bootcamp on new Air

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by purplewarlock, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. purplewarlock macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #1
    I just got a new 11" today! :)

    I want to run pure Windows 7 on it. I already formatted the drive and installed Win 7, but at this point would normally stick in the Mac OS disk to grab the Bootcamp drivers. In this case, it doesn't seem like it came with a disk. I didn't realize that until I had already formatted, otherwise I would of burned the bootcamp drivers first.

    I'm assuming I can stick in my older OS disk from a couple years ago and install an older bootcamp driver that way, and then use Apple Software Update to get up to date. Any other ideas?
     
  2. KPOM, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2011

    KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #2
    I'd advise against it, since Lion ships with updated Boot Camp drivers. Go back into OS X, and start up the Boot Camp assistant. One of the options on the very first screen is to download the updated Boot Camp drivers and burn them onto a disc. Select that option (and de-select the others), and it will download the Boot Camp 4.0 drivers. Go back into Windows and then run the disc.
     
  3. purplewarlock thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #3
    The problem is I did a complete format, wiping out the entire Mac OS X partition. I'm not going for dual boot, but single boot Win 7. Didn't realize there is no OS disk though until after I formatted.
     
  4. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #4
    You can use the restore partition to recover OS X. Perhaps clone your Windows partition, restore OS X, create the Boot Camp DVD, and then copy your clone back to the drive. Alternatively, find a friend with Lion installed. There is no other way to get Boot Camp 4.0 drivers right now. I believe you access the restore partition by holding down Command-R key as you reboot.

    I'm just curious as to why you chose a MacBook Air rather than a Windows machine (e.g. Samsung Series 9 or Sony Vaio) if you plan to run a pure Windows 7 setup? What features attracted you to the MacBook Air?
     
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Sunny Florida
    #5
    That's too bad. I installed BootCamp on a couple of MBAs and the process was seamless. But I didn't wipe out Lion. That puts a little bit of a twist on your situation.

    You can reboot your MBA while holding down the Command-R keys (someone here taught me that! :D) and it will bring up some utilities to download and reinstall Lion from the cloud. Try that and let us know how it works out for you.

    And I'd suggest installing Windows alongside Lion, make the Lion partition very small. You can set the MBA to always boot Windows and you can get rid of the 10-20GB Lion will need to stick around. You never know when you will need it, and maybe, like me, you will come to appreciate how many circles Lion runs around Windows 7.... :D
     
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    Exactly. I also recommend leaving Lion on, even if in a small partition. It's the only way to get firmware updates. The October revision needed two such updates in the first three months to cure some crashing issues.
     
  7. purplewarlock thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #7
    Unfortunately, I blew that partition away too! :p


    If I saw either of those at my local Best Buy's, I would of strongly considered them and maybe got them. As it were, nothing at my local store came anywhere close to the portability of the Air. Everything else they carried was just really clunky, like picking up a brick compared to the Air.


    Oh, you can't download those directly directly? (maybe some you can, some you can't). Good point on that, maybe I will leave a partition just for that.

    I got an appointment with Genius Bar tomorrow afternoon so hopefully they can restore it without having to ship it somewhere. Otherwise, I might just get my wife to upgrade to Lion and burn the drivers that way.
     
  8. ZBoater, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

    ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #8
    I have some bad news for you. I did something similar playing with Windows 7 Disk Manager - I accidentally blew away all the partitions. I took it back to the Apple Store, and they had not yet gotten their Lion images for the Air, so they gave me a new one. :D

    The Lion you buy at the AppStore is a different build than the Lion that comes with the MBA. I've read some threads from folks trying to reinstall Lion from the AppStore version, and it didn't quite work out.

    I was told you don't need the partition - booting into Command - R will bring up a utilities menu that will allow you to download and install Lion from the cloud.

    Good luck!

    Sam
     
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #9
    What do you plan to tell the Genius Bar? Are you telling them you are setting up your MacBook Air to be a 100% Windows PC, or just saying you "accidentally" erased everything, including the restore partition?

    They have Lion golden masters at Apple Stores, so they should be able to restore your Mac onsite before you "un-Mac" it again.
     
  10. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2011
    #10
    No need for the Genius Bar. You can do it yourself, even with a fully formatted drive or a blank new drive.

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/recovery/

    If your Mac problem is a little less common — your hard drive has failed or you’ve installed a hard drive without OS X, for example — Internet Recovery takes over automatically. It downloads and starts Lion Recovery directly from Apple servers over a broadband Internet connection. And your Mac has access to the same Lion Recovery features online. Internet Recovery is built into every newly-released Mac starting with the Mac mini and MacBook Air.
     
