Parallels 4.0 Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by futureswitcher, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. futureswitcher macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2008
    Hey everyone,

    I plan on purchasing Parallels 4.0 Desktop for my MacBook which already has BootCamp set up with Windows XP Professional. VMWare is not an option because I can get Parallels for really cheap through my University. I have some questions about it that I have been unable to find elsewhere:

    1. Will converting my boot camp partition to a parallels VM cause me to lose the ability to boot into Windows XP normally with boot camp?

    2. How does memory allocation work in Parallels? If I have 2GB of memory and I allot 1 to parallels, does that mean I'll only effectively have 1GB left on my machine even when I'm not running parallels? Also, for a machine with 2GB of DDR2, how would you recommend splitting up the RAM?

    3. I plan to download the free trial first. If I decide I don't like it, how difficult is it to remove it from my computer and have my boot camp partition unaffected? Also, will I have to re-setup everything when I get my serial number or can I just register?

    4. Should I wait for the next major release of Parallels? How often does the company typically release new versions and for how long should I expect to receive free updates if I purchase now?

    5. Will Time Machine try to back up my VM? I don't want this because I have my boot camp partition automatically backing up. Where is it stored on my Mac so I can tell Time Machine to ignore it?

    6. Will changes I make using parallels show up when running boot camp and vice-versa?

    7. How much space will parallels take up on my mac partition/windows partition?

    Some of these questions are probably pretty obvious, but I just want to make sure before I take the plunge:D

    Thanks in advance!
  2. SpeedFleX macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2009
    1. just leave the boot camp the way it is, you can access as it is now with paralles.

    2. I find 2gb not enough the whole system lags atleast it did when i used paralles, vmware it does not. If you must give 512mb to XP

    3. Do the trial and you can maybe anwser your own questions who knows^^

    4. idk

    5. no it wont

    6. yes it will

    7. not much have to get home too see the exact numbers, paralles installs dtivers on the boot camp to make it faster
  3. Leto-Parallels macrumors member


    Nov 7, 2008
    hi futureswitcher, great questions!

    1) Nope. Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac can use your Boot Camp partition how it is now. You can also create a virtual clone of it to use as a normal virtual machine. This is done during a virtual machine setup.

    2) Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac handles RAM uniquely compared to other virtualization software, in that it doesn't gobble up the full amount allocated to it unless your guest OS needs it for apps. I typically start with half my total physical amount, then adjust depending on how much I tend to use Windows vs. OS X. Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac doesn't hang on to RAM when it's not using it. If you close your Parallels VM, then all your RAM are belong to OS X :p

    3) Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac removes just like any other Mac OS X application. If you create VMs, they typically stay on your hard drive after you uninstall Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac (for multiple reasons). If you don't want that virtual machine anymore, just delete the .pvm file.

    Also, if you decide you want the full version of Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac, all you have to do is enter the full version serial key into the trial.

    4) Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac released last November and there have been free updates since then (Latest was in May). We still support Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac as well, providing build updates for it.

    5) If you're using your Boot Camp partition, the data is stored the same as when you boot into it. If you create a separate VM, then yes Time Machine will back it up with everything else. The .pvm (Parallels virtual machine) files are kept in your OS X folders under "Documents >> Parallels" (Unless you set it up for shared access during install, then they're in "Users >> Shared >> Parallels")

    6) Yes, unless you create a clone of your Boot Camp install (see #1) and run it as a normal VM.

    7) I think it's about 150MB on the Mac side. I might be a bit off, but it's fairly small. Parallels Tools on the Windows side is only 15MB. The real things that take up room are your virtual machines, which are as large as any OS partition would normally be on a PC. My Windows 7 VM is just short of 19GB right now, and I use it every day, so hopefully that gives you an idea.

    If you have any more questions about the software, feel free to e-mail me at

    I hope that helps!
  4. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    My solution to backing up BootCamp is to manually create a clone of the BootCamp partition on my secondary hard drive every month or so using Winclone, which is dead simple. I don't use Windows very much, so only having the manual monthly backup doesn't bother me too much.

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