Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is lets you seamlessly run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side

TIP: Workaround for installing Windows 7 on new MacBook Air

Apple has posted a workaround for a problem installing Windows 7 from an external DVD drive on the new MacBook Air (referred to as "Mid 2013") using Boot Camp. The symptoms include Windows booting into a black screen and error messages. The workaround is not the same as those for similar problems with other Mac models that we have previously reported.

When installing Windows 7 using the Boot Camp Assistant, users may see a black screen or one of the following error messages:

  • "Press any key to boot to CD or DVD"
  • "CDBOOT: Couldn't find BOOTMGR"
  • "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition."

The workaround involves booting the Mac back into OS X, deleting the Boot Camp partition with the Boot Camp Assistant, and recreating a Boot Camp partition while a USB storage device is connected to a USB port. The USB devices needs to be freshly erased and formatted as MS-DOS (FAT) using Disk Utility.

This is the important (and odd) part: Apple specifies that the reinstallation must be done with the DVD drive connected to the USB port on the right side of the MacBook Air (Mid 2013), and with the USB storage device connected to the left-side USB port.