Install Windows dual-boot to MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) using OWC Aura SSD
Recently, I tried to fix my MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) since the original SSD was broken last semester in CMU. I bought the available SSD on Amazon and changed it by myself under this guidance. Every thing turns out to be good, expect that the screw and screw driver are so expensive from Apple.
For install the OSX system, you can follow the official documents and use either time machine backup (this should be the backup for the same machine, I tried to use my backup of the new Macbook Pro but failed.) or you can use the “Reinstall Mac OSX” to install a new Mac system on your newly bought SSD.
And the next step is to install the windows dual-boot to this MacBook Air since I have already upgraded my SSD to 240 GB. That’s kind of enough to support two systems.
First, I tried to install Windows 7 that’s more familiar with me by following the official instruction. Everything went to be well but I got stuck in the 13th step “Select only the option to “Install Windows… or later version.”, and I figured out that the reason was the newly bought OWC Aura SSD (240 GB) is identified as “external storage” instead of “internal storage”. This seems to be a common issue that causes a lot of guys to complain and fail in installing their Windows dual-boot.
Later, I found this tutorial that explains the same issue and he recommends that we can use rEFInd to help boot Windows in the USB Flash drive. I followed this instruction step by step, and failed for Windows 7 but succeeded for Windows 10. The issue was that for Windows 7, you need to download Windows support software (drivers) and manually copy them to the USB Flash drive. But, rEFInd cannot successfully locate these drivers so that you cannot use mouse or keyboard during the installation. And Windows 10 helps you to compact all those stuff into the USB Flash drive, so rEFInd can successfully detected them and the install succeeds. Really Cool!
One interesting thing is that you can use rEFInd to works as your system boot manager, it will automatically detect those bootable stuff and display in the system booting stage.
Refresh your memory:
Figure 1. Use rEFInd as the boot manager
Figure 2. Screw and screw driver for replacing OWC SSD
Figure 3. Installing new OSX Mavericks to the OWC SSD
Lists of materials you need to upgrade your Mac original SSD:
- a OWC Aura SSD (Apple always want to use something special, but sometimes things cannot move smoothly)
- a proper screw driver for those Apple screws, otherwise easily to slip your screws
- a USB Flash driver to hold your Windows 7 or 10 ISO, I don’t know the exact size (32 GB is fine for both Windows 7 and 10)
- several good tutorials to guide your install, there are lots of traps during this process (official documents may be good, but sometimes don’t work)