BootCamp is killing me (should have got 256GB)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by filmbuff, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    I thought Macs just worked! This is my first Mac so I still have a lot of Windows programs that I use but I thought "no problem, I'll just run them in bootcamp!" Well first the windows support drivers took hours to download, then I had to call Microsoft to get a new windows 7 activation key, then I made the huge mistake of only partitioning 25gb for windows since I only have 128 total. Now I don't have space for any windows programs and there is no way to expand the partition aside from paying $20 for Winclone.

    On top of all that, Windows 7 can't write to Mac formatted drives so I can't really share files between the two systems.

    I just had to get this rant out of my system, if anybody knows and ways to streamline the bootcamp experience let me know!
  2. barebackbadger8 macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2009
    Wolverhampton, UK
    Macs do work!
    1)The drivers take time because you are trying to run an other os on your mac which isnt a mac os
    2 ) it isnt apples fault u needed to ask for an microsoft activation key
    3) you partitioned your ssd too small in the first instance
    4) could be in point 3, but your bought the 128gb version apple didnt force you to.
    I just had to get that rant against apple out of my system.
  3. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    I had a similar problem to you with bootcamp, so i've recently moved the 2 machines I used it on (the MBA and the iMac) over to use Parallels, its so much better and allows you to share files across easily and don't have to worry about exceeding the bootcamp partition size.

    Sorry, I now thats not really the solution you might have been looking for, but thats how I dealt with it.
  4. Wokis macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Getting by on 20GB windows partition over here. But of course what gets you by will depend on how much software you need.

    Disable hibernation (admin cmd -> "powercfg -h off"), set a manual page file size (400-512MB) and you'll have a lot of space saved.
  5. plucky duck macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2012
    Does Parallel allow you to change the size of the Windows partition at anytime after the initial install?

    128GB is challenging for using dual OS and fills up fast before you know it, that's why I went with the 256GB 2011 model, much more practical for my needs. I gave up 2012's new technology, but in the end SSD size made the most impact on my day to day usage more so than USB 3.0 and HD4000 (as much as I wanted that extra oomph in gaming) I cannot in the end overlook the measly 128GB of storage. Having to start off being cramped for space, then having to fork out $350 down the road for a bigger drive from OWC just didn't make much financial sense.
  6. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    Parallels doesn't require you to have a partition in the true sense, but the Parallels folder will expand and contract in size as you use it within your OSX.

    I don't really save much to my hard drive, especially within W7 (I purely use it to access my work environment through Citrix (double virtual environment!) but in any event I remote access my network drive through my AEB so always have more than enough space wherever I am, which is one of the best things i've set up for a long time - works for itunes and all sorts too. My SSD on my MBA is not even 50% used.
  7. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    Macs do "just work" as long as you are in the Apple ecosystem(Apple branded hardware). If you venture outside the ecosystem, OS X has issues.

    With all that being said, if you were going to dual boot, you should have gotten a larger SSD. You can also dual boot and use an external USB HDD.
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    What types of programs do you need to run? Unless you are gaming it sounds like Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion are the best solutions since they essentially run Windows on top of the Mac. Boot Camp just turns your Mac into a Windows PC (more or less). Windows doesn't "work" any better on a Mac than a PC (actually it runs a bit more poorly since Apple's Boot Camp drivers aren't particularly well optimized). Having said that, as long as you don't encrypt your Mac partition using FileVault, the Boot Camp drivers actually will let Windows read and write to your Mac partition when you boot into Windows.

    If you install Windows within Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion, OS X will see it as a giant file on the hard drive. Windows will see the entire OS X partition as its own and expand and contract as necessary. It will be able to access your Mac partition (even if it is encrypted), since Windows will just see it as another drive, and Parallels/VMWare will handle the details. Both are $50. There is free software called VirtualBox that does much the same, but it can be a little trickier to use. Parallels or VMWare Fusion are more likely to give you the "it just works" experience you are looking for.