  11. JasonR macrumors 6502a

    JasonR

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #11
    Create a Lion bootable USB drive. Problem solved.

    IMHO the Air should really come with one anyways...:D
     
  12. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

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    #12
  13. purplewarlock thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #13
    Thanks for the tips! However, I think the Control-F option most likely requires that recovery partition. I tried it several times and each time, I get:

    "Starting recovery process from network.
    This may take a little while."

    Then a screen pops up showing a list of WiFi networks, and I select mine and enter the password.

    Then I see a small progress bar, and after a few seconds, I see a blank screen that has an exclamation point, and under it says "apple.com/support -2100F".
     
  14. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2011
    #14
    It's Command R, not Control F

    If you read the PC Mag story you'll see the reporter completely formatted his drive as a test. No recovery partition needed.
     
  15. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #15
    Wow. That's really impressive, and much more robust and useful than an ordinary recovery partition. So the OP doesn't need to go to the Genius Bar, after all (though they should be able to perform those steps).

    It's these little touches that make dealing with Apple nice. You don't realize it until you need it, but when you do, it comes in handy.
     
  16. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #16
    Can Windows 7 be installed via a USB thumb drive or do you need an Apple USB SuperDrive? And can you buy Win 7 that way or do you have to make the bootable image yourself?

    As far as installing programs after the fact. Can you use an iMac drive remotely like a MacBook Air can under OS X or does the ability to borrow the iMacs drive for installing software only work in OS X?

    I want to get an MBA for my wife so that she can dual screen on it with a Thunderbolt iMac, but she needs to Bootcamp into Win 7. Thanks.
     
  17. purplewarlock thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #17
    I meant to say Control-R, sorry Control-F was a typo. Didn't work for me though, just gave the cryptic error message. The author of that article says he formatted his Mac partition, not the recovery partition, so I think that's why I get this message.
     
  18. purplewarlock thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #18
    Correction, make that command-R :p

    It definitely was trying the restore process, but just didn't make it very far. After I entered by WiFi pw, it then showed a progress bar but after just a couple seconds that's when I got the cryptic error.

    That being said, I think your point about keeping a copy of OS too at the very least for firmware patches is a good one. As far as I know, those firmware patches can only be applied while running OS X, not running another OS under bootcamp.
     
  19. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2011
    #19
    I gave a quote from the Apple help pages. It talks about installing Lion to a virgin HD, such as a situation with a total HD crash and replacement. There would not be a recovery partition on a new aftermarket drive.

    Also, the reporter did format his entire drive - including the recovery partition.

    It was time for the nuclear option. On Big Mac, with Li'l Mac mounted as a disk via Target Disk Mode, I opened Disk Utility and formatted the entire drive, clearing both partitions to one clean slate. Li'l Mac had, effectively, a blank SSD. I rebooted Li'l Mac to see a blinking folder. Success. To initiate Lion Internet Recovery, I rebooted once more and held down Command + R. With literally nothing on the drive, Li'l Mac would have to beam up to Apple's servers via Wi-Fi.

    And it worked. A new gray screen a spinning Earth and status appeared. Recovering Recovery HD from Apple's servers wasn't a quick process—it took nearly 45 minutes. But once it had completed, my blank Li'l Mac rebooted to Recovery HD, from which I could reinstall Lion.
    =========

    Why it doesn't work for you I have no idea, but it seems to work for others and Apple says it should work.
     
  20. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #20
    If you have Windows 7 on an ISO file (for example, if you downloaded it from the Microsoft online store), then Boot Camp Assistant can create a USB key with updated drivers that you can use to install Windows.
     
  21. purplewarlock thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #21
    I tweaked around with things a bit more: I booted into Windows setup from DVD, and deleted every partition. Then for good measure, I plugged in the power supply just in case that mattered..

    One of the two of those did the trick! This time, I didn't get an error message, and after about 5 minutes it completed the progress bar and got me to the main restore screen that showed the Disk Utility, Reinstall Lion etc. I put a 40G Mac OS X partition and left the rest for free space (to be used later for boot camp), and it's now reinstalling Lion.

    Thx!
     
  22. purplewarlock thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #22
    Thx again KPOM and everyone for the help. Got it all working.. ended up going with a dual boot to make firmware patches easy (not to mention, if I corrupt an essential driver on Win7 I can at least boot into OS X).

    Should have all my software downloaded and installed in the next couple days, but loving it already! :)
     
  23. Northwestern macrumors regular

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    Sep 13, 2011
    #23
    Thanks a lot this helped me so much.
     

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