Light Windows 7 Install for gaming? As bare minimum as possible

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Essenar, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    I want to dual boot Windows 7 for gaming but I have no desires to use the OS at all for anything else. No word processing, no internet browsing or anything. Purely gaming. However I don't like the bloat of it. It takes a lot of memory and whenever I install it on a desktop, I'm looking at minimum 18GB. I have a 256GB SSD and I don't want to use it that much. Especially when games take 10-15GB each for installs.

    Or is it possible to run it off an external? I have a USB 3.0 external and I don't mind it being longer loading times.
  2. BluAffiliate macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
    You know nothing about computers, lol @ running off external. Quit while you're ahead.
  3. isephmusic macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2012
    what a rude comment lmao, there are external GPU now why not running OS externally ? technology will move to cloud based OS that can run anywhere connected.

    anyway minimum for boot camp is 30gb and thats what i did so i can run some games. like yourself i only used it to run games. the FPS increase is very minor but i wanted it anyway. if u dont want to partition a drive and ur macbook is powerful then do parallels , otherwise get a 512 ssd before u chose such a small drive....
  4. byuister macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Install Windows via bootcamp and run games off an external hard drive.

    Everywhere connected still requires an OS...
  5. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    If you knew you were going to dual boot windows and play games, you should have picked a bigger drive.
  6. shootist macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2011
    The only reason Windows 7 take up so much room is because of the Pagefile size, equal to the amount of RAM in the system and it can be limited by adjusting the pagefiles size down to around 1GB, and the hibernate file which is also the amount of RAM installed in the system and can be turned off. Once those 2 things are done Win 7 takes about 4-6GBs of drive space. About the same as OS X Lion, Mt Lion and Mavericks.

    As to the other comments. Really if you don't have something constructive or informative to say practice restraint of keyboard.
  7. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    The other problem is that many new(er) PC games take up a huge amount of space. Yesterday I downloaded Fallout New Vegas with the DLCs included and it was 7.7GB in total!

    Even if you can get the OS to install on a tiny partition you may not have space for more than a couple of games. I also understand that it is difficult to get Bootcamp to work with an external drive. You may have some luck with keeping the windows partition small and installing steam on an external drive. Try to get a fast one (it will still be much slower), and load times shouldn't be too bad. Once loaded, pretty much everything will be in ram, so it may be more viable than others on here think.

  8. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Just looked at your posts history.
    Half of your comments are disrespectful and out of place.

    Perhaps you should learn about social interactions more than OP should learn about computers.

    The reason Windows is not designed to be installed on an external drive is highly technical (and political to some extent) and I'd be surprised if 0.00001% of the population could properly explain why.

    If anybody's interested in knowing why (warning, long read):
  9. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Hybrid. Create a smallish Bootcamp partition for Windows 7 itself. Remember to leave some extra room for the pagefile/etc, so I'd say give it like 30GB or so.

    Hook up an external USB 3.0 drive once Windows is installed, and install your games to the external drive. Longer loading times, but you get tons of storage to play with.
  10. dastinger macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2012
    I use Windows on my 256GB SSD through Boot Camp exactly for gaming and wanted it to take as less space as possible. At the time, I found this guide regarding Windows installation and optimization and have been using it and recommending it ever since. Read it carefully and don't go doing everything it says.. inform yourself first and be aware of the different steps for SDDs and HDDs.

    Anyway, here it is:

  11. Essenar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    I'm sitting in an office of an IT department. I get paid $16 an hour to fix computers. I know a lot. I also know that 75% of the technicians out there are on a "Google the solution" education because after about 10 years of computing evolution, it's pointless to learn from the books anymore. Your attitude lets me know what type of person you are and I figure you're the one who should quit, and not just computers either.

    All around: Much thanks will be given.

    I'm going to try removing the page file, the hibernation file. I have enough memory that having it shouldn't be a concern. I'm gonna use the optimization link. I figure I can sacrifice 30GB for safety purposes and use an external primarily for game installs. I'm also going to try to remove as many of the built in programs as I can: browser, tools, paint, calculator, media player, etc.

