MBA Owners -- Fusion/Parallels

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by droo94, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. droo94 macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2007
    I've seen it mentioned within some other threads, but I didn't notice a dedicated thread on this topic...

    Is Fusion (or Parallels) practical to run on a MBA? I'm most concerned about 1) Performance (mainly the 2GB RAM limit) and 2) Disk space.

    I'm still debating whether to get an MBA and while running Fusion isn't my primary concern, it is a factor for me to consider. I'd mostly be using Fusion to use work applications (Outlook, CRM/ERP Internet Explorer based apps) via VPN from a Mac rather than the company-issued Dell.

    Per title, I want to hear from actual MBA owners, not people speculating based on the MBA specs.
  2. cohibadad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2007
    MBA is plenty for what you want. I use parallels with XP.
  3. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I just installed my newly arrived Parallels this afternoon. Still doing windows updates on my XP install as I write this. It seems to work OK.

    I had to get creative to get it installed, however. The Apple store was out of Superdrives when I bought the MBA so I could not use it to install XP. XP will not recognize Remote Disk so I finally figured out that I could make an ISO of the XP CD on my desktop PC, copy it to the MBA using a memory stick and mount the ISO as a CDROM in Parallels. It worked very well and the install went pretty quick.

    From what I can tell so far it is not the fastest, but it will work for the limited use I will need XP for.

    Good luck!
  4. stsanford macrumors newbie


    Feb 11, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    Parallels = A-OK!

    I'm a huge... nee... HUGE fan of Parallels!

    It is excellent on the MBA!

    I am using XP SP2 with all the service packs and updates loated. I have Office 2007 running in it as well as GoldMine CRM. there's lots of other programs in there too, but in the interest of brevity, suffice it to say that it's excellent. No lags, very acceptable.

  5. chelseasian macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2004
    New York, NY (Chelsea)
    Great to know. I am wondering about this myself. I've got Parallels sitting here and I am hesitant about installing it till I hear more feedback. I was planning to install in my Mac pro when it arrives but I think it makes more sense for me to run on the MBA as I use it for presentations mainly.
  6. MazingerZ macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2007
    I've installed my win xp with parallels on my MBA. I'm going to use for emergency purposes only though if I need it while out on the field. Most of the time, I will try to use RDP into my workstation and do windows work that way.
  7. dicin macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008
    I installed Win XP using boot camp flawless with all updates along with Office 2003 with SP 1, 2 and 3. I have a bit of remorse since reading this thread since I have been told that using boot camp it would run in native. I did notice Office runs much faster on the MBA than the new Dell with similar hardware.

    Should I reformat and reinstall using Parallel?
  8. macsimonwoo macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    installed winxp and winxp office on parallels ....the downside is it drives up the fan speed very fast...and when i tried to surf some websites, the mouse just hang there...when i left it there , not doing anything, the fan speed reduces back to 2400 i would use very stand is that it takes up resources quite alot...
  9. tofupancake macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Fusion works great for me on the MBA. Interesting that so many seem to opt for Parallels - I guess I'm just used to vmware from enterprise experience. I think either would serve your needs. Since both have trial license periods, and you can convert a windows image made by one product (eg parallels) to another (eg fusion) you could try both out. Bootcamp is another option, but offers almost no advantage over the other products, which still run windows 'natively', just not dedicated.

    As someone else mentioned, create your windows image on another Mac, if you have access to one, then move the file across to the MBA. This avoids the windows CD remote nonsense.
  10. dicin macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008

    I have moved from PC to MAC and operating WIN XP SP2 with Office 2003 SP1, 2 and 3 runs like a charm. The difference is you could only operate one operating system at the time however it does run native. I formatted 20GB of the 80 available for the Windows side. All drivers and Bluetooth Mighty Mouse works well.

    Anything else I need to know?
  11. MRU macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    Not really. Though to be honest office 2003 runs plenty fast in parallels too.
    Remember it is a 5 year old piece of software so it's system requirement isn't huge and even a virtual machine is vastly more than sufficient for its requirements.

    If you get tired of bootcamp, you could give it a go :)
  12. sb124 macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    External Drive

    Is it possible to run XP/Vista from an external large usb flash drive using either Fusion or Parallels and how do you copy a windows operating system from one machine to another.

    I run Fusion on a IMac and Parallels on a MBP so can use either to create an image.
  13. racepilot macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    Installing XP drivers in Fusion

    I'm a new PC-Mac convert. I set up my MacBook Air, ran Boot Camp, installed XP(64bit) and installed Fusion. XP runs in Virtual Machine fine, except I get messages that it needs SCSI drivers and some others. It doesn't find them on my XP install disk or my Mac OS1 disk. Where do I find them? Windows also cannot connect to the Internet even though my M.A. is connected to my network. How do I setup network for Windows in the Virtual Machine?
  14. MRU macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005

    ^ Yes you can.

    Simply for parallels.

    In your documents folder there should be a folder called parallels. :)
    open that folder and inside will be more subfolders, once called microsoft windows XP.

