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technodanvan 12-03-2010 05:01 PM

Windows 7 without Bootcamp or Parallels?
Hello all, first time Mac owner here. I purchased a 27" iMac (2.8GHz i5/5770/1TB) a couple weeks ago and it has mostly worked okay for me, but now I want to make it work a bit better for me. I have received a 120 GB Intel SSD I intend to swap for the 1TB drive, as well as a few more traditional peripherals to use in place of the Magic Mouse and Bluetooth Keyboard.

I also received a new copy of Windows 7 Home Premium, which I would like to install on the SSD.

However, I see little reason to use Snow Leopard at all and I'd rather not waste the space on the SSD just to install it in order to use Boot Camp. Will I be able to install Windows 7 the traditional way without running into any issues with the native Mac bootloader?

chscag 12-03-2010 10:23 PM

It sounds like you want to remove the 1 TB drive and replace it with a 128 GB SSD? And then install Win 7 on the SSD and just use you new iMac as a Windows machine? If that's true, why did you buy a Mac?

Also, are you aware of how to remove the hard drive in your new iMac and replace it with an SSD? The SSD will need a bracket adapter but first take a look at the instructions for opening up and changing out the HDD in your iMac. iFixit: The free repair manual

technodanvan 12-04-2010 12:53 AM

I like the form factor and aesthetics of the mac - as unfortunate as it is, I can't believe anyone hasn't bothered to try and copy the clean lines. Yeah, I know I'm paying a pretty penny for the look, considering a computer with vastly better graphics capability (at the very least) could be had for significantly less... especially considering I already have an equivalent 27" Dell monitor.

But yeah, I guess I paid for the look. And for a computer that is difficult to upgrade. The last few years I've built dozens of computers and tweaked them all the time, I have found that to become tedious and just want one computer I can just use and not be able to do much else with. I have a tendency to upgrade parts every 3-4 months so this should help with that. In the long run it might even save me some cash.

That said, I simply see no reason to keep two operating systems when one does everything I need. Snow Leopard has worked pretty well for me over the last couple of weeks and is mostly intuitive, however it has frozen on me once and there are a few simple things I cannot seem to figure out how to do. I've never really understood the guys that run multiple operating systems, or even multiple browsers. I'd rather just run one that does everything.

I need both Microsoft Access and Lotus Forms Viewer, neither of which natively run on Snow Leopard. I do run games as well, which isn't really necessary but handy every now and then.

The ifixit guide is pretty in depth and I've found a couple of good videos on youtube as well. I ordered the suction cups from the site and they arrived today, and I should have everything else I need to get going, with the exception of some compressed air and the brackets - though the ones that came with the drive may well work.

I do intend to see about installing the SSD where it would 'normally' go and fabricate my own bracket, but part of the reason I want to remove the traditional drive is due to noise and heat so I might just scratch that idea and go with a NAS or something.

So...back to my original question I guess. So Windows should install on a clean drive without any special steps in order to work with the Mac 'BIOS'?

chscag 12-04-2010 09:25 PM

Hey, it's your machine and your $$$. ;D


So...back to my original question I guess. So Windows should install on a clean drive without any special steps in order to work with the Mac 'BIOS'?
Macs do not use a "BIOS" but rather employ the more modern "EFI" (Extensible Firmware Interface) method of booting and boot sector.

You should have no problem installing Windows 7. Just boot your Mac with the Win 7 DVD and install just like you would on a PC. However, if ever you should wish to go back to Snow Leopard, you'll have to reset the PRAM/NVRAM before booting from the original Snow Leopard DVD.

Kash 12-05-2010 02:56 PM

As chscag stated, you can simply boot from your Windows disc, install the OS on the entire drive, and you'll be good to go. Don't forget to install the drivers from the OS X disc.

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