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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Question from a student looking to move from a PC to Mac


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PercussorNoctis

 
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Hello!

I've been seriously looking into moving from a PC to a Mac (and I'm waiting for the updated MBPs because I'm not in any large rush for a new laptop until August) but I recently found out the college I plan on attending does not support Mac OS for the most part with my intended major. So, I'm consequently looking at doing boot camp with Windows 7 on a MBP but I've got three questions I'm hoping users on this forum can answer. I know they are probably simple but I'm looking for simple clarification.

1. Quite a few of my friends own a Mac and their laptop will not connect to some wireless networks that my PC will. If I put Windows 7 on my Mac will I be able to access those wireless networks?

2. My classes involve software that are only Windows compatible. Does this mean all this software will be stored on the Windows portion of my MBP and can only be accessed from the Windows portion?

3. What do you recommend, Parallels or V Fusion (is that what it's called)?

Thank you so much!
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EndlessMac

 
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2. Yes any Windows software will be only on your Windows partition. You can move files back and forth between Windows and Apple but Windows software doesn't work in Mac and vice versa. There are many Mac versions of Windows software so most of the time you don't have to use Windows but there are a few who only make a Windows version such as it seems your school's software. If you want to use both OS at the same time then you need to get either Parallels or Fusion. Boot camp will only let you use one OS at a time.

3. Check out both company's website and get a feel for which one you might like better. They are both good software. I have Fusion myself but many people like Parallels too.
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Mac SK

 
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Get a used Mac for at home use and a cheep PC for school. It will worn out to a nub in 4 years.
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Slydude

 
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With regard to point 1 have your friends check their passwords for the networks they are having difficulty with. Depending upon the network settings you may need to precede the password with a $. See mac wireless hex password and AirPort, Time Capsule: Joining an encrypted wireless network

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jagov

 
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I was actually in the same boat as you, I am a CIS major and most of the programs we use are for windows only. I would recommend boot camp because that route allows you to use the system to its full potential. I havent run in to any of the network issues you have mentioned. If you are like me, you will only boot in windows when you need to run that program, other then that i hate booting in Windows now, and i actually get anncy(sp) when i am in windows and switch to OSX when i am done. I would recommend that you get office or the Mac equivalent to write papers and do presentations and such.

I hope my input helped.
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DaFlake

 
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I am also a student and while I do most of my work in Mac, I do need Windows from time to time. I use VMWare Fusion to do it, but I am getting ready to upgrade to a 500Gb HD so I will be running Bootcamp with VMWare Fusion installed so that I can run from OSX as well.
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PercussorNoctis

 
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Thanks, guys!

Is parallels easy to install? I'm looking at that software. I believe I can manage and do boot camp without too much worry after reading reviews and how-to guides, but does Parallels get installed after I've got Windows working on my Mac?
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EndlessMac

 
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I have Fusion but I would assume Parallels would be just as easy to install. There are two ways to install Fusion/Parallels. You can install Windows through Boot Camp first and then install Parallels this way you will have both a Boot Camp install of Windows and a Parallels version.

If you know that you will never need to natively boot into Windows then you can just install Windows with Parallels and ignore Boot Camp altogether. I don't know if you can later install Windows through Boot Camp without having Windows thinking you have two installed versions which requires you to have two product registration keys. When you install Windows through Boot Camp first Fusion uses your Boot Camp install. I would assume Parallels does the same thing.

I installed Windows through Boot Camp first but it should also be easy doing it the other way around.
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SammySlim

 
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It is even easier to install Windows through Fusion or Parallels than under Boot Camp - much easier. Unless you know you will need native hardware access, I strongly recommend installing Parallels/Fusion first, then installing windows under that and operate it in a virtual machine first. you can download free trial versions of both programs and try them first. Also, Sun's VirtualBox does the same thing for free (it's not quite as full-featured as Parallels or Fusion but it is free) - you could try that first as well.

Cheers
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mknabster

 
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I am also in the same boat as you, I'm an Engineering major, which doesn't use Macs at all. I do have Vmware Fusion, but I use Bootcamp for the hardcore stuff, like CAD, programming, and games of course. I mainly use Fusion for softcore stuff, like testing files, and accessing my Bootcamp partition for a quick check. I recommend using a problem called ReFit if you don't want to always press alt when booting up the computer to access Bootcamp. ReFit is a boot manager that brings up the options auto for which to boot to, and it's freeware.

-Matt
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