Running Windows 7 as the only Operating System on your Mac

Due to the portability & power of the MacBook Air range, lots of people have been buying them to use solely as Windows laptops too, I will run through how you can set one up as a Windows 7 only machine, whilst I have been doing this on MacBook Airs, I don’t see why you couldn’t apply this guide to any of the recent Macs For this you will need the following 1. USB Key (FAT formatted) with 700MB of free space 2. Windows 7 CD/DVD 3. External USB CD/DVD drive First, boot up the Mac, log in & run the Boot Camp Assistant (located at /Applications/Utilities), we only want the Windows drivers, so the only box you want ticked is the one next to ‘Download the latest Windows support software from Apple’, Click Continue, you can use either option for the drivers, but for this I’ll be using the ‘Save a copy to an external drive one, Click Continue and then choose the USB key as the save location, after a short while the drivers will be downloaded and saved into a folder called WindowsSupport on the USB Key. Next, we will need to erase the Mac OS partition and format it as FAT, to do this you need to reboot the Mac, and hold down ALT as it boots up, choose the Recovery HD partition, then choose Disk Utility once thats loaded. Now click on the Macintosh HD partition in the left hand menu, click on the Erase tab, In the format drop down menu choose FAT, you can name the partition anything you want, it doesn’t ultimately matter, and then click Erase Once that is complete, connect your External USB CD/DVD Drive to the Mac and quit Disk Utility, then click on the Apple logo in the top left hand corner of the screen and choose Restart, when prompted to choose a startup disk, choose the Windows CD/DVD You will now be booted into the Windows installation CD/DVD, which is fairly straightforward, you just need to click through until you get to a point where the installer claims it cannot install Windows on the volume, then you choose the volume you formatted as FAT in the earlier step, and click on the format button, this switches it from FAT to NTFS, which should make the Windows installer happy, and you should now be able to proceed with the Windows installation Once this is complete, and the machine reboots, it may boot into the Recovery HD, if it does, just click on the Apple logo in the top left hand corner and choose restart, you will now be able to choose the Windows partition to boot from, so click on this and click restart, from now on, your Mac should boot into the Windows partition by default Finally, you need to install the Windows drivers, to do this, log into Windows, insert your USB Key, and choose the WindowsSupport folder and run the Setup.exe file to install all the drivers, once this is complete, reboot the machine and you are all done, a fully, windowsed mac, with the Recovery partition available in case you need to revert it back to a Mac.

Install Word 2007 using Wineskin

Make sure you have the latest version of X11, you can download this from

always choose the stable version, download the DMG and double click on the XQuartz.pkg to begin installation, click continue or next on all default options, then reboot the machine

Next download Wineskin

Install by dragging into /Applications/Utilities

Run Wineskin Winery by double clicking the app

Under Installed Engines, click on the + button

Download & install the top available engine by clicking on ‘Download & Install’

When the ‘File Downloader’ window opens click the ‘OK’ button

Once that has finished the Wineskin Winery window will open again, this time locate the ‘Wrapper Version’ section and click on the ‘Update’ button

A new ‘File Downloader’ will open, again, click on the ‘OK’ button

Now you will need to create your wrapper so that you can install Office 2010, do this by clicking on ‘Create New Blank Wrapper’

name it ‘Word 2007’ and click on ‘OK’

You may be prompted to install a Wine Gecko package, if so then click Install

Once that has completed you will get a window announcing that the wrapper creation has finished, click on ‘View wrapper in Finder’

Double click on your Word 2007 app and click on ‘Install Windows Software’

At this point, insert your Office 2007 DVD or mount the ISO and navigate to the ‘setup.exe’ file on it, click on ‘setup.exe’ and then click ‘Choose’

You should get a regular Office 2007 window and you can proceed with the installation as follows

Enter your license code and click on the ‘Continue’ button

click on the box next to ‘I accept the terms of this agreement’ and then click the ‘Continue’ button

click the ‘Customize’ button

click on the icon next to ‘Microsoft Office’ at the top of the screen and choose ‘Run all from My Computer

Next remove the components you don’t wish to install, I tend to remove Excel, Outlook, Access, Publisher, Groove, Infopath, OneNote, Outlook, Visio Viewer.

