Brand new iMac user; assorted general questions about Windows on an iMac...

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by xpipe, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. xpipe macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2008
    Hi. This is my first post. I am in full-on panic mode :eek:

    I am a very happy 64-bit Vista user, but I have been curious about Macs for some time. I have no prior experience with them. I finally took the plunge yesterday and got the 24" iMac/3.06GHZ/4GB/8800gs.

    I love the hardware and everything seems to run nice and smoothly. Of course, I don't have the slightest idea how this thing works, and I am freaking out. Now I have two expensive computers on my desk, and and my computing has become a confused mishmash between the two. I'm feeling like I've made a huge mistake. It's like I've suddenly got three legs and I'm constantly trying to figure out which two to use.

    Anyway, I plan to get a book on Leopard to see how it works. But I thought I could maybe ease things by installing Vista in the meantime. So, a couple general questions:

    1) So Windows will really run well on the iMac? As in, it'll be just like using it on a PC? This really works and is stable enough run as a long-term solution on the iMac, should I decide that I prefer it to Leopard and want to stick with it as my primary OS? Maybe I could give my PC to my dad, if the Vista performance is the same or better on the iMac.

    2) I understand that I can run Windows either by booting into it though Boot Camp. or virtualization with Vmware Fusion? I could have both options available to me on the same computer? And this would be considered the same installation of Windows for licensing I don't need separate copies for Boot Camp and Fusion (I hope not)?

    3) I mostly use an external HD for storage. Will this be a problem when switching between the two operating systems? Can I use files I've saved in Windows on the Mac side, and vice-versa? The data doesn't get flaky at all going back and forth between the two?

    4) What about the mouse? I hate this Mighty Mouse. I want to use my regular mouse. Can I use it on the Mac?

    5) I am confused about which version of Vista I may install on the Mac. It seems you can install 64-bit on some Macs, but not the iMac?

    6) I see there is an update to Boot Camp. How do I find out if I need it, or what version I currently have installed?

    Thanks for the help. I'm sure I'll have more questions, if that's OK. I feel like I'm in a race against the clock to see if I can live with this new computer before the return period is up.
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    learning a new OS can never be easy, just relax and be open-minded about it, and you'll get the hang of it.

    1. yes windows can run just fine. see below.
    2. yes you are correct, you can have one install and you can run it through Paralles/VMware or boot directly into it with no issues.
    3. this is where things get tricky. OS X can read NTFS, but cannot write. and i'm not sure if NFTS has any support built in for HFS+, the file system in OS X. both can read and write to FAT partitions though, so that is an option to share files back and forth, there are other options out there for reading from the drives though, although their name escapes me right now and i've never used them.
    4. you can use whatever mouse you want. some have better 3rd party drivers than others. there are two 3rd party options out there other than oem drivers: steermouse and USBoverdrive
    5. i've never dealt with Vista let alone 64bit so i'm not sure if it can be installed, but you do have a c2d processor which should allow it i'd think.
    6. if you need to update it, run software up-date which is in your system preferences.

    feel free to ask whatever else you need.
  3. Doodledoo macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    I believe the Windows application that will let you read and write HFS+ (it's not built-in) is called MacDrive.
  4. aki macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2004
    #4 should relaaaaax imac is meant to make u happy not stressed out ;) i looooooooove mine :p

    5) i have same imac bto as u and i installed vista32 and it works just like any other pc once bootcamp is all installed and update.....the ooooonly thing u need to know is fan control in windows side is not as good....if u will do some serious work or games on windows side u should use smcfancontrol it works great there are many other posts on it so search and ask if u dont understand it

    for vista64....of course our imac is 64bit cpu BUT bootcamp/apple doesnt support vista64 on our imac now.....some people can install it they use drivers from the mac pro bootcamp i think??...but i read many posts and decided just use vista32 until apple supports v64 properly

    so.....vista32 no problem but use fan control software
    vista64 can do but have to research/do more complicated stuff

    oh last you ask about virtual os...i also have parallels with XPSP3 and it is very good and fast but actually 90% i just use bootcamp coz parallels is not really 4 game or video work

    oh and 3) i use external hds too most times and it is easiest to have Win Drives and OSX Drives than share for me....i can explain more detail if u need but basically....i have one Win Drive (NTFS) and when i must move data i use parallels it will mount a NTFS drive on OSX desktop just like any other drive and u can read and write normally to it....some people use macdrive software but i read it is sometime a bit buggy and parallels works

    if u reeeeeeally need to use data between both OS u can paritition a 32gb FAT32 partition to put shared data on

    i think tho imho u choose ONE os 4 daily life like email and calendar and music etcetcetc its simpler than mishmash i use OSX 4 my living and just vista32 for game and some graphics app

    tell us how u do!!i was new 2 imac 2 but now im in looooove...
  5. xpipe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2008
    Thanks again, everyone...I'm starting to feel less uptight about all this. I'll be doing a lot of reading this weekend in this book I just bought, "Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual." It looks like it should be pretty decent for what I need. Talk to you soon!
  6. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a


    Feb 22, 2005

    Watch the videos on here if you want a quicker crash course on Mac than reading a book. Should give you a good idea of what it's all about.

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