MACs virus' and running Windows (yuch!)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tlinford, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. tlinford macrumors regular


    May 4, 2009
    Hi, :)

    I am currently using a 12 month old whit MacBook, Mac OS has offered the best computing experience I've had in 2 decades. I use my MacBook for various things, work, pleasure and serious.

    I am a diabetic person and one of the things I use computer technology for is tracking and controlling my medical condition. Regrettably, none of the medical companies support the Mac OS X platform. I use A Medtronic Insulin pump to deliver my insulin. This is a great device and allows me to wirelessly upload data from it to a computer and specifically into a web-based database system called CareLink. This currently only available on a Windows PC and with Microsoft explorer (Yuck). For this reason, I keep an old DELL laptop running XP for this purpose, which I hate, and I woould rather use the desk for something else.

    I am informed that Medtronic are planning to make CareLink available through a MAC, sometime early next year. But, what do I do in the meantime and what if this delivery slips.

    I know it is possible to run windows on a Mac:

    1) I am reluctant to do this because;

    i) Why put windows on a MAC? I want to leave windows behind,
    ii) Virus; Although Mac OS X is relatively virus free,
    QUESTION: Would windows provide a virus path that to get at my
    Mac files?
  2. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

    Aug 18, 2009
    Windows viruses can't touch files on your OS X petition as far as I know.

    I think that for you, using something like Parallels would be the most convenient solution BTW, so you don't have to keep rebooting to switch OSes.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Try CrossOver. It lets you to run Windows apps in OS X, not all of them of course, but Internet Explorer works.
  4. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    Another vote for Parallels. You'll need a Parallel license (~ 79 USD), a Win license (I use XP, but also Vista or Win / will work). Virus are a thread in win under mac. But you can use a free antivirus such as Avira (I use that, never had problems).
  5. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Sun's Virtual Box is a free virtualizationware, but like Parallels and VMware Fusion, you will need a licensed copy of Windows to run under the virtual machine. Grab a copy of a avg free antivirus to run on it.

    I just read a story over at that noted that most windows malware infects computers via visits to infected websites so, if you only run windows to run your specialized program, then you are reducing your potential exposure to picking up windows-based malware.
  6. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

    Aug 18, 2009
    In fact, just turn off networking for the Windows VM altogether! If it's only for one program, it's fine, and you'll get no viruses!
  7. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Notice how the OP said that he used a web-based program, which I would assume would need to access the internet.

    You can run Windows like many here has said - under a virtual machine. As long as you keep your Windows partition for only that singular purpose - accessing Carelink(?) - you should be fine. A carelink-only connection means that there are few other means for a pathogen to infect your system.

    If you want to be even more worried about security, then make sure that you are running the internet through an ethernet port insteead of wireless (Although WPA2-PSK is pretty dern secure, IMO)

    A virus cannot "cross-over" as well thanks to the fact that HFS+ and NTSC cannot "see" each other in either operating system (OSX and Windows).
  8. pesawyer macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2009
    One of the things that people seem to not recognize is that a Mac can serve as a "carrier" of virus files. Here's the scenario, you run Windows via whatever method you happen to like (VM, Parallels, Bootcamp, whatever...). While running your Windows you get a virus infection in an MS Word document, you save the document to your system. Now you open that same document with your Mac OS X MS Word and no issues so far, Mac OS X doesn't get infected, the virus probably won't be able to run any macros or code as it is incompatible with your Mac OS X. BUT, email that file to someone that runs Windows and they open just became a carrier.
  9. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
    Another vote for Crossover. Use much less resources than a VM, it's quick and easy to use.
  10. Bjohnson33 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2006
    As far as I've heard, there's really no chance of a Windows virus corrupting your OS X files. I really don't think it would be worth a programmer's time to write something that complex, that would have such a limited ability to spread.

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