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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?" :)

Setting up your new Macbook Pro


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ZeeSquared

 
Member Since: Dec 19, 2009
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Hello, everyone!

I've been a Windows user for 15 years. I had the chance to try out a Macbook Pro recently and fell in love with it. Due to this I've decided to start the new year with a Macbook Pro 13-inch.

Once you've used something for such a long time you start to get accustomed to it. I know people have different philosophies on how to setup their computer, which is why I'd like to share my setup rituals with you all. I'm wondering if the same setup routines can be applied to a Mac?

Purchasing the Computer
My laptop came with a ton of bloatware when I purchased it. The first thing I did when I received it was save the "SWSETUP" files, then I formatted it. Once it got done formatting I installed Vista Ultimate (which I purchased separately). The reason for purchasing Vista separately was due to the fact that even if I had opted for it when ordering the laptop, I knew that they would install a copy of it with all their bloatware. I wanted a "fresh" install. The fact that the laptop doesn't come with an original OS disc had something to do with it as well.

Question:
Is this needed on a new Macbook Pro? Has anyone ever received their Macs and then did a complete reinstall of the OS to start "fresh?" Do Macs come with original OS discs? Does bloatware even exist on a Mac? What I'm trying to say is if I purchase a MBP from apple.com, will it come with a load of useless programs (kind of like HP Media Center, HP Webcam Center, etc.)? Would I need to purchase a separate copy of OS X Snow Leopard in order to do a fresh install?

BIOS Settings
I know some laptops have minimal BIOS settings that one can change. For a desktop computer I generally look through the BIOS before I start setting it up. My laptop didn't have anything that I found worth changing in the BIOS, so I left it as-is.

Question:
Do Macbook Pros have anything worth looking at / changing in the BIOS before setting them up? For instance, on a desktop PC I often disable the serial drivers since I don't use any serial devices. How do you even get into the BIOS of a Mac, anyway?

Hard Drive Configuration
For a Windows machine I generally like to have three partitions: C, D, and E. The C: partition is used for Windows system files, the D: partition is used for programs, and the E: partition is used for data (documents, photos, movies).

Question:
Would this be possible on a Mac? I know OS X is based on Unix, so I'm a bit confused as to how one can setup their partitions. For example I'm used to using GParted for partitioning under Linux / Unix. Do Macs come with a tool like this? Can it be done during the setup (when you first turn it on)? What I dislike the most when purchasing a new PC (especially one you didn't build yourself) is that they come with Windows pre-installed, so once you turn it on everything is installed on the main partition, which is usually C:, leaving no room for customization until after the OS is done installing, instead of before.

Running a Different OS
I hear that Macs have Bootcamp preinstalled. Has anyone tried running Windows 7 on their new MBPs? What version of Windows would you recommend for using Bootcamp? I think the only reason I'd still use Windows is solely for playing games like Guild Wars and Darkfall.

That's all that I can think of for now. I'm anxious to get started and have lots of questions. Thank you for reading this!

- z^2
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alexsd123

 
Member Since: Jul 18, 2009
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Macs do not come with bloatware, as far as I'm concerned.

Your Mac will come with an OS disk. If you buy it new or used from the Apple store, it will come with a Snow Leopard disk.

I've used Windows on my MBP and it ran well.

I would use Windows 7 over Vista and XP.
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macabee7

 
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I went from many Dells (one with Win 7 ) to a brand new Mac pro...I did this to start working with music recording...So far this unit is very user friendly and has no issues. For me this is unbelievable, with a pc or a laptop you roll up your sleeves and start correcting all of the issues and problems. The first thing I noticed that my wireless connection found itself and I didn't have to struggle off-line for any time. I have a Windows 7 (install )(64 bit) and I have found out that "they"(I'll blame Bill Gates) don't have drivers(64 bit) for usb network adapters. So, there you go. For now my pc work is set aside and my mac stuff is first......I don't like to patronize mac's or such but I have seen issues(with them) and so far
I'm cool......
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code54

 
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That is the best part of the Mac - nothing to uninstall when you buy it. Just turn it on and use it!
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chscag

 
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Another plus is that each new Mac comes with useful software already pre-loaded. Something you don't get on a Windows PC unless you special order software with the machine. New machines pre-loaded with Windows 7 do not even have a mail application but yet are loaded down with trial-ware and OEM junk.

