New to Mac, Bootcamp questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Aros888, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Aros888 macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Hey everybody! I'm about to head off to college, and I've decided to get a Mac. I want a 13" rMBP, but I don't want the current internals. Sadly, I can't wait until the next rMBP comes out to have a computer for college, so what I'm doing is buying a 13" 2013 Air (today or tomorrow, base specs) and using it until the next rMBP comes out, then selling it on eBay. I shouldn't lose very much, hopefully, as I'm buying with education discount and the back to school promotion (and I fully plan to sell the gift card, unless one of you experienced Mac users convinces me to keep it. But that's unlikely.).

    Anyway, I'm planning on installing Windows 8 in boot camp, but have never done so before, so I have a few questions. First and foremost: My university gives me Windows for free, but as of now I'm uncertain whether or not they will give me multiple licenses for free so I'm operating under the assumption that it's only 1/year. If I were to install it on my Air, would there be a way to remove it before reselling and use the same license when I install it on the rMBP I eventually get?

    Secondly, I've heard from some people that installing Windows via boot camp voids the warranty. Is that true? Because that seems rather crazy. And if it actually is true, is there a way for me to install and remove it in such a way that nobody would be able to tell (so that it keeps its full resale value)? As a related question, even if it doesn't void the warranty it should be easy to remove Windows before I resell it, correct?

    Thirdly, assuming I'm not dissuaded from installing Windows by the answers to the above two questions... I haven't ever actually used a Mac, much less installed Windows on it. I know that I want to install Windows with EFI booting. But the only mention I've seen of how to install with EFI booting on this forum is in relation to the usual method of installing. If one of you could explain how to install Windows in boot camp with EFI booting, or provide a link to somewhere that does, I would appreciate it immensely.

    To be clear, my university provides a download link for windows, and I will be installing with that data, not through a provided disc (probably through a USB drive). In addition, there's a version of "Windows 8 for Mac" listed as well as a version of just Windows 8 listed. What's the difference between the two of these?

    Finally, if there are any programs/hints/tips that any of you experienced Mac users would recommend to me, either for OSX or for Windows or just in general, I would appreciate those.

    Oh, and as one last note before finishing this rather long post... I'm not interested in posts attempting to persuade me to go for another Mac or not pursue this purchasing strategy (I'm fairly set on these decisions). In addition, though I mainly plan on using OSX (Mavericks in particular looks really interesting), having Windows is a necessity for me.

    Thanks in advance for the help! From reading threads, the people on this forum seem much more helpful than on most, so I'm confident you can help me out. :)
  2. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    1. Windows licenses are hardware specific, so 1 license probably wouldn't work on both.

    2. Boot Camp is supported by Apple. It will not void the warranty.

    3. I'm not sure on that one. Someone else will come along with an answer.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Hi Aros888,

    Windows 8 has much different activation to Windows 7, so in all honesty I'd rather not speculate on how the licence would work. But from my experiences with Win7, it's fairly easy to keep reinstalling it using the same licence.

    Secondly, installing Windows via BootCamp does not, in any way, void your warranty. If I may also add that you'll probably have a better experience of Windows on your Mac. As Apple write the BootCamp drivers and don't have many models of machines, you're going to see some excellent legacy support, unlike HP/Lenovo who release thousands of machines every year and stop releasing driver updates shortly after releasing them.

    To install Windows with EFI booting, it's as simple as just running the Boot Camp installer. You can select the size of the partition, and then when you first turn on your Mac, hold 'Alt' to either boot into Windows or Mac. Furthermore, you can select the default OS to boot in, so if you'd prefer it can always boot into Windows unless you tell it otherwise.

    My main 'hint' when it comes to using OS X? It's a lot different to Windows. You don't have to nurse it, or do constant scans/tests/cleans … just avoid all that stuff. OS X looks after itself, so just take a step back, trust it, and use it without worrying that you could brick it at any time. :) Oh, and definitely play around with the multi-touch gestures. Get them configured in 'trackpad' under System Preferences. You'll find it's a much quicker/more efficient way to work, and after a while you'll never know how you used a computer without them.

