Confusion over differing advice and instructions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Katilea, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. Katilea macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    I'm thinking about switching to an iMac with the cool 24"screens. Before I do I wanted to know how I would get windows on to it using the parallels desktop or bootcamp?

    On the apple site it gives instructions under the 'switch 101' section that shows you can connect your old pc tower to the iMac via ethernet and just copy the whole volume (hard drive?) over to your mac in the virtual pc section.

    However in another section from same website it states you must have windows installation disk and it must be the one that is complete installation including service pack 2 for windows Xp and not an older version of XP then an im confused!!

    I dont have a disk as it came pre-installed on the HP pavilion. How would I get my entire C drive onto the iMac?

    Why cant I just leave it connected to iMac via ethernet and use it as an external hard drive?

    Lastly i got no idea what all the Ghz. Gb and everything means, should i go for the biggest and most expensive one so everything definatly fits on it?

    I use it for chatting, shopping. email etc. It will have special needs software on which says it is 41.6MB for mac 10.4 or later and more may need to be added at a later date, (OS X Leopard comes with the iMac), and I'm hoping to find drivers for my existing HP 5550 printer and scanjet 2400 for the mac before i decide whether its worth switching. I have photoshop elements and video editing software which should run in the virtual desktop?

    Can anyone advise me asap? (if I order before 29th july I can get £60 back on a printer if mines isn't compatible!)


    Kati (Yorkshire, UK)
  2. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but your going to need to buy a version of Windows to install on your iMac for bootcamp, etc to work.
    I'm almost positive of that though.
    But when you buy your computer (assuming your buying it in a store) you can get a genius to switch everything over I believe.
    I would go that route if your not an experienced computer user and would be alot easier.

    For what you stated you use the computer for, getting the lower end 24in iMac seems perfect for you.
    To give you a little rundown of what all of that means and to give you a better understanding of which computer to get for yourself, I'll try to break it all down some.

    "Ghz" is defined as a Unit of frequency equal to one billion cycles per second. But your probably inquiring about a processor, or CPU.
    AKA, A Central Processing Unit. Now what does that do?
    The CPU basically executes a sequence of stored instructions called a program.The program is represented by a series of numbers that are kept in some kind of computer memory.
    That's getting a little in-depth though.
    BASICALLY, it is the brain of the computer and the single most important chip in the computer.
    Personally, I would go for the 2.8Ghz.
    The 3.06 isn't really worth the money, and you won't see any difference speed wise unless you set the two right next to each other and clock the time difference's.

    Memory, or RAM..
    I'm not going to go into near as in depth as I did with the processor, but the more Gb's, the faster your computer will be in opening programs, and running multiple things at once. Have you noticed with your HP if you have to many things open, that it seems a little sluggish?
    Maybe not depending on your system, but I'm just assuming here.
    2gb's of RAM is PLENTY, but you can max it out to 4gb if your up for it. More doesn't hurt.
    Though, you may notice, that's it's pretty pricy on Apple to upgrade your RAM.
    Going through a website such as will save you hundreds.
    You can get two better quality sticks of RAM for about 80 bucks, and have your iMac maxed out to 4gb. If your worried about the installation process that you would have to do, it's VERY easy. If you search it on you can see it done in less than two minutes. It's very basic stuff.

    Now, Gb's also come into play here.
    Gigabytes (Gb's) are 1000 Megabytes (Mb's).
    This basically is going to determine how much space you will have available in your machine.
    Of course, you can always get external hardrives, but going internal is a better idea in my opinion.
    320Gb's is PLENTY, but going to 500Gb's isn't to expensive and is nice to have the extra space, as this is where all your music, photo's, videos, etc. are going to go.

    Most likely, your printer is going to work with the iMac. They have TONS of drivers for that kind of stuff.

    I don't know what kind of video editing software that you have, but more than likely, iMovie is going to do some AWSOME videos for your purpose.

    That's about all I can answer, but I'm sure most of your other questions will be answered on here.
    But I hope you do decide to go the iMac route. You won't regret it. The Operating System is just SOOO much better than that of windows.
    Good luck on whatever you decide to do, and if you need any more clearing up on any of the questions that I answered, then let us know, and I, or someone else will try our best to answer them.
  3. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Hi Thanks for answering. Yes i read that it needed disc but then i found instructions saying how to transfer everything on your drive via ethernet so thats what confused me.

