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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 06, 2011
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    Mac Book Air and BootCamp
    hi.. i am deciding to purchase a mac book air for my studies but at the same time i also need to use the Windows OS.. so i research on the web and saw apple has this cool software called bootcamp which allow me to create a windows partion on my macbook air.. but while looking in the apple website i saw that mac air does not have a cd drive but apple provide me with a purchase option to get the MacBook Air SuperDrive..

    what i would like to know is that can i install my windows OS using this USB cd rom drive???

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    The answer is yes. The optional USB optical drive for the MacBook Air provides you with the capability. However, you should do some more research because you do not need an optical drive to install Windows through Boot Camp on a MacBook Air. It can be installed from a USB flash drive.

  3. #3

    XJ-linux's Avatar
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    FWIW, I run a Win7 VM on my MBA and it works very well. However, I don't play video games so I don't need much in the ways of hardware resources. You may find that VirtualBox or another virtualization solution is a good fit as well. Then again, maybe not. Good luck.
    Never judge a man, untill you have walked a mile in his shoes...
    That way you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jul 08, 2011
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    Hi all
    Following on from this question, as a new, first time user of a MBA what are the pros/cons between using boot camp and using a virtual method to load Windows. Also what version of windows is required, 32 or 64 bit?

    Software I am thinking of loading is Office Pro (for access db) Lightroom 2 to store photos while away.

    Very new to mac's - only took it out of the box today to check everything before it goes back in until my birthday later in the month.

  5. #5

    XJ-linux's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    Quote Originally Posted by lesR View Post
    Hi all
    Following on from this question, as a new, first time user of a MBA what are the pros/cons between using boot camp and using a virtual method to load Windows. Also what version of windows is required, 32 or 64 bit?
    Just my opinion... if you are running a MBA with a max of 4GB of RAM, there's no real need to go with 64-bit Windows. 32-bit Windows poops out at around 3.3Gb of RAM, and 64-bit Windows can use tons more. There's not much to gain with 64-bit when running Windows in a VM as you would be using at least 512MB to 1024MB of the RAM to run MacOS leabing 3~3.5GB of RAM free for Windows. With Bootcamp, using all of the Mac hardware, the 64-bit Windows version might give you access to a tad bit more RAM than 32-bit would, but it would be marginal at best - 512MB maybe.

    The big difference between Bootcamp and a VM is that Bootcamp gives you direct access to the Mac hardware, where the VM doesn't. Some things like graphics drivers can be tweaked a bit more in Bootcamp. Also, since Bootcamp has the whole system to utilize, you don't have any contention for resources with running Mac OS in parallel. Of course, with Bootcamp, you can run either Windows or Mac at any time but not both at the same time. Since I use Windows mainly to monitor stuff for work, I prefer a VM so that I can do other things on my Mac and just put Windows in the background until needed. I sip on both OSs for long periods so having both up but using them in a lightweight manner is my situation. Were I editing photos or whatever in Windows (spending hours doing one dedicated Windows task using up resources), I'd probably run Bootcamp to use all my hardware for that task.

    Quote Originally Posted by lesR View Post
    Software I am thinking of loading is Office Pro (for access db) Lightroom 2 to store photos while away.
    No idea on Lightroom, though if you are just storing, cataloging and viewing photos (not editing heavily) it would likely run fine in a VM. I'm not familiar with Lightroom's Windows hardware requirements, so I'll defer to someone else on that. Any MS Office application should run fine in a VM. I run MS Project, Visio, etc on a VM with 2GB of RAM (Windows7 32-bit) just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by lesR View Post
    Very new to mac's - only took it out of the box today to check everything before it goes back in until my birthday later in the month.
    Congrats on the new Mac. Enjoy and welcome to Mac-Forums!
    Never judge a man, untill you have walked a mile in his shoes...
    That way you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

  6. #6

    Lakeloon's Avatar
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    Mar 30, 2010
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    Use Parallels. It's a better program.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jul 08, 2011
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    Thanks for the replys, very informative.
    As I will not be using windows in an intense way, I will look more at using VM.

    Thanks again.

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