Virtual PC question

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by GregUofMN, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. GregUofMN macrumors regular

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    Nov 15, 2003
    #1
    Hi. I'm a recent switcher so bare with me while I adjust to have a computer that just works.

    I am considering purchasing Office v.10 Professional w/ vPC. However, I do not currently have any other anti-virus software on my 15"AlBook. Do I need to install Norton or the like, before I use the vPC since Windows is such a vunerable OS? Or because I still am using a Mac, I'll be 99.99% virus-free?

    Also, after I install virtual PC, will I be able to use any Window's only software/auxillary hardware?

    Like I said, I recently switched from a 6yo 300MHZ HP desktop to the mid-sized AlBook so please be forgiving in any replys. ;)
     
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #2
    Once you load up Windows in Virtual PC you might want to install a virus scanner in Windows... but as far as I know a Windows virus won't kill your Mac permanently...

    Obviously if you get a Windows virus that (for instance) captures your keystrokes it would capture them while you have Windows running (although it might not capture the ones on your Mac desktop, just when you are actually doing Windows things).

    I'm totally guessing here though... although I have been mildly curious about this myself.
     
  3. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    Ottawa, ON
    #3
    Yeah, I'm fairly positive that any virus you do get in windows will stay in virtualpc. Therefore, if something malicious does wipe out your data, it'll be confined to your windows partition. None of your mac files will be affected.
     
  4. sparky76 macrumors regular

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    Jul 2, 2003
    #4
    I would still recommend getting a good firewall and virus scanner for windows - otherwise you are effectively leaving a windows machine open to the world. Good software should mean you can play safe without it interrupting your work.
     
  5. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

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  6. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    #6
    I wouldn't stress out too much about bad things in VPC. What happens in VPC stays in VPC. It makes your whole Windows system into a image. As far as your Mac is concerned it's just 1 huge file.

    I wouldn't worry about a Windows firewall. Just turn on your OS X firewall and you'll be okay.

    Antivirus is a judgement call. It really depends what you're going to use VPC for. If you plan on p2p or other risky activities then you have more reason to worry. I don't know that I'd go to the trouble of buying antivirus software though. AVG is fine and it's free.

    I don't run antivirus on my VPC installations. The way I look at it, I don't do anything risky and I have nothing important in Windows. If it gets hosed I don't care.
     
  7. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7

    AVG?
     
  8. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #8
    Despite what norton may try to tell you, 'Norton anti-Virus' is actually a virus, it infects your computer, causing irrvirsable damage. Stear clear, give it one hell of a wide berth, wouldn't touch it with a forty foot pole.

    I have DSL, my computer is on over 12 hours a day and am yet to catch a virus in 3 years. my advice is don't bother.
     
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #9
    How do you know that you never caught a virus?
     
  10. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #10
    I have erased my harddrive 5 times, each time only to install a new operating system. And my computer is still running fine.
     
  11. coolsoldier macrumors 6502

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    #11
    What I do with VPC is store all of my data on my Mac HD using "shared folders" so that my windows partition is JUST the operating system. That way, when the windows part messes up (I actually have more trouble with crashes than viruses but that's just 'cause I use Win98 in VPC) you can just replace the windows drive image from the CD without any data loss.
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    Wouldn't it be better to get Office X for the mac? If you are going to rub VPC, only run programs you can't get for the mac on it, that's what its for! For me, that's AutoCad. Come on Autodesk.... let's get your products ported to OSX!
     
  13. coolsoldier macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I thought he was saying that he was going to get Office v.10 for Mac (which includes Virtual PC). No, I wouldn't recommend buying office for windows to run on your mac either.
     
  14. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    #14
  15. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    I was planning on getting office X pro with VPC to run AutoCAD. But I agree that Autodesk should get some mac-friendly applications going.
     
  16. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    WHY?
     
  17. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Victoria, Australia
    #17
    My experience says people who know computers don't usually have virus problems.

    They do things like don't use Outlook/Outlook Express; don't open email they're not sure about; etc etc

    Also they do run a firewall.

    Myself, I don't have any thing running in my VPC because it's only used at work where it sits behind a firewall and Mail Marshal (email content filtering, including AV)

    I also backed up my VPC image (compressed it went from 2Gb down to 630Mb) so I can roll back if I have any disasters.

    It's "dumb" click-click users who just mindlessly click on everything who have problems.

    And don't you just love the way they clog email servers with terrifying emails about the world about to end coz the worst ever virus is out there and it's already on your computer and they've sent (the email hoax) to all one thousand people in their address book. Thank God for Mail Marshal!! :D

    [hr]
    Most software will run, though I've found a very small few unimportant ones that don't.

    As far as hardware goes, anything that uses serial or parallel ports you can all but forget about (you might be able to find a converter to usb that works - i couldn't)

    A lot of USB devices will work. I got both my scanner and printer working despite there being no drivers for either. (set Brother HL1050 printer up as a HP4 and use the wonderful VueScan for my scanner)

    hope this helps
     
  18. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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    Oct 21, 2002
    #18
    Speak for yourself. I guess I do run one in a way, but I put up a router between my computers and the internet. (even if there is just one computer.) They cost $30 and work better than any software firewall that I have run.

    And I have never had a computer hack behind even the cheapest router, (that doesn't forward any ports) and I have had multiple computers running firewalls compromised. (Besides most of the software firewalls get in the way too often.) :D

    just my two cents.
     
  19. macfreek57 macrumors 6502

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    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    #19
    just general info on vpc:

    first,

    if you don't know or couldn't guess, vpc runs much faster on a pc than it would on a comparable mac. this is simply because windows machine code was built for x86 compatable processors (like pentiums and athalons). since mac processors use a different machine code, vpc has to totally convert every command from the virtual computer you set up in vpc to mac machine code. so, that's the added step. machine code conversion. to make it simple. that doesn't even cover discussion of video cards and ram. you definitely cannot play the latest pc games using vpc.

    second,

    the way vpc works is it sets up a totally separate computer that has absolutely no control over your mac. it's in a separate app just like a web browser or word processor. vpc works off of disk images, each one controls a virtual computer within vpc. if one disk image gets corrupted or "virused" then you can throw it away and use a back up copy of it. or you can use the feature of vpc that allows you to actually revert recent changes to a disk image just as though you had never done anything to it.

    __________________________________

    my advice, don't worry about virus software. it would be a waste.
     
  20. coolsoldier macrumors 6502

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    The 909
    #20
    Running office in VPC, while it will work, will not integrate as well with your other applications, run as fast, or be as easy to launch or use as office for mac.

    IF you have other applications that are not available for mac, buy Office for OS X, which IS a mac native program, which comes with virtual PC for running other programs.

    I wasn't sure if that was what you were saying or if you were thinking of buying Office for Windows to run within VPC.

    Basically, in the interest of speed, usability, and stability, you should always use the mac-native version of your software if there is one available.
     
  21. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

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    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #21
    Don't worry - VPC (before MS got it at least) has a little safe-guard : the Apple key, when held will always release your mouse and keyboard from VPC's control - this is part of VPC and not the windows extensions that they install.
     
  22. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 15, 2003
    #22

    Sounds good to me. Thanks for all your help everybody. I still think I might get a firewall or anti-virus software to protect my machine.
     

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