New macbook pro owner needs boot camp/parrallels help

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Carpediem68, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Carpediem68 macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2007
    Hi Gang,

    Its been 20 years since I used a mac. Remember the cute little beige box that would say "Hello" to you when you booted up? I'm a lawyer and for years its just not been feasible using a mac with so much PC specific software but that all changed with the intel chip.

    So over the weekend I bought a shiny new 17 inch macbook pro and I love it. It is actually irrational how happy I am to be working on a mac again. I've gotten all my software to work except for a few pc specific programs that refuses to cooperate with Crossover Mac. So it looks like I'm going to need to go boot camp or parrallels. I have been surfing and please excuse me if these questions seem obvious but I have a few...

    1. Boot Camp from external drive?
    The guy at the Apple store thought I could when I bought it but I've seen a few entries that say its not possible. I was thinking of getting a small firewire portable drive and running it from there. Reading the forums it appears it may possible but would require tinkering way beyond my paygrade so assuming I can't ....

    2. How big a partition?
    I plan on running the xp home operating system, aVast antivirus and two small legal programs. THAT IS IT. No surfing in crappy explorer. No games. Nada. After being forced into windows for 20 years I plan on spending as little time as possible in that system. If I have to partition my precious macbook pro 160 gb drive I want to make it as small as reasonably possible. I've currently used about 80 gb just getting the family photo archive loaded .. and other fun stuff. I initially was thinking 20 gb .. but maybe I should go down to 10 or 15 ... again I really plan on spending as little time as possible with a xp on my mac.

    3. Does Parralels slow OS X down?
    If I run Parralels, does that drain system resources? The ability to hot swap between them would be nice but I don't think I'll need those windows programs everyday and if simply using boot camp as opposed to running parralels makes my OS X run smoother, sign me up. If its not an issue, however, it would be nice to do it on the fly (besides it would make all my windows loving lawyer friends crazy to see me do it.. grin) Frankly for me it just comes down to stability.. whichever works without requiring tinkering by me is the one I want.

    Thanks for your patience and all replies are much appreciated.

  2. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    I have a 30GB partition for XP, but I've got about 10GB free with some apps installed. I'd say 20 would probably be a good size for you if you don't plan on using XP much.

    I've looked for information about Boot Camp on external drives, but like you said, it doesn't look possible. Any workarounds there might be seemed overly complex to bother with.
  3. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    How much RAM do you have in your MBP?

    I found that Parallels' performance went up exponentially after I upgraded my iMac to 2GB, so I would expect that any performance degradation you'd see will be RAM bound instead of anything else.

  4. Carpediem68 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2007
    I have the macbook pro 17" with 2gb ram, 160 gb HD 2.33 core 2 duo. I'm leaning toward boot camp at the moment because I'm only semi geeky and if things get the slightest bit jinky my head would probably explode.

    Do you really think 20gb is necessary? ugg. I have an old xp laptop that could run these few programs but I'm certain if I do that I'm certain I'll get stuck somewhere and need it and only have the mac with me. It still irks me to give up 20 gb (or even 15) to run a few lousy programs.
  5. Carpediem68 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2007
    Maybe I'll do the partition at 12gb. I'm tempted to make it 8 or 10 but 12 gives me enough of a wiggle factor to know there shouldn't be a problem. I DON'T want to do this twice. I honestly don't see me logging the xp more than a few times a month. Most of my "take home" work can be easily done in the much more pleasant OS X.
  6. fishy2k8 macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2006
    i did 15GB with my partition for bootcamp and i had to put photoshop suite on there... which isn't small... and i still have 7.7GB left. I believe adobe suite is about 3-4 gb. If those programs aren't very big i say go for 15-12. good luck, i suggest printing of the setup guide that is on apple before starting.

Share This Page