I have a mid-2011 Macbook Air running both OSX Lion and Windows 7 using Boot Camp.
Over the weekend I upgraded it to Windows 8 by doing the download only installation. The process was quite simple and it worked fine. Here’s the steps:
- Boot into Windows 7
- Go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/download-shop and click “Buy Windows 8”. Download the installer and start it up.
- Pay! The installer will ask for you billing details, credit card / debit card / Paypal details etc. At £25 I thought it was a cheap enough upgrade, especially since I would be going from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 8 Pro which means I’d get Remote Desktop etc.
- Wait half an hour while the installer downloads the OS.
- Once the install starts, it will ask you if you want to
- Keep all your programs and your personal info and settings
- Keep your personal settings only
- Keep nothing. I went for this option as I always like to start fresh.
- Now I had a few problems. The install demanded that I have 20Gb free on my C: and I only had about 5 Gb free. I had to stop the installation to free up some disk space. I did this by:
- Running Disk Cleanup
- Disabled Virtual memory, which shrunk the pagefile.sys from 4Gb to 0Gb.
- Disabled hibernate, which removed the 4Gb hiberfile.sys
- Deleted c:\Windows\TrustedInstaller folder – but that was a mistake, because then I couldn’t uninstall any programs to free up the necessary space!
- Since I was choosing to keep nothing on C: anyway I deleted folders willy-nilly from C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86)
- After that I was able to continue the installation which took another 20 mins or so. It rebooted 3 or 4 times, during which I had to hold down the Mac’s option key at boot and choose the Windows partition.
- All done! Windows 8 works fine.
Once it was installed I did a couple of clean-up tasks.
- My C: was almost full again, because the install had backed up everything in the C:\Windows.old folder. So I ran Disk Cleanup again and clicked the “Clean up system files” button to remove those.
- I no longer had Apple’s Boot Camp drivers installed in Windows, so I had boot into OSX, start the Boot Camp helper and copied the Boot Camp drivers to a USB memory stick. Then rebooted into Windows and installed those drivers. Worth doing so that the Mac’s hotkeys (volume up/down, screen brightness etc) would work.