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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?" :)

Couple Quick Questions re: iMac, Parallels, Boot Camp, etc.


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TheAlmightySam

 
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Hey all,
Apologies if these are common questions. I'm considering moving from my ancient PIII 800 to a new 20" iMac and I'm faced with a couple questions I haven't been able to find the answer to.

First, and most basic, is it worth it to go for the 2GB RAM upgrade? I hear OS X is a bit of a memory hog, and although I don't plan on performing any seriously system-intensive tasks with my new machine (no gaming, for example), I do plan on running Photoshop occasionally and whatever CAD/CAM software I wind up purchasing. Coming from a system with only 128MB of RAM, 1GB sounds like a ton, but I was hoping some members might shed some light on this.

Second, I plan on installing XP Pro on my system. However, the version I have is pre-SP2, and thus, if I needed SP2 like the Boot Camp documentation states, I will be forced to download it after installation. Will XP Pro SP1 function correctly on Boot Camp, and is the SP2 download absolutely necessary, or will it run fine with SP1? I'd like to avoid the serious security holes SP2 added to the package if at all possible.

Third, I can see the utility of both Parallels and Boot Camp, and would actually like to be able to both run XP as a dual-boot system a la Boot Camp, and have it run windowed with Parallels. I understand this will likely require both pieces of software to be installed. My question is if they both can access and operate the same installation of XP, rather than having one installation of XP for each program.

Finally, when one partitions the drive to allow XP to be installed, are the files on the "other" side of the partition accessable? I.E., if I was working on a MS Word document in OS X and needed to do something to it in XP, could I get to it without having to fuss with work-arounds?

Thanks!
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Brendan

 
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2 GB would be extremely useful when running Photoshop. It would run much more quickly and smooth. I think it is very much worth it.

As for Parallels and BootCamp I have little to no knowledge in those fields.

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cramar

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAlmightySam View Post
Hey all,
Apologies if these are common questions. I'm considering moving from my ancient PIII 800 to a new 20" iMac and I'm faced with a couple questions I haven't been able to find the answer to.

First, and most basic, is it worth it to go for the 2GB RAM upgrade? I hear OS X is a bit of a memory hog, and although I don't plan on performing any seriously system-intensive tasks with my new machine (no gaming, for example), I do plan on running Photoshop occasionally and whatever CAD/CAM software I wind up purchasing. Coming from a system with only 128MB of RAM, 1GB sounds like a ton, but I was hoping some members might shed some light on this.
2GB highly recommended by users. I think also Parallels suggests 2 GB, since you allocate RAM to virtual machine—they recommend less than half! I have 512k allocated.

Quote:
Second, I plan on installing XP Pro on my system. However, the version I have is pre-SP2, and thus, if I needed SP2 like the Boot Camp documentation states, I will be forced to download it after installation. Will XP Pro SP1 function correctly on Boot Camp, and is the SP2 download absolutely necessary, or will it run fine with SP1? I'd like to avoid the serious security holes SP2 added to the package if at all possible.
Apple says XP *MUST BE* SP2. I gather the install will not work with SP1. But it should work under Parallels since they claim you can install anything from Win 3.11 to Vista.

Quote:
Third, I can see the utility of both Parallels and Boot Camp, and would actually like to be able to both run XP as a dual-boot system a la Boot Camp, and have it run windowed with Parallels. I understand this will likely require both pieces of software to be installed. My question is if they both can access and operate the same installation of XP, rather than having one installation of XP for each program.
I installed an OEM XP under Boot Camp. Parallels gives you a choice. Either a second complete install (no way for me) or an install where it uses the existing Boot Camp partitian. This is what I chose since I have one license. However to my shock Windows said that due to "hardware changes" [what hardware change?] I would have to obtain another license key from MS. I was able to convince MS to do so. So I am ticked at Parallels for the unnecessary hastle. But bottom line it does work with only one XP installed. I can boot into XP or run it as a virtual machine under Parallels.

Quote:
Finally, when one partitions the drive to allow XP to be installed, are the files on the "other" side of the partition accessable? I.E., if I was working on a MS Word document in OS X and needed to do something to it in XP, could I get to it without having to fuss with work-arounds?
If Boot Camp install is set up as FAT32, OS-X has a Windows HD icon on the desktop. Piece of cake to read/write to Windows partition. There is no way of going the other way since Mac HD is invisible to Windows. Under Parallels you can drag and drop files from one desktop to another.
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TheAlmightySam

 
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Excellent, that more than answers my questions! Thank you both!
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kman79

 
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Cramar: When you called MS for another license to run both boot camp and Parallel, did they give you much trouble after you told them that you were running both Parallel and Boot camp on the same Machine? What exactly did you tell them? I plan on doing the same thing and just in case I would run into the same problem. Excuse my ignorance, I've had my MBP for less than a week, so I'm every much a noob. Any help on this is greatly appreciated.
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knightlie

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cramar View Post
I installed an OEM XP under Boot Camp. Parallels gives you a choice. Either a second complete install (no way for me) or an install where it uses the existing Boot Camp partitian. This is what I chose since I have one license. However to my shock Windows said that due to "hardware changes" [what hardware change?] I would have to obtain another license key from MS. I was able to convince MS to do so. So I am ticked at Parallels for the unnecessary hastle. But bottom line it does work with only one XP installed. I can boot into XP or run it as a virtual machine under Parallels.
Parallels emulates a different set of hardware from that which Windows sees under BootCamp, so Windows thinks it's running on different hardware. It's not really a Parallels fault, it's just the way it is. They ought to make it clear when you use a BootCamp partition though.

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vxd

 
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I think you should wait b4 getting the imac because it should be updating soon, and probably come with 2gb......
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elbolao23

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAlmightySam View Post
Hey all,
Apologies if these are common questions. I'm considering moving from my ancient PIII 800 to a new 20" iMac and I'm faced with a couple questions I haven't been able to find the answer to.

First, and most basic, is it worth it to go for the 2GB RAM upgrade? I hear OS X is a bit of a memory hog, and although I don't plan on performing any seriously system-intensive tasks with my new machine (no gaming, for example), I do plan on running Photoshop occasionally and whatever CAD/CAM software I wind up purchasing. Coming from a system with only 128MB of RAM, 1GB sounds like a ton, but I was hoping some members might shed some light on this.

Second, I plan on installing XP Pro on my system. However, the version I have is pre-SP2, and thus, if I needed SP2 like the Boot Camp documentation states, I will be forced to download it after installation. Will XP Pro SP1 function correctly on Boot Camp, and is the SP2 download absolutely necessary, or will it run fine with SP1? I'd like to avoid the serious security holes SP2 added to the package if at all possible.

Third, I can see the utility of both Parallels and Boot Camp, and would actually like to be able to both run XP as a dual-boot system a la Boot Camp, and have it run windowed with Parallels. I understand this will likely require both pieces of software to be installed. My question is if they both can access and operate the same installation of XP, rather than having one installation of XP for each program.

Finally, when one partitions the drive to allow XP to be installed, are the files on the "other" side of the partition accessable? I.E., if I was working on a MS Word document in OS X and needed to do something to it in XP, could I get to it without having to fuss with work-arounds?

Thanks!
if you do get the iMac ans wish to update the memory ram, do it, but dont buy it from apple, they over charge you for ram.... go to dealram.com there you'll find it cheaper
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