New Mac User, Leopard Install and Partitioning Q's

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hack On Wheels, May 4, 2009.

  1. Hack On Wheels macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2009
    Hi all,

    So my old laptop finally died for good yesterday and I finally had to pull the trigger regarding the decision I had been sitting on for months. I went into the Apple store, talked to a refreshingly cheerful and helpful sales person and I left with my brand new 17" matte uMBP. Awesome! It sure is pretty, but that isn't why I'm posting...

    Leopard install: Finder showed that the initial install left only 277GB on my 320GB harddrive. I have a hard time understanding how an OS install could take up 43GB of space, that would have been almost half of my old laptop's HD! Any idea what could be up with this? I've heard of some people doing fresh installs of Leopard right away to keep things cleaner, but this seems a bit extreme.

    Partitioning Q's: I will need to run Windows a lot for various programs and I would like to have access to my full iTunes library while I'm doing that. However, I am hoping to not have to have a duplicate library on the NTFS partition. On that note, I was wondering if I could just put my iTunes library onto and FAT32 partition and then access all my music from OSX or Windows. Would this work? I would also use this partition for transferring files between the operating systems.

    Any help would be great, thanks!
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    A good portion of that space is taken up with iLife apps and supporting data. There are 3GB of audio, plus >4GB for Garage band (audio loops, lessons), and, I'm guessing a few hundred MB or more for the iMovie and iDVD templates, etc., etc.

    I think your idea of a 3rd partition might work. You do need to make the Bootcamp partition using the Bootcamp Assistant (it'll be FAT32, but then you can format it as NTFS during the Windows install). Once that's there, then you can add a FAT32 partition to the current OS-X partition.

    edit: I thought a bit more about the setup. If you don't need the absolute best performance out of Windows (gaming, for instance), Parallels probably would be a cleaner way to go. The current version supports hardware 3D acceleration, too. Then, you don't need to worry about sharing the library. Performance wise, there's not much noticeable difference between running in VM or native, unless you are running intensive apps. I've run Java applets which have 3D graphics and they run smoothly (NASCAR Raceview). It's just something to look into, IMO. I have both - I use the VM for casual and my HAM applications (even audio signal processing runs just fine in VM), and Bootcamp for 3D intensive apps (RealFlight). I try and use Parallels as much as possible so I can remain in OS-X.
  3. bplein macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2007
    Austin, TX USA
    You mean it's taking up 22GB of your 298GB hard drive.

    Hard drives (for PCs and related) have always had this discrepancy. It can be summarized as the different units of measurement used for sales/marketing purposes, where 1,000,000 Bytes is a MB, but 1,048,576 Bytes is a MB when calculated by anyone else.

    That 4.9% difference in marketing MB vs real MB blows up to about 7.3% (1024x1024x1024) when measuring GB.

    320GB / 1.073 = 298GB

    Search on "GiB vs. GB" for additional reading.

    By the way, it has always been this way. It was this way with all the hard drives you've ever owned.

    On a brighter note, the OCZ Vertex SSD I have in my laptop at work (advertised 120GB) shows up as 118+GB in Disk Utility. It's a "true 120". I think they are smart in abandoning the old ways as people who spend big bucks on SSDs, but never noticed the GiB-vs.-GB thing would scream loudly at a few "missing" GB.
  4. Hack On Wheels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2009
    First of all, thanks for the replies!

    Might work? I guess I won't know until I try it out, but are there any reasons why it might not work out? Also, do I need to re-format the FAT partition to NTFS for the windows install? If not, is there any noticeable benefit to doing so?

    I may also try parallels at a later date, but I'll be running a number of engineering programs (solidworks, for example) that I think would benefit from running natively.

    Interesting... I know that 1000 bytes doesn't equal a kilobyte and so on, but I always assumed that this would be taken into account in the listed capacity. Thus far I've never noticed this to be the case, but I guess I'm just paying more attention with this computer than I have for any previous one. 22GB still seems like a lot, but perhaps not with all the garageband and other files pre-loaded on here as was mentioned.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Part of the problem is the math being used to computer free space on, what they advertise as a 320gb HD is actually more like 297, so you just lot 7% of disk space because of marketing shenanigans. That leaves you with a 20GB difference. If you have a laptop you also need to take into consideration the safe sleep image, which will be the size of your ram foot print, say in my case 4 gig. The remainder is a default leopard install.

    I typically am very picky in what I install, and customize the install process by deselecting the languages, most of the print drivers, etc. If its an system disk from a new mac, I make sure I don't install all of iLife (I don't use garageband)

    One option is to put it on an external drive that both can access but if you take laptop anywhere you lose your library unless you lug your external drive. another option is to create a small partition when you install OSX, but by dividing up your drive, I'm not sure if bootcamp will get "confused" and not create your partitions for you. Another option is to use iPartition after creating the bootcamp partition and you can then easily setup the partitions as you wish.
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    The method of setting up the partitions that way will work. It's the sharing of the library I'm wondering about. It's usually in the ~/user/Music/iTunes folder. I have just the library database there, but my music folder is elsewhere. If you go with the default, everything should be in ~/user/Music/iTunes. I haven't moved my own library data file around since iTunes was first released, but I do believe you can put it anywhere and/or switch librarys.

    The first step with BootCamp is to use the Assistant to create the BootCamp partition. That will be FAT32, but you still need to go through the installer format setp - that's where you set it to NTFS (and where you carefully select the correct partition). Aside from being more efficient, NTFS will allow future partition expansion (using a tool called WinClone). Otherwise, FAT32 is nice because it has native r/w support. (I suggest looking at WinClone anyway - once you have your windows install, you can use it to create an image of the BC partition. That image can be used to instantly recover your install, or move it to another drive and boot first try. VERY nice app - worth a nice donation IMO.

    If you're going to create the 3rd partition (FAT32), that should be done last. You can even do it after installing Leopard. Disk Utility will allow live partition additions and/or resizing of the OS-X partition. The new partition will come from the Leopard (HFS+) partition. Once you have the partition selected, you can press the plus to add and size the new partition. Graphically in Disk Utility, wise, you will see the OS-X first, then the media/shared FAT32, followed by the Bootcamp partition.

    Note: any changes to the BC partition need to be made through the BC Assistant app. And, it WILL erase the old partition, prior to creating a new larger one. This is where Winclone comes in so handy: Say your first install was fine, but you need more room. The only way to get it is to remove the current partition using BC Assistant, then create the larger one. Using Winclone, you can first make an image, then recreate the BC partition (at the new size), then restore from Winclone. Because the image was formatted NTFS, Winclone will automatically resize the image's patition map to fit the new drive (BC) partition.

    Parallels will allow you to use your BootCamp partition and its Windows install as a Virtual Machine - you can switch back and forth [between BC and Parallels] with making any changes to Windows. The only limitation is you can't use "Suspend" when quitting Parallels - you have to do a full shutdown of Windows. Otherwise, works great and you don't need a separate partition or harddrive image file. I believe there's a free trial of the full version of Parallels, so you can try it after you get your BC install up and running. Just another choice to throw into the mix.

    You might check the forums (here and at Parallels) to see what experience others have had using Solidworks and/or your other engineering apps. I still suspect they will run acceptably well. I imagine if you're running a long render or analysis, the normally unnoticeable overhead of running as a VM on OS-X will start to add up. Just depends on your particular needs, balanced with the inconvenience of rebooting to Windows (not that it take a huge amount of time, but I bet it's a couple or more minutes).

    Hope this helped. I think you're got a good handle on what needs to where/when.

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