How to organize 2011 iMac HDs with bootcamp

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DOSoda, May 31, 2011.

  1. DOSoda macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2008
    I’m considering upgrading from my current January 2009 Macbook (2.4ghz processor) to a new iMac with the i7 processor. I’m not sure what the best hard drive setup would be for me.

    I like having the bootcamp option and have Mac OS X and Windows 7 on my current laptop. I work 90% on the Mac side at home and reserve the Windows use to remoting into my work computer when the weather is too bad to commute. There’s no (supported) option to remote in with a Mac OS at this time.

    I know the new iMacs offer a 256GB SSD + 1/2TB HD option. I currently use a 1TB external for a time machine backup. I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions as to how I should go about allocating hard drives. I really want an SSD for the Mac OS at least. I’m not sure if partitioning it into two pieces would be a good move, but I’d love to get the Windows on the SSD too. Win7 takes forever to start up and shut down on my Macbook.

    -Partition SSD in half (Win7 & Mac startups)
    -Keep SSD for Mac, partition 1TB drive in half (Win7 startup + generic data)

    I use my computer for a lot of number crunching (MS Excel mostly), netflixing, and gaming (I think more CPU intensive e.g. Civ V). Any suggestions are appreciated.
  2. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    For me, I have a similar situation. I am waiting on my 2011 iMac i7 with 256 ssd and 2 TB hard drive. I need Windows 7 for similar reasons. I decided this is what I was going to do. I was going to split up the SSD drive 128(MacOS + Windows 128). The 2 TB hard drive I was going to leave as HFS+ and put macdrive on the Windows partion so I will be able to read and write to any HFS+ drive. The most I have used on with typical Windows 7 install, taking away itunes, photo's, work stuff, etc is about 50 GB. All the rest of my files that are not programs add up to 1 TB. So splitting half and half on the SSD is fine for me, but you could leave more for the Mac side if you want. There is no reason not to use the SSD drive for both operating systems. If you are not doing any type of gaming or photo editing with Windows 7, you might look into Parallels or VM Ware Fusion and run Windows virtually. You could also run both bootcamp and virtual and have the best of both worlds, when you need graphic intense boot into bootcamp and when you just need to run a quick program you can go virtually.
  3. TomRadfahrer macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2011
    Partitions are not very flexible. Did you consider using VMware instead of Bootcamp? The performance is about the same as long as you do not need 3D acceleration inside Windows.
    1. You do not need to worry about the size of the Bootcamp partition.
    2. You can move your virtual Windows computer image easily from SSD to HD and vice versa by copying the image file.
    3. With your next computer you simply move your virtual windows image to your new computer, no new installation of Windows needed.
  4. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Calgary, Canada
    Hi DOSoda,
    you can't install any Windows OS on an external hard drive...(Or better said: any other then /C)
    You'd have to install the MacOS first on the 2nd HD, then use the Boot Camp app. to partition that HD & then install the winXP on that.
    So using your SSD you would choose the other macOS on our 2nd HD, start from there and then choose the win partition in your start-up options to restart your winXP, finally.
    This is pretty convoluted & best would be to just partition your SSD...
  5. DOSoda thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2008
    VMWare seems like a good option. Thanks! I looked it up and it's under $100 or $200 (there were two versions that I saw). If it can take advantage of the SSD speed, I might just go that route. Plus you can probably run iTunes on the Mac while working within the VM? That will free up space too.

    Thanks for the info!
  6. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Calgary, Canada
    Hi again,
    I have both Parallels and VMWare & using both (one for winXP and the other for win 7).
    There isn't much diff. between them (but prefer the VMWare).

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