windows 7 on new Macbook Air

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by henryhg, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. henryhg macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2010
    Hello all :)

    This is my first foray into mac computers. It all started with the ipad, which is a damn fine tablet PC and introduced me to the Mac world.

    I just bought an 11 inch 128GB macbook air, and a base model mac mini. Too bad the macbook air will be going to my fiancee (she needs a new laptop and I already have a lenovo thinkpad x200 from work).

    My question is: anyone installed win7 on the new MBA?

    I am a big fan of Windows 7, and am wondering how the performance is when installed in the new MBA with SSD. Can it do instant on from sleep like the mac osx?

    I will eventually install Win 7 using bootcamp.. but after my GF goes back from her business trip with the MBA :(

    Thanks for any inputs
  2. Mikegs macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Hi there

    I installed Win 7 on Bootcamp om 11.6/1.6/4GB/128

    I only kept it shortly, because there are some issues. Firstly, when updating through windows update, a certain update (can't remember which) causes a system a crash. It can be resolved, but I didn't wan't to do the effort.

    Appeared to start fast from sleep and run just fine!
  3. dalaw macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2010
    Installed Windows 7 w/ VMWare 3 and it works great. Just replaced MBP core i7 w/ MacBook Air and loving it!
  4. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I have run Windows 7 in VMware on the previous gen of macbook air with SSD and had very few problems, those that I had were because of the 2GB of RAM.
    If you are running in Bootcamp you should have no performance problems. If you are virtualizing it, win 7 will be usable, but it is would be much better if you had the 4GB of RAM.
  5. OSMac, Nov 19, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010

    OSMac macrumors 65816

    Jun 14, 2010
    Assuming Apple fixed the BSOD update issue,
    the biggest issue with Windows 7 is touchy trackpad driver.

    In OSX the trackpad is amazing, smooth easy scrolling,
    in W7 using the bootcamp driver the pad is frustrating to use.

    The latest bootcamp released yesterday 3.2 may resolve the Windows Update crash.
    If not you need to disable your trackpad and use a mouse before updating.

    Also missed not having a backup / restore feature.

    Comments above are based on using bootcamp W7.
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I use Windows 7 64-bit through Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop 6 on a 2.13GHz MacBook Air with 4GB. It runs pretty well under both setups. If you have only 2GB of RAM, you might consider sticking with Boot Camp (where Windows will run fine), but perhaps give it a shot under virtualization. I didn't get the BSOD issue (one security update in particular was causing it), so I'm assuming that it was either fixed, or wasn't applicable to the 64-bit version.

    The trackpad is a bit sensitive under Windows 7 in Boot Camp, but it works once you get used to it. Within Parallels it works like it does in OS X.

    It's easiest to install Windows 7 if you have an external DVD drive (such as the $79 Superdrive). Boot Camp can't use the MacBook Air's "sharing" feature out of box, but I think there are some workarounds if you do some searching.

    Apple just updated the Boot Camp drivers yesterday, too (v3.2). I don't know if the Boot Camp assistant will download the latest version or if it will still download the original (3.1) drivers. If it does the latter, then once you are in Windows, go to Apple's website and download the latest drivers.

    There's an "abandonware" product called WinClone that is still downloadable from some sites like CNet that lets you clone a Boot Camp partition. I'd recommend using it for easier backups of your partition. It is also useful down the road for resizing your partition, but be aware that since it is no longer supported, it might not work after OS X is updated to 10.7 "Lion" next year.
  7. Cerano macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2010
  8. robeddie Suspended


    Jul 21, 2003

    In answer to the OP's question, I also have windows 7 installed in bootcamp on my 2gb 11.6 air.

    From a cold start, it stays on a black screen with a flickering cursor on the upper left corner for about 30-40 secs, then boots into windows, so the cold boot time total is about a minute or so. That's obviously a far cry from the cold boot speed of OSX.

    Once up and running, windows 7 runs perfectly. I've used it to play some relatively hi end games and all is well.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Once you install the Boot Camp drivers, you can use either Ctrl-Click, or click with two fingers on the touchpad.
  10. Zulu1 macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    I run win 7 in Parallels works awesome. I have 4 G RAM. One feature I like is if you don't have the Mac version of an app such as PP, when you open the file, it will partially load Parallels so you can run the file with your Win 7 apps.

    As far as right click, you can map the corner of the trackpad to a right click button.
  11. duggram macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2008
    Where did you get the Win7 drivers for the Air?

    Every time I try to install Win7 on VMWare 3 on my new MBA the install says it can't find any drivers. VMWare says to install their Tools, but it never happens.

    I contacted VMWare support and they directed me to this Knowledge Base article that gets around the superdrive problems but doesn't address the drivers problem.

    So I need to figure out how to force VMWare to install their tools and then find the win7 drivers.

    Any ideas?
  12. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    I used Windows 7 on my 2Gb air, works great. I use it to play Call of Duty Black Ops. Also I used Vmware.
  13. duggram macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2008
    That sounds good, but how did you get it installed?
  14. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    Black Ops? I have a SuperDrive. I bought the pc version and put it in the SuperDrive, launched W7 and installed it.
  15. duggram macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2008
    I got Win7 installed on Boot Camp and then setup Fusion to use it. Seems to work right.
  16. gh0001 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    have been using Win7 installed on Boot Camp for more than a year without issue. after installation, make sure you use your apple CD to install boot camp driver on Win7.
  17. duggram macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2008
    A new set of Boot Camp drivers were issued 2 days ago. I downloaded them yesterday. They are in a .exe file. Does this mean they should be installed after Win7 is installed? Can I do this now from within Fusion?

    Everything is running pretty good right now. The pad works fine. Hate to screw with a good thing, but I will if this patch of drivers are required.
  18. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    If you are running a boot camp partition in Fusion reboot to Boot Camp, install the upgrade and then boot back to OS X. Running the exe in Fusion will not generally be successful as it is not running native on the hardware the drivers are for.

  19. duggram macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2008
  20. Pipper99, Nov 20, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010

    Pipper99 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    Quick question: when parallels is not running, does it still tie up RAM or other system resources? I have the maxed out 13" MBA, and I was hoping that the MBA would have use of its full resources when I'm not using win7.
  21. duggram macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2008
    Open the Activity Monitor in Utilities. It will tell you.

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