    Basically open that folder and copy the winxp.hdd and paste it to a folder on your external drive. Handy if you just call the folder parallels or such.

    Once you have copied that file (winxp.hdd), plug your external drive into the new computer and load parallels.

    Now we are going to setup parallels so choose

    1) Custom - then press next
    2) Choose OS type Windows and OS version XP - then press next
    3) Allocate how much memory you want to your VM 512mb is default - press next

    4) Then we get the option / window 'select virtual hard disk option:'..
    Here tick the box marked 'use an existing hard disk image' and press next

    5) Next is about HDD size, just leave it at default and press next

    6) Next is shared networking, just leave it at default and press next

    7) Next give the VM a name and choose whether you want to share files or not.

    On the bottom of the window is a triangle with 'more options' listed. Click that and you will see more options. One of which allows you to specify the location to store and load your virtual machine.

    Click choose and select the parallels folder on your external HDD and ok to confirm.

    press next

    8) Optimize for virtual machine, press next

    9) CD rom settings. Ignore.. just press finish

    10) Parallels will know load from your existing HDD installation and reference will be on the external. You are up and running no problems.

    You may have to install parallels tools if the new computer has a newer version of parallels, if not you will be fit to go.


    Sorry I dont use fusion. Post this question in the windows on a mac subsection of the forum and you will get far better help. This really is the wrong section to be discussing this really. (I'm surprised it hasn't been moved already).
  15. jjd macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2003
    Could you give a little more color on this? I have XP installed on my MBP via Bootcamp. Can I copy that install over to Parallels or Fusion on my MBA? Or must I copy over the image of XP and then install it anew in Parallels/ Fusion? I ask because when I tried to install XP on my MacPro it told me it knew I'd installed it somewhere else and I had 8 days only to use it without a code. And it wouldn't accept the code I had used... I really don't want to have to buy 3 copies of an O/S I cannot stand (but need occasionally)
  16. tofupancake macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2008
    1. Start Windows via bootcamp on your MBP. Install VMWare converter inside XP. This will create a virtual image of your bootcamp partition. You can actually do this on any XP box you own. A screencast how-to is linked to here. The output is a single file VMWare image.

    2. (optional) Install Fusion on the MBP OSX and try to use that image. Because it was creating on that hardware box, you might gain advantage from getting it to boot first time under the MBP and eliminate the MBA as a factor in any hiccups at this stage (.nb: A few people have trouble getting a working version of an image from bootcamp conversions).

    3. Install Fusion on the MBA, transfer the image wirelessly or via ethernet or usb key, and try to use this image you created under step 1 (and reused under step 2).

    There is probably an equivalent method for Parallels.
  17. racepilot macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    Wrong Forum?

    If this is the wrong forum to get help with Fusion, why is it called "MBA Owners--Fusion/Parallels"?:confused:
  18. Ol!ver macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2005
    That's the name of the thread, not the forum. Still reckon it's the right place for it mind.
  19. kanon14 macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Hong Kong
    What I want to know is after installing fusion/parallel and windows on the MBA, how much space will be left? My MBA (SSD) will be arriving tomorrow and I'm still thinking of installing fusion/parallel on it or not. My main concern is space.
  20. tofupancake macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2008
    There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to reduce the Windows XP size that you install (get rid of drivers, language support, etc). XP should then only take 6-10GB of space. If you use LiteXP or tinyXP you can get it down to <1GB. How much you want to add on after that is up to you, it must be sufficient for apps and data. Most people on a notebook don't go above 20GB. My XP image is 10GB including spare space. It depends what you use XP for that determines how much space you give it. I only use it for tricky situations. A colleague uses it on his Macbook for primary use so gave it 80GB. Fusion/Parallels themselves only take up <100MB.
  21. saisrujan macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2007
    I am not sure if this is the proper place to put this. But if any of you are wondering whether to go for Vista or XP, the decision is clear. Go for XP. Vista takes too much resources up from the system to run any smoothly.

    I used VMWare fusion to install vista, and allocated as much as 1.2GB of RAM to Vista, but it still was slow. Then I loaded XP up, and its chugging along at good speed with just 512MB of RAM.

    I just wanted to let everybody know.
  22. droo94 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Thanks, I should have clarified in saying that I would plan to run XP, not Vista. Since I'm specifically asking about performance on an MBA then I think your feedback is definitely relevant in this thread.
  23. droo94 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Yes, that's why I started the thread in the MBA forum. It was not intended for general discussion about Fusion or Parallels. I'm specifically asking about performance (whether the MBA is "underpowered" for this) as well as managing disk space issues.
  24. kanon14 macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Yes I don't plan to allocate too much disk space for XP (after all I only have 64GB of space to play with), maybe around 10GB? I'll search around the forum and see if I can find any info on reducing XP size.
  25. kanon14 macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Hong Kong
    OK I've done the searching and found an image of tinyxp. So is it that I can use that image to install xp under fusion now? DO I still need a legit disc/serial in order to install it?

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