    If you go to this page scroll down to 'how do i migrate my files' theres a connect, tells you how to transfer everything straight from pc drive to imac... though i'm not sure what it means by 'your PC's workgroup name'?

    I think I'd be better having more powerful one to start with, my co-ordination isnt very good for taking things apart etc and I'm mainly housebound so I wouldnt be able to get to my nearest apple store which is right down in sheffield, over 20 mile from me (I'm in uk) I buy online and get stuff delivered.

    The Keystrokes assistive program only needs 41.6MB, not sure if that's how much it takes up or how much it uses when its open and running. But I worked out how much in total id need if I needed scanning and speech in future and that comes to 101.3Mb I'm not sure if this is a lot in relation to how much other programs like photoshop, iMovie or adding all my windows stuff to it would need to run.

    I dont know if you have the iMac with the thin keyboard, I wondered how big the keys were..i.e are they easy to hit? From the pics they look a little wider apart than pc keyboard and kinda bigger individual keys especially on the wired keyboard which is longer. I'm just wondering if i could manage that keyboard or do Apple do a BIGkeys version for people like motor disabilities?

    I use the BIGtrack trackball as a mouse with dwell clicking program for double clicks and dragging.

    One last thing, theres not that much difference in price between them both once you got upgrades but what is difference between ATI radeon graphics and NVIDIA?

    I didnt relaise they were so many upgrades you can go up to a 1TB hard drive whatever that means!! my options are 500, 750 or 1 TB?
  4. akidd macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2007
    Tunbridge Wells, UK
    Katilea, the simplest thing is to ring the Apple store in Sheffield and explain everything to them. A colleage just bought a new Apple laptop from the Bluewater store and had various issues (nothing to do with the computer) and they were very helpful on the phone.
    Normally appointments are made with the in-store Genius, so they can devote time to the customer, so I'm sure they'd happily arrange a time to ring you and talk it over with you. If the first person you talk with doesn't give you all the answers you want, ring them again and speak to someone else - different people are more clued up on differing things if my colleague's experience is anything to go by.

    Based on what you described about the size of the programs you use on your PC, any of the iMacs would be totally fine. They are quite small (in terms of memory) - Office (Word etc) takes up far, far more space on my much older laptop and everything works fine.

    I don't know about the keyboard (I haven't used the new one yet - ordered new iMac this afternoon) - but there isn't a large key version. But there are loads of 'PC' keyboards which work perfectly with Macs. The one you have may well work.

    Hope it all works out. Do update your post to let us know.

    Enjoy the new Mac.
  5. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    I think you are confusing the process of "transferring your personal files" and "installing Windows" on your iMac. They are two completely separate issues.
  6. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Hey there!
    Sorry for the late response. I have just woken up (2:45pm) and
    I had been awake for over 24 hours when I replied to your message, so sorry if it wasn't very sharp. :rolleyes:

    Regarding the Direct Connect.
    I've never done this myself, but just looking at that page, it looks like there are far more easier ways of doing this?
    Do you have a removable storage device or an external hardrive? That would just be a simple drag and drop. But I'm still going to recommend using a genius at an Apple store to do that for you. If you're not available to leave the house, maybe once you recieve your computer, you can have a friend or family member take it down there since you live so close by one.

    Now for your Keystrokes assistive program...
    First of all, let's just say that you pick the "500" option for hardrive.
    If you pick that one, then you will have 500,000MB. So, your programs will have plenty of space. And while we're at it, 1TB is basically a "1000" option. That's ALOT of room for a basic user, but I guess it's nice to have.
    Pretty much whatever you want to put on your Mac, it's going to fit with no issue.
    Just to clear something up though, you do have all the discs for these programs that you speak of, right? Such as the Keystrokes assistive program, photoshop, and the Speech program, right? Your going to need those discs to instal them on your Mac (someone correct me if I'm wrong).
    Now, I haven't look into any of these, but are they Mac compatible?
    If not, your basically going to be running Windows the whole time on your Mac. So if your buying the make for the way it operates, then you may be out of luck. Your programs will run fine on the computer, but you will have to run them on bootcamp. Once again though, I've never looked into those, so I may be SO wrong. Though even if that is the case, your going to get a computer that will run windows better than a normal PC for the most part.

