Help! My MBP is arriving tomorrow, What should I do?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by in-ten-city, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. in-ten-city macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    #1
    I am in a terrible bind. I am a new mac user. I have never owned a mac before. Tomorrow my first mac will be arriving. (A MacBook Pro 2.2ghz core2duo with 2gigs of ram and a 160gig HD.) I will be using this when I go off to college next week, and will need to have windows on the machine in order to run certain university wide programs like webct and also windows versions of office 2007 and Adobe Master Collection cs3.

    The reason I need your help is because after 2 weeks investigating the various issues which play into windows on the mac, I am still really confused about which method I should use to install windows on my new mac. Here are the factors which play into my confusion, and maybe which you can help me resolve:

    1) Originally after looking into the various options, I came to the conclusion that the smartest thing to do would be to install windows through bootcamp and then virtualize that partition through parallels/fusion. This naturally seemed like the smartest option, being that I would be able to choose between running natively and virtualizing depending on my needs at any given time.

    Now, the confusion stepped in when I started looking into the intricacies of creating such a setup. After reading the parallels and vmware forums, it seems like many people who try to set something like this up run into tremendous problems, such as:

    a - being able to have windows activated in both bootcamp and the vm, as every time one switches between modes the computer thinks major changes are being made and windows demands revalidation

    b - it seems that people who virtualize their bc partitions experience frequent crashes

    c - running your vm off your bootcamp partition hinders many of the options and features naturally availiable through the vm

    can someone with such a setup confirm if these are indeed valid problems?

    2) after concluding that the aforementioned setup may be riddled with two many technical difficulties to handle, i began considering foregoing the theoretical convenience of a virtualized bootcamp setup and started looking into possibly just virtualizing windows without leaving the option open to boot natively, however, this too carried along its own confusion:

    a - every benchmark test i seem to come across tells a completely different story about the raw differences between fusion and parallels, one place says fusion blows parallels away, and another place says parallels clobbers fusion! which one is actually faster? which one is actually better? Can someone please shed light on this vexing situation?
    ill be running adobe master collection cs3 programs on the machine and dont want it to run like a turtle!

    in conclusion, despite intensive research, i am still very confused as to how i should install windows on my mac, and want to have a pleasant experience with my first mac. can anyone help? thank you so much!
     
  2. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks
    #2
    Just buy a copy of Windows and a copy of Parallels or VM and put the discs in your computer and follow the bouncing ball. It is a lot easier than you think.
     
  3. in-ten-city thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    #3
    but which one? vm or parallels? were my concerns about the virtualized bootcamp partition valid?
     
  4. Southern macrumors regular

    Southern

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    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    YOU SHOULD BE HAPPY, DARE I SAY IT, EVEN DELIGHTED! You will soon have a shiny new toy to play with and all of my experiences with Mac software so far has been very streamlined. I'm sure you won't go wrong if you just stick a copy of a bootcamp on your machine and follow the instructions. It's not rocket science, honest!
     
  5. in-ten-city thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    #5
    i know whatever way i go will be ok - but the problem is in choosing which way to go, which will make the most of my new machine - did you read my post?
     
  6. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #6
    There is no solution! They all have pros and cons. You must pick the weapons you need for your mission. Enjoy your new Mac!
     
  7. in-ten-city thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    #7
    but what would you do my fair fellow?!
     
  8. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #8
    I have opted for the Parallels Windows XP set up and it works very well for me. I love running both OSs at the same time and dragging and dropping across platforms.
     
  9. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    My opinion for what it's worth...

    Install with Bootcamp (it's free anyway) that way you'll have a completely native install of Windows if you ever need it to rely on graphics and so on (like games or graphic intensive applications) and use VMware for virtualisation. I used both and Parallels plagued me with problems through Bootcamp and their tech support is non-existant so I wouldn't recommend it.

    If you're going to get Vista (which incidentally runs flawlessly on your Mac) and you want to use virtualisation then don't get Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Ultimate. MS don't allow virtualisation with those two.

    Bootcamp + VMware = happy camper :)
     
  10. in-ten-city thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    #10
    sounds simple - but i heard that its hard to share files between os's with vmware. is this true?
     
