Installing Windows on an external drive to run in Parallel

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by akadmon, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. akadmon macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    I understand that it is not possible to install Windows on an external drive via Bootcamp, but is this also true of Parallels?
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    No. You can create your Parallels VM (Virtual Machine) on any medium you have read/write access to, including network shares. Though performance may suffer if you use a slow network or USB 1.1 link. :p

    B
     
  3. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    Your first (one word) sentence appears to contradict the one which follows. Please clarify :)

    If it is indeed possible, I would be using a 7200 rpm/300 GB external drive over ISB 2.0, Should be plenty fast.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Clarification:

    No.

    B
     
  5. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    the answer given is correct - is it true that windows with parallels cannnot be installed on a external drive like windows with bootcamp - the answer is no.

    Parallels uses a "disk image" of windows. this can be placed anywhere
     
  6. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    You guys have me totally confused :confused: :)

    If answer is no, then why do you say that the Windows "disk image" can be placed anywhere?
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    You asked "is also this true of Parallels?" The answer to that question is No, it is not true of Parallels.

    Your fault for asking a question in the negative. :p

    B
     
  8. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    Thanks, got it now! :D

    Assuming the performance hit (relative to Bootcamp) is not huge (say <25%), I think this is the way to go for me. I want to have plenty of elbow room for Windows and I hate giving up OSX space to do this.
     
  9. Mr.Gadget macrumors 6502

    Mr.Gadget

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #9
    The performance hit IS huge because Parallels does not support hi-speed USB. You would be better off with a firewire drive, I believe... In fact, when I use a USB external drive in Parallels, it locks up. Short bursts of activity are OK but sustained use of the USB locks up everytime for me.

    Plus, I cannot seem to see the USB drive in OSX and Windows XP (Parallels) at the same time. It is one or the other. Anyone have a way this can work?

    Lastly, I understand you cannot use more than 2 USB devices at once until Parallels 3.x is released. Parallels is good, "but it aint all that and a bag of chips", yet...

    Thanks!
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    You're right that hardware support isn't quite there (yet) in Parallels.

    Let OS X deal with the external USB drive, and just make your VM HDD image bigger and use shared folders to access any other files you need on the USB drive. This way Parallels only has to deal with the files in the HDD image and any other files appear as if they were on a network share...

    I've only experimented with Firewire, but the issues are similar. If OS X has the drive mounted, Parallels can't have it and vice versa. The solution is either not to mount the drive in OS X or to do what I suggest above and use the built-in file sharing routines...

    B
     
  11. Mr.Gadget macrumors 6502

    Mr.Gadget

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #11
    Thanks! That is a good idea. Are there any gotchas to be aware of?
     
  12. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    Bummer! This makes it less likely I will get a MBP (the notebook hard drives are just too small to run two OSs, each to their full capacity via Bootcamp), Now I'm leaning toward a 24" iMac with a 500 GB drive, or a Mac Pro. if I could convince my wife to spend the extra $, I'd definetly get the latter :D
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #13
    !?!?!?!?!? :confused:

    If you want/need the portability of the MBP, get the MBP. If you need more space when you're not mobile, just boot the whole machine from an external FW400 or FW800 drive of your choice.

    Unlike Windows, OS X has no problem in booting from an external drive. Many Mac Mini owners have used this as a way of increasing boot drive size and performance...

    B
     
  14. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #14
    Will I still need MacOS on the internal drive? I mean - if I'm rebooting from Windows how will Bootcamp know it should boot the MacOS on the external drive.

    Portability is not critcal for me, as I already have work laptop (PC). If all Apple does to update the MBP is drop in C2D (i.e., they don't increase screen res, hdd size, standard ram, add DL DVD -- at least 3 on this list is a must!), I will be getting an iMac (or MP) the day the new MBP specs are announced,
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #15
    If portability isn't a concern for you, I'd stick with the iMac, any iMac, as it's a much better "deal" than the MBP or MP, unless you actually need four cores for something...

    You can dedicate the entire internal drive to Windows and the boot loader will still be able to boot OS X from an external drive. You're not dealing with Windows and its limitations, until you choose to.

    This is also true for an iMac, you can boot OS X off of an external drive and dedicate the entire internal drive to Windows if you choose to do so.

    B
     
  16. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #16
    I'll let you in on a little secret....I have a 160GB Perpendicular drive in my MBP, and 80GB for each OS is plenty for "running to their full capacity." The drives will only get bigger in the very near term, so you have no worries there.
     
  17. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #17
    And you installed it yourself? :D

    The problem with your proposition is that as the drives get bigger, so do the OSs.
     
  18. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #18
    Yes I did.

    And honestly, the footprint of either OS doesn't even come close to touching 80 GB and haven't nearly grown as fast as the storage market.
     

Share This Page