Advice on running virtual windows needed

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by MacAndMic, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    I would like to have a copy of Windows on my Mac and am hoping you guys can point me in the right direction..........of course with some caveats ;)

    I already use Windows 7 via bootcamp but I want this separate installation for testing purposes only, exactly how I use Virtual XP in Windows 7. I do not want this "copy" to interfere with bootcamp at all nor do I want it to cross talk with OSX. It does not need to be super reliable nor will it require any data that needs safe-guarding. I simply want a testing environment that I do not have to boot into Windows 7 and then start the Virtual XP there.

    I am not opposed to buying one of the current virtualization programs out there but I would prefer something free as this is just a "luxury" item and not mandatory. I know I have seen a couple of freeware or open source products but I cannot stress enough that I do not want this to interfere with my current bootcamp or OSX. I want it to act like it's own entity in a window, much like a remote login screen works.

    Thank you for any and all advice.

  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Can you define what you mean by interfere?

    Unless you are actively running a VM, the fact that you have VM software installed doesn't affect OS X. (There are generally some kexts installed, but they are unobtrusive).

    When the VM is running it definitely affects OS X performance due to the RAM allocated to the VM and the frequent disk access.

    You can definitely sandbox the VM as much or as little as you want and give it as much or as little access to the OS X and windows partitions.

    VirtualBox is free (or you could use the free trial of Parallels or VMWare) and for testing purposes you could proabably just install W7 from your current diac and leave it unactivated (do not enter a product key).


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