How to setup external drive for VM Windows..

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ohla313, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. ohla313 macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #1
    I just got my OWC On-The-Go-Pro external enclosure today and put a 320GB hard drive in there to run Windows off of it exclusively. How would I go about doing this? I am planning to get Parallels and a copy of Windows 7. What I want to do is run Windows 7 off of this drive and would like to know what format to put the drive in before I install Parallels. Should I also buy Parallels now or is there an imminent refresh coming up?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Understand what you want to do. Parallels is known as a virtual environment, but it is a MacOS X application. It runs Windows [or any other guest OS] as tasks within the application. The traditional way to run Parallels is to boot the guest OS from a virtual drive. The virtual drive is a large MacOS X file. Each separate guest OS requires at least one virtual drive. If you intend to run Parallels from virtual drives, then your real drive should be formatted HFS+. Parallels may also use your Boot Camp installation of Windows. In this case, the drive used for Boot Camp must be formatted NTFS.
     
  4. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #4
    Oh I see...thank you! So it is possible to have an external drive solely for Windows VM? How would I go about setting up the drive for this to happen?

    Format to NTFS, use boot camp to install Windows through Parallels? :confused:
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    You misunderstood. Boot Camp produces a standalone installation of Windows. With Windows booted from a Boot Camp installation, your Mac is an Apple-branded Windows PC. Boot Camp provides the drivers that allows Windows to run on Apple hardware. Parallels is not required or used to install Windows via Boot Camp. Parallels is a commercial virtual environment that supports Windows [and other Intel-based operating systems] on your Mac. It is required to install or run Windows on a Parallels virtual drive. Again, I repeat--Parallels is not required for Boot Camp. However, Parallels may run the Windows installation on your Boot Camp partition.

    Only your Boot Camp partition must be formatted NTFS. If you use a strictly virtual installation of Windows, then the Parallels disc image file [virtual drive] is formatted NTFS. The host drive is formatted HFS+.
     
  6. Richdmoore macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #6
    Just to point it out, to my knowledge, you can only use bootcamp to install windows on an internal drive.

    Of course, if you want to just use parallels without bootcamp, you can put your virtual windows on any drive (including an external hard drive.)
     
  7. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #7
    Great! that's what I am trying to do. I want to put my virtual machine on an external drive. So how would I go about in putting Windows on my external drive solely?
     
  8. tums macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #8
    Each VM in Parallels is looked at by OSX as single file. You can put your Windows 7 VM file on an external drive. The VM can allocate space based on your needs.

    The easiest was for you to see how parallels operates is to download a demo and play with any number of the free OS VMs available on the parallels website.
     
  9. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #9
    But if I download the trial, won't I need to buy Windows to try it out? I am risking waiting a serial number on it if I don't like it though.
     
  10. tums macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #10
    You can run a window install for 3 days before having to activate it.
     
  11. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #11
    Does Parallels provide a step by step guide in setting it up? I'd like to know if it will guide me in putting the the VM on my external hard drive.
     
  12. Fishman Dan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    #12
    Yes. It's very easy, though a little knowledge goes a long way. Because you are handling VM's, mistakes are perfectly fine ;)

    Putting a VM on an external drive isn't a problem. As people have already said, to MacOS it's just another 'document' - a file used by a particular application. You would however want the drive to be relatively quick. Note with Parallel's however that you can have an 'expanding disk', so if you choose an initial 50 Gb image, it could grow over time.

    Personally I would stick to extremely basic use for your VM. I allocated 50 Gb for my W7 Enterprise install (Bootcamp partition and linked to Parallel's), but really I'm finding that I've got 20 Gb spare which is effectively wasted space. I've got my Windows OS, MS Office and some other minor apps, but I don't spend much time in there so there are no production files (photo's, documents etc etc).

    In summary I would say your Windows will become limited, but it's extremely handy having a full working alternate OS at your disposal.
     
  13. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #13
    my goal is to allocate all 320GB of my external drive to Windows. How would I do this?
     
  14. ohla313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #14
    Is Parallels 7 coming out soon?

    I am running a 2010 MBP should I get Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit?
     

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