can keep all files if I don't do a clean installation?

    PS. Sounds like I'm almost screwed? :(
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    hey, don't think there is a solution to Installing Windows 7 via USB on Bootcamp... the only alternative i can suggest is Parallels (better than VM Fusion)... Network install doesn't work either
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #13
    Speaking of Windows 7 run in a virtualization program, what kind of success have you MBA owners had with running Windows in either a Fusion or Parallels virtual machine? When I was running Windows XP in a Fusion virtual machine on my 2.4 Ghz MBP, I had only 2Gb of RAM and the results weren't great. That experience has led me to fear that the MBA's 2Ghz of RAM makes it a poor choice for running Windows in a virtualization program. Nevertheless, I have had no actual experience with the MBA, so would appreciate hearing about the experience of those of you who have actually run Windows and either Fusion or Parallels on the MBA.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    In your basement
    #14
    there is an article on the internet which allows you to use Parallels to install windows on a separate partition and then bootoff that partition without virtualisation.

    uhh, try googling for it, i can't remember it off the top of my head.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    #15
    There are a few websites, but the procedure here worked for me:
    http://insidethebrackets.blogspot.com/2009/04/install-windows-on-macbook-air-with-no.html

    You don't need a SD or rEFIt. I was able to do it with only:
    1) Large USB external drive
    2) SL installation disk (for bootcamp drivers, and to rewrite the MBR)
    3) Window 7 install disk.

    I created images of both 2 & 3 and held them on separate partitions on the external HDD. The tutorial above uses remote disk, which is unnecessary if you restore an image of your SL install disk to a partition (and much faster too).

    Post if you have problems, I fiddled with rEFIt and many methods before figuring out how to get W7 working.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #16
    I've run WinXP Pro in a Fusion VM on my RevA MBA. It works okay, about as well as one would expect given I only gave it 768mb ram, and was running Visual Studio 2008 on it. Not gonna get lightning response from a VM with minimal RAM. I admittedly tried to close as much as possible in MacOS while running that configuration, so there wasn't anything native slowing things down.

    That said, with more than 2gb ram, you could afford to give XP/7 much more room to breathe in, without restricting MacOS too much; VM windows would obviously work out better on one of the MBPs with upgraded ram.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #17
    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. You have confirmed my suspicions. Your experience running Fusion and Windows on 1Gb of RAM, or less, reflects my own. Windows and its apps would run but things often slowed down unexpectedly so I, too, kept Windows and Fusion shut down as much as possible. Now, with 6Gb of RAM on my MBP, I keep Windows and Fusion in Unity mode running all the time without difficulty.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #18
    Thanks all, guess I'll just stick to XP for now - not worth the effort to upgrade especially since XP is already stalling and Win7 might require even more diskspace. (Working on a set of presentation slides on my PC takes 1 hour, and around 2 hours on bootcamp). It can be a nightmare especially when you've got 2 presentations due the next day.

    Only running bootcamp now because some of my modules require us to run marketing stimulation games on PC. Perhaps CrossOver might work better, shall try in a few weeks' time. :S

    Anyone has past experience running CrossOver?
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #19
    I've had no experience with CrossOver. In fact, I had never heard of it until recently. I saw on the CrossOver site that it will run Quicken for Windows on an Intel Mac. Because I have already upgraded my MBP from 2 to 6Gb of RAM, I am perfectly happy with Fusion 3 and Windows 7. Nevertheless, I would like to know whether CrossOver requires any less memory than Fusion does because Fusion's memory requirements are substantial. If I thought I could run Quicken 2010 for Windows seamlessly with OS X apps on an MBA with only 2Gb of RAM, I might reconsider the MBA.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #20
    Erhm, what ever happened to the OP? I guess this was for our "enjoyment" only?
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    not the best ever but it can work, i got the slowest MBA ever built (1.6GHZ, 2GB RAM...) i can live with it, but like i said, not the best :(
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #22
    skate -- Thanks for confirming my suspicions. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what, if anything, Apple does to improve the MBA. That's a shame because I really like it and would buy one right now if it had more RAM. My MBP has been great with Fusion and Windows 7 with 6Gb or RAM but struggled when it had only 2.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #23
    I cant get the windows 7 CD to run. My computer reboots and then I just see a black screen with the _ cursor blinking. What is going on?

    Also, if you guys open up boot camp assistant and click about boot camp what does it say your version is. Mine says 3.0 Build (310) or something like that. I'm wondering if that 310 signifies 3.1 version of 3.0 or not.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #24
    Upgrade doesn't equal stolen!

    I would like to point out that just because you wind up at Windows 7 with an upgrade disk doesn't mean that you stole it. I've paid my debt to Microsoft many times over. In my case I bought a full version of Vista for an older MacBook, then upgraded it with Windows 7. I no longer have that computer, since it was replaced by my Air, and that LEGAL copy of Windows is no longer being used on that machine. Why should I pay Microsoft AGAIN for what I already own?
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #25
    Not sure if this would fix the problem, but I found I would often have problems with Windows on bootcamp if I only did the NTFS 'quick format' option in the opening dos-like screen when installing Windows.

    When I do a 'full format' there, the install ALWAYS proceeds without a hitch.
     

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