    Now for the keyboard, etc.
    I don't know what keyboard you have now, and when you say "big" how big you actually mean... But from my experience with the keyboard, that are regular sized buttons, but spread out alot more than an average keyboard.
    But if your liking the one you have now, I'm sure it would be able to plug right in.
    That mouse will probably work as well, you'll just have to download the drivers for the mouse and the keyboard.
    As for that clicking program, once again.. I don't know if it will work without bootcamp, you may want to look into that.

    There's a difference in those graphic cards that you mentioned, but nothing that you need to worry about. The more expensive one the better, though the lesser one will be plenty. :)

    I'm hoping that I'm answering some of your questions. I'm only 15, so I'm not that experienced in the Mac world. So if I'm not, I'm sure we can get a more experienced user on here to answer them for you, or as mentioned, call the Apple store and have a chat with them.
  7. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    The 'KeyStrokes' program at minute is only a trial version I downloaded onto the iBook. I'd need different version of it for OS X 'leopard' that comes with new iMac, which is why I'm trying to find out all this info before I pay for a copy.

    I'm not sure if I get a disk or download it but that wouldn't be done until after I got the iMac anyway. The dwell clicker menu is part of the keystrokes program, though you can also get a free simple version for PC which I also have on my PC.

    I have all disks for photoshop etc but I am willing to learn mac programs, otherwise whats the point of getting one!

    I dont have disk for Windows XP, as it came pre-installed on my pavilion, so I'll have to get a full version copy of that or Vista. The only thing I will need windows for is the Typetalk software so I can use my PC as a textphone to make outgoing calls, as I also have speech/hearing difficulties, and I'm struggling with the small keyboard on my existing textphone.

    I would have iWork put on for £55 extra just so I got a basic word processing program for when i need to write any letters. Unless anyone knows of a free basic word processing download for Mac?

    I thought the iMac might have basic photo editing software on to resize, remove red/green eye (for pets eyes) or adjust brightness where flash is too bright etc? Plus you also mentioned iMovie does that come with it on the operating system or something you buy seperately?

    It may also need to be able to work environmental controls, communication and eye tracking software in the future so I want to go with the best memory, hard drive and processing speed I can afford. (I have been diagnosed with a progressive neurological condition which sadly does not come with a very good prognosis.. everyone is different in the speed things go but I want to invest in a system that will meet all my possible future needs as well as my current ones).

    Keystrokes will enable me to control my entire desktop and make my own on-screen keyboards, menus and buttons which I can activate by simply rolling the trackball over the button. It does word prediction, abbreviation-expansion and hotkeys to store full sentences for live chat etc, to make typing and communicating quicker. The program is designed by Assistive Ware and all their products are specifically for Mac's and includes hi-tech scanning and switchbased or eye tracking systems that are better than the pc versions which is why I'm seriously considering switching to Mac as my main computer.

    To access iBook at minute I'm using a cheap and colourful child's keyboard with big keys that I got off ebay for £20! I have been looking at the iMac keyboards close up and cos the letters are spaced futher apart and look 'fatter' keys.. more square and flat I think I will be able to manage them for now. (and if not, i can just design one on keystrokes!)

    Also the fact that over the years I have gone through 6 window based PC's which have died, crashed etc and only 1 iBook which was second hand when I bought it 5 years ago (£200 off ebay!) and is still going strong. Its never had a virus, never crashed and although I had a frustrating time trying to get it on my network (mainly cos I didn't know where to find things to set it up), I'm quite attached to my little blue and white!

    I just have a few more bits of information to get together and replies to wait for before I go ahead with purchasing one. I just need to find a local repair man who knows mac's and will do home visits just in case it ever breaks down.

    Thanks for all your advice guys! :)

  8. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    NeoOffice will suit your needs fine

    i'm pretty sure iLife comes pre installed,but if not you want the iLife 08 suit which includes iPhoto iMovie etc and can be bought for around £40

    If you want to install windows via bootcamp google around for a OEM version of either Vista or XP much cheaper and does the same job, if you do go with the iMac check first if it'll run 32 or 64 bit versions of windows
  9. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Thanks the Neo Office should be fine, it looks similar to open office that I use on pc but I didn't know they did a free mac version.