    Maybe this can serve as a template.

    And to whoever suggested I should've gotten a bigger drive: Thanks Captain Hindsight, but not everyone buys a machine with their primary concern being gaming space on their Windows partition. I don't game enough to spend $300 on an extra 256gb of space but I game enough to try to make a 256GB work. If you don't think a solution for that circumstance is worth delving into, I'm sure you can find your way out of this thread but thanks for stopping by.
  12. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Just ignore BluAffiliate.

    You can't install a bootable Windows on an external drive. It's a Windows limitation. 30GB probably won't cut it, Windows & its swapfile will chew back a fair bit of space on their own. Try 50-60GB.
  13. eagandale4114 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2011
    You can do it if its a thunderbolt drive. People on this forum have it working.
  14. fessura macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2009
  15. benjones macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2008
  16. Spetsnazos macrumors regular

    May 3, 2012
    I know you're limited on space but you should consider at least 100gigs for the windows partition. Trust me you dont want to be juggling and deleting games nonstop to install other games.
  17. Essenar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    Can this be done with Boot Camp? I remember I tried to use a customized image for Boot Camp and I got an error that it wasn't a valid Windows ISO. Like it basically didn't recognize it as a Windows ISO.

    Or should I swap out the USB during the install process and trick it into installing by using a regular Windows 7 USB and 'hot swapping' before the install to my modified ISO?


    Did you... even read the thread? Come on guys. I'm not installing games to the drive, they're going on an external. I hate Windows. I'm literally ONLY logging in for games and that's it. I don't even need colors on the desktop or 32-bit color mode on the desktop. I would run it as a DOS prompt if I was able to run Steam off of it.

    I'm gonna try the RT7Lite modification and see if I can get a 1.5GB install of Windows 7 to work on a 10GB partition. Even if it doesn't work, I don't really care about it not installing properly because I can just erase the Boot Camp partition and try again with a larger partition size.

    I never understood where people thought it was okay for Windows to universally be a large 30gb+ install even for lite users. Something like what I'm trying, shouldn't just be an 'off the wall' suggestion but the standard for those of us who only want to use it to play games. We should be sharing and collaborating a way to turn our MacBooks into dual boot systems with 90% of our drive going to OSX and a minimalist Windows install that's purely a game console purpose.

    Linux operating systems manage ways to squeeze in a full OS with browsers, drivers, networking support and applications in under 512mb of size. Why should we be chastised for wanting the same type of compression?
  18. PhilPilsner, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013

    PhilPilsner macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2013
    I am waiting for cheaper portable thunderbolt 2 SSD storage to store games.

    I can friggin wait to be honest... portable thunderbolt storage options are terrible as of now. I hope thunderbolt 2 gets some manufactures to jump on board.

    It's definitely possible to play games off an external HD. I did it years ago through usb 2 on a crappy dell. Granted it made my head spin when playing it was so choppy...
  19. Rick-ITA macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2013
    Perhaps it's silly but I had exactly your problem except that:
    - I have a 128GB SSD only
    - I use parallels instead of bootcamp (but the amount of space required does not change)
    - I need windows for a light application (no gaming).

    In any case, what I did is to install windows xp.

    Man, I just look at the size of my VM machine: 2.5 GB. Installing XP requires a bit more than 1 GB. If you go and look for some lite installations, you can end up using a few hundreds MB!

    XP is great: it has no issues at all, it's a very light, fast and stable OS. It was the best OS microsoft ever made.
  20. TooSmooth macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2011
  21. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    Why do you hate Windows?

    How can you work in an IT department and not know this stuff?

    Why can't you understand the OS partition needs room to run games efficiently?

    Why are you acting like a condescending jerk? Instead of ignoring the trolls you seem worse than them.

    Good riddance man. What an attitude to have when people are even bothering trying to reply to your thread.

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