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I'm currently considering the purchase of a MacBook Air (late 2010). I know its possible to dual boot OS X and Windows 7 on it, but given the limited space on the Air and the fact that I will not use OS X, is it possible to completely get rid of OS X?

Will this affect BIOS/EFI upgrades, device driver upgrades etc?

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3 Answers

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Yes, it's possible (and perhaps all too easy) to blow away Mac OS X to install Windows 7.

The Boot Camp drivers come on the Snow Leopard DVD in the Windows side of the hybrid disc, so those should get you started. You can get subsequent updates from Apple within Windows after the initial setup (either via Software Update or from Apple's site, if I recall).

Firmware updates, however, are done from within Mac OS X, so you'll need to keep a spare bootable flash drive or disk handy to boot from when you need to perform them. This isn't too often, though. You can boot Mac OS X from any old flash drive or SD card on the Air.

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Thanks, do you know of any links/guides which detail how to install OS X onto a USB (flash) drive once Win7 is installed on the MBA? –  abjbhat Jul 28 '11 at 9:07
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If you boot from an OS X installer disk or drive, you can opt to install the system onto a USB flash drive as part of the install process. It's a really obvious step -- there's a screen with several drive icons, and you click on the one you want the OS installed onto. It will then leave the Win7 partition untouched. –  Collin Allen Aug 1 '11 at 2:01
    
Ok, got it. Thanks! –  abjbhat Aug 1 '11 at 8:49
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Your BIOS is not be affected by this, because it runs a firmware (I cant tell for UEFI but should be the same) that is written directly to the chip.

The Windows 7 Installation should allow you to completely wipe your harddrive, if you really want to be sure you could use gParted to wipe your drive.

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Oh trust me. Seeing how many users here have accidently formatted their drives, I'm sure the Win7 disk does a very good job.. . –  surfasb Jul 28 '11 at 3:39
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Yes, you won't be able to upgrade the BIOS from 7; the programs that update them run in OS X only.

You'll have a hard time updating the boot camp drivers too, but it is possible to boot to OS X on a USB drive and update them that way.

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