have bootcamp, go for parallels?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by anoopmj, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. anoopmj macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2006
    I have bootcamp installed on my macbook and am using a windows partition of 20 GB. It is a pain trying to access the windows programs since I have to restart it everytime! I hear that parallels is the program to use if I want to use the windows programs along with the mac ones.

    1) Can I install Parallels without losing any of my bootcamp data? i.e. without having to install windows again?

    2) Do I need the windows installation disks again for installing parallels? I left them in another country!
  2. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    1. Yes
    2. No, with the latest build of Parallels (the release version) you are able to use your bootcamp installation in parallels, therefore eliminating the need for redundant installations. Anything done in one will be reflected in the other (in theory, I've not tried it as I don't own a mac yet). The steps are outlined in the parallels readme file (which I have read).

  3. freescalpel macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2007
    Although you can set up Parallels to use your Bootcamp installation, expect some problems. These from my experience with v3186:

    1. After setting up the VM with Parallels everything seemed fine at first but when I logged back into Bootcamp, I kept getting a Windows File Protection error. Apparently Parallels Tools had changed some vital Windows settings and I got prompts to insert my XP disk, which seems to restore the windows file. Upon rebooting Windows in Bootcamp, the error was not repeated. However, every time I ran Windows in Parallels, the Bootcamp got corrupted again. Every single time.

    2. Parallels prompts me for a passwords both to launch the Windows VM and to exit. I have never used a program which asked me for a password to exit! This gets really tiresome.

    3. The first time I launch Windows in Parallels after starting up OS X, once I get beyond the password nag, Parallels goes through the "Parrallels tool is initializing" process (which it does every single time) I hear this is a normal process for using the Bootcamp Xp installation under Parallels. It takes almost 1 minute. (this is probably when it installs files that corrupts my Bootcamp partition). Anyway, this first VM session ultimately works OK. However, if I quit Parallels, and try to launch the VM again, I get a "Unable to open disk image boot camp!" error. I have to reboot OS X in order to be able to get back into the VM again. Meanwhile when I launch Bootcamp next time, I have to go through fixing the corrupted file (see No 1 above)

    I have unistalled and reinstalled Parallels and Parallels Tools multiple times with no difference to the above. Also updating to 3188 has not made any difference.

    I wonder what other people's experience has been. I'm using a brand new MBP 2.33 with 2GB RAM and 512MB for my VM.
  4. ericthered macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2007
    no where
    I have also been experiencing issues with Parallels corrupting my bootcamp drive. I would advise staying away from Parallels until they can resolve this issue.
  5. iJawn108 macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2006
    To be honest my best experience of windows on a mac has been with parallels but using it as a VW. I find it's the smoothest least buggy of them all.
  6. freescalpel macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2007
    I upgraded to 3188 but same issues persist. Anyway, I didn't find any fix so I uninstalled Parallels, deleted BootCamp and restored my Mac to a single partition. Then I reinstalled Parallels 3186 and created a VM using same XP disc. I have installed Kaspersky, FF, and Office 2003. Everything is working like a charm. No more password prompts I'm actually afraid of upgrading to 3188 because I've heard it could ruin the party. Actually, since I'm not into games now I wonder why I even went the BbootCamp route. It makes so much more sense to do everything inside Mac.
  7. anoopmj thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2006
    So then do you suggest scrapping my present partition and trying to work only with the mac side with windows as a VW? That means that I will have to reinstall all my programs on the windows side right?:(
  8. freescalpel macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2007
    I'm no expert in these things but from what I've gleaned from others and my own little experience:

    1. If you want to run several Windows apps, you'll get a more solid performance with BC than running it inside Parallels. For starters, you can use an NTFS partition as large as you need.

    2. If you want a near flawless Parallel's experience, you should run Windows in the VM rather than use the BC partition. However, you are stuck with the VM's 32GB size. You probably won't want to stress out the Windows too much, so just install your very essential apps in the VM. In my case I basically have only FF and Office 2003. I'm staying out of any video stuff inside the VM (but with OS X, I can do all that already).

    3. If you can afford the disc space, you could both run Windows natively in BC and also in Parallels as VM (although you might need a second Windows license). This allows you the flexibility of using the VM installation for your most commonly used apps and then leaving the occasional, more intensive ones (and games) for BC. This makes more sense with a desktop Mac where you have a bigger drive or could add another drive easily than for a MB.

    OK, you see I'm a newbie so I could be wrong.
  9. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004
    Just to give another view of experience of BC with parallels, I have been using this since the 1st beta allowed it. No problems, runs flawlessly.
  10. anoopmj thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2006
    that's interesting... i should have tried it with BC first.

    I just installed it on the mac partition, and have to say that with only a gig of ram, things do slow down a little. But that's still ok since I use the windows only for visual basic and office. I think im going to stick to this and now delete the BC partition. At least I dont have to restart this way!;)
  11. Jowl macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2006
    Quite often I only used Windows via Bootcamp to check e-mail in Thunderbird (I use the windows version as it's much easier to transfer between 2 windows computers for me). This was a bit frustrating for obvious reasons - shutdown OS X and boot to Windows.

    So I've tried the 15-day trial of parallels. It's very handy to be able to boot into Windows from my Mac desktop. And now I've got used to a windowed version (rather than full screen - though I occasionally use that) I really liked it. So much easier to quickly check e-mail.

    2 days ago my trial ran out - and soon realised how much I missed Parallels. So I actually went out and bought the boxed product yesterday! Much better again now!

    I do get the password nag on launch (though not shutdown) - this is on Build 3186. My trial was build 3188 and it was exactly the same. Other than that I have little problems. I had to disable ActiveSync for my PDA - other wise it screws up settings when I return via bootcamp.

    In fact, my main wish is for Bluetooth support in the VM - so I can Sync my PDA
  12. slicedbread macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2006
    using 3188 I have no issues with running the boot camp partition under parallels.

    However it is probably a good idea if you can use a separate install as a VM under parallels, since there is no chance of hosing your BC partition in event of a failure. However that does mean maintaining 2 installs of windows, which is always annoying.

    And for anyone that just wants to use a VM inside OS X, there is also the VMware fusion that is still in beta, and free to trial - so far I don't find much between fusion and parallels when running VM's in OS X other than parallels' coherence mode.
  13. user13 macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2006
    I'm another happy Parallels user, then. I've also been using Parallels long in combo with Boot Camp and I didn't encounter any problems. For me this has become an ultimate solution, because I can both play games and run windows simultaneously with Mac OS.
  14. user13 macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2006
    This is whant I like in Parallels - I use only one copy of Windows for both: Dual Boot and VM.
    I haven't tried Fusion, but it's still beta while Parallels is RC already and it has Coherence mode. I'm unsure if Fusion will be able to give an answer to it.

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