Keeping VMWare and Boot Camp seperate

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by BlueHorseshoe2, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. BlueHorseshoe2 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2007
    This may seem to be the opposite of what everyone wants to run windows, but what is the best way to install windows XP under boot camp and vmware, but on the vmware side, not to use the bootcamp partition.

    There are a few reasons for wanting to do this.

    The first is that the only thing I will ever use boot camp for is games, everything else will be run under installing office, ms money, etc on vmware and games on boot camp seems perfectly reasonable to me. All my documents are on the mac side of things, so i can't get them in boot camp without MacDrive, but shared folders works perfectly through vmware.

    The second reason is there seems to be a bug in vmware when using a boot camp partition if you have multiple hard drives. I'm running on a new 8 core 2.8 mac pro with the standard 320GB main hard drive and a second 500GB hard drive.

    So my real question is will the usual means of activating both the vm and boot camp still valid, or will I have additional issues?


    Install boot camp
    activate boot camp
    install vm
    install vm tools
    restart vm
    activate vm

    Does it have to be the boot camp VM for this to work?
  2. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2008
    If you want to run Windows solely under VMWare, you can ignore the Boot Camp partition completely. You don't even need it.

    Start VMWare, and create a new virtual machine for Windows XP.

    Start the new VM and install Windows in it, directly from the install disc, as you would any other guest operating system. Add WMWare Tools and the Apple hardware drivers.

    This intallation of Windows will be completely separate from any installation that might be present on a Boot Camp partition. I suspect that it should have its own separate install key from a Boot Camp installation of Windows.

    The files of the VM will take up quite a bit of room on the Mac hard drive, as all of the contents of the VM's hard drive, including the OS, will be stored in VMWare files instead of being stored on the Boot Camp partition.
  3. webgoat macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2007
    Austin, TX
    the op said he needs boot camp for the games... i think you will probably run into activation issues and you will be required to call microsoft and get a new seriel number for one of the installs
  4. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2008
    Or you could treat the Boot Camp installation and the VMWare installation as two separate machines, with separate installations of Windows. This will require two Windows discs and serial numbers though.

    I could see a need for this if the virtual video card provided on the VMWare VM isn't sufficently powerful for the games. The BootCamp installation runs directly on the Apple hardware, of course, with the Apple drivers, so it should be much better at gaming than a VM.

    I found that when I booted Windows directly out of Boot Camp to run bare on my MacBook Pro's hardware, then booted the same installation of Windows into a virtual machine, then bare again, then in the VM again, it eventually triggered Windows' activation request.

    As far as Windows could tell, it was going back and forth between two different machines. The amount of memory and the specs of the video cards differed. In particular, the default Windows virtual machine in VMWare uses only one processor, while the bare MB Pro has two. That may have bee the key difference that triggered re-activation.

    I set my VM to use two processors.
  5. KillerBuck macrumors newbie


    Jan 23, 2006
    In the Freezing Cold
    Was there any sidestep to the activation problems? Legally, you are using the copy of Windows on the same computer, correct?

    I am contemplating this type of setup, before I do so, is there a significant slow-down when running VMWare off of your Bootcamp partition as compared to installing Windows straight through VMWare?

    Thanks in advance!
  6. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2008
    IMHO, It's something of a grey area as far as the activation function goes. The EULA permits it, but the activator has no way of knowing that it's not two different machines. ("Different number of processors? Different video card? Different amount of memory? Different amount of hard drive space? What was I supposed to think?")

    From the Fusion Guest Operating System Installation Guide:
    Hmm. On rereading this, I've been wrong.

    The quoted text is about making sure that Windows doesn't need to activate itself more than once when running on the virtual machine; it says nothing about activation issues going between VM boot and bare Boot Camp boot.

    I've only booted XP outside the VM twice during my experimentation phase. It ran very fast and very hot, and I had to reactivate Windows.

    The sure way to avoid activation issues would be to buy two separate installations of Windows, and boot one in the VM and the other off the Boot Camp partition. This would enable significantly-different configurations as well.

    I'm actually looking at this. Since I installed VMWare and XP, I've found that I'm going to be taking an Autocad class. The MacBook Pro is up to running Autocad when running XP Pro directly; the video card in mine is listed as being supported by Autocad.

    But what of the hardware in the virtual machine? I don't know the specs of VMWare's virtual SVGA adaptor. So I may not be able to do 3D in Autocad in a VM; 2D looks to be fine. Experimentation is needed.

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