Skip to content

Get Windows installed on your MacBook Air without a Superdrive

Although for many people, MacBook Air is one of Apple’s biggest failures, I’ve always had my eye on it. Luckily this weekend I had the opportunity to get my hands on one, to test it out thoroughly and to resolve many doubts I had about it. Flickr de Velorowdy

Get Windows installed on your MacBook Air without a SuperdriveGet Windows installed on your MacBook Air without a Superdrive

Now, after these two days, I’ve been able to see that is indeed not a powerful computer, but it can meet my needs at work ( its more than possible next upgrade will improve this, I’m afraid ) and its extreme portability is a clear incentive to get one ( the 700 grams difference with the basic MacBook is noticeable and a lot ).

But there are several aspects of MacBook Air that I didn’t know about that are not very clear on the Apple website. Soon, logically, it’s impossible to install Windows with BootCamp if you don’t have the Superdrive specifically for it. Mac OS X can be installed with the help of Remote Disc, but Windows is not possible, so the last solution is to virtualize Windows.

But contrary to what it may seem, we will also not be able to use Remote disc to install a Windows virtual machine on our MacBook Air, since the two main solutions on the market, Virtual Box and VMware also don’t recognize the original Windows disc if it is in the optical drive of another Mac.

The solution lies in creating a Windows disk image to copy to MacBook Air so it can be installed with either of these two virtualization solutions. We can do all this from the system disk utility . To do this, open this utility, and with the Windows disk in the optical drive, select the disk and choose the option “New image” in the top menu.

We will have to have clear that we are going to create an image to install an OS, reason why in the window that appears to us when creating a new image, when selecting the format of the same one, we will have to create it like DVDCD Master and without no type of encryption .

With this image created we must transfer it to the MacBook Air either by network or by any other means. Now we just need to configure our virtualization solution ( VMware or Virtualbox ) to install the virtual machine through a disk image and not from a physical CD or DVD . In either of these two solutions you will be given the option to do so from your preference pane when you start the virtual machine installation.

Image