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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Questions about Bootcamp and Parallels

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Member Since: May 02, 2008
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I'm awaiting shipment of my first ever Mac (an iMac -- the new 24") and because I have a lot of XP apps I'd like to still run on occasion I have some questions about Bootcamp:

(And I may want to try Vista because some apps like the latest Quicken have a few extra features when running under Vista.)

1) If I want to install XP *and* Vista on the iMac, do I do that through Bootcamp only (each OS at a time) or can I, say, create the XP partition through Bootcamp and later add a Vista partition after booting in XP and will the iMac "see" the Vista partition done the latter way the same as if I had done it through Bootcamp? (or vice versa, Vista first and XP after rebooting in Vista)

2) What are the advantages and disadvantages of formatting the XP partition in FAT32 vs. NTSC (I heard any Vista partition *has* to be in NTSC) and what do most people here do? Keep in mind that it would be sort of nice for me if I could limit the folders of data, so say I could keep all of my pictures in a folder accessible by OS X and XP (but I guess with Vista's NTSC requirement, the Mac can't write to its folders)?

3) Do I need the same amount of virus and firewall protection as before when using Bootcamp, but if I use Parallels does that advice change because I'm inside Leopard then? In other words does Leopard offer protection to apps running in Parallels?

4) After the computer arrives, should I install the 2.1 version before I do anything or is that only for if you plan to install XP SP3 right away (and if I install SP2 do I still need Bootcamp 2.1 to update to SP3 inside of XP)?
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1) Don't know whether you can install them both on the same Boot Camp, but maybe so with 2 Windows partitions... Maybe someone has done it before, but there isn't anything on that in the Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide that I recall. Maybe someone else can answer that for you.

2) If you use Fat32, you'll be able to transfer files from OS X to Windows. OS X doesn't recognize NTFS yet, so if you use NTFS, no file transfers possible unless using Parallels. Also no file transfers if your Windows partition is more than 32GB in size.

3) Windows has the same problems in Boot Camp as if it were on a Windows machine, so you do need virus protection. I'm using AVG and Zone Alarm. I don't know about Parallels, but probably not a problem there since it's virtual machine which is insulated from the internet. It's the virtual machine that offers the protection, not Leopard. Leopard can get a virus, but not likely...

4) Boot Camp is included in OS X inside the Applications/Utilities folder, you don't need to install it. You'll need SP2 as part of the full Windows version of XP to get XP installed. Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide discusses what versions of Windows are OK (That Guide is in OS X, too). You'd have to install SP3 after you install XP in Boot Camp.

Welcome on board.

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Easy solution for you would be to run Fusion. I installed it and use it to run vista at least once or twice a day for work related stuff. If you look around it can be had for about 40 bucks after rebate and gets rave reviews over parallels and has been rock solid stable. It also will allow you to install as many virtual machines as you like without needing to reboot. May seem like not a big deal now but after a few times of booting back and forth you will appreciate it. As far as protection I guess it really depends on your needs. If your using windows as a closed system, meaning your not surfing and downloading files I wouldn't bother with virus protection. For myself I just use it for ms project and a few intranet based apps. But others may feel differently.
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Try thr FREE virtualbox instead !
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