Installing Windows 7 RC1 on Mac . . . Secure?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by WorldTravel26, May 6, 2009.

  1. WorldTravel26 macrumors newbie


    May 6, 2009
    Hey Everyone,

    I've been shamefully debating whether or not I want to install Windows 7 RC1 on my Macbook for the past few days now. It seems for the most part that many people out there in the forum world (on both Windows AND Mac forums) are quite impressed with Microsoft's new OS.

    Microsoft's COO, Kevin Turner, even made a rather bold (yet unbelievable) statement the other day basically saying that Windows Vista post SP2 was more secure than Linux and Leopard! (I know, I laughed out loud too!) Read it for yourselves at

    Anyway, this brings me to my questions...

    1. Is Windows 7 really more secure than its predecessors?

    2. If I decide to download Windows 7 on a separate partition, is there any chance that my OS X Leopard partition will be harmed or "unsafe" by the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of viruses and malware that run rampant in the PC world?

    3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of installing it on a separate partition using Boot Camp or using a virtualization program such as Parallels or VMware? Is one safer than the other?

    Your opinions and comments will greatly help me and hopefully others in their decision making process to download Windows 7 or not.

    Thanks! :)
  2. sebast1anc macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2007
    No matter which way you install windows either through boot camp or virtualization, there is no way your OSX partition can be damaged by a virus, because the viruses would be in file formats that the mac os wouldn't be able to run. And since Windows can't even read drives formatted as Mac OS Extended, the files wouldn't even be able to get onto the partition. The only thing that could be affected by a virus would be the windows partition.
  3. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    It makes me sad to see you buying blindly into Apple hype, WorldTravel26. Windows has been very secure for many years now and you really have to do something wrong as a user in order to end up with malicious software on your machine. Microsoft have made significant improvements in security recently and I see no reason why anyone should question XP, Vista or 7 for this reason.
  4. WorldTravel26 thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 6, 2009
    Wow, quick reply. Thanks sebast1anc for your answer.

    Neiltc13, no need to be sad :D! I am fully aware that no OS is 100% safe from viruses and malware and whether using Microsoft's OS or Apple's OS, you should take necessary precautions to protect yourself online.

    However, it is fact that there are hundreds of thousands of viruses, malware, adware, trojans, spyware, worms, etc that exist in the realm of Windows. Everyday PC users are bombarded with these malicious programs that can wreak havoc on their machines unless they properly protect themselves by using Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, and Firewall programs.

    While OS X users also face the risk of acquiring a virus or malicious program if they blindly surf the internet and download things without any safety measures, the chance of this happening is far less than Windows users as the number of viruses/malware that are out there and ACTIVELY attacking OS X users are practically non-existent.

    Anyway, I know Mac users should not become complacent, and believe me neiltc13, I haven't. It just strikes me that a Microsoft executive would say that Windows is more secure than Linux. If this were true, then why have government agencies all over the world switched or continued to use Linux over Windows, including the US Department of Defense! They have a lot of HIGHLY classified information to protect. Since both Linux and Leopard are based off of Unix, then one can only argue that both platforms are more secure than Microsoft's.

    Thanks for the reply :) This is my first post, and I look forward to healthy discussions/debates in the future!
  5. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    Incorrect about vista not being able to read mac file formats, i have it set up with mac drive 7 so that all of my folders on my mac are mirrored on the windows machine (documents for documents, itunes for itunes) this is a boon for convenience but i take the risk of a virus erasing the mac drive.
  6. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    Yes, there are more than 140,000 known pieces of malicious software in the Windows world. But this count covers everything that has been written and deployed from 1983 to 2009, meaning that it covers everything from DOS 1.0 to Windows Server 2008 and Vista.

    The more important question is how much of this malware still causes problems on MODERN versions of Windows, namely the current releases Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP1. You will find that that number is MUCH lower than 140,000 - even on a version of Windows that has no anti-virus software installed.

    Windows Vista has protection mechanisms built-in that even very sophisticated Unixes still lack but that make it very hard for malware to successfully attack and infiltrate the system.

    On the other hand, there are more than 900 million Windows installations on this planet, and only a few Macs. What is the current number of Mac users? 20 Million? 30 Million? It's still insignificant compared to the installed Windows customer base, and there are still not many hackers out there that badly want to deploy Mac-only malware. There's no real fame to earn and neither is there any economic gain in a Mac-bot net.

    Anyway. In my experience, Vista is doing a great job security-wise. I trust it as much as I trusted Windows Server 2003 (which I still think has been Microsoft's best system release), and that is saying a lot for a desktop operating system.
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Maybe using Fusion or Parallels, but not in Boot Camp.
  8. war eagle macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008

    20-30 million people and out of those 20-30 million you dont think there are atleast 5,000 hackers out there?
  9. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

    Feb 11, 2003
    Columbia, MD
    Macdrive is a product that allows Windows to read and write Mac HFS+ filesystems. It works fine from bootcamp too. I don't use it as it costs $$$, but I use the free HFS Explorer instead. This provides read support, so I can read my Mac OS X partition from Windows.
  10. WorldTravel26 thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 6, 2009
    Winni, I'm a bit confused as to where you got the 140,000 number from?

    According to my research, as of April 10th 2008, the total number of computer viruses in circulation has already reached 1 million. In fact, Symantec said that just over 711,000 new viruses were identified in the past year - an increase of 468 per cent on the number identified in the previous year. Please see link for further statistics I assume the number has only grown since this article is over 1 year old.

    I'm wondering out of these million+ viruses, how many are Mac specific? Your guess is as good as mine, but I would say probably under 1,000 (and that's a grossly high estimate in my opinion). From everything i've read, the number would be far less than 500 most likely.

    Anyway, yes, there are less Mac users in the world compared to Windows users, but that just strengthens my point that Mac users enjoy more security than Windows users. Even if Mac users enjoy that security because they are few, they still are safer from malicious software than the PC user. Regardless, I still have Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, and my Firewall installed and enabled on my Mac :)

    My question still remains though, is Windows 7 more secure than it's predecessors, and which would be the safer route to use it on a Mac, through boot camp or through virtualization? From what babyjenniferLB and jav6454 say, it seems Boot Camp is the safer option.
  11. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
  12. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    Yes, windows 7 is more secure. And personally, I take figures given by anti-virus software companies with a grain of salt. After all, how else do you convince the masses that they need your anti-virus software?

    Plus, a hardware router + good browsing habits (not downloading software from questionable websites, going to shady sites as well, downloading pirated software etc.) will take care of 99% of your problems even before the OS becomes involved.
  13. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
  14. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    The amount of windows viruses is overplayed, but there are no known viruses for Leopard, and I believe 4 Trojans.
  15. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    Yes i am using boot camp.

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