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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?" :)

Unique Problem...Bootcamp or Parallels?


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MacShane

 
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So I've had my MacBook for 7 months, now, without ever having to look back at Windows...until now.

You see, I have a Harley which runs an aftermarket Engine Control Module; and the software for uploading maps to it is, you guessed it, Windows only...ugh. I've had the module on my bike and dialed in for going on two years and haven't had to touch it. But lately I've been thinking of making some mods to the motor, which will require me to make changes to the timing and fuel delivery map or load a whole new map altogether.

Since I'm only dependent on this one Windows program, I am thinking that Parallels will do the trick. I'm also thinking that any software updates for this program and file transfers (transferring maps that run in this program via email & Internet) can be done in OS X and then dragged over to Parallels to run in Windows, is that correct? If that's the case, I don't ever have to connect to the Internet via Windows and don't run the risk of getting infected with viruses or malware. Am I also correct in assuming this? If so, I can just run a stripped-down version of Windows and delete all the "productivity" software it comes with, including Internet Explorer.

I run Airport, so if I turn that off (on the MacBook), this should eliminate an Internet connection while running Windows, right?

Am I missing anything? Any other options I should look at?
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MacShane

 
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I did overlook something. I need an Internet connection to register a copy of Windows. Then, if I don't like the way it runs in Parallels, I'm out of luck for running the same copy on Bootcamp, aren't I? Or is it okay if it's the same machine? OMG, I seriously HATE MS & Windows!
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chscag

 
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You can do it from Parallels if it's just that one program. And yes, you can download updates while in OS X and drag them over to Windows via the Parallels sharing option.

I recommend installing XP not Win 7 as it will use less space and less resources. And forget about removing Internet Explorer, you can't. You can hide it, but it's still there.
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5tevie

 
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Hi there,
I'm a new Mac user after years of Windows type PC use and I am going to give you the benefit of my full month of Mac usage.
Don't put either of those progs on your Mac.
Here's why I say that.
Think of all the problems that you are letting yourself in for with regard to virus's, malware, trogans, worms etc. You probably won't get any of them if you are carefull about how you work and what you allow to travel from outside of your network to the inside of your network.
But ask yourself this. "Is it really worth the worry?" Especially when you consider that you can buy a laptop on eBay that will quite easily do the one job that you need it for and it will only cost you 50. Take out the cost in of buying Parallels and that's a big chunk of the 50 saved already. On top of that, add in the peace of mind and you're quids in.
You know it makes sense.

The trouble with letting people like me loose on the interweb with a debit card is that I now have the latest Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, 320 HDD and OS X 10.6.5 all wired up to a 70" LED screen ...... And not the faintest idea of how to use it.
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chscag

 
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That's always an alternative - as you suggested, however, one does not have to purchase either Parallels or Fusion. VirtualBox is free and basically offers the same virtualization as that of Parallels and Fusion minus all the frills. And protecting oneself against the myriad of malware out there for Windows users is easy. Microsoft Security Essentials is free and protects quite well compared to pay versions of AV.

It comes down to making a choice. I found that many folks who are new to the Mac platform install Windows at first but later on find they no longer have a need for it. Installing Windows helps some people to make the transition.
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MacShane

 
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Transition has been no problem. I haven't used an MS program since switching. It's just this one Windows-only program that I have to depend on if I want to upload/download maps to my bike's ECM. I just have to figure out which is going to be more cost effective: buying a legacy Windows-based laptop to run that one program and link to my bike, or loading Windows on my Mac with one of the three programs mentioned above. While the virtual programs may or may not cost money, a copy of Windows most definitely will.

It is my understanding that even if you get a virus or encounter a malware problem via a Windows virtual program, it does not cross over and infect OS X. You can simply drag the infected version (Windows, virtual program and all) to the trash and do a reinstall. Correct?

Again, you can run multiple installs of Windows on the same machine, correct? I used to know this. I've forgotten. You just can't (aren't supposed to) run multiple installs on different machines, is the case, I believe.
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S.SubZero

 
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For the record, Retail Windows XP SP3, as well as Vista and Win7, will all install and run for 30 days without a key. So if you just need Windows to do some temporary tweaking, leave the key field blank.
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bazanders

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.SubZero View Post
For the record, Retail Windows XP SP3, as well as Vista and Win7, will all install and run for 30 days without a key. So if you just need Windows to do some temporary tweaking, leave the key field blank.
Also if thats the case no point paying for parallels, virtual box is free and will do the same job
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RandomJoe

 
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One nice thing about using a VM (I use VMWare Fusion) is that you can get things installed and registered, then make a copy of the entire VM. Save it someplace safe. Then, if you ever do get hit with a virus or other malware - or you trash things through "user error" - just wipe the active VM and copy the saved one back in. You're right back to a "clean" Windows system and no need to reinstall / reregister.

Occasionally update the backup copy from time to time, as patches and updates are applied.

Or just let Time Machine take care of that for you. I've chosen to exclude the VMs from Time Machine as they are so big and apparently get copied in full with every little change... I have quite a few Windows / Linux VMs.

Oh, this also makes it VERY easy to upgrade computers. I moved my VMWare setup from my MBP to an iMac - just copy the VMs, and run!
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chscag

 
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You don't even need to do that as VMWare Fusion provides a built in backup for any given VM through its "Snapshot" option.
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RandomJoe

 
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Heh. Funny how blind to the obvious I can be sometimes... The snapshot button is right there at the top of the VM window! Yeah, that's even handier.
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