VM vs dual boot windows 7/8

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by slitherjef, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2012
    A bit long, so, bare with me... (some out loud thinking follows)

    I have an early 2012 MBP with 8GB of ram and 256GB crucial M4 SSD (did the upgrades myself).

    I have downloaded the trial version of parallels and the developer preview of windows 8 for it and did not do a whole lot. I do have a windows 8 64bit pro edition disc laying around that I bought shortly after release. Also got a full version of windows 7 home premium that I was running on my old desktop but the PC broke and I decided to just not fuss with the dang thing. I just need my raw images off of it. It will power on, but shut off shortly thereafter so trying to deregister windows 7 is going to be a issue. Perhaps a phone call to MS may help. I don't know.

    There is a couple other things I do need windows for and that is to run Odin and ADB.

    My question is, is it better to run Windows 8 (or 7) in a VM on the MBP or would dual booting be better? The issues comes to windows drivers for some of the devices I use, like MTP and sometimes there is a lot of unplugging and plugging back in of the USB cords. I don't do this a lot.

    I figure a VM may be safer then dual boot, because I just basically need just a temporary windows OS when I need it. Since I already have parallels installed, I should only need to buy the box (I prefere boxed software) then just enter the serial when I get it, remove the Dev preview and install one of the other two OS's I got laying around.

    The one issue I have with this is, if I run a script and I need to unplug things or have a device reboot (I am rooting and flashing roms on my android devices), there may be a chance I brick a device. I guess there is a risk either way so, I just got to be careful.

    I suspect dual boot will be faster but to get from one OS to the other, I will need a reboot, whereas VM, I can just pull things up when ever.

    I guess this kind of answers my questions and VM would probably be the way to go since it is pretty much all set up and I just need to enter a valid key.

  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you don't want to leave OSX and/or need the pure performance of windows running natively then go with the virtual solution.

    Running windows natively has advantages but only if you want to leave OSX and/or need the access to hardware, or performance.

    I use vmware and I'm quite happy but then my windows needs are very limited, that is I only run it a couple of times a month for some accounting software.
  3. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    VMs are great. Booting a computer is a chore.

    I've got a Windows XP VM running 24/7 on my server that is used solely to run Quicken. I have a Windows 7 VM to replicate my work environment when I'm at home. I also teach classes which use Windows only CAD software. I've got another VM for that. And some old software and documentation (done in WordPerfect) I maintain is under a Windows 2000 VM. I also do some development work in Ubuntu Linux -- VMs for that as well!

    I use Parallels (8 on my iMac and MBP and 6 on the server) for Windows and VirtualBox for Linux. I also run VitualBox for Linux VMs on my PC at work. The really fantastic thing about VMs is that they are portable -- you can build one and work on one system and then copy it to another and it will work there as well. And if the VM goes belly-up, as Windows seems to do on occasion, it's just a quick restore from a backup.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2012
    Okay, I got a few more questions...

    I know windows is more virus prone, will any problems carry over to my MBP from running windows in a VM?

    I read VMs are portable, does this mean I can set up the VM on say a 16gb thumb drive?

    Will installing drivers and programs in the VM be a problem?

    Sorry, I have never really played around with a VM before. As I mentioned, I do have Windows 8 Developer preview installed in a parallels trial.

    My main concern is jacking up my MBP as I use it for finances and stuff too.
  5. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    If you don't use the VM for web browsing or other risky activities it will never get a virus. My VMs run nothing but known software packages and I've never had any viruses.

    I've found that my MBP runs a program development application in a Windows VM five times faster than the same application runs on the work-provided, year old, Xeon powered HP Workstation that is burdened by company mandated anti-virus programs.

    You could but the VM on a 16GB thumb drive, but it would be incredibly slow!

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