then click on the ‘Install Now’ button

Once the installation has finished click on the ‘Close’ button

You will get an error screen saying that ‘The programs executable file currently set in Wineskin is not found after installation’, this is fine, just click on the ‘OK’ button

You will then be presented with the wineskin window again, this time click on ‘Advanced’

In the ‘Wineskin Advanced’ window, click on the ‘Browse’ button next to Windows EXE

navigate to /Users/USERNAME/Applications/Wineskin/Word 2007/Contents/Resources/drive_c/Program Files/Microsoft Office/Office12/ and click on WINWORD.EXE, then click the ‘Choose’ button
(replace USERNAME with the shortname of account that you are using)

then click ‘Done’ on the Wineskin Advanced window, then click the ‘Quit’ button on the Wineskin window

next navigate to /Users/USERNAME/Applications/Wineskin/ and double click on ‘Word’

Enter your details when prompted in the ‘User Name’ window and click ‘OK’

unstick all the boxes on the ‘Privacy Options’ window and click on the ‘Next’ button

click on ‘I don’t want to use Microsoft Update’ and then click on the ‘Finish’ button

To get rid of the .dotx template error at startup, do the following, click on the Office button in the top left hand corner of the Word window, click on close, then click on the Office button again, and choose New, then Blank Document, then quit Word, the next time you open Word you won’t get the error again

So you are almost done, all you need now is a decent icon for the Word app

google search for a decent Word.png and download it

Next download IMG2ICNS from

drag the app into your Applications folder

Open and then just drag your downloaded image file into the app window and then click on the icns export button, save it to your desktop

Next navigate to Users/USERNAME/Applications/Wineskin and single click on Word, then click CMD I to open the Get Info window

At the very top left hand corner of the Info window there is the current icon, drag the one you created to the icon in the info window and you will get a little green + button, release the button and the new icon will take the place of the old one, much tidier

and finally, if you wish to open all of your Word documents with this program then do the following

locate a word document in Finder

CTRL click (right click) on the document and choose ‘Open With’ then ‘Other’

when the window opens navigate to your Word (/Users/USERNAME/Applications/Wineskin/Word

make sure you click on the ‘Always Open With’ checkbox at the bottom and click on the ‘Open’ button

To test if it has worked just double click on a Word Document

Checking DFS referrals in 10.7

So, I had an issue where I could map the DFS share manually in Finder, but it wouldn’t automatically mount on login

The machine in question was bound to the Active Directory Domain, the DFS shares were hosted on other servers bound to the Domain Controller, so I opened Terminal & entered this to check that the referrals were working correctly

smbutil dfs smb://root.dfs.namespace/DfsRoot/DfsLink

this showed that the Mac was only looking to the Domain Controller for DFS shares/namespaces

To resolve this problem we started up the DFS Service on the Domain controller and added the DFS namespaces to it

check out this Microsoft article for how to do this

After this had been done I opened Terminal and ran the command above and this time it returned my DFS namespaces, rebooting the Mac and logging back in resulted in the drive mounting automatically

Operation on file .vmdk failed

If you are running one of the VMWare products, such as VM Fusion on the Mac, then you may have run into an error similar to this

“Operation on file “/Virtual Machines.localized/VIRTUALMACHINENAME.vmwarevm/VIRTUALMACHINENAME-s012.vmdk”failed.
If the file resides on a remote file system, please make sure your network connection and server where this disk resides are functioning properly. 
If the file resides on removable media, reattach the media.
Choose Retry to attempt the operation again.
Choose Abort to terminate this session.
Choose Continue to forward the error to the guest operating system”

Now this error is one of the most unhelpful error messages, as its completely misleading, the error is caused by not enough RAM being made available by the system, so the simple solution is to reboot, quitting all open applications, and freeing up more system memory.

To prevent this happening again in future try limiting the Virtual Machines RAM allocation to under 3GB, on machines with 8GB+ this should be fine.

Also, make sure that Spotlight is not trying to index your VM, as this may also lead to this issue

You can stop this by opening System Preferences, then click on Spotlight, then click on the Privacy tab, click the + button at the bottom and add the Virtual Machines folder, this is normally located at /Users/USERNAME/Documents/Virtual Machines