How to best handle data with Parallels

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by markw10, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. markw10 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    Well I get my first Mac on Tuesday, a C2D MBP. I'll be selling my IBM thinkpad as I convert from Windows to Mac. Yet there are some Windows programs I'll use for quite some time so I know I want to run Windows XP also. I had originally planned on running BootCamp but I play few games (except for maybe Flight Simulator X which I can install on my Windows Desktop) but really everything else is stuff like health software, coin database software, Garmin GPS software, and niche small programs like that. I heard in the past that Parallels was incompatible with some hardware such as some programs won't work with USB ports, etc. but I have heard most of this will be solved by the end of the year.
    Either way I came to the conclusion since I don't have to reboot and can run Windows side by side with Mac it's the way to go and seems most Mac users make this choice. What I want to do is ask how should I best handle data? At home I mostly access data on my main desktop where I have a lot of hard drive space whether it's videos, music, movies, office files, etc. This isn't a problem at all and I think with Parallels I know how to access it both from Windows and Mac. On my current laptop I have a 2nd partition on the hard drive where I store data and I sync this fairly often so that when I'm on the go on vacation, meetings, etc. I have my data with me.
    How is the best way to handle that with Parallels? I know that with Parallels it essentially creates something like a virtual hard drive as the Windows part of the Mac. Should I store my data files in that virtual hard drive or simply in a folder on the Mac side. Obviously what's important is that I can access the data as well as write to and modify it from both Windows and Mac. Is it even simpler to simply place that data in a complete separate partition on the hard drive to access from both Windows and Mac and if so what format would I use to format the hard drive? Thanks in advance for help.
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I keep the data files I use in Windows under Parallels on my mac hard drive, rather than inside the 'parallels virtual drive'. I just like knowing that they are there, and can be backed up, rather than inside a virtual drive. If something in the virtual drive goes wrong and it cannot be accessed then you may lose access to all your windwos data files if they are contained in there.
  3. br0adband macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    Parallels will allow you to pick or create a Shared folder on the native OSX partition that you can read/write files and data to and from. It sits outside of the virtual hard drive that XP is installed on, so it's relatively safe from most bugaboos and such. That folder is only limited by the space on the OSX drive not counting the space taken by Parallels for the virtual hard drive.

    Works fine for me, and once you get a taste of running XP inside Parallels inside OSX 24/7 like I do (on dual 20" LCDs though, you're talking about the MBP), and I have OSX on the iMac LCD and XP running fullscreen full bore on the second LCD constantly.

    It's the best of both worlds, all the time. Can't beat that.


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