  11. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #11
    Not true at all: You just start up Windows and drag files back and forth. In the betas it was more reliable to ensure that VMware had focus before dragging, but I don't know whether or not this is still necessary.
     
  12. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #12
    I have been using Parallels for months. I run both OSs every day at work as I need to access the local server on Window XP. Drag and Drop, sharing of ports and USB devices etc. is seamless and useful, I have not used boot camp as I need dual OS capabilities.
     
  13. brkirch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2001
    #13
    Well, to keep things simple, here is my recommendation; get Parallels and use it to run a Boot Camp Windows installation. IMO Parallels is a far more mature product than VMWare Fusion and if you run across problems it is much more likely that there will be an existing known solution. If you have any problems feel free to ask for help from the Parallels Support forum. There is also a Parallels Knowledge Base which has detailed instructions for resolving problems that you could have.

    For those who would argue VMWare Fusion is better for a new Mac user, can you answer these questions: How do you enable the taskbar in Unity through the UI? How do you add an existing virtual disk to the VM configuration from the UI? How can you tell which VMs are running? How do you reconfigure the keyboard shortcuts for Fusion such as for releasing the keyboard/mouse?

    Here's what happened when I was experimenting with the VM configuration in Fusion: I wanted to see if Fusion supported more than 4 virtual disks, so I added 4 disks, and found that it indeed did support more than 4 disks. But when I removed the disks from the configuration, it didn't allow me to apply the changes. So I then changed something else just so that I could click the apply button. The changes were applied, but I found that the one of the disks removed was the wrong one. So I tried to add it back. It would not let me. I ended up having to open the VM configuration in a text editor to manually correct the virtual disk entry and delete the remaining virtual disk entries (it had not deleted them, only "disabled" them).
     
  14. in-ten-city thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    #14
    you can perform these tasks in fusion - why did you choose parallels?
     
  15. brkirch macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2001
    #15
    Fusion does not have complete drag-and-drop support, theirs only works when dragging files/folders to the Windows desktop or onto a Windows explorer window. Parallels allows you to drag-and-drop from Mac OS X to Windows as if the files were being dragged within Windows itself. So for example in Parallels you can drag a Mac OS X file onto a Windows Media Player playlist and it will be added to the playlist. You can't do that with Fusion.
     
  16. in-ten-city thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    #16
    brkirch, thanks for your thoughtful response. however, the option you suggest presents a number of difficulties: 1-how did you get windows to be activated in both bootcamp and parallels? (im assuming what you mean by bootcamp windows installation is that i should install windows through bootcamp and then virtualize it in parallels) this seems to be a problem that no one has yet solved... 2- doesnt such a setup cause windows to crash often? 3- i would agree that parallels has more features but people seem to think fusion runs a lot faster , do you think these additional features are worth sacrificing the speed of fusion?
     
  17. brkirch macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2001
    #17
    1. You will need to call Microsoft to reactivate Windows in Parallels. Then Windows should be usable in both Boot Camp and Parallels (you shouldn't need to reactivate again).
    2. No, Windows will crash no more often than it normally would.
    3. As far as speed you aren't sacrificing much, the speed Parallels gives you should be good enough for most things you'll want to use it for. Fusion really isn't that much faster (in fact it is sometimes slower).
     
  18. in-ten-city thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    #18
    thanks, ill follow your recommendations and let you know how everything goes.
     
  19. brkirch macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2001
    #19
    Good luck, and enjoy your first Mac! :)
     
  20. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #20
  21. brkirch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2001
    #21
    You should notice two things about that test:
    1. It was a test of multitasking, which is exactly what dual core support is intended for.
    2. The test was run on a eight-core Mac Pro, which can easily spare two cores for Fusion. If you use Fusion on a MacBook Pro you won't see such huge performance gains from dual core support. In fact the Fusion developers recommend that you only use dual core support if you have a specific need for it, as the performance gains will not usually be that great.

    Fusion does currently outperform Parallels in CPU tests, but Parallels is also supposed to get dual core support in a future update. Take a look at these benchmarks to see what areas Fusion has weaker performance in.
     
  22. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #22
    Interesting. Thank you.
     

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