Installing Windows 7 on the Macbook Air 11.6 through USB

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Dragynfyre, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Dragynfyre macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    So I'm planning on picking up a Macbook Air 11.6" base model for schoolwork. It seems to be a really great laptop for that but I need to dual-boot Windows for Office 2010 (Plus I'm more of a Windows type of guy). Now I was wondering can I install Windows 7 with a bootable USB flashdrive? I've found a few topics about this and it seems that for the most part people were unsuccessful. However, they were from 1-2 years ago so has anything changed in this regard? I noticed that the Macbook Air 2010 comes with a USB flash disk software install drive unlike before.

    Also if a USB drive won't work, what would be a cheap external DVD drive that I could use to install Windows 7 with?
  2. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    Flash drive no, external dvd drive yes, but not sure if it has to be Apples.
  3. ryan0402 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2010
    if you have another computer when you are running boot camp assistant it should say boot from host computer which means you can install it in between a wifi or something connection between one computer and the other.
  4. Dragynfyre thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Could you elaborate on this a bit more? Also I do not have any other Mac computers. This will be my first one.
  5. idunnokyd macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2008
  6. Dragynfyre thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
  7. idunnokyd macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2008
    Yes... from the pdf I linked to:

  8. Dragynfyre thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Alright this is awesome. Will save me from having to buy an expensive external DVD drive that I would never use.
  9. stanny macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2008
    Can I use my other MBP's drive somehow to install bootcamp on my Air? However, I do not have a wireless router where I am.
  10. idunnokyd macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2008
    no... from my experiences.:(
  11. stanny macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2008
    So I need a wireless network for that feature?
  12. ImperialX macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    In my experiences, it just doesn't work...
  13. itommyboy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Titletown USA

    Is Windows 2010 you're only reason you would dual boot? If so you may want to save yourself the flash space and go with Mac office 2011. Not only will it be released in 3 days but will boast Outlook. Yes they finally killed Entourage!

    Here is a decent and hardly bank breaking portable dvd drive as well. It's even made by :apple: to essentially compliment MBAs.
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    That new PDF manual doesn't list 32-bit Windows only like the last one does it? I downloaded it and didn't see it.

    The last time I installed Windows 64-bit on my MBA, I had to abandon the BootCamp drivers and installation and manually install everything. Once I did, I had a much better and faster system than I would have with Apple's drivers anyways. Then, Microsoft Update furthers the besting of Apple drivers by using the newest drivers from each manufacturer... ie, with the Nvidia GPU, and Windows 7, you get to use Nvidia's drivers not Apple's drivers. It just is so much better that it's worth it to not use BootCamp drivers actually.

    But one of the things that ticked me off is a fully capable 64-bit MBA and I couldn't install 64-bit Windows 7 with Apple's instructions. If they fixed this, I am glad, but it still would behoove people to install the drivers themselves, and avoid BootCamp drivers.
  15. Picho macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2010
  16. hughmckerrow macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2010
  17. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    Open Office.

    I have used Open Office on both Winders and Linux machines and my MS Office buddies that I shared spreadsheets with never knew.

    Anyone running Winows in VM?
  18. drew0020 macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2006
    I'm thinking about picking up a base Air (13 bc I really don't feel the 11.6 is enough) but I also wonder about Windows 7 as a VM. How bad is the performance? I could probably use bootcamp but I'd prefer not to.
  19. hachre macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2007
    Get the 4GB upgrade and use Parallels to run Windows in Mac OS. This is totally sufficient for apps like office.

    And while we are on the topic, why not use Office 2011 for Mac OS?

    If you are planning on being in Windows most of the time, don't get a Mac. Even with Bootcamp it is just a hassle compared to a PC laptop in so many ways. Most of the functions of the trackpad don't work, the keyboard has the wrong layout, the Apple Background Tasks running on Windows increase the DPC Latency and make things like sound stutter... I really don't recommend a Mac for using Windows on it mostly.

    The performance as far as IO and CPU are concerned is almost identical to booting Windows directly. Graphics performance is seriously lacking in a VM. But who needs that anyway? Turn Windows Aero off and you are good to go! But you need 4GB Ram for that!
  20. Dragynfyre thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    I already have my copy of Office 2010 and Windows 7 so I don't want to have to spend money on Mac Office. Plus I'll probably do some light gaming on this machine as well so I need Windows.

    I need my Ribbon so no OpenOffice for me.

    Also is using Bootcamp the only way to install Windows 7?
    (don't want to use a VM either because I may need graphics performance later. Plus the RAM upgrade is expensive)
  21. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Why not just go for a Sony Vaio X series? Since you're a "Windows guy" it's stupid to buy a Mac if only to run Windows, or at least most of the time as you say you are. If you're buying because of the Apple hardware you're wasting your money. If you're not going to use it as a real Mac then a PC equivalent will serve you better especially since you'll have better support. I never understand why people buy a Mac when most of the intention is not to run it as a Mac?
  22. Dragynfyre thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Form factor and weight.
  23. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Sony Vaio X offers the same. The Mac won't even give you the battery life they advertise when you're on Windows. Waste of money turning into a Windows only machine, jmo.
  24. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I have a Vaio, not sure which series. I've been waiting for a Mac notebook to replace it, and I think the new Air might be it. There's just no comparison between Apples's hardware design superiority and any PC currently on market. And what makes you say running Windows will eat battery faster? I've never heard that before!
  25. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Interesting that say this seeing as you've been a MR member for a quite a while. The battery issue comes up all the time. You will not get nearly the battery life running Windows 7 or any version of Windows on the Mac as oppose to what you get running OS X. Try turning it into whatever you want, at the end of the day Apple designs their computers to run OS X. That's why the keyboard is not a Windows keyboard nor does the trackpad run as smoothly as under OS X.

    Nearly daily there are people from the Windows crowd who cheer about how much better specs you can get on a PC notebook over a Mac, yet we see many of them buying Macs to install Windows, yeah that makes sense. At the end of the day you're changing it to be something it's not and you won't get the full experience you would as running it in OS X. Including Sony there are few other good alternatives with good form factor. Buying into the Apple system means using the products they way they make them, trying to change what they are reduces the experience and it's a waste of money, period.

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