MacBook Air 2013 is the first Mac that supports EFI booting on Windows natively

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
Yes, the MacBook Air 2013 supports booting Windows via EFI natively.
I used official Bootcamp drivers with no mods whatsoever.
Everything is working flawlessly.

It seems the bootloader in the MBA 2013 is finally UEFI 2.0 compliant.
The entire stock partition layout of the SSD is GPT meaning BIOS-mode Windows will not work.

I get 10 seconds of Windows 8 bootup. Enough said.
I seem to be getting 8 hours of usage in light use. Not bad.
There seems to be graphic corruption in IE11 in Windows 8.1 with the current Intel drivers.
Make no mistake IE11 is the better browser on Windows. Seriously better than Chrome.

I only tested on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
I did not test Windows 7 and have no plans to since I've embraced the metro interface.

I recommend using Trackpad++ to have a better trackpad experience in Windows. I mean seriously Apple? Where is the Windows 8 gestures and especially pinch-to-zoom?

Update: Windows to Go (ala Windows on external drive) also works on EFI
 
Last edited:

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
194
for those who want to use Windows exclusively on their MacBooks.

To paraphrase some article... Steve Jobs is so sad now. :(


What's Apple gonna do next? rewrite iTunes Windows so it runs as a smooth as the OSX version?
 

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2009
396
19
Beaumont, CA
I'm so impressed.

I used Boot Camp to install first of all.
I booted it in the normal BIOS windows installer
Then when it came to the Windows installing part.
I'm stuck in the format screen part.
It tells me the whole SSD is using GUID.
Well I'm like, I thought Mac supposed to partition it to be a hybrid MBR/GUID?
So I'm like okay let's try EFI.
I rebooted Windows Installer in EFI mode.
Then when everything is installed.
I installed Bootcamp Support Drivers.
I thought, oh well, this is never going to work.
Guess what, it installed flawlessly.

It takes 10 seconds for a cold boot to the desktop.
No more that silly BIOS underscore prompt thing.
The graphic works, sound works, wifi works, everything works.
I only just don't know how to turn off the ambient light sensor.

An advice to MBA 2013 owners, do not update your Intel Graphics Driver.
I got a BSOD, and had to reboot in Safe Mode to reinstall Bootcamp again.

Well done Apple.
This is a good sign for those who want to use Windows exclusively on their MacBooks.
How do you install Windows in EFI mode? Does this work when you want to keep the Mac OS partition?
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
How do you install Windows in EFI mode? Does this work when you want to keep the Mac OS partition?
Yeap, I dual-boot with Mac and Windows.
There's no need to remove your current Mac OS partition.

The thing with MB Air 2013 is the partition system is different from the previous generations or any other Mac for that matter. My Mac failed installing Windows 8 in BIOS mode.
 

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2009
396
19
Beaumont, CA
Yeap, I dual-boot with Mac and Windows.
There's no need to remove your current Mac OS partition.

The thing with MB Air 2013 is the partition system is different from the previous generations or any other Mac for that matter. My Mac failed installing Windows 8 in BIOS mode.
Hi, thanks for your response but I'm still not sure how to do it. I just ordered a 2013 air and I would love to learn how to do an EFI Windows install.
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
Hi, thanks for your response but I'm still not sure how to do it. I just ordered a 2013 air and I would love to learn how to do an EFI Windows install.
Okay, just do a normal bootcamp setup. (Setting up Windows Setup flash drive, downloading support software & partitioning etc)
Then when you reboot to get into Windows Setup,
You know the part where you hold Option + Power...
Don't boot into the WININSTALL partition
Boot into the EFI_BOOT partition.
Windows will install with no problems.
Then when you install successfully, just install the Bootcamp Support Software.

Note I'm installing Windows 8, not Windows 7. It might be different with Windows 7.
Windows 8 has a much better vast support of EFI Boot.

Done. :D
In other words, it's a normal bootcamp setup just bootcamp now works in EFI.

Even if you want to boot into the WININSTALL partition (BIOS mode), you will be stuck at the Windows Setup format part due to incompatibility reasons.
The MB Air 2013 can only boot into EFI Windows and that's the way I like it. :D
 

pickaxe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2012
760
284
May I just say, well done for finding this!
So...

