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Old 06-18-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Rivendell
1,233 posts, read 1,232,683 times
Reputation: 1310
Default Questions about Windows on my Mac

I am finally getting a 6 month old refurbished 17" Macbook to replace my 7 year old 13" Macbook, and I will have a lot more memory and speed.

I am thinking of getting Parallels Desktop. Does anybody use this? Tell me about it, please.
I have never used windows or owned a PC. Just how different to use is it?

There are several apps that I think I could do better with Windows.
Quicken!
Mapping software for my GPS
Digital microscope

If I have it on a separate partition and never go online with it can I avoid having to deal with all of the security issues?
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:45 PM
 
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Can't talk about Parallels but do use VMware Fusion on a Macbook Pro to run Windows XP, it's flawless.

Works exactly the same as a pure Windows system.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:26 AM
 
Location: property tax hell
1,928 posts, read 3,822,279 times
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I hear Parallels is a great tool - most reviews I've read actually puts it above Fusion. But like Plwhit, I'm a Fusion user. And as with any hypervisor product, you're basically just running separate computers (be it Windows, Linux, another OS X, etc.) on the same hardware.

You don't technically even need a different partition on the host. The guest OS will simply exist within their own file system, which appears as just a file (or series of files) on your host machine. The beauty of that (and again, I can only speak for VMWare), is that its also portable. You can just copy said files to another computer, and fire it up (in those cases, you just need to have a "VM player" tool - which is free).

The full versions of the hypervisor will allow you to configure the hardware configurations for your virtual guests. You can setup the networking so that it's not networked, or can only be network to only the host and/or other guests. What you can/can not do is dependent on the hypervisor product's capability as well as your hardware configuration. VMWare (and I'm assuming Parallels does too) also has a P2V tool that allows you to turn an existing windows box into a virtual system. This isn't always flawless (depends on how clean your physical system is in terms of hardware configs etc.), but its a huge timesaver if you are looking to keep an existing PC/software around.

I wanted to try Parallels, but its licensing is different. It's licensed per machine, not user. So you will need to purchase a sperate license for each machine you have. Perhaps VMWare is the same way, but it doesn't keep me from installing it on multiple machines (I have one copy of Fusion, but installed on 3 hosts). I believe both have full versions of the product you can use on a trial basis (the license key is only good for 30 days) - so I would take advantage of that and see which one works best for you.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:49 AM
 
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If your new Mac has Lion on it then you must use Windows 7. There are ways to install XP, but it's not supported.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: SoCal
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I use Parallels. I gave VMWare a go when they offered it cheap. I saw no advantage over Parallels. And since I was already familiar with Parallels, I've stayed with that.

The only issue I have with Parallels, is that if you postpone upgrading (which costs additional $) then eventually Parallels will simply not work, due to accumulated incompatabilities with the latest Mac OS updates. So eventually you'll need to fork over more $.

I don't know how connected Parallels is to Mac OS, but it seems to be pretty closely. I wouldn't rely on ignoring security entirely. Get the free Microsoft security stuff, and then you won't need to worry about keeping Parallels strictly in its own "sandbox".
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Rivendell
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Thanks everyone.
This is all good to know.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,294 posts, read 10,435,574 times
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I use Parallels to run XP for a specific software that was only written for Windows. It worked great until they started tweaking their software to get ready for Windows 8. For some reason, running XP on Parallels did not like the changes they were making.

Everything else Windows works great, and I love the way I can send stuff form Mac to PC and back without shutting down between changes. I ended up getting an inexpensive HP laptop with Windows 7 to run my software, but have kept XP on my Mac for other Windows things I use.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:24 AM
 
Location: SoCal
4,367 posts, read 3,854,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
I use Parallels to run XP for a specific software that was only written for Windows. It worked great until they started tweaking their software to get ready for Windows 8. For some reason, running XP on Parallels did not like the changes they were making.

Everything else Windows works great, and I love the way I can send stuff form Mac to PC and back without shutting down between changes. I ended up getting an inexpensive HP laptop with Windows 7 to run my software, but have kept XP on my Mac for other Windows things I use.
I've been running XP in Parallels for years, and so far have had no problem with it. But then, I may not have the latest Parallels update yet. If I start having problems with Parallels, I guess I'll be going back to VMWare.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
8,390 posts, read 12,046,100 times
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One of my kids at college needed Windows for certain applications, but has a Mac. We used Apple Boot Camp to install and run Windows on the Mac.

Mac 101: Using Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:07 AM
 
Location: property tax hell
1,928 posts, read 3,822,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
One of my kids at college needed Windows for certain applications, but has a Mac. We used Apple Boot Camp to install and run Windows on the Mac.

Mac 101: Using Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp
Bootcamp and hypervisors like VMware Fusion, Parallels, Virualbox etc. are different types of products. Bootcamp allows you the option to boot into OS X or Windows. Hypervisors allows you to virtualize systems so that you can run them simultaneously on the same HW platform.
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