Noob 'windows on my mac' questions

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Wie Gehts, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Wie Gehts macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    #1
    Hi folks...

    I will do a comprehensive search later but I usually need some answers to questions to get me started or tell me where to look..

    I bought a macbook back in september. Now, I just got a subscription to Netflix and apparently I can watch movies on my computer....however, as many of you may already know, its windows only due to copyright issues.

    I have no idea whether or not putting XP, and whichever helper app (bootcamp, parallels, fusion), on my macbook will or will not mess it up (I use it mostly to do music....Logic/DAW, etc.)

    So, I was thinking of getting an external drive and putting XP on that as well as a clone of my system while I'm at it.

    But....can you boot windows from an external drive? Firewire? USB?

    Or do I have to install all this stuff on the laptops internal drive only?

    Will I have any issues with windows running an external monitor?

    Which of the 37 versions of windows should I use?

    People seem to like Fusion the best....is this the way to go?

    Basically, at this point, all I'm looking to do is watch movies from netflix....will it all work?

    Thanks
    Jon :)
     
  2. McGiord, Feb 9, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #2
    I have a MB with a BootCamp partition running Windows XP Pro.
    Also via Parallels Desktop I can run the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine.
    From my experience with it, it runs better with Boot Camp, with the virtual machine the experience was very bad, a lot of delays.
    The reason I tried with the virtual machine was to be able to use the apple video adapter (mini DVI to DVI) to connect it to my 40" LCD TV.

    About running boot camp from an external HDD, I think it may be feasible, but I haven't done it, this is an interesting topic, I am interested to know more about it.

    Sadly due to work I'm away from my MB until next Sunday.
    ________
    easy vape
     
  3. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    You _can_ run Windows from an external drive, but it'll be slower - I'd recommend against it. I'd suggest using the bootcamp assistant and setting yourself a small boot partition (20gb is more than adequate for XP) on your internal drive - you can always use an external for large data files. Installing Windows won't mess your system up so long as you read the Boot Camp instructions carefully (following them is probably a good idea, too ;) :D )
    If you want to watch movies, then bootcamp is definitely the way to go. Fusion and Parallels will both be faster when running from a BC partition, but booting direct into XP will be faster still.

    I'd definitely go with XP (Pro from choice, but XPhome will do). It's cheaper and faster than Vista - and also works better under Fusion/Parallels.

    If you want to use virtualisation, Fusion tends to be more stable than Parallels, but Parallels can be faster in some instances. Both work pretty well, but video may turn out to be a bit choppy(I use both on a regular basis via different but similarly-configured machines so have had a lot of chance for comparison)
     
  4. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    #4
    Thanks guys... :)

    But I'm also very confused. Are you saying you need bootcamp as well as parallels or fusion? Virtualization? I thought windows runs natively or whatever?

    Partition? I need a partition? Does that mean my drive needs to be wiped and reformatted into partitions and reinstall my system? Or can a partition be created on a drive nowadays without doing that?

    Also, I'm not sure I have 20gigs to spare being that OSX supposedly needs some free hd space to function. I only have an 80 gig drive with usually 30 gig free with what I do now.

    I thought one of those programs either allowed to switch back in forth from windows without rebooting? If windows can and does run natively, why this "as a virtual" you speak of?

    Sorry, I'm a thicky. Put the key in the ignition and go...thats usually where I'm at except with the stuff thats my thing, like recording stuff.

    Servers, routers, internet protocols, partitions, terminals, unix.....I have no idea..my eyes glaze over...heheheh ;)

    Thanks :)
     
  5. elgrecomac macrumors 65816

    elgrecomac

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego
    #5
    A fusion solution

    I have a MBP and I run Fusion. Rather than clog up my internal drive with Windows, I moved the window environment to an external Firewire 800 LaCie drive and it works just fine for those time when I 'need' windows. This way I avoid bootcamp and get windows on-demand, so to sepeak.

    Good luck.

     
  6. McGiord, Feb 9, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #6
    Here are my comments to your questions:

    Are you saying you need bootcamp as well as parallels or fusion?
    You will need only one of them, but you can also use any combination of the others.

    Virtualization? I thought windows runs natively or whatever?
    To run Windows natively on your Mac you need Boot Camp. To use Boot Camp you will need to create a new partition to your Hard Disk Drive, therefore you'll have your Hard Disk with 2 partitions or Volumes one for MacOSX and other for Windows.
    The advantages of using Boot Camp to run Windows is that it's free, it comes as part of Leopard, and also allows you to run Windows like in any other PC out there natively.

    With Parallels Desktop or VM ware Fusion you will emulating another computer inside your Mac, that is waht is called a Virtual Machine.
    Both programs are free to try for some days, and after that you have to pay for the license around $80 I think.
    Also both of them allows you to run the different virtual machines, that you can create through them, in this case they will big files inside your Mac HDD that will contain the Windows installation or any other OS like Linux. Also they allow you to use/run Windows from the Boot Camp partition if it is available in your HDD (if you have it).
    The main adavantages of using VMware Fusion or Parallels are the possibility to run Windows like it is another Mac application during your MacOSX session, so you can move files between the different applications/programs you want to use. For example I use it to access my email from work in windows Lotus Notes via www.myinotes.com, and some websites that don't run very well in MacOSX.
    Also if you want to have different Virtual Machines, for example one for Windows XP and other for Windows Vista, you can have them and use them as you need them.

    Partition? I need a partition? Does that mean my drive needs to be wiped and reformatted into partitions and reinstall my system? Or can a partition be created on a drive nowadays without doing that?
    You need the partition for Boot Camp, for the others is optional.
    With the Boot Camp Assistant or Disk Utility you can partition your MacOSX HDD to assign the partition to install Windows, it will only allow you to use the free space available. You can wipe your HDD if you want, but it's not necessary/mandatory, you know what will happen.


    Also, I'm not sure I have 20gigs to spare being that OSX supposedly needs some free hd space to function. I only have an 80 gig drive with usually 30 gig free with what I do now.

    I also have an 80 Gb HDD in my MacBook, and with 15 Gb my Windows partition runs fine for what I'm using it: web browsing, MSN Messenger and Lotus Notes.

    I thought one of those programs either allowed to switch back in forth from windows without rebooting? If windows can and does run natively, why this "as a virtual" you speak of?

    Yes both Fusion and Parallels allows you to use Windows from MacOSX, and treat it like another app in your Mac OSX session.
    Windows will run natively only via a Boot Camp session, in which you will running only Windows like in any other PC, so you don't have MacOSX available during that session. To use it you either depress the option key while your Mac is booting and then select the Windows or Mac partition to boot your Mac, or you define in your MacOSX System Preferences StartUp Disk settings from which partition you want to boot your Mac.
    Also in Windows you will have the Boot Camp Assistant that will allow you from Windows Restart it back to MacOSX.
    The Virtual Machine name is used with Parallels or Fusion because your Mac will be emulating a PC inside MacOSX, therefore it's a virtual PC that will be running in your Mac.
    Maybe you recall a program VirtualPC used to emulate PCs with old Macs, there were also virtual machines.

    NOTE: if you are planning to use Windows XP it has to be a single CD with SP2. If you have an old version with SP1 you can create a SP2 CD with a process called slipstreaming (instructions are posted in other threads in this forum)

    Feel free to ask anytime.

    Enjoy!
    ________
    VN1500G
     
  7. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #7
    if you have successfully installed windows on a external drive & can boot from it can you share it with these people thank you

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=191777
     

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