    How do I find out whether it will run a 32 bit or 64 bit windows? I'm ordering online via The spec I have chosen is the Intel iMac 24" (where it says 2.8Ghz as the base). I am upgrading to 3.06Ghz with 750 GB Hard drive 4GB memory (that was highest it would go). It works out a bit cheaper than going for the already 3.06Ghz base at end and keeps it to under £1500 for me!

    I'm getting parallel desktop -academic version I cant see much difference between the two they both seem to do what I want just to run one or two programs on and its cheaper, also leaves me with enough left over to purchase the special software from Assistive ware.

    Do you know if this machine will do what you said? On Parallels desktop it just list requirement as an Intel mac which it is.

    Lastly what does OEM mean? How will i know ..does it say OEM on the box/disk? I was thinking of getting a cheap copy of ebay. Parallel windows says it just requires a full installation disk and a key. I'm going to go with XP as one persons review of parallel windows stated that it used less resources than Vista. It wont be used that often anyway.

    Thanks again
  10. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    I'm 99.9% the new iMac's will only run 32 bit windows but you could try ringing Apple to confirm this, do yourself a favour and try Fusion as well as Parallel's as it's in my opinion and a lot of others a superior product, both have free trials so you can check this out for yourself. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacture so there meant for developers who build machine's from the ground up,if you google say XP 32 bit OEM it'll show the results

    here are the results

    The iMac you stated will run all this fine & more

    oh nearly forgot if you go XP make sure it's sp2 or above otherwise it wont work

    No worries
  11. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    After reading on apple store about parallel windows and VM fusion ware. I was reading the requirements for the antivirus that came with VM Fusionware and it said 'Apple Boot Camp, Parallel desktop and VM Fusionware'.

    Does this mean that Apple Boot camp which comes with the iMac does the same thing as the other two products that i'd be paying between £40-£80 extra for? Do I need them?

    I cant find anywhere on the iMac page that mentions 32 or 64 Bits? I have found a copy of XP that includes service pack 2 and a serial code for £20 but i dont know whether its 32 bits or 64 it doesnt say?

    However on the requirements for VM Fusion it did mention needing an Intel Mac Core 2 Duo for a 64 bit system which mine is, so it should work any copy of XP i put on shouldnt it?

    Never relaised this was going to be so complicated! If someone can just tell me if Apple boot camp does same thing as the other two then i know whether I need to add them to order before I place it? If the Boot camp that comes with it gets windows on your mac why would I need to buy the other softwares after it was installed? What do they do that Apple Boot Camp doesnt?

    I just need an antivirus of some description if I'm gonna have windows on same system as mac? Any recommendations.
  12. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Hi again Kati

    It's not to complicated Kati, Bootcamp is an application that comes with leopard, bootcamp allows you to partition( how large you want it to be ) your HDD to be able to install windows, with windows installed you basically have two computers one Windows PC one Mac OS X. Fusion is a program that allows you to run both OSX and Windows along side each other ( Windows is a virtual OS ) When you install Fusion you can run it off your Bootcamp/windows partition this is easy to do and you will see this when you install it.( Fusion) With this method you can shutdown Fusion and just run windows by rebooting into it you then have the advantage of being able to run windows at native speed, if you run windows via fusion you are splitting you resources ( you are running two OS's at the same time )

    If you cant find info on 32 or 64 bit XP just go with 32 as this is a safe bet ( when specs say 64 bit it can also run 32 bit )

    You don't need AV on OS X BUT will need it in bootcamp/windows ( as you know Windows needs all the help it can get ) your usual AV's will do ie AVG etc ( remember you now have two separate OS's ) This also applies if you decide to install Fusion

    If you don't need to run both OS's together then don't buy Fusion, with Windows installed ( via Bootcamp ) & no Fusion you just hold down the alt key when you bootup and a bootloader appears you then just choose which OS you want to boot into

    Hope this now makes alittle more sense Kati??

  13. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    ok..I got it now..I! I'm just waiting to hear from Typetalk if they have a version that works with mac or will in future, if not i'll have to have small amount of drive for windows if thats only thing i use it for.

    I think everything else I will be able to find an alternative for on mac. Can you choose how much of the drive you give to each OS? or does it do it automatically based on how much you have on each system?

