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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2007
    Running OSX and XP Hard Disk Formatting Question
    Hello all!
    I just got a MBP today (my first mac), and had a quick question. I plan to Run both OSX and XP on my MBP, and was curious for some suggestions on how I should format the drives. I won't use XP much, but I want it there in case the circumstance arrives that I'm unsure how to do something (and don't have the time to learn how) in OSX. If it helps, my music and other things will be stored on a 200gb external Hard Disk. Any suggestions how to format (number of gigs and the like) for each OS?

  2. #2

    mck_tj05's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2007
    little bit north of dallas
    MBP C2D, 1 GB ram, 120GB HD
    that really depends on how you want to run xp. if you're doing it thru boot camp, then you can simply decide what size to make the partition and boot camp assistant will do it for you. if you're using xp/ parallels, then you simply tell parallels how much space you want to let xp have and it creates a virtual disk from my understanding.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2007
    My father just purchased Vista, so I assume the same goes for using Vista?

  4. #4

    Cap'n Ahab's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2007
    The sea
    MBP CD 2.16Ghz, 2GB, 100GB HD, 15.4", 256 MB vram
    Congrats on your recent purchase and welcome to the mac fold, it's a good place to be!

    Like mck said, your installation will depend on whether you have parallels or will use boot camp. The installation with parallels is painless and basically automated. It is a great program which will allow you to run XP or Vista in Mac OS X, it's leaps and bounds better than the old windows emulator, virtual PC. That said, parallels doesn't yet have the great 3d video support so some games will not run well under it, but for other MS productivity applicationss it should prove more than adequate.

    The size of the partition really depends however on what you will use your new MBP for. While macs aren't ideal gaming platforms, your new purchase should have enough graphic muscle with the newer 8600m to play many of the more demanding windows games with "acceptable" frame rates: If you plan to play windows games on it, I would be generous with the partition and say something like 30 to 40 gb for windows and even up to 60 or more. If you purchased the 160 gb standard or 7200 rpm drive, that should leave you ample space for files on the mac side, besides, you'll have that external drive (it can be a pain transferring large files however, but if it's firewire 800, that's at least a better). If you just want XP as a back-up and don't want/need to play PC games or use windows, go with 5 -10 gb, MS says it needs at least 1.5 and you can bet it'll be more greedy than that and you'll also need room for anti-virus/spyware and firewall software if you spend any serious time using windows:

    If you're going to run vista, plan on partitioning more space.

    My MBP is 10 months old and I have only used just over half of the drive with three mac games installed, 20 gb of music, photos, and MS office, as well as an archived version of the OS (buggy office install, don't ask...).

    Go here for more info on boot camp:

    If you're not going to use parallels, simply download the boot camp file, print out the guide, make your driver disk, and follow the instructions but above all, have patience, it's not like OS X, but it should work fine! Just be sure if you're using XP to get it with SP2 as I believe that is one of apple's requirements. If you are going to install Vista, get home premium. I read someplace you want to avoid basic as it's a very hobbled version of the OS, but I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable on that point, especially if you don't ever really plan on using it.

    You can find affordable versions of windows at the ars technica marketplace, as well as amazon.

    Good luck and happy hunting.

  5. #5

    fleurya's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 18, 2006
    Anytown, USA
    27" iMac 2.7GHz Core i5, iPhone 4S, 3rd gen iPad
    I have Vista under Bootcamp and gave it 20GB, the OS took 10 and another 10 for basic programs and storage. XP would probably need even less as it's not such a memory hog as Vista.

    but I want it there in case the circumstance arrives that I'm unsure how to do something (and don't have the time to learn how) in OSX
    I understand how you feel and I felt the same, but I think this isn't the best reason to have Windows. If you look at it that way, it'll become a crutch and you'll never fully utilize OS X the way you should. Trust me, if it can be done in OS X, it'll be at least as easy as Windows once you get to know the OS. You'll quickly find that you use Windows very, very little.
    "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Jun 16, 2007
    Macbook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.2ghz 2gb DDR2 8600gt w/ 128mb vram
    1. Get boot camp
    2. In boot camp you choose the xp partition size. 32gb, 5gb, or to divide your osx and xp partitions equally.
    3. Keep format of osx don't mess with it.
    4. Put the windows xp install and format it ntfs(quick). I used 32gb, holds all my games. (thats all im using xp for)
    5. Thats it, use option key at startup to decide between the partitions.

    This is my setup that i just got and it is working flawlessly with minimal work. Plus if you even THINK about doing gaming you want to do bootcamp because it handles games so much better than parallels.

  7. #7

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Lake Mary, Florida
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by spartykjc5389 View Post
    My father just purchased Vista, so I assume the same goes for using Vista?
    Remember that you can only install Vista (or XP, for that matter) on one machine at a time due to product activation. So, if your father purchased it for his machine, you can't then use that same install disc on your Mac.
    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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