Best way to run .EXE without buying Windows

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by 425, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. 425 macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2010
    Hi, I have a 2010 MacBook (2.4 GHz Core2Duo, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HD), and I am interested in running .exe files, as the programs I am interested in using are mostly small programs made by a few people and do not have Mac versions.

    I have looked into Boot Camp and virtualization, but the cost of buying a copy of Windows seems way to high for the amount I want to use it ($120 for an OS! Ridiculous!).

    I have also tried Crossover, but it crashed on opening one of these programs.

    I would like to know what the best way to open .exe files is on Mac besides one of these. Also, Linux is better for opening .exe files through whatever method, I am not opposed to using VirtualBox to run Linux.
  2. xizar macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2009
    You could try ReactOS through a virtualbox. While I have not done this (having both a bootcamp partition and crossover), it appears to me that this is the least expensive way to make it work.

    The price for Lion seemed a bit of an anomaly for Mac OS pricing. Snow Leopard was 150 or something like that (though upgrade paths were cheaper).

    You might check at to see if there are workarounds for your programs. While there's no .NET for windows, there is Mono.
  3. 425 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2010
    Unfortunately, the programs are very little-known programs with very limited use (The primary one, BrawlBox, involves editing .PAC files from some Wii games), so Codeweavers does not have anything about them.

    I will, however, look into ReactOS.
  4. skiier macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2011
    Really there isn't a way to do this. I've wanted to run programs like mkv2vob and I had to partition and resort to boot camp just to do this. If the application is a .NET app, you can use Mono to run it. Otherwise I dunno man.
  5. 425 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2010
    I tried running ReactOS out of VirtualBox. The experience was a disaster, the OS BSoD'd every 5 minutes, and I couldn't even successfully download the program I need out of Firefox, let alone use it.

    The program I deign to use is quite simple, there are few animations, just a fairly simple GUI. It is called BrawlBox, if anyone wants to look for it. Is there a good way to run a simple .exe file on the Mac, or is there a version of Linux that will work well in VirtualBox to run .exe files?
  6. conn4 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    I'm trying to run crossover but when I try to open exe file it says no default for bottles?? Im clueless-just want to open one exe file.
  7. ps2pk macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2010
    Not sure if you want a permanent install or something for a few months.

    You can use bootcamp and install windows 7 free for 120 days (trail).

    download here -

    re arm trail every 30 days -

    you can obviously continue doing this forever but you'll have to reformat and reinstall after 120 days.

    Another option is using Windows 8. It's beta so free until next year.
  8. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    It is not if you notice that XP has been supported already for over 10 years. It also supports older software unlike OS X which does not. You upgrade to Lion and suddenly you have to upgrade a whole lot of other stuff. About every year a new version of OS X comes out and you have to pay for this. Lots of hidden costs in OS X. On one machine I am stil running MS Office 97 and Windows 2000, hardware still supports it.

    Hardware is the least of my costs and also OS is not my worry, it is backwards compatibility.
  9. marikavs macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2006
    There's something called which supposedly does this (Windows on Mac.) I inadvertently downloaded it once, thinking it was something else. A google search yields " Open Source Software for running Windows applications on other operating systems." The rest of the found entries are all about drinking-wine.

    I agree, Windows is still too expensive. I paid over $300 for mine some time ago only to now forget where I packed it... Good luck!
  10. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011

  11. marcusj0015 macrumors 65816

    Aug 29, 2011
    You can install Wine under Linux, it should also be available for Mac...

    React OS is based on the old Win 95/98/ME so it probably won't work for anything new.
  12. mainstay macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2011
    Can't you just ebay a copy (legitimate) for ~$30?

    I throw out copies of XP and Vista daily (with valid s/n's on the cases) as people find it cheaper to replace a system then pay for repairs (think HD, data recovery, reinstall, re-integration of files, and setting everything back up at $300 vs. $500 for a new system).
  13. OSX Buddy macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2014
  14. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014
    have you looked at wine/xover support forums and such to see if someone has tried to run your app and give guidance.

    Or worst case you can look at other problems apps mentioned on those sites and see how they resolved it. Sometimes its jsut a matter of working it like a similar problem child app has been.

    I saw some linux wine hacks for your brawlbox, but they had caveats (saw one thing say you won't show check boxes checked off....but they are turned just the graphic not there)

    Just my opinion but if this much into modding (unless I am seeing a different brawlbox, one I saw mods super mario stuff) you may want the os to work with tools that don't have wine caveats. I am in other realms where the cost of a windows OS I run in VM for stuff I could not carry over to mac os is outweighed by convenience of not playing wine and such games. Just my take on the matter. YMMV of course.

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