Advice on Bootcamp partition size

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Pjrufus, May 9, 2018.

  1. Pjrufus macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2014
    2012 Macbook Pro - I think the minimum for Windows 10 64 bit is around 32-40. I need to use it for Windows Explorer, to upload photos and fill out forms online. I’ll have the photos on an external drive so I can use them (the same batch group) on both Mac and Windows. I don’t need to install a lot of programs or store any files on the Windows partition. I just want to get in, do a few quick jobs, and get back into Mac ASAP.
    I’ve done some research, I think 60 gb should be plenty, but if I can get away with less, and have everything still work OK, that would be fine.
    I’ve had to turn off Filevault to partition before I can proceed, which I found is going to take awhile, good thing I guess, more time to make sure I know what I’m doing.
    Appreciate the advice on partition size.
  2. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    For what you need to do I wouldn't bother with Boot Camp at all. Just download the free VirtualBox from Oracle and run Windows 10 in a VM instead. You can do the same thing with the Windows Explorer to upload your photos. Lot easier and less stressful then fooling around with Boot Camp. :D
  3. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Also going to chime in with VirtualBox.

    My VirtualBox vm for Win10 64bit is 22+GB on disk. Have allocated a vdisk size of 30GB.

    What is nice about doing Windows via vm solutions is that it is a heck easier to grow the disk when needed, as occurred when I tried to do a previous W10 upgrade and kept bumping into insufficient space errors (update said needed 8GB free space, had 9GB, kept bombing out) and not eat-up Mac's space. And when done with the vm, just need to move/delete it (I keep mine on an external drive as have not had a need for Windows in over a year).
  4. Pjrufus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2014
    Thank you, I don’t know anything about virtuals. Just looked up VirtualBox quickly, I think you are right that would be a better option for me. Just from what I read briefly, wondering if VirualBox set up might be a bit over my head. Would Parallels be better for me? Is there a step-by-step guide for VirtualBox, for idiots, that you can recommend?
    --- Post Merged, May 9, 2018 ---
    It runs OK on an external? Is it slower than on the Mac?
  5. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Oh, for sure slower on external vs on Mac's drive, but since Windows, for me, is rarely accessed, will sacrifice speed for having free space on the Mac.

    As to how easy VirtualBox and others are to install: easy. Each of the programs will walk you through how to install. Not much different than installing "natively", just have an extra step re: how much RAM to allocate to the vm, vdisk size, etc.
  6. Pjrufus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2014
    Just watched a couple youtube vids. VirtualBox is just what I need, and it seems pretty easy. I think when I first did a Google search, I found how to’s with all kinds of script things, which made it look confusing.

    Thanks to both of you.

    Now, just have to wait for my mac to finish decrypting . . . So, I’ll install VB and Windows tomorrow.
  7. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
  8. Pjrufus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2014

    Have another question, I have 8 gb of memory on my Mac, should I allocate 2 or 4 to Windows? Does that take away from the total memory available on the Mac when I’m not using Windows? I use Photoshop a lot, I want to keep as much as possible for that. Also, if I set the HD space at 40, can I change it later?

    Thank you again for the help.
  9. NoBoMac, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 12, 2018

    NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Re: RAM: depends on what you are doing concurrently on Mac. I have 2GB allocated to vm as my vm usage is not resource intensive. Vm RAM gets freed up once you shutdown the vm.

    Disk, can't shrink the vdisk, can only grow it. But, vdisks only consume as much physical disk as currently in use in the vm. The vdisk is implemented with sparse files on Mac, so even though you create a 40GB vdisk, to start, the physical file size will be less than that as your vm will be just the os and any additional files/programs you put on it.

    And even though you cannot shrink a vdisk, can keep it at a minimum size by doing a few things. After any updates, I do the following (step 2 is done via Windows Power Shell, step 3 from Mac's Terminal):
    1. Run Windows Disk Cleanup with the system files option.
    2. Run sdelete with the zap option (sdelete can be found on Microsoft's site, Google for the link)

      sdelete.exe -z c:
    3. Run VBoxManage command. This command is located in the VirtualBox app container. Don't recall the exact switches required, but, there is an option to compress the .vdi file that is the vm vdisk (the install media comes with a user's guide, if I recall correctly, that will show options for the command. Or can just type in the command name to get the full list of options).

      Command line to compact a VM's VDI file:

      /Applications/ modifymedium disk /pathnametoyourvm/yourvmname.vdi --compact
  10. Pjrufus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2014
    Just wanted to say thanks again. Installed VB and Windows 10. Wasn’t that complicated, seems to work fine for the little that I need it for.
  11. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    FYI: I believe you can always readjust RAM on the vm from the main control panel, if you start running into issues in that regard. So, can adjust things on an as needed/dayxto-day basis.

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