Help sharing data between bootcamp, parallels, fat32, and OS X

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by vistadude, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #1
    So we got the new iMac this week, with 21.5 inch screen and 1 terrabyte hard drive. What I want to do is set it up to run 3 OS’s and 4 disk partitions. We have apps for both OS’s and the need to run windows natively occasionally, but would like to run parallels or vmware fusion if possible most of the time instead of windows via bootcamp. Here is what I imagine would be the setup.

    1) Windows 7 via Bootcamp, ~ 100 GB space and ~50 GB for programs/OS, ~ 50 GB free
    2) FAT32 data partition ~ 800 GB to share files between all OS’s and virtual machine
    3) Snow Leopard OS X ~ 100 GB space and ~50 GB for programs/OS, ~ 50 GB free
    4) Parallels or VMware fusion – does it need it’s own partition?

    a) First, does parallels or vmware needs it’s own partition? If not, which of the first 3 partitions does it store its image. Should I allocate more space for the virtual machine than I currently have (~50 GB free on windows or mac os partition)? I’ve read through a lot of help documents but am still very confused. Is there a way I can setup the virtual machine such that if I install new apps in windows by bootcamp, that those apps are available in the virtual machine?

    b) I’ll then install windows xp temporarily in order to use this method to get the 3rd FAT32 data partition. http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/246/114 Once that’s completed, I will clean install windows 7 over xp and install the bootcamp drivers. Is XP even compatible with the new imac? I read a lot of people had black screens.

    c) When I am using the virtual machine, I need to be able to access the data partition from within the virtual machine and also on the mac os x side. For example, say I use photoshop running through parallels to edit a .psd file and then export as a tiff in the same folder on the data partition, I would need to be able to drag and drop the tiff into a powerpoint 2011 for mac running on the mac partition. Is it possible for the virtual machine and mac os x to have access to the same data partition? Or if not, is there a way to quickly unmounts the data partition in the virtual machine and mount in in snow leopard and vice versa?

    Sorry for all the questions. This is for a work computer so we can’t use a lot of hacks to install the OS’s since other people need to use the machine. The IT department said I must use bootcamp and parallels and can’t use something like rEFIT/ntfs-3G.

    Thanks.
     
  2. balamw, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011

    balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Back up a bit.

    What you are describing is what VMWare calls "launching your Boot Camp partition in VMWare Fusion". http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/mi...nguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1014618 (DO NOT "import" your Boot Camp partition). In this configuration, the VM and Boot Camp are the same install so they stay in sync.

    The challenge is that VMWare only supports this configuration for a standard two partition Boot Camp install. 1 EFI partition, 1 OS X partition, 1 Windows partition (usually NTFS).
    I believe Parallels offers the same options with the same limitations. Must be standard partition scheme.

    EDIT: You might be able to do what you want while mostly sticking with the script.

    Use Boot Camp Assistant to resize the OS X partition to 100 GB giving 900 GB as FAT32, then use Disk Utility to replace the 900 GB FAT32 partition to 100 GB leave the remaining 800 GB empty. Install W7, then let VMWare try to launch it. Only then, create the new 800 GB FAT32 partition in Disk Utility. You might need something like gdisk to get the GPT and MBR partition tables in sync after the Disk Utility operations.

    Personally, for me, XP belongs in a VM on modern systems. Even if it's just W7 Pro's "XP Mode".

    B
     
  3. tomllama, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011

    tomllama macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    Why do you feel you must have the 3rd partition and why FAT32? NTFS is a more up to date format than FAT32 by far and I believe it is more fault tolerant than FAT32.

    You can use 2 partitions and have them shared by either OS by simply installing something like Tuxera NTFS or 3G NTFS on the mac side and MacDrive on the Windows side. That way either OS can access all the files.

    You would not need MacDrive on you r windows installation if you only want to run Parallels and never would boot directly to windows. Parallels adds the functionality that MacDrive provides and allows you to access Mac files while running windows.

    EDIT: Missed your last bit about IT saying no NTFS at first...

    You still don't need the 3rd partition. Say you open/edit a file in OSX. You can simply save it in your normal Mac OS Extended disk space. Then from within Parallels you can open, edit and save the file in the same folder using whatever Windows program you want. No need for any intermediate file space. You can always read the files in the NTFS partition from OSX, you just can't write to it without an NTFS utility (that you are denied).
     
  4. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #4
    Balam, as always thanks for your help.

