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  1. #1


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    Best way to install Parallels?
    So I've got Parallels 3.0 and a copy of XP Pro SP2. I'm wondering should I partition 5.0GB in the Bootcamp partition or should I install in in a file? What are the pros/cons? The manual doesn't seem to say anything about that...

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    Make a boot camp partition first and then let parallels find the partiton in mac which it will. That will mean you can run xp natively or through mac as a virtual pc.

  3. #3

    cwa107's Avatar
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    You can do it that way, but I find it runs a lot better in a virtual hard disk file for two reasons -

    1. You can do a quick suspend when you are done using Windows. Meaning you can instantly come back to where you were without having to wait for the VM to come out of hibernate mode.

    2. You can have a dynamic disk, meaning that the disk will dynamically resize as needed. Boot Camp partitions are static and can not be easily resized.

    If you don't play games, there's really no need for a Boot Camp install. Otherwise, you might want to consider doing two separate installs, one under Boot Camp and one under Parallels (just my $0.02).
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

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  4. #4


    Member Since
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    hmmm well i don't play games ever, so virtual hard disk file seems better, especially since i don't plan on using the windows in case office 2k8 can't open a file or something. My plan is to have xp pro and office 2003 (like on my thinkpad) just as a backup, or if some program I need to use is windows-only. Anyone else have any thoughts?

  5. #5


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    If you aren't doing anything on the XP install that requires a lot of hardware power then just do VM. If you are gaming or doing anything else that needs power then you want boot camp. And either way, 5 gigs is probably going to be too small.

  6. #6

    ogacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    You can do it that way, but I find it runs a lot better in a virtual hard disk file for two reasons -

    1. You can do a quick suspend when you are done using Windows. Meaning you can instantly come back to where you were without having to wait for the VM to come out of hibernate mode.

    2. You can have a dynamic disk, meaning that the disk will dynamically resize as needed. Boot Camp partitions are static and can not be easily resized.

    If you don't play games, there's really no need for a Boot Camp install. Otherwise, you might want to consider doing two separate installs, one under Boot Camp and one under Parallels (just my $0.02).
    I'm sorry, I've asked this before, but one thing I still dont understand with it. I know it will run faster if you install Windows twice, once for the VM and once for Boot Camp. But, if I do that will I need twice the space for windows? So instead of taking up just however much space windows XP does, it will take x2 as much because I am installing it twice? Or would installing it as a VM allow me to run it on Boot Camp with a dynamic resizing (which would be amazing...) Thanks again!
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  7. #7

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogacon View Post
    I'm sorry, I've asked this before, but one thing I still dont understand with it. I know it will run faster if you install Windows twice, once for the VM and once for Boot Camp. But, if I do that will I need twice the space for windows? So instead of taking up just however much space windows XP does, it will take x2 as much because I am installing it twice? Or would installing it as a VM allow me to run it on Boot Camp with a dynamic resizing (which would be amazing...) Thanks again!
    It doesn't run faster if you install it twice. I think you're just misunderstanding.

    Boot Camp is a utility that preps your computer for having another operating system besides OS X installed simultaneously on your computer. Once the Boot Camp assistant has done it's job (separating your hard drive into two chunks, one for Windows and one for OS X), it's done. Windows will then occupy its own space and OS X will occupy the other.

    The advantage to running Boot Camp is that Windows runs natively on your computer. This means that it takes full advantage of your hardware, including your video card, just as though it were running on any other PC hardware.

    When you run Windows via Parallels (or VMWare Fusion), it is running in a "virtual machine", meaning that the hardware itself is not being banged on directly. That gives you a little more flexibility in that you are not using the actual hard disk inside the computer - instead, you're using a hard disk file under emulation. So, the file can be dynamically resized. The disadvantage of running Windows in a VM is that some hardware specific features (like your video card's 3D support) are not directly accessible as they would be when you run Windows natively.

    You can run Windows however you like. I choose to run two installations of it - one under Boot Camp so that I can play games. The other in Parallels for flexibility and "instant-on" access for the occasions that I just need Windows for a second to do something quickly and then I can shut it down.

    Does that make a little more sense?
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    yeah that makes perfect sense, I was confused as to why running two installs would make a difference.

    So when I install parallels, should i check the "virtual machine (recommended)" option or should I check the "Mac OX X" option?

  9. #9

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heinz1218 View Post
    yeah that makes perfect sense, I was confused as to why running two installs would make a difference.

    So when I install parallels, should i check the "virtual machine (recommended)" option or should I check the "Mac OX X" option?
    The difference is, in one mode it will place priority on your virtual machine (Windows), and in the other, it will place priority on OS X. It's your choice - personally, when I run Windows in Parallels, it's usually just to do something real quick - all of my major work is in OS X, so I select the OS X option.

    You can always change it later if you like by editing the VM.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

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