Problems with installing Windows on an Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by CountBrass, May 9, 2009.

  1. CountBrass macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    I've been trying to install Windows XP sp2 on my MBA (rev B SSD, Apple's external superdrive).

    Bootcamp partitions the disk just fine but when I try to install XP on it the Windows installer borks complaining about a format error on the disk...

    Tried several times, both having Bootcamp format the partition and the XP installer format the partition, both FAT and NTFS. Same problem every time.

    I've tried two different XP disks, the one I bought for the MBA and also the copy I've successfully installed on my Mac Pro.

    Googled several times but can't find anyone else who's had the same, or even a similar, problem.

  2. jtmav macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2007
    not sure how to fix your problem, but FWIW I and several others have been running XP2 on VM Fusion on my rev B Air without a hitch, no partition and really no hassles. There is a free trial at their website.
  3. CountBrass thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Yep I've used parallels and vm but they're a bit slow.
  4. maczilla macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2002
    boot camp on air....

    I had a heck of a time getting boot camp/windows to install properly on my Air...Was getting an error in the Windows installer saying that if could not find a partition to install on. After windows loaded the files it needed to install on the HD and reboots as part of the install process, I think the Optical Drive was mounting up as the d: drive and that was the destination that windows was trying to install on.

    Came down to having to reformat the drive and run boot camp again--basically start over---just re-running boot camp did not solve the problem...

    Make sure your HD partition map scheme is set to GUID Partition Table when you reformat....You can check in Disk Utility--If it is set to MBR windows will work but OS X would not boot...

    Used Carbon Copy Cloner to back up the Mac Partition before reformatting the Drive...Saved a lot of time not having to set the mac side back up after reformatting...Also found winclone that works like CCC on the boot camp/windows partition.

    good luck....
  5. philstone macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2008
    Jersey, Channel Isles
  6. nat.i macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2008
  7. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    The MBA is a real beast to get Windows running on. I had quite the time with Vista, I never tried XP. It can be done. Bookmark the Apple support site, it seems like few have the exact same problems but the site can more than likely get you through.

    The only tip that I have to offer is to install all of the updates manually, and clear the garbage off of your install between sub-updates.
  8. apostilleus macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2009
    Problems with installing Windows on an Air

    The PC was made by Carrera SSC and I bought Win XP 2002 Home Edition (full version - not the recovery disk rubbish) from them at the same time.

    The warranty is'nt out. To go into too much detail - the original HDD "failed" because I had an accident whilst transporting it (just the HDD, whilst removed from the parent machine). I converted the machine to a caddy system to allow three HDD to be "shuttled". One disk is the original (the one with the accident). The second HDD has Win 98/ME on it (I'm using it to send this message). This is irrelevant to the problem. The third HDD is the one (brand new) that I'm trying to install Win XP on. I've only now got around to trying to install Win XP (or anything) on this HDD, spurred on by the first HDD "failing".

    I phoned Carrera on Friday midday(ish). They said that an engineer would phone back 1600 to 1800. I waited in for the call, but they failed to keep to their promise. My call minder shows no calls from numbers which I don't recognise and nothing on the ansaphone since my original call to them, so they've let me down (surprise surprise).
  9. MorningZ macrumors newbie


    Jan 12, 2009
    Ft Lauderdale
    hmmm... I've installed to Boot Camp
    - XP Home
    - XP Pro
    - Vista Business (32-bit)
    - Win 7 beta
    - and now Win 7 RC

    without any issues.... i did try both Server 2003 and Vista 64 Ultimate and both were a disaster of an install.....

    I guess it's all "your experience may vary" when it comes to Windows on a Mac :)
  10. CountBrass thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    You seem to have had exactly the problem I've been having.! Huzzah!

    It wasn't clear to me how you solved it. Are you saying you formatted the entire drive (ie also wiped OSX) then used bootcamp to install Windows (not sure how if OSX has been wiped) and then you re-installed Windows?
  11. Angsty macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've just installed Windows 7 RC on my MacBook Air and it was the easiest process I've encountered in a long while.

    Bootcamp installed the additional drivers and everything... err... "just works".

    No problems with sound AND I can now turn my Multitouch track pad off when I've got a mouse connected AND it ignores "accidental touches", unlike Leopard for the Air :(

    (Before you start - I need to run Visio for work, I only have a single user license for XP Pro and can't buy a legit copy anywhere, hence Windows 7. :D )

  12. macboy4 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2009
    Ang, do your brightness controls work? I too installed Windows 7, and all the drivers work EXCEPT the brightness controls. The little image pops up on the screen when you hit the buttons, but it won't decrease. It just stays at full brightness.
  13. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Personally I think it's a great idea to install Windows 7 for now at least since the RC1 is free and doesn't expire until next year but to say stuff like you can't buy a legit copy anywhere is either you BS'ing us here or you just really didn't try to look at Ebay or Newegg. Anyone who posts on Macrumors and even knows about or how to install Windows on their Mac should know easily where to buy legit copies of XP.
    Don't mean to come down hard on you but you're BS'ing the wrong crowd. ;)

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