    I like to use Firefox on PC but I read alot about it causing crashes on the Mac system. Would it affect it if i had firefox on the part that was windows? or can the newer versions of safari do multiple tabs, add-ons etc?

    One last thing i forgot. I found printer drivers but someone told me iMacs only have USB ports is this right? my printer has one of those funny ends with two pins at either side you screw in, is there some kind of adapter to put on to make it a USB end, if you get what i mean?

    Also read a post on this site about someone having probs with mac driver for same printer as me hp5550, but if i got windows on it too surely i can run printer and scanner from windows on the rare occasions that I need to use them now?

    I think thats about Thanks for all your advice, this is a great site.
  14. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    You again Kati :eek:

    When you finally come to install windows you can choose how much or how little you want to give it the minimum is 5GB,then you just work out on top of that how much space you need for programs apps etc. With bootcamp it's a pretty simple process you just open it up and follow the instructions, there is a option to print out the instructions before you start the install please do this as to many people screw things up by not doing this. The only part of the install you have to think about is if you want to have your file system either FAT32 or NTFS, now this is were it can become alittle complicated OS X can both read/write to FAT32 but can only read NTFS unless you have third party software installed such as MacFuse or Paragon. I would suggest you format the install NTFS don't worry about this as you will see the options when you are installing windows. You could format it FAT32 but this has limitations and is a old and cruddy file system

    I don't know what you read about firefox but it is as stable as a rock on OS X the same goes for safari

    I don't own a iMac but found this for you. i have a MBP but am waiting for Nehalem to be released and then i'll get a MP, is your printer old by the way ??

    All the printer drivers are on leopard disk and there is a option to install them if you so wish in OS X, once you have windows installed you then need insert the disk
    while you are in windows to install the drivers there

    Hope this helps


    Feel free to pm me if you need more help and don't feel like posting here
  15. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    Personally I would go with VM Fusionware over Parallel desktop, however it is debatable amongst us Mac nuts! lol
  16. brianp macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
    It sounds like your printer is old if it doesn't have a usb port. I'd use the printer rebate and get a new one that does. The OSX install disk has all the printer drivers you need.

    As for running firefox in bootcamp, this brings back the whole virus issue, so I'd recommend doing internet stuff in OSX
  17. Katilea thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    lol Neil..yes I'm back! This is my last post on this page!! Give you all a break from total novices asking silly questions!! :D

    With regard to Fusionware. The people who make the 'Keystrokes' software that I will need on it says it is not accessible via Keystrokes, so I would NOT be able to control the windows part of my pc if I booted up separately or use Fusionware.

    Only Parallel Desktop carries support for Assistive Input Devices and programs, to access both OS X and Windows but they have to be running together, as obviously OS X and Keystrokes has to be open. So that's sorted that decision out for me!

    Thanks for the link Neil it was an interesting review, although it doesnt mention a 'Ethernet' cable where it tells you what connections are behind the screen so my next questions will be how on to connect my!! (Sky Broadband with ethernet lead). It mentions 'Firewire' unless that's the mac equivalent of ethernet port?

    My printer is ancient heading for 10yrs old i think.. I like to get my moneys worth!! I decided to get one of the cheaper all-in-one printers as there's only 4 USB thingies at back of screen, and use the £60 rebate.

    oh..i nearly a PM same as an I.M? How do I do that on this site?

    Thanks again to everyone who has offered advice. I'm def off now... >>>>>
  18. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Hi Kati

    I'm a bit stumped on that keystroke thing as when you reboot into windows ( setup using bootcamp ) it no different than having a separate PC, like i said you only need to use Fusion or Parallel's if you want to run both OS's at the same time

    A firewire port is this port you use if you want to connect an external HDD that has that type of connection it's much faster than your standard USB 1 or 2 you can have FW400 & 800

    The iMac must have a ethernet port otherwise it wouldn't be able to connect to your router or the internet

    If i was you id look into getting shot of that old printer & buying something new

    About PM ( private message ) there are a couple of ways of doing this you can either click on my user name above my Avatar and a drop down should appear,click on private message and its straight forward from there or if you look to the top right off your screen were it says your user name under the log out it says private messages click that it takes you into your user panel, were you just type your message and send it to me

  19. brianp macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
  20. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Thank you but how else would they connect ???????, thanks anyway but it was answered

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