    A couple questions:

    1. Should I make the mac os partition 200 GB? 100 GB for os x, plus the 50 GB for the vmware virtual machine (I assume it sits on the mac os partition), plus a little extra space for the future?

    2. When you say " then use Disk Utility to replace the 900 GB FAT32 partition to 100 GB leave the remaining 800 GB empty", is that the disk utility running on OS X or is that the disk utility I have to boot off the snow leopard disk?

    3. One VMware is installed, I use which version of the disk utility to partition the remaining space? If I do this, won't this kill the ability to boot up to windows or os X?

    Thanks.


     
  5. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #5
    The problem is that I would have to run windows natively at least once a week, if not several times. Most of the programs I really need perform terribly in parallels. We have a few up to date iMacs in our lab running parallels and the software I want and it's unuseable. We also run through a few hundred files each month, and it would never work through parallels.

    So having a non-NTFS partition is essential. Because we'll do some operations in windows natively, and other smaller ones in OS X and both need write access to the folders.

     
  6. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #6
    Hmm here is another option I thought of that could be more compatible and avoid the FAT32 partition.

    1. Run through the standard bootcamp installation, allocating 150 GB to windows 7 and 850 GB to Snow leopard.

    2. Then install VMware fusion with a Windows XP OS. Since our windows software is compatible with windows xp and 7, it could run natively in bootcamp when needed, and otherwise through VMware.

    3. Keep all the data on the snow leopard partition. For the times I need windows 7 natively, I can temporarily save my work on the NTFS windows 7 partition. Then boot back into snow leopard and cut and paste it into the snow leopard partition.

    4. Would the XP running through VM ware be able to directly write to the snow leopard partition, and access files from the NTFS windows 7 partition?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    Yes, although that needs to be set up that way. The W7 partition needs to be added to the XP VM, and you would probably want to add the XP VM disk to your W7 VM as well.

    In Virtualized Windows (XP or 7 from the Boot Camp partition) you get read/write access to the OS X partition as a network share and if you are natively booted to W7 you get read access or can install MacDrive to read/write from your OS X partition.

    This definitely seems like the easiest approach.

    THe only change I would suggest is to go ahead and give W7 a bit more space. Maybe 200 GB so it has plenty of room to play. If you end up increasing the RAM in the machine you don't want to have to disable hibernation and paging just because you didn't give it enough room.

    B
     
  8. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #8
    Good idea, maybe I should bump up the windows partition to 300 GB and save a copy of all the data files there.

    About the network share... There's one bugger I couldn't figure out. When I used our older machines which seems to have an old version of parallels, if I open up the network shares folder, I can't highlight and execute several files at once. For example, I often want 10 or 20 images to open up at once in one program I use, via drag and drop.. But i can't seem to do this in parallels by drag and drop or by highlighting several files and hitting the return key. Do you know if this is fixed in newer versions of parallels?

    I think it might be easier to let the bootcamped windows 7 and virtualized windows xp not see each other. In other words, I don't need either windows to access files in the other windows, since using the network shares basically lets me see the snow leopard partition, which is all that is needed. I might also want to use an external drive to copy data between the different OS's to make the IT's work easier.

    Thanks again. I'll try this out in 2 weeks after I'm back in town.

     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    I'm a VMWare user on my MB and MBP. The iMac has an older version of Parallels, so I really couldn't tell you. VMWare just works more like my mind does.

    B
     
  10. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    #10
    I am new to virtual machines, and I have a question or two. The way I understand it is that I can make a Bootcamp partition and then Parallels/Fusion can use my Bootcamp partition to run in OS X. Thus, I could boot natively to Windows or use Parallels/Fusion if I chose. Also, any changes or updates that I made to my Bootcamp partition would be reflected in use with Parallels/Fusion in OS X. Is that correct? Also, with Lion coming out this summer, does that also mean that newer versions of Parallels/Fusion will be coming on its heels? If I don't need to make a Bootcamp partition until after Lion's release, would it be smart to do so and then pick up the newest version of Parallels/Fusion after? Will Lion ship with more updated Windows drivers than the current Snow Leopard as well? I know that's a lot of questions, but I am trying to get it squared away in my head. Haha, thanks for the help.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #11
    Yes.

    It is likely that Parallels and VMWare will be updated for Lion, and that Boot Camp 4.0 drivers will also be part of Lion.

    B
     
  12. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    #12
    Thanks! That is what I figured would be the case. I am going to buy a new Macbook Pro for medical school in the fall. As I don't need it immediately, I may just wait until Lion ships on the machines before I pick one up. May save a couple bucks and some headache in the long run.
     

Share This Page