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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?" :)

Boot Camp and Parallels


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Foxfan100

 
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I'm on the point of ordering a new iMac on which I plan to run Win 7, as I have a number of Windows applications that are only available for that OS.

I may want to run completely in Windows mode, in which case I would guess that I need to start up with boot Camp.

However, I can foresee a future position where I may want to run both OSs together, and therefore will need a Parallels setup.

My question therefore is this:-

Can the iMac be set up to allow me to either start up with Boot Camp OR run Parallels? i.e. can they both be installed/used on the same machine? Or do I have to choose one or the other?
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Rip Vega

 
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Parallels and VF Fusion both run inside the Mac OS which means you can run Parallels, VM Fusion and Mac OS X apps at the same time.

Bootcamp runs from a seperate partition on your Mac HD and requires a reboot to access Windows.

I have both VM Fusion and Parallels. Both run well with OSX. If you anticipate long intensive Windows sessions, then maybe Bootcamp would be the best way to go. For the odd Windows app then VM or Parallels will probably serve you fine. Both are available as a trial so give it a go first. They can always be removed.
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ovbg

 
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I first set up Bootcamp, and then installed Parallels which pointed to Bootcamp. So yes, you can either choose at startup to run either OSX or Windows from Bootcamp, or while in OSX, you can run Windows via Parallels.

A couple of things I noted:
* At the start up option (pressing Option/alt when starting) where you can select the OS you want, I needed to click the magic mouse two or three times before it would be seen. The same again when Windows started (click a few times, then the mouse starts working). This of cause is not needed when using OSX.

* Parallels did a nice job (I only had the trial version) but found it was not of any use with multiple user accounts. i.e. if I had Windows open in Parallels for an application of some sort, and then my wife needed to use the computer and also use a windows program, she had to first shut down Windows in my account, and then reboot Windows with Parallels in her account.

On a single account machine this is not an issue, but was a deal breaker for our use.
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chscag

 
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For the occasional Windows application that needs to be run, you might want to give Oracle's VirtualBox a try. It's not as frilly as Parallels or Fusion but it does the job and most importantly, it's free.

And, a word of caution about using your Boot Camp partition as a VM with Parallels or Fusion: Windows XP is not stable when run that way as there have been many users who have experienced boot sector corruption. Vista and Windows 7 use a different boot sector scheme and are OK to use that way.
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One problem with virtual box vs fusion and parallels - is you cannot use a bootcamp partition in virtual box. Well maybe you can if you follow these steps - but I've not tried it.
Running Bootcamp using VirtualBox | GarrettBartley.com
Fusion and Parallels have setup functions to guide you on how to setup your virtual machine with a bootcamp partition.

@ovbg - what version of Parallels and Windows were you using? I don't believe that is the case anymore but I am using Parallels 6 and Windows 7. I can log out and log in, as well as use the switch user function.
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Foxfan100

 
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Thanks for all the information. There's plenty for me to consider now I know a bit more about it.

Regarding Windows, I've used XP Pro since it came out but feel that it's time to go to Win 7. Another reason for wanting to know about dual-boot and virtual systems is that I had an XP/Linux Ubuntu dual boot (GRUB) which was a nightmare and one that I don't want to repeat with my new iMac when I get it.

Thanks again. I expect as a Mac newbie I'll be on here again, asking silly questions!
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Actually, one of the easiest dual boot systems to setup is XP and Ubuntu Linux. More difficult and dangerous is trying to do it with a Mac and OS X.

However, dual booting your Mac with Windows is made easy as Apple includes the Boot Camp assistant with every copy of Leopard and Snow Leopard. VM software providers likewise have an easy setup routine to install Windows.
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Foxfan100

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Actually, one of the easiest dual boot systems to setup is XP and Ubuntu Linux. More difficult and dangerous is trying to do it with a Mac and OS X.

However, dual booting your Mac with Windows is made easy as Apple includes the Boot Camp assistant with every copy of Leopard and Snow Leopard. VM software providers likewise have an easy setup routine to install Windows.
I'm sure that I may well be missing something, but the interaction between Boot Camp, MacOS and Parallels isn't entirely clear to me.

What I want to be able to do is this:-
1) start up the Mac and use only its native OS i.e. no BC or Parallels (||)
or
2) start the Mac and boot to Win only (Boot Camp)
or
3) start the Mac with MacOS and ||, and then possibly stop using || for the session, and revert to the MacoS only.

This is mainly necessary because some key tax return software MAY give problems if not run entirely in a Win environment. The rest of the Windows stuff, which is important but not critical should run OK on ||.

Can I do these things?

Also, some further advice required. Looking at the Parallels products, there is the product Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac and another called Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac. Am I correct in thinking that the slightly more expensive Switch version is the same as the Desktop 6 for Mac but with added file transfer cables and software? I'd also like to know if the Switch version is any good as the reviews on the Apple Store site seem to be about 50/50 yes and no on this.

Thanks all.
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