Running Windows on MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kabbott1921, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. kabbott1921 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011

    I am thinking about getting a MacBook Air - the 128gb/1.6GHz/4GB spec.

    I will however from time to time need to run Windows on it, particularly Microsoft Access and Excel and would like to know if I am likley to encounter any issues doing this.

    Many thanks

  2. tmagman macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    Performance-wise you'll be fine running those. Just be careful cause a bootcamp partition will take up a fair amount of hard drive space. My partition is empty of data and a windows 7 pro 64bit install takes up about 40GB.
  3. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    I agree with the other poster if you use bootcamp on it make sure you set it up initially with an fair amount of space.

    Running windows via bootcamp on a system with 128 gb of storage is doable but somewhat tight ( my air has 256 gb ssd ). Make sure you get the initial allocation correct.

    Another alternative is using a vm setup ( like virtual box or parallels or vmware ) and run windows in a vm under mac os x. In that case you do not need a separate partition ... but it still make take up a lot of space.

    The new office 2011 for mac has a pretty decent excel ( not that I use it on there or at least not very often ) but no access.
  4. komoornik macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    what ?!
  5. kabbott1921 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    On the subject of installing Windows do I need to use an external DVD drive or are there any other ways - for example connecting to a PC DVD drive wirelessly?
  6. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I run Win7 with MS Office and more through VMWare Fusion on my 13" MBA
    The performance is surprisingly good for me, beats my Dell lappie at the office actually
  7. Wavell macrumors regular


    Nov 7, 2007
    Essex, UK
    If you choose the VM route : If you can, try to get an ISO image of Windows on a memory stick and install directly that way. I've never tried installing windows via a mem stick onto a bootcamp partition but I wouldn't expect too many issues.
  8. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    I'm running Win7 via Parallels 7 and it performs very well on the MBA.... even with a full load of other apps already running. Should be fine.
  9. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    My Win 7 Pro 32bit install took about 17gb.


    I installed with a mem stick into a bootcamp partition. Went super easy. I had the Win 7 ISO on one mem stick and a blank mem stick in the other USB port. Bootcamp took care of everything from there, I didn't have to do a thing until it was time to download the drivers.

    You can get all the various ISOs from DigitalRiver.
  10. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I run Windows 7 Pro in boot camp with my 11: Air (256GB model) and it takes up about 30 Gigs with Office 2010, an XP Mode VM (6GB) and the various PC related updates and things like Adobe Reader & Flash.

    Overall, it runs well, boots fast and I've had no issues with it other than it seems to heat up the CPU cores faster than OSX Lion. It's never been an issue, but I notice it (using CoreTemp app.) Also, though I haven't done any real tests, the battery time seems worse under Windows 7. But this has never really been an issue as I don't use the Windows side all that much - maybe a couple times a month at most.
  11. 3dflyboy1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2011
    California, USA
    I'm running Win7 ultimate 64bit via bootcamp on my 4GB/128GB MBA. It runs fine, and only took ~20GB for the install. ;) What you want to do shouldn't be a problem at all.
  12. Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    I run Windows 7 on my 11" Air (4GB, 128GB SSD) via Parallels and it works very well. I pretty much only run Office 2010--and I use Access a lot. Like a previous poster mine runs faster than my actual Windows laptop. So for that kind of usage I don't see the point in bootcamp. I would only do that if I was going to be spending most of my time in Windows, or I needed to run something in Windows that did not run well in a VM.

  13. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2009
    I also need Word / Excel sometimes.. So I run the Mac version of office :p. Why boot to windows when Office exists for OS X, since that is what the OP says he needs it for?
  14. Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    He didn't say Word and Excel he said Access and Excel. Access is not in any version of office for mac. And if you need Access it is nice to have Excel along with it.

  15. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    Leamington Spa, England
    I've got the low end 2011 11" air so keeping the windows partition as small as possible was a priority. I used a modified version of windows 7 called tiny7 that cuts all the crap out. I used refit efi bootloader and installed it on a 10gb partition, It only takes up 3gb of that, with a few games installed I've still got 5gb free.
  16. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    I use VirtualBox to virtualize XP. I only need Windows for one or two programs (like Mathcad and LTSpice), so having all the fanciness of Windows 7 and whatnot was completely unnecessary (especially with only 4GB of RAM). It runs super smoothly with no issues and barely takes up any space. I allocated 15GB, but it's dynamic so it probably hasn't reached anywhere near that amount... probably at ~5GB if I had to guess. And best of all, it's free :cool:

    You could probably use WINE to run Access if you wanted. But that's a little more technical savvy route, I reckon.

    EDIT: Just checked, it's at 7GB right now which includes the syncing of my Dropbox folder which is 3GB
  17. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    For instance, because Excel for Mac won't let you use many macros created for previous excel for win.
  18. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    You're exaggerating.
    But it's true they take a lot of space. My windows partition is 20gb and I have 2-3gb free with only Warcraft3 and LeagueofLegends installed (they take ±1,5gb each).
  19. TheJing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2011
    Somewhere in Europe
    Put the Installation CD into a computer with an ODD, go into Disk Utility, and click on Create Image and make it a cdr(I think that's what it is called). Once that is done, should be about 10-15 minutes, just put that file on a USB. Then put in on your Macbook Air, convert that .cdr into a .iso using Terminal and you're good.
  20. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    The thumb drive method described above will work. Bootcamp does not support Windows install via remote disk so you cannot do it wirelessly.
  21. Sith Vol macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2011
    Memphis, TN
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I have Windows 7 Home Prem. 64bit from a Dell disc. I have burned the ISO to a USB from the program M$ has. Am I good or is there drivers I need to install to a separate harddrive? And also, I'm not sure which method to use; boot camp or the VM stuff. How much of a partition am I looking at needing? I only have the 128gb model 13". Not sure if it's worth it or not just for a game.

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