New to Mac - Few basic Qs

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by CaptainCocoPop, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. CaptainCocoPop macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hi All,

    I recently ordered the new Macbook 2.4 which should be arriving in a few days. I've used OSX before but have mainly been a Windows/Linux user, who finally had enough and decided to migrate to greener pastures :) Linux obviously is great but I've only had problems with Dell and HPs in the past and am done with that.

    Anyway, I've a few questions that I hope someone will answer:

    1: I need to run a few windows only apps on my mac, I've been recommended VMWare and Parallels. From what I've read, Parallels 4 is much faster but is quite buggy, while others have had problems with VMWare. Parallels seems to be roughly twice the price of VMWare, is it worth it?

    2: I intend on running XP for the few windows only apps, I only have those discs that come with Dells but have managed to get XP on other PCs from it and just had to put a key into it, will these discs do for putting it on the mac? I really don't want to give Microsoft any more money. What other options do I have?

  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    VMWare Fusion should be fine, but so should Parallels
    They are 6 of one, half dozen of the other
    Both work well

    Or you can run straight from a Boot Camp partition with no problems

    As far as your discs... give them a try and see what happens ;)

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    From my experience, Fusion has been better and faster than Parallels 3, but I haven't used 4 so I don't know.

    Yes, you could probably physically use the discs, but it will be breaking the EULA.
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Welcome to Macs!

    Both Parallels and VMWare have trial versions, so you could use both to see what works for you. I use VMWare, but that choice was made a year or so ago when VMWare had a distinct advantage. Now, it works well enough that I feel no need to look at other solutions. Since Parallels just put out a new release, one could assume that VMWare will be next.

    My understanding is that using the Dell discs is not allowed by the EULA. It should be possible to find a cheap XP set of discs though.


    ps Go to the "Software" forums (here on MacRumours) and then the OS X section. There is a thread right near the top for Leopard Tips and Tricks. If you are new to Leopard there are loads of good tips there - and if you do know Leopard, there is still loads of good tips there.
  5. 1visitor macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2008
    If you need to run very few Windows applications, you might want to consider something called "Crossover" which if I understand will run those without having to install Windows. You must check if the programs are compatible with Crossover, so I've heard.

    The Dell XP discs should technically work but they're probably "OEM" which allows the use only for the machine in which they were originally installed. I don't know if you can buy an XP license for using only in your Mac. Legally, you might have to spend for a "full" XP package, much more money and not easy to find these days.

    I also know there is a free alternative to Fusion and Parallels, read it in another post, it's made by Sun but don't remember the name at the moment.
  6. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    ^ VirtualBox?

    I can say from experience, Parallels 4.0 is the way to go. It's much more smooth and has a more natural feeling to it. I've used both Fusion 2.0 and Parallels 4.0 so I'm not biased. Parallels 4.0 and Fusion 2.0 both cost $79.99 unless you upgrade from a previous version you purchased.

    My dad, an avid windows user for over 10 years (he likes UNIX stuff more, like Mac and Linux) said that the disks you get from PC vendors probably won't be able to be used on another computer. It's OEM version, so once it is is registered, that serial is stuck with the hardware. You might be able to call them and say your motherboard fried or a hard disk failed (quite possible, hardware does age...) and they will issue you a new serial. Or you can just bite the bullet and go to a electronics store and pick up a legit copy of XP/Vista OEM System Builder, unless you want retail which allows you to install on different computers.
  7. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Depending on the disk, it may install ok - usually an OEM disk won't install on any other machine, but if you've managed to use it to install on other PCs, it's probably possible. I've installed Windows myself on Parallels with an old Dell XP install disk.

    But the license key won't work ... you'll need to order a new one. It's not a violation of the EULA to install XP using an OEM disk ... you can use any working disk from anyone, but it's a violation to move the OEM install to a new PC. PC is this case includes the VM inside VMWare Fusion or Parallels.

    I'm not sure if XP is available any more (edit, ok it is), but if you do a customizable install in Parallels, you get a 30 day free use from XP ... if you do that, you can buy an XP license for $100 by installing WGA from the Microsoft XP update site. It'll tell you your install is unlicensed.
  8. CaptainCocoPop thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2008
    Thanks for all the advice guys. Mac will be here in a few days (praying it doesn't drop too significantly in Fridays sale now!) and I'm leaning towards Parallels, but I'll give both of the trial versions a shot and see how it goes.

    With regards to Windows, I've shot a mail off to Dell asking for a copy of the install cd's and a serial using a broken hdd as the excuse, so hopefully they sort me out as they've done it previously when I genuinely did have a corrupt piece of hardware.

    Cheers for this ^^

    Much appreciated.
  9. 1visitor macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2008
    So Plinden and SnowLeopard, what is the cheapest way to install XP legally in Bootcamp ?
    I thought OEM install disks were not for sale alone and would only be good when also buying a whole computer for it. So that if that computer broke you could not reuse the same disk when buing a new one.
    The retail version is still expensive, unless a legitimate owner sells it to you along with the original receipt. Am I right about this ?
  10. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    You can still get OEM copies, you just don't get the support and the license is tied to that hardware, meaning you are supposed to buy a new version if you get a new computer.
  11. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    If I missed this above, excuse me but you need to insure that the XP disk used for installation is one that has SP2 or SP3. Earlier versions will not work- at least with Boot Camp.

    The OEM disks are actually called "System Builder" disks by Microsoft. The key issue here is that System Builder disks are licensed for use on one particular machine for life, and the license does not have a provision for uninstalling on one box and installing it on another.

    Newegg has them priced pretty reasonably (at least compared to a retail version):
    XP Home with SP3
    XP Pro with SP3

    All their System Builder disks (including Vista versions) can be seen here.
  12. 1visitor macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2008
  13. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Yes, that is no problem- what I meant was that it is sold for installation on a single machine (and it comes with the official Microsoft hologram license key sticker and all) and once installed on the initial machine it supposed to stay on that machine.

    Realistically, with the exception of the licensing difference, the only difference from from a retail package is the box. Microsoft sends SB disks in a padded sealed manilla envelope rather than a retail shelf box- and inside you will find the same disk with holograms, the license key sticker and a user's guide.

    No need to call Microsoft!:)
  14. 1visitor macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2008
    Sounds good, but there is something written in the description of all "System Builder" packages which kind of blurs comprehension:

    "This software is intended for pre-installation on a new personal computer for resale."

    So what if the computer isn't new, and isn't for resale ?
  15. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Who's having all the trouble with Fusion? It runs like a champ for me.

    The two apps are similar, but there are some significant differences. Notably, if you use a Boot Camp partition you can point Fusion to that and run it as a virtual machine, rather than reinstalling Windows (and maintaining two installations).

    I know that Fusion has the ability to run in "Unity" mode, where a Windows app runs in the OS X environment without a "Windows" session visible. At the time I bought Fusion this was something Parallels could not do, but I'm not familiar with the newer versions.
  16. morrisman1 macrumors 6502

    i went with fusion. Very happy with it

    the latest version 2.0 is quite an improvement on the previous version. It reads off my boot camp partition which is the best setup for me. i cant run graphics intensive stuff under fusion with my current setup (games for example) so i just boot into windows alone when i want to do stuff like that.

    unity is very good, i havnt used it much but it does work well.
  17. rtpub macrumors member


    Sep 9, 2008
    I'd believe Parallels 3 has the same feature as "Unity" mode and is called "Coherence":D

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