1) Does this benefit Windows 8 performance other than boot times? How about shut down times? Sleep wake times? Or even (gasp) the performance of file transfers and such?
2) Should this work similarly with Windows 7, or is 7's support for EFI not quite there?
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
May I just say, well done for finding this!
So...

1) Does this benefit Windows 8 performance other than boot times? How about shut down times? Sleep wake times? Or even (gasp) the performance of file transfers and such?
2) Should this work similarly with Windows 7, or is 7's support for EFI not quite there?
Boot times are improved, shut down is almost instaneous, wake up is much faster. File transfers should be similar.

I am not sure. Someone could try. But I don't think installing Windows 7 in BIOS mode will work either. The whole SSD is now partitioned in GPT style. GPT =/= BIOS. GPT <3 EFI.
 

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2009
396
19
Beaumont, CA
Okay, just do a normal bootcamp setup. (Setting up Windows Setup flash drive, downloading support software & partitioning etc)
Then when you reboot to get into Windows Setup,
You know the part where you hold Option + Power...
Don't boot into the WININSTALL partition
Boot into the EFI_BOOT partition.
Windows will install with no problems.
Then when you install successfully, just install the Bootcamp Support Software.

Note I'm installing Windows 8, not Windows 7. It might be different with Windows 7.
Windows 8 has a much better vast support of EFI Boot.

Done. :D
In other words, it's a normal bootcamp setup just bootcamp now works in EFI.

Even if you want to boot into the WININSTALL partition (BIOS mode), you will be stuck at the Windows Setup format part due to incompatibility reasons.
The MB Air 2013 can only boot into EFI Windows and that's the way I like it. :D
Awesome! Thanks a lot! I'll try this when my Air arrives.
 

1BadMac

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2010
318
3
This may explain the issue I was having with Bootcamp from VM Fusion. When I did an inlace upgrade of 10.9 DP1 onto my 2012 (90GB OS X - 30GB part for Win 8) - everything worked fine. Windows worked. OS X 10.9 worked. AND the VM Fusion 5.03 still allowed me from OS X to access and boot into the Windows partition.

Fast forward to getting my 2013 Air. Ran 10.9 installer. Restored data from Time Machine. Life is great. Go through boot camp for a similar 90/30 split. Windows 8 installs off of my USB 3 thumb drive in like 6 mins (awesome!). Windows boots, battery looks great, updates all apply, etc...

Now VM Fusion 5.03 will not find the Bootcamp partition. At all. Reinstalled Windows again through Bootcamp. Same thing. Fusion states "Cannot find the Bootcamp disks" or something to that effect. I resort to Parallels. Similar issue. Frustrated, I just remove both and leave the Win partition in place. I really only use it for the rare occasion I need to run a Windows game, and it's best to be in full Bootcamp for that anyways.
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
Any report on battery life in Windows?
8 hours here.

----------

This may explain the issue I was having with Bootcamp from VM Fusion. When I did an inlace upgrade of 10.9 DP1 onto my 2012 (90GB OS X - 30GB part for Win 8) - everything worked fine. Windows worked. OS X 10.9 worked. AND the VM Fusion 5.03 still allowed me from OS X to access and boot into the Windows partition.

Fast forward to getting my 2013 Air. Ran 10.9 installer. Restored data from Time Machine. Life is great. Go through boot camp for a similar 90/30 split. Windows 8 installs off of my USB 3 thumb drive in like 6 mins (awesome!). Windows boots, battery looks great, updates all apply, etc...

Now VM Fusion 5.03 will not find the Bootcamp partition. At all. Reinstalled Windows again through Bootcamp. Same thing. Fusion states "Cannot find the Bootcamp disks" or something to that effect. I resort to Parallels. Similar issue. Frustrated, I just remove both and leave the Win partition in place. I really only use it for the rare occasion I need to run a Windows game, and it's best to be in full Bootcamp for that anyways.
I guess Apple made its boot core UEFI 2.0 compliant therefore incompatible with all previous bootcamp partitions.
 

torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,511
2,521
Sydney, Australia
Even if you want to boot into the WININSTALL partition (BIOS mode), you will be stuck at the Windows Setup format part due to incompatibility reasons.
No you can use Bios mode, at the format section when you select format and then it says you still cant continue you need to restart the mac and when it reboots back into the windows installer it will allow you to continue. ;)
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
No you can use Bios mode, at the format section when you select format and then it says you still cant continue you need to restart the mac and when it reboots back into the windows installer it will allow you to continue. ;)
Really?
Are you using MBA2013?
Why use BIOS when you can use EFI? :D
 

1BadMac

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2010
318
3
No you can use Bios mode, at the format section when you select format and then it says you still cant continue you need to restart the mac and when it reboots back into the windows installer it will allow you to continue. ;)
So, maybe this is where I went wrong. Because I booted into the WINSTALL and it said it couldn't proceed. So I did the format options from there and then it let me forward. Windows works, bootcamp via VM Fusion will not. Are you saying if I would have backed out, went in again it would have worked in Fusion?

Because right now, in whatever condition (even though working) the Boot Camp partition is - Fusion or Parallels does not like it.
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
So, maybe this is where I went wrong. Because I booted into the WINSTALL and it said it couldn't proceed. So I did the format options from there and then it let me forward. Windows works, bootcamp via VM Fusion will not. Are you saying if I would have backed out, went in again it would have worked in Fusion?

Because right now, in whatever condition (even though working) the Boot Camp partition is - Fusion or Parallels does not like it.
I am not sure about that.
 

torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,511
2,521
Sydney, Australia
So, maybe this is where I went wrong. Because I booted into the WINSTALL and it said it couldn't proceed. So I did the format options from there and then it let me forward. Windows works, bootcamp via VM Fusion will not. Are you saying if I would have backed out, went in again it would have worked in Fusion?

Because right now, in whatever condition (even though working) the Boot Camp partition is - Fusion or Parallels does not like it.
Yes that should work, i had the same issue on my 2012 iMac and my 2011 Air.
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
How can I check if my bootcamp is using EFI or BIOS?
Make sure when you boot into Windows, it doesn't have this.



Instead, it should be directly showing the Windows logo from the moment you press Enter in choosing your Windows partition.
 

toxicwombat

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2013
4
0
Well done Apple.
This is a good sign for those who want to use Windows exclusively on their MacBooks.
Fantastic news! Thank you sir.

I was strongly leaning towards purchasing a 2012 model for the ~$150 savings, but this might just tip me towards the 2013 model. The thought of having a "non-handicapped" Mac/Windows experience is tempting. Very tempting.
 

Livewings

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
198
9
Fantastic news! Thank you sir.

I was strongly leaning towards purchasing a 2012 model for the ~$150 savings, but this might just tip me towards the 2013 model. The thought of having a "non-handicapped" Mac/Windows experience is tempting. Very tempting.
Right on sir! It's worth your money!
Can anybody tweet Anand of my findings and have him verify my claims? I don't have Twitter. Thanks! :D
 

gt94

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2013
61
0
Can someone explain what this means? I'm just getting my first mac and I have no idea what half of the stuff in this thread means.
 

Verix

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2010
120
2
Can someone explain what this means? I'm just getting my first mac and I have no idea what half of the stuff in this thread means.
They're talking about EFI or BIOS booting. Mac uses EFI, windows came with EFI support starting with 7 but it wasn't entirely supported; now apparently you can boot windows through EFI rather than emulating the BIOS environment, which is a speed-up.
 

esotericmee

macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2013
1
0
Thanks a lot!

This is my first mac and I was stuck at the partition step using winstall. I kept getting the partition GPT error. Using EFI totally did the trick as you mentioned. I created an account just to thank you. Thanks a ton buddy.. You the man!:cool:
 

AlphaLimaIndigo

macrumors newbie
Jun 19, 2013
5
0
Help Needed Please

Hi guys, I'm having a problem installing windows 8 on my new 2013 macbook air.

I'm doing the install via boot camp but i cant seem to boot into the EFI partition as there isn't one. I only get three boot options when i hold down the alt key during power up, they are mac os, recovery and windows, there's no EFI option.

If i select windows it goes through the normal bios emulation route and wont let me get past the partition selection installation stage because of the whole GPT issue.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.