Regards.
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cuhnool

 
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Well, to set up a Mac, you just turn it on, and follow directions. Within 5 minutes, you're up and running. I remember within 10 minutes of having my brand new MacBook, I made a song in GarageBand (actually made two that same day).

No, there is absolutely no bloatware on a Mac. And you will never find stickers on it either. the two things I hated (tremendously, I might add) about Windows native laptops. Stickers and bloatware. I'm surprised the Zune doesn't have stickers on it.

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ZeeSquared

 
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Thanks, all, for the replies! (:

I'm very excited and can't wait until I purchase my MBP.

I'm still confused about the hard drive, though. In regards to partitioning it, does the Disk Utility allow you to partition the hard drive more than one way? I'm just confused on how it works.

For example on a Windows machine, you can put in an Ubuntu CD and use GParted to partition the hard drive before running the computer for the first time. This is how I often setup my computers. I'll make a 20GB partition for the system files, then a 150GB partition for programs, and another 150GB for data. Once I'm done with that I'll reboot the machine and beginning installing Windows on the 20GB partition.

Would I be able to do that on a Mac? Has anyone ever split their hard drive in that sort of way? Or is there such a thing as "Program Files" on a Mac?

I apologize for the confusion. It's exciting to venture into something new, though!
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JUKE179r

 
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The way I have my Internal HD partitioned is 200GB's for OS X (DAW) and 100 GB for Win XP SP3. That's about as far as partitioning the HD as I do.
Though I do use an external 1TB FW800 HD for my music, samples, Logic 9 projects and movies.

MBP 3,1 & 4,1 w/ Vertex 4 SSD | Logic Pro 9 | Ableton Live 8 | Traktor Pro 2 | AKAI MPK-49 | Roland MV-8000, TR-808 & TR-909 | Ensoniq ASR-10 | x0xb0x #911 | Denon DN-MC6000 | (3) Technics SL-1200MK1 | 3000+ vinyl records
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newToMac09

 
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Just a question. When you first open a new MacBook Pro, is it recommended that you charge it fully before doing a first boot?
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newToMac09 View Post
Just a question. When you first open a new MacBook Pro, is it recommended that you charge it fully before doing a first boot?
You can use it while it's charging, but yes, I would run it on AC power until it's fully charged.

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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joshbrez

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeSquared View Post
Thanks, all, for the replies! (:

I'm very excited and can't wait until I purchase my MBP.

I'm still confused about the hard drive, though. In regards to partitioning it, does the Disk Utility allow you to partition the hard drive more than one way? I'm just confused on how it works.

For example on a Windows machine, you can put in an Ubuntu CD and use GParted to partition the hard drive before running the computer for the first time. This is how I often setup my computers. I'll make a 20GB partition for the system files, then a 150GB partition for programs, and another 150GB for data. Once I'm done with that I'll reboot the machine and beginning installing Windows on the 20GB partition.

Would I be able to do that on a Mac? Has anyone ever split their hard drive in that sort of way? Or is there such a thing as "Program Files" on a Mac?

I apologize for the confusion. It's exciting to venture into something new, though!
There is no need to do any of this partitioning on a Mac. I used to set up the PCs I built in a similar fashion, but on the Mac it's not needed. The OS X system files sandbox themselves away nicely in their own directory of the drive without needing to be moved.

Applications do not spread component files out on the system anywhere nearly as much as Windows programs do either. You'll start with a directory at ~/Applications, where you'll install things (much easier process for this on a Mac as well, but that's for another post). Most apps are single, self-contained files.

As for keeping personal data, that's what the home folder (at ~/) is intended for. Keep your stuff there, and regularly run back ups.

I definitely understand the urge to separate stuff out, but on a Mac you can enjoy not having to do that anymore.

Cheers.
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