    Note, though, that if you remove your Boot Camp partition and install Windows in Parallels or VMWare Fusion, you will need to go through the activation rigamarole all over again. Blame Microsoft's draconian system. That said, I've always been able to get Windows activated using the telephone system.


    To the OP, this is another option. Note that in order to use an external USB HDD as a Boot Camp partition, you need to remove the Boot Camp partition from your internal SSD. Winclone can help here, too.
  9. Blackberryroid macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    A problem for me too. I can't believe Windows 7 ate 20 GB of my drive. I ended up removing Windows and legally downloading the Mac version of those apps.
  10. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I don't see what your problems in Windows and not allocating enough space have to do with 'macs just working'.
  11. kyjaotkb macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
  12. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    I had a similar problem with BoodCamp when I first

    switched to Apples. A couple of lessons I learned. Get rid of Bootcamp was lesson 1. 2. Use Parallels and you will no longer be forced to boot up in one OS or the other. 3. There is just about nothing in Windows specific software I use anymore as everything I need is written for OS X as well. If you must, MS Office is available for OS X but I now prefer the Apple suite which writes and reads either .doc (etc.) files or apple specific files. 4. Always always always have at least a 512 GB drive.

    Just my two cents.
  13. The Smyrk macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2012
    Austin, TX
    As an aside, how did you get remote access to a network drive from anywhere to work? I have the exact same setup. I can live with the slow transfer rates as long as I can actually get the remote access to work (which I haven't been able to get up and running since I upgraded to ML). Any tips or advice you have from your experience would be greatly appreciated.
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005

    filmbuff, attached is a screen shot that shows my pukey work Mac mini using VMWare Fusion to simultaneously running OS X + Windows 7 + Window XP.

    Like others have mentioned, if you use a virtualization product like VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop, you don't have to partition your Mac's hard drive to run another OS, like Windows. VMware/Parallels keep the entire OS in (what looks like to you) a single file on your Mac that grows in size only as needed. If you setup Windows with a 250GB C: drive, the size of the file on your Mac starts out at nothing, and grows only as you install stuff. But Windows thinks it has the 250GB all along (and VMWare/Parallels will allow the file on your Mac to grow that big, if you copy that much data on it).

    The other nice thing is that you don't have to leave that file on your Air's SSD. Windows will definitely run faster if you do (because SSDs are amazingly fast), but if you're only going to use Windows every now and then, buy a $99 external USB3 drive, and put your Windows virtual machine file on it. You'll notice a Finder window in the attached screen shot that shows I have eleven different Window machines on my Lacie external drive, varying in size from 3.9GB to 50GB+.

    Unlike Boot Camp, VMWare/Parallels aren't free (but both have free demos, if you want to play around with them). And if you're doing a lot of intensive video stuff, they might add some delay. But for the majority of things most people use Windows on Macs for, they can be an easier to work with solution that Boot Camp.

    Attached Files:

  15. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    You can't blame Apple for Windows taking a lot of space and needing a new install key. It's Microsoft's product and it would have been the same no matter what hardware you installed it on.

    Same can be said about SSD. It's not Apple's fault if the price/GB is high compared to mechanical hard drives. If you told an Apple store employee you wanted to use Boot Camp, he would probably have suggested you a 256GB/512GB SSD or a MacBook Pro with a mechanical hard drive.

    You formatting your Boot Camp drive too small was your fault.

    Windows not reading HFS+ (Mac) partitions is Windows' problem. Download a Windows program that will allow you to read them, or one on OS X to read NTSF partitions.

    Really this is not Apple's fault at all, just yours and Microsoft's.
  16. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    Yay! +1
  17. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    It took me ages to get it working properly, but essentially my problem was down to my router. I bought a new one to work better with the AEB and then it was all really easy to set up from there. The great thing is the router was really cheap too! SO yes, now I can access my network drive anywhere even when tethering form the iPhone.

