New Hard Drive - Need Recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Flynnstone, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Hi all, I need some experienced help. I'm sure someone has done what I want to do.

    I ordered a 320 gig HD to replace the 120 in my MacBook.
    I'm running Parallels for some engineering software. One tool recommends running Windows natively for performance instead of Parallels. (They are coming out with a Mac OS X version soon !) I ran out of HD space and it basically killed my Parallels vm.
    So ... I figure I need a Windows partition so I can run BootCamp.
    Mostly I'll be running OS X. and Parallels as needed. And Bootcamp only when really necessary. I want to be able to read data from partition when in OS X.
    I'll be running XP with minimal needs.

    What size partition ? I'm guessing on 30 to 50 gig? Any recommendations?
    What format? I think I saw a recommendation for FAT32.
    What order to do things?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    A barebones XP install is under 5 GB. Add however much space your program and documents are going to need, then add 20%. That's all you should need for the Windows partition. 30 GB is overkill.
  3. Illicit macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2007
    Waterloo, ON
    After installing your eng program (i'm guessing MatLab?), you might want extra space to install Office programs, media players, MacDrive (to access your OSX partition from windows), and security updates. You'll soon find your 30GB will become 5GB of free space. Since you have a new 320GB drive, I recommend a minimum 50-60GB for your windows partition just in case.

    However, since you wish to access your windows partition from OSX, you'll need to format it to FAT32 and the maximum size for that is 32GB.

    An alternative solution is to format your windows partition as NTFS, then make a third FAT32 partition for transfers between your OSX and Windows sides. It can be small (even 5GB would do), but just remember, any partition that's formatted in FAT32 can only hold files that are 4GB or less in size. Any more and it'll say there is not enough space.
  4. theITGuy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2009
    chasing the ghost in the machine
    I have a 50GB XP Partition that I use for work and media center to my xbox, etc. Skip Fat32 alltogether and set it up as can install MacFuse and NTFS-3G "drivers" so that you can write to that partition from OS X.



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