Of Drivers, Boot Camp, and a Macbook Air

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by VulpesOpaca, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. VulpesOpaca macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2012
    Ok, first off I want everyone to know I have looked on Google for answers before posting here. I'm not just a lazy bum.

    Second, I know too little about computer stuff and most of it just confuses the heck out of me. Sorry if certain things I say might be obvious or if I might ask someone what they mean.

    Third, I'm appreciative of anyone who is willing to help me. :]

    Anyway, my problem:
    -I have a Macbook Air. Obviously Air's do not come with a CD drive. Me nor my family have any external CD drives and I would use it so infrequently that we're not going to be buying one. However, that means that now that I need to install the drivers off of my Lion CD, because of installing Windows 7 through Boot Camp I cannot. I thought maybe I could find a way to copy/transfer/whatever-the-correct-verb-is the ISO image from the disc (using a different computer) to my flashdrive and boot it that way. Obviously Google has failed me as I am here, pleading for a savior.

    So how would I do that? Or is there a better way to install the drivers?
    Please, help!
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    It is possible to install the drivers without an optical drive. Assuming you can find a way to get Windows installed, installing the drivers isn't that hard. You'll need a 1GB or larger USB thumb drive. Here's what you do:
    1. Mount the USB drive on your MBA.
    2. Format it with the Master Boot Record (MBR) partition scheme and FAT file system, using Disk Utility.
    3. Then, use Disk Utility again to restore the ISO image to the thumb drive. (NOTE: This process will take a while.) This is done from the Restore tab, with a device or image selected.
    4. Boot into Windows. Insert the USB drive.
    5. Windows should detect that it contains software and offer to install it.
    6. If it doesn't, just navigate to whatever drive letter Windows gave the thumb drive, find Setup.exe, and double-click it.
  3. VulpesOpaca thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2012
    Thank you for the response!
    However, I don't know how to do steps 1-3. I tried to find it on Google and found this page. Should I just follow that page's instructions? If so, do I need to do all this after rebooting from the recovery drive, and if not, do you think you could lay out what I need to do step by step? I'm really computer illiterate apart from general computer usage...

    Again, thank you.
  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Step 1 is really, REALLY easy. Connect it to one of the two USB ports on the side. That's it!
    Steps 2 and 3 are both done with Disk Utility, which is located in your Utilities folder, predictably enough. To access it from the Finder, just choose the Utilities command in the Go menu, then find Disk Utility. Double-click it to open it.

    Once DU is opened, it'll present you with a list of all disks connected to the computer. The topmost entry will most likely be Macintosh HD (the internal disk). You want the icon for the USB drive you connected in step 1 - these usually have a white disk icon. Note that Disk Utility allows you to select both the volume (the thing you identify with a name) as well as the hardware device it lives on (with a name like SEAGATE UNIVERSAL BURNER or somesuch). You want the device, which will always be above and to the left of the volume, for steps 2 and 3.

    Now, with that out of the way... to format the USB drive, go to the Partition tab. Choose "1 Partition" from the drop-down menu. Then click the Options button. You'll see 3 choices: GUID Partition Table (GPT), Apple Partition Map (APM), and Master Boot Record (MBR). You want the 3rd one - MBR. If that's already selected, then you don't need to do anything in here - just click Cancel. Otherwise click OK. Back at the main Disk Utility window, go to the right side, near the top - another pull-down menu lives here, listing the various file systems the drive can be formatted with. You want the "MS-DOS (FAT)" option. With that chosen, click Apply. You'll get a warning that this operation will erase anything on the disk - MAKE SURE that anything on there you want saved is backed up elsewhere BEFORE confirming! Disk Utility will then do its thing, and the disk will be in the correct format.

    Now, for step 3: Head to the Restore pane. You'll see 2 fields, one called Source with a button called Image next to it, and one called Destination. For Source, click that Image button, and navigate to the image of the Windows drivers. For the destination, drag that newly formatted USB drive over to the Destination field. Click Restore. (This may take a while: 10-30 minutes is not uncommon.)

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