    The sticky topic at the top of the forum is really helpful on this topic and should help a lot.
  18. Birone macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012
    Is there a way to run windows 7 off a USB flash drive? Looking at a 32GB USB 3.0, that would suffice his and my space anxiety. Is it even possible?
  19. vodkaPT macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Lisbon, Portugal
    I have now Windows 8, (but it can be 7) running in parallels from a USB 3.0 HDD and is very fast.

    Using boot camp this, from my knowledge is not possible to do, the operating system needs to be in a internal drive
  20. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Read this

    In time, you will completly trasniction to OS X and no longer need Windows. Till then...

    1)As soon as you isntall Windows, disable automatic updates, as this will make your 10GB installiong go to 30GB. This is wahy you no longer have space.
    2)You can enlarge your Windows partion, right?
    3)Macs can read from NTFS, so simply save any file under the windows partiion, and your mac will be able to read it.
    4)Have a FAT32 usb plugged in if you need to share something to your windows partion
  21. filmbuff thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    I did get 15GB of space back by turning off hibernation and shrinking my pagefile to 1GB. I still had to install FSX on an external drive but it runs pretty well. Probably in a few months I will figure out a better solution than having a separate external drive for windows programs.
  22. warutledge, Aug 24, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

    warutledge macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    Bay Area
    Yes, totally transitioning off Windows would be ideal. Sometimes it's just not possible. In the days before the App Store, programs cost a bit of money. And were called programs, for that matter. Apps. Sheesh. ;)

    @filmbuff, you didn't say what programs you needed to run. Given your moniker, I can only guess, some editor you're already intimately familiar with.

    I can say that BootCamp, while a pain, has also been a blessing in the past. I was running a MacBook Pro without a whole lot of memory at few years ago. I was also needing to a Windows only (and no serious Mac alternative) GIS application.

    That being said, filmbuff, Macs and OSX *are* easy. You are installing Windows, after all.

    Using that GIS software, which already ran poorly on a PC regardless, with only 2gb on the machine for both OS's was a complete waste of time. However, I didn't always need to run the memory hog. I was able to dual boot with BootCamp when I needed to do some intense data manipulation. However, less intense apps could be run via Parallels. Or, if I was only viewing files and not manipulating, I could also spin up Parallels and my program.

    Mind you, this was probably 3 years ago. I was running whatever flavor of OSX was the latest, and NT.

    Depending on your needs, there's also CrossOver, which ran like MS Office apps great back then. Better than the Mac Office equivalents. I haven't used it since, tho.

    For the past year, I have been using Parallels 6 with Snow Leopard and Lion, for a different GIS application, also Windows Only. It was better than 3 years ago, but I also upped to 8gb ram, allocating the virtual machine 2-4gb. I'm no longer booting into BootCamp, but I may decide that is necessary again. I'm also running a trial of the new VMware Fusion 5, on Mountain Lion box.

    Alas, why can't they jsut make useful GIS software on a Mac? I know, I'm in a minority...And yes, I do use the open source tools, too.
  23. malachiman macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2008
    New Zealand
    I used to use Parallels (but was disappointed with it) I use VirtualBox now, which not only is free but very reliable.
  24. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    1st of all, there are plenty of options to clear up some space on windows (your windows should take around 18gb now, right?). You can get that down to 12gb.

    Secondly, you should have partitioned more than 25gb for windows... That's your fault.

    Third, the hard disks are quite a PITA with macs, and I suggest you format your external hard drives to FAT32 . Then you can use them on every device.
    The only drawback of FAT32 (as with mac extended journaled or whatever) is that you can only transfer files on the disk that are less than 4gb.
    I don't know why apple uses that, since HD movies can sometimes be more than 4gb and you just can't use them...
  25. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I think it is licensing issues. Apple doesn't see the need to fully license NTFS from Microsoft, so they build in read-only access. One option for flash media is ExFAT (FAT64). It will support larger files, but a drawback is that you can't boot from an ExFAT partition.

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