iMac2TB+SSD formatting for Win 7 bootcamp + Paralells 5

Discussion in 'iMac' started by HobeSoundDarryl, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    Just received a loaded i7 27" iMac with 2TB + 256GB SSD. It is a business replacement for a dual 1Ghz Power Mac (with which I managed to squeeze out about 8 years of use) plus a Viewsonic CRT. Needless to say, that kind of leap makes every little nuance of speed, graphics, storage, etc seem monumental. And the CRT now looks dingy, pale, and small. While I could gush on and on, I'll just leave it at "WOW!".

    Among other things, I wanting to get boot camp going with Windows 7 64bit, and Office 2010 (for Windows), so that I can run a few crucial programs that don't exist on the OS X side. Then, I'm wanting to install Paralells 5 and use that bootcamp partition for the virtual machine. I'm looking for educated/experienced input on the very best way to proceed.

    Here's what I think I should do:
    1. Use bootcamp to set up the Windows partition on the SSD. Since Apple forces the 256GB as the only option, even with all of my OS X applications installed there, I've got tons of room left. I'm thinking about a 50GB partition on the SSD to hold Windows 7 + Office 2010 + a few other Windows-only programs (no games or even high resource demanding programs), leaving some room for future updates.

    2. Format that 50GB partition as NTFS (because I have to since it will be bigger than 32GB, right?), using NTFS-3G http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/

    3. Also partition the 2TB drive with some space to format as NTFS as the "write to" space (following the lead of using the SSD as a mostly "read" device for stuff like OS X applications, while putting my home folder- in which almost all of the "writes" get done- on the 2TB drive)

    Questions:
    A. Is #3 necessary? Some feedback posted in some threads along these lines imply that I wouldn't need the write space in NFTS... that bootcamp makes it possible for Windows to write to the OS X partition. That seems unlikely to me for a variety of reasons, but I'm asking for solid feedback. If I don't want a Windows "C" drive equivalent on the SSD, don't I have to have that kind of "write" space formatted for Windows on the 2TB?

    B. I'm intending to try to use Office 2010 through Paralells as a replacement for Office for Mac 2004, '08, and the upcoming '11, mostly for full compatibility reasons. Anyone with Paralells + 2010 doing the same and finding it to be a pretty solid replacement for Office for Mac? Any issues?

    C. In setting up the Mac OS X side (moving the home folder to the 2TB) but storing mostly "read" oriented files like applications and library on the SSD, what would be the equivalent to do this in Windows 7, so that Windows files that are mostly "read" are on the SSD, while the equivalent of the OS X "home" folder is placed on the 2TB drive (so that lots of Windows "writes" would be writing to that drive). What are the steps to do this right (it was super easy in OS X)?

    D. Does boot camp allow 2 drives to be repartitioned for Windows partitions? Is it going to let me set up the OS space on the SSD and the "write" space on the 2TB? If not, what is the best way to go?

    E. Hopefully, the above lays out a pretty good picture of what I want to do. Anybody able to give me the step-by-step to do it exactly right?

    Thanks very much for any answers.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    A. No, windows will not be able to write to your OS X partition, so you will need another for writing space. Might be easier to partition it as FAT32, so both sides can write to it. Otherwise, you will have to partition it in disk utility in OS X, leave it unallocated, then format it in windows as NTFS. I suppose that kinda answers D as well. BootCamp doesn't actually format it as NTFS, windows will do that during installation.

    B. That should work fine. Virtualization is perfect for Office and things of that nature, excellent solution. I use office 07 w/ bootcamp myself, and I am wanting to get fusion so I don't need to reboot.

    As far as C goes, I'm not sure exactly how to do that.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl thread starter macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #3
    Thanks for those initial answers.

    For the (Windows) partition on the 2TB drive, I was thinking of 50GB minimum. I'm under the impression from other posts that FAT is limited to 32GB. Is that right?

    Paralells 5 should be the easy bridge for moving files back & forth from Windows NTFS to OS X and vice versa... right?

    Does bootcamp allow for 2 partitions on 2 separate drives? Some other posts have made me think that it is more rigid (one drive only).
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    I do believe FAT is limited to 32 gigs, so NTFS would be the better option there, it seems. I'm not experienced with Parallels, but I believe that you can move files if necessary. Otherwise you have to get something for OS X that can write NTFS. Bootcamp assistant won't allow you to do two partitions, as it really is only for installing the windows OS. But what you can do is create another partition in disk utility, which I believe you can just leave unallocated, then boot into windows and go into my computer, find that partition and format it to NTFS. Running windows under bootcamp is just like running it on a windows PC, so you can do multiple drives, they just need to be setup while running windows.
     
  5. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #5
    I think you have the right idea and your plan should work fine.

    50GB NTFS partition (Fat32 limits file sizes for specific files and beside NTFS is much better IMO) for Windows 7.

    You do NOT need to partition the 2TB actually.
    Windows (with the BootCamp drivers installed) will be able to read/write to it just fine, if its HFS+ formatted/Mac Formatted.
    As it has been my experience for last year now that I have been able to read/write to my OSX drive from within Windows with the supplied bootcamp drivers.


    I'd advise against putting the Home folder on the 2TB as my experience is if something were to change or the drive were to go offline it would recreate the home folder on the SSD and just cause a huge issue.
    Just put your heaviest Folders and Libraries on there (iTunes, iPhoto, Documents, Downloads, etc)

    Create a folder for windows files to transfer and save to as well. (on the 2tb)
     
  6. HobeSoundDarryl thread starter macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #6
    Thirteen, thanks for the experienced answers. A few questions related to them:

    Based on what you are saying will work, I would use Boot camp as if I only have a single drive (the SSD), create the 50GB partition, then use Windows 7 to format the partition and install there. I basically leave the 2TB partition installed "as is" (as it shipped from Apple), and the Windows side will be able to see that drive and write to it and read from it. Thus, I end up with the OS, Windows applications, etc stored on the faster SSD and my data files (like Word docs, Excel docs, etc) being written to the Mac formatted 2TB drive, as if it's a Windows-formatted drive. Is that right?

    Using the Mac formatted 2TB for the Windows file writes (no NTFS partition), are you worried much about (Windows) viruses? For example, if someone emails me a (Windows) Office 2010 Word file with a virus in tow, aren't I going to infect the Windows side as soon as I open the file in Windows Office 2010 Word?

    Do people with Paralells 5 doing what I'm planning to do here have a lot of problems with this (Windows virus issues)? Or does the virus fail to stay "attached" because the file is stored on the OS X file partition and only read/write from the Windows side via Paralells 5 and/or direct (via boot camp)?

    Again, thanks to all for solid answers!
     
  7. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #7
    1) that is right, once you use bootcamp to initiate the install you can then during the windows 7 installation choose NTFS.

    2) I havent had issues ever with viruses under Windows.
    Your Mac partition will be okay as will the 2TB Drive and Mac Files.
    Just get a good firewall and antivirus program.
    I've been using the built in firewall in my router and Windows and just AVG Free to scan for any issues automatically and have been good for years with that setup.

    I generally keep it relatively simple and has worked, i'm not sure of newer options or recommendations just what ive been using.


    hope this was useful, and hope your setup goes great.
    i'm waiting to get a similar set up myself.
     

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