Running Windows 7 64-bit on 128 SSD, 2011 Mac

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by fabianjj, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. fabianjj macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2007

    I'm considering buying a MacBook Air to use as my primary computer, but I "need" to aslo run Windows on it, which I have a few questions about.
    It is probably worth mentioning that I've never owned a Mac before, and have not had much (good) experience with OS X.

    How much disk space does OS X Lion use?
    (Because depending on the next question I'm trying to figure out if 128 GB will be enough internal storage)

    Can Lion access files on a NTFS Windows-partition?
    (I'm pretty sure it doesn't work the other way around)

    Does boot-camp support installing from USB?

    And how do you get the proper drivers into Windows?
    (I saw a video of someone using a Snowleopard Disc, but OS X doesn't ship with those anymore, Right?)

    How is the boot sequence?
    Do I get to choose which OS to boot itno on every startup, or does automatically always boot into OS X, recquiring me to interupt it in order to choose OS?

    And is there anything particular to know about dual-booting on a Mac ?
    Any general issues when running Windows?

    Also if anyone has much experience with the latest MBA's:
    is the i5 processor enough to: play 1080p .mkv-files? 1080p in flash player?

    Any help would be appreciated. :)
  2. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I recently converted from a life-long Windows user to a Mac, and the MacBook Air was what did it for me. I did get the 256GB option as I was planning on running Windows 7 and OS X from the start. I decided to partition 200GB for OS X and 50GB for Windows 7 using Bootcamp. The Bootcamp process and drivers for OS X Lion are very good and walk you through the process of installing Windows. All you need is the ISO image of the Windows 7 install disk, and a USB stick. Bootcamp will create a install USB stick for you with the Windows 7 source files and the drivers you need. It is very easy.

    I'm using 20GB of my 50GB in Windows 7, and I do have Office 2010, Project, Visio, Quicken, and a couple other apps installed. I also installed Parallels, which lets me run that copy of Windows inside a virtual machine (VM) in OS X. I did this to have the option of either booting native into Windows or running Windows inside a VM.

    The advantage of running inside a VM is that you have access to shared folders where you can store data. If you boot native, you won't have access to the OS X partition. From OS X you can read the NTFS partition, but can't write to it. There are some commercial drivers our there that let you write to each partition, but I'd stay away from them. I used them on my PC to write to a OS X partition and my Windows PC never crashed as badly as it did with those drivers. I had to do a full restore.

    I don't know how much OS X uses clean, as I already have 120GB used up, but I have all my iTunes library (except video files, those are on an external drive), all my pictures, and a ton of apps. I know people do this with 128GB SSDs all the time, so if you are disciplined you can do it. You might be better of installing Windows in a VM only (not native using Bootcamp) but if you are new to the Mac and you have some apps that may not play nice with Windows in a VM (like I have DVD Profiler), then installing in Bootcamp is a plus. The downside is you have to decide how much of your precious 128GB you want to commit to Windows 7. I wouldn't do less than 40GB, which leaves you 80GB for OS X.

    It can be done. I wouldn't want to do it though. :)
  3. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    OS X by itself is very small. If you are not going to do much in OS X then 128 gb mba should work fine.

    Create the windows partition in bootcamp reasonably big ... maybe up to 70 or 80 gb of the 120 gb SSD? Get the sizing correct the first time around or you are in for a lot of work re-sizing later.

    If you have 40 gb left in space for OS X that's plenty if you really don't use it much ( don't store your music there ... don't keep movies/photo's there etc ).

    You can hold the option key down when you reboot the air and it gives you the choice of which operating system to boot into.

    Yeah the current air's do a dang nice job of running windows 7 ( 64 bit ) but 4 gb of memory a much better choice than 2 gb.
  4. Quad5Ny, Nov 3, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011

    Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    New York, USA
    I think Lion is about 8GB when newly installed but Apple includes iLife with all new Mac's, so that's about another 4GB there.

    EDIT: Apple's page says iLife '11 is 5GB.
  5. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I installed windows on my MBP some time ago. I followed the apple bootcamp manual, it worked fine

    The parts I don't know are about the USB install (since I used a windows CD). You can set a default OS to boot into, then at boot time you have to press a key to choose the other OS. I'm not sure if you can set it up such that you always get the boot menu.

    Depending on how much storage you need, you could be ok. Win 7 seems to require a lot, about 15 GB I think. OSX officially requires 7 GB.

    Win 7 is ok. In my case I found the touchpad to not behave as nicely as in OSX. And the laptop runs warmer when idle unless you manually set it to powersafe mode when plugged in.

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