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.

Format an external hard drive to use with Macs & PCs

Now occasionally Mac users are forced to share files with Windows users, and if using an external hard drive you will need to make sure it is readable/writable in both OS’s

To do this, you will need to format the drive as FAT, this can be done with Disk Utility as follows
1. Plug your USB Drive into the Mac
2. Open Disk Utility
3. Click on your hard drive on the left and then click on the Partition tab in the middle window
4. Click on the drop down menu under Partition Layout and choose 1 partition (or more if you wish)
5. On the right hand side choose MS-DOS (FAT) from the Format menu and give it a name
6. Click Options underneath the partition window and choose Master Boot Record and click OK
7. Click Apply, and the partitioning will proceed, once this is done then you will have a FAT formatted hard drive and the ability to use the drive with both Mac & Windows machines
DO NOT CLICK APPLY IF YOU NEED ANY DATA THAT IS CURRENTLY ON THE DRIVE AS YOU WILL ERASE IT, you have been warned