Need Help Making My MacBook Pro Suitable for Windows

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Shaggyotis, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Shaggyotis macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
    Hello everyone, new here, and I need your expertise! :rolleyes:

    First off I'll state all of my specs and such so you know what I've got

    -MacBook Pro late 2011
    -2.8 GHz Intel Core i7
    -8GB RAM
    -running OS X Lion 10.7.5 (I know I should probably upgrade that.)
    -SuperDrive is ATAPI
    121 GB Apple SSD
    WD Passport to backup on.

    So my problem is this, I have classes that I need to use windows for. My Apple 121 GB SSD doesnt seem like it's gonna cut it for a partition. Here's a simplified list of what I think I want to happen:

    1.Backing up everything as it stands on my WD Passport (which I use mostly for backups).
    2. Installing a new, second hard drive (probably HGST travelstar 1TB) in place of my superdrive using a caddy, while keeping the apple 121GB SSD right where it is.
    3. restoring my backup from my passport to the new larger hard drive, not the apple SSD.

    My questions are:

    1. Ive seen people on this forum recommend to keep the partitioned OS X and Windows OS files on the SSD for speed purposes, but my 121 GB SSD just doesnt seem voluminous enough to do so successfully. Should I still partition the SSD even though it has such little space? or is it possible/preferable to make the partition on the larger HD?

    2. If it is recommended to do the windows partition on the SSD as opposed to a larger HD, will everything still work the same if I move all of my media and documents and such to the larger HD, keeping mostly just important program files/applications on the SSD to conserve space?

    3. If I was to create the partition on the larger HD, would it be necessary to swap its space with the SSD, or does it not matter? (I.E. SSD in the optical drive caddy and larger HD in the regular slot)

    4. And if creating the partition on the larger HD is possible, would I be correct in assuming that I would have to wipe my SSD after backing up, then restore the backup onto the larger HD? (Can I even boot off of my backup on my external drive?)

    Sorry that these questions sound weird, I found it difficult to word them in a way that I felt put my concerns on the table. Thankfully I don't need any help with the whole windows installation or bootcamp thing. My problem is just sorting things out in preparation for the bootcamp partitioning.

  2. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Buy VMware Fusion or Parallels and just run a Windows VM with a smaller virtual disk.

    Never understood why people bother with that Bootcamp crap.
  3. Shaggyotis, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

    Shaggyotis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
    That didn't answer a single question I had.
    Could you elaborate about VM a little more? I can search up stuff myself but i need a bit more to go on please.

    EDIT: Okay I actually was able to find good information and tutorials about making a virtual machine. Here are my questions now:

    If I wanted to use windows 7 as a virtual machine, and its files go into my documents folder, the windows VM will take up roughly the same amount of space as if I had gone with bootcamp, right?
    Would it be wise for me to replace my current SSD with a much larger 1TB 7200 RMP HD to use my OS X and virtual windows on?
    I would have to bypass replacing my optical drive with another hard drive (Or in this case I would just throw my SSD into there) until at least after I installed windows 7 via the optical drive.

    If the VM route ends up being far better for me, I'll delete this post in a bit.
  4. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    You can run windows inside a virtual machine in OS X. A full Windows 7 install is still ~15GB whether it's in virtual on installed bare metal.

    Google virtual box and let oracle explain it.

    Unless you need the improved performance of VM ware or Parallels I'd just use virtualbox. If you don't need a windows enviroment just windows apps try crossover
  5. blake2 macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2013
    Pittsburgh PA

    3. Well, I think the choice of whether you put your OS's on the SSD or the HDD largely depends on how much you will be using OS X and windows respectively and how, but last time I tried on my 2010 MBP and 2012 MBP, Windows did not install to an optibay. I've found a few workarounds googling the issue but for some reason, none of them worked for me.
    I ended up putting an SSD in the HDD bay, installing OS X to the optibay hitachi, and later on cloning the hitachi to another SSD :X

    So, I'm not sure about 2011 MBP, but if you're going to partition the HDD and leave the OS's there, you might need to put the HDD in the original HDD bay.
    (You might want to put your HDD in your Main HDD bay for protection anyway... so you might even consider putting OS X on the optibay SSD and Windows on the main bay hard disk)

    2. 1. However installing applications to a second drive worked flawlessly for me both on OS X and windows, and I AM currently using a 2010 MBA with 128gb SSD that is partitioned 60GB OS X and about 55 Windows that has MS Office and some basic applications installed/iTunes library on an external drive so depending on how you're going to use your drives, it might work for you as well.

