Setting Up Windows 8 On A Mac

I got my hands on the RTM build of Windows 8 through TechNet and decided to install Windows 8 Pro on my MacBook Air and once I get my primary PC-Dell XPS16-Enterprise shall be installed on it. My adventures with installing Windows 8 on the Air have been quite interesting and it took me longer than expected to get everything running.

First things first:

  • MacBook Air is the mid-2011 with 128GB SSD
  • Use Boot Camp (it’s easy)
  • 4GB USB
  • Windows 8 ISO
  • Patience

Let’s begin:

  • Create your installer disk using Boot Camp; use the Windows 7 option and point to the Windows 8 ISO.
  • If you’re short on USB space (<4GB) don’t bother with the updates option. It won’t work
  • If your USB is more than 4GB get the updates too. You’ll need them

How much space should you allot?

30GB at least (Windows 8 takes up to 18GB, you won’t be able to install Office 2013 on 20GB)

Once you’ve started the installation, let Apple & Microsoft make sweet love to give birth to Windows on your MacBook. Once that’s done here’s what you do:

Get Boot Camp drivers if your USB was 4GB:

  • go back into OS X and start Boot Camp
  • check the updates option ONLY
  • once the USB is ready, go back into Windows 8 and install the updates
  • restart

The drivers should enable the play/pause, screen/keyboard brightness and volume controls on the keyboard. The drivers should also enable multitouch trackpad scrolling.

Configuring Windows:

Now we go into Control Panel on Windows and launch Boot Camp to configure our trackpad:

Once that’s done, we have our basic functionality all working. Now we’ll configure parts of Windows 8. To begin with:

  • Photos App-configure your Facebook & Flickr accounts
  • Me tile-connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts


Now we head into the Windows Store and get ourselves some apps. Here are my recommendations:

  • OneNote MX (Windows Store)-Configure OneNote MX, right click at the bottom and click Notebooks to get your synced notebooks.
  • Spotify (Spotify’s website)-to get some music if you are not an Xbox Music subscriber
  • Chrome (Chrome’s website)-I live in Chrome. Once synced, you’ll feel like home
  • Xbox SmartGlass (Windows Store)-if you have an Xbox
  • Rowi or MetroTwit (Windows Store)

Next we get Office 2013 Preview and with that we get SkyDrive. The installation is quick and requires to hit Next a couple of times. Once that’s done, you should see a bunch of Office apps on your Metro screen. And SkyDrive; set it up.

If you’re like me who loves Live Mesh, here’s where you download it from.

The Metro Modern screen:

  • A helpful tip would be to resize your Metro tiles by right clicking and making them smaller from the menu bar that pops-up at the bottom

Unpin the ones you don’t want.

  • Windows 8 allows you to pin software to the start bar and the start screen. It would be a good idea NOT to pin many desktop apps on the start screen. Pinning desktop apps to the start bar & a limited number of most frequently used desktop apps to the start screen would be a good idea.

This way you stay in the desktop while in the desktop & avoid having to switch between the two.

A tip:

In your Metro Modern interface, center right edge of the screen should let you scroll towards the right, similarly for the left.

Unfortunately, this method of scrolling does not work within apps, which is absurd. You now have a usable Windows 8 MacBook with a desktop for desktop apps and the modern UI for modern apps.