02-01-2007, 03:03 PM
I have both Parallels and Boot Camp set up on my machine; used one store-bought copy of WinXP SP2 Home for both installs. Had to call MS "tech support" to get the magic code to install it the second time, since the Paralles "machine" and the Boot Camp hardware machine look like completely different computers to MS.
My understanding is that Parallels, Boot Camp, or both will soon have a feature that allows you to use a single install to run both instances. That will save time and hard drive space.
You can access the Boot Camp/Win partition easily from within OS X, including from within Parallels as long as the files are in a shared folder
; note that if you make the Win partition a NTFS partition you won't be able to write or modify any files from within OS X.
The Parallels "partition" only exists while Parallels is running. Therefore, it is not recommended that you save anything to that partition. Instead, save it to a shared folder that both Parallels and Mac applications can access all the time. However, I don't think Windows (including Vista) is capable of reading a Mac OS X partition, so you can't read your Mac partition while running Windows from Boot Camp. I haven't found this to be a problem since, like you, I only use Boot Camp to play games and I never have to worry about my work/real-life files while playing.
I can't answer your 64-bit question, sorry.