    As for q4, I don't have much experience with Mac OS X backups, but I think CCC offers a bootable image option if you meant that, and OS X can also be installed to external drives... might work if you have a good thunderbolt or Firewire external drive...
  6. Shaggyotis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
    Does it have almost the same capabilities as VMWare of Parallels?
    All I really need it for it for MS Office. If virtualbox can do that and is free or cheaper than alternatives, maybe I'll just clone my HD to a larger 1TB 7200RPM, install windows on virtualbox (or alternative VM programs) on the new hard drive and then just throw my SSD into the optical drive spot later on.
  7. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    If all you need it for is Office then why not just use Office for Mac?
  8. Shaggyotis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
    Okay I just downloaded the free trial of VMWare Fusion and the whole thing worked flawlessly and only took me like 10 minutes to install windows. It runs way faster than bootcamp windows did when I tried it. I think this is definitely the route I'll take. Can't believe I didn't try this sooner... Just need to upgrade to a bigger hard drive now


    Office Mac is no good haha and I want to do office 2010 for windows because I already have a copy of it that i want to put to use. I would just use open office but a class I'm in that teaches business computer stuff uses office 2010. I wanna be on the same program as the class.
  9. byuister macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013

    Bootcamp windows shouldn't be running slower than VMWare Fusion.
  10. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    True, Boot Camp should not be running slower than a VM, so something was wrong.

    Virtualization is in most cases the more convinient option though. VM's only take as much disk space as the software they contain, and it's easy to move the VM appliances to an external disk or another computer, so they are a lot more convinient to install and manage than Boot Camp.

    VirtualBox is a nice free alternative, but in my experience is not as stable and does not perform quite as well as Fusion or Parallels.

    CrossOver is also an option. It's a compatibility layer, not virtualization, and has very limited compatibility. It's not free either.

    VMware Fusion is a good choice. It also has support for DirectX 9, which Virtual Box doesn't (well, it has experimental support, which is extremely unstable at the moment). Fusion appliances are also compatible with other VMware versions, so you can migrate and run the same virtual machine with all it's contents on Windows or Linux machines. The same goes for VirtualBox.

    Parallels offers DirectX 10 support, and includes Start8 (a Windows 8 Start Menu replacement), but is also more expensive than Fusion. Parallels appliances can be migrated too, but Parallels is only available for OS X.
  11. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013

    If all you're using is office use virtualbox or crossover. I use crossover in both Linux and OS X to run The windows versions of office. Paralles and VM ware need updated frequently (every iteration of OS X if you believe them) and the discount for having the old version isn't that great. There are reasons to use them you just done have one.
  12. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    Oh ok, I use office 365 both the PC and Mac version and I like them both.

    As others have already said, the bootcamp should be running better then a VM. A VM takes way more resources.
  13. Shaggyotis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
    Do you know if virtualbox will work with Mavericks? I'd like to update if it can handle it. Right now I'm using the trial of VMWare Fusion and so far it hasn't given me a single reason to dislike it.

    And yeah bootcamp was running slowly at first but it's probably because I lacked the drivers or something. I downloaded the windows support for bootcamp 5 but some of the drivers bootcamp gave with it didnt work too well.
  14. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    Yes it works in Mavericks, remember to checkout crossover too, it also has a free trial. In the end it may just come down to a philosophical decision all the solutions will do what you need who do you want to support?

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