    For Windows & with BootCamp, my only other suggestion is to go on the Intel Driver Update Utility every month or so -- Intel often release new drivers for their GPU lines that might not filter into the BootCamp drivers quickly. Also, if you'll be getting a MBP with a dedicated GPU, check the nVidia auto update often as well, because they release new drivers every few weeks. (This is just for Windows though, OS X will automatically update any drivers you need). :D

    Please let me know if you require any clarification on any points.

    Best wishes Aros888, I really think you'll love your Mac.
  4. Aros888 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for the help, guys! Typing this from my new Mac.

    So to install windows 8 with EFI boot all I have to do is put the windows 8 iso file on a flash drive and then use the boot camp helper while I have that flash drive plugged in?

    I assume I need to do something special to format the drive so that it can be used for boot camp install, though, right? I can't just put the iso file on the drive?

    Assuming that my above assumption is correct, how would I then convert the usb drive back to a normal usb drive for storage when I'm done?

    Again, thanks for the quick help?
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida


    It is not necessary and I'd advise against it. Stick to supported methods.

    Don't know.

    Get Parallels.
  6. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Windows 8 on a mac. That's like sticking a go cart engine in Bugatti.

    I beta tested 8 over 2 years ago and really wanted to like it. I had so much difficulty with it ( honestly, they've fixed tons of things we complained about and it really is pretty solid now ) that I turned my shop into a mac and linux ( servers ) only.

    Just make the switch or don't. Don't cripple yourself by half-a$$ing it on two fronts. Windows 8 is pretty solid now. If you need a good computer, I recommend any of the acer timeline x products, something like:

    I haven't tested this one specifically, but many I tested have 8 hour battery lives. Pretty sweet for a winbox.
  7. Aros888 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    I don't plan on using Windows as the primary operating system. It is for occasional use with certain applications. In addition, I happen to quite like the way windows 8 works with the trackpad++ application (checked it out on my friend's computer).
  8. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Why not buy the new Sony Haswell ultrabook?

    Amazing display, great build, and most importantly a touch screen which is essential to making the most out of Windows 8.

    Sounds like it's your first Mac. Give OS X a go. If its not for you, its not for you.
    Parallels would be better than boot camp imo.

    Oh and a friendly note - a lot of people will be aiming to sell their Haswell MBA when the Retina 13 gets revamped in September. Apple is good at creating demand through their first class marketing, and the hype has caused a lot of people who would prefer a retina to buy an Air. Others like you simply couldn't wait.
    My estimate is that there will be plenty of people selling it with aim to get the Retina when it comes out, especially if Apple cuts $100.

    That means you may not get the premium you are looking for. As it is, electronics lose a lot of value the second it is unboxed.

    Think carefully. Cheers
  9. Aros888 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    I've already tried Windows 8 with a touch screen. I liked some aspects of it, didn't like others. Overall I think it's a good operating system, and it should be an excellent one in 8.1. For now I want to try OSX, though.

    I would, however, like to be able to run Windows on it, even though I plan to mainly use OSX. I'd prefer boot camp to parallels because 1. I don't plan on using it particularly often, and would prefer not to spend $60. I may end up deciding I want to eventually, and if so I'll buy it then. and 2. Trackpad++ doesn't work in a virtual machine and I would like to be able to use windows 8 with the support of gestures - ones meant for the touch screen but that work fairly well over a Mac trackpad.

    Thanks for your word of advice about many people reselling their Airs. I think you are very likely right. Hopefully I won't lose very much money because of the education discountsI had when buying it (and the $100 gift card), but if I have to take a bit of a hit that's ok. I need to have a computer for the next couple months, and this one should be a good one for that time period. (Also, it's possible I'll end up selling this back into my family; my younger sister wants a new computer for high school, and may end up buying this from me.) But I know I want to have the rMBP as my computer for the first few years of college, and so my plan is still the same.

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