Running Snow Leopard with Windows 7...ON THE SAME COMPUTER!?!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by owwo, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. owwo macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2009
    Here's my potential rig:

    - Running a Mac Pro.
    - 2 Hard Drives:
    1) Snow Leopard on first drive
    2) Windows 7 on second drive
    - 2 24" Apple LED Cinema Displays

    So here's my there a way I can have both OS's running at the same time, with Snow Leopard on the left monitor and Windows 7 on the right monitor, all running out from one computer rig (Mac Pro)?

    I've heard of ppl using Synergy to run dual monitors with dual computers and sharing one keyboard and mouse. I want to do the same EXCEPT run it all out of 1 computer.

    Any advice, suggestions, critiques?

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  3. professorjay macrumors member

    May 13, 2007
    Maybe you could run Windows 7 in a virtual machine?
  4. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    You can do this with something like VMware running Windows in a virtual machine, but you'll have a corresponding performance hit in Windows (particularly in anything graphically intensive).
  5. Guy Incognito macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2006
    WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING YOUR QUESTION? At any rate, yes, you can do this easily by running Windows 7 in a Virtual Machine. VMWare Fusion 3 is currently available for pre-order, and ships on the 27th. That's the route I would take.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I agree that running Windows in a VM is as close as you can come to accomplishing this, but that's not what the OP was asking. Unless they worded their question incorrectly, they wanted to run Mac OS X and Windows, both native on separate hard drives, both on the same processor, each controlling a separate monitor. That is not possible. If you're running Windows in a VM, you still have one OS (Mac OS X) controlling the processor and deciding when to give control to the Windows VM.
  7. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008

    A processor/logic board cannot serve two masters at once (but can serve one master is that master is running the other OS as a VM)

    Or, buy a cheap PC, network the 2 computers, and then you can have what you want.
  8. owwo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2009
    yep, thats what i meant...i want to be able to run both os x and windows, both natively, both on the same processor, but each on a different monitor.

    unfortunately, it seems like this isn't possible and i would have to run it virtually.

    and to guy incognito, the reason i SHOUT is because works (kinda like the empty billboard that only says "Do billboards work? It just did!"). it got your attention didn't it? ;)
  9. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I do this at work with VMWare. I just wouldn't run any games without fully rebooting into Windows.

    Speed wise both sides both work very fast. VMWare's graphics drivers just aren't up to drive games. But it's just as fast as running under Boot Camp for the most part.
  10. owwo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2009
    why do ppl seem to disparage VMWare and virtually running windows? It seems to be related to graphics issues and/or speed?

    anyhow goMac, to clarify- you have 1 computer, 2 hard drives, 2 OS' installed respectively on each drive, 2 monitors, 1 keyboard/mouse...correct? and by running VMWare, you can have mac osx running on one side and windows on the other side and switch seamlessly between both?
  11. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    Yep thats correct. I run Windows, Ubunu Linux and OSX. I use vmware fusion so Windows and Ubuntu are run virtually. I have 6 spaces desktops and two of them are Windows and Ubuntu. With 2 monitors just have one spaces desktop dedicated to Windows on one of your monitors.

    As long as you have RAM to burn VMWare is pretty much as fast as running apps natively for all practical purposes. Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Netbeans are silky smooth (with at least a Gb RAM dedicated to windows XP 2).

    Although some people just can't stand waiting 122seconds for a zip file instead on 120 :) .

    Unless Fusion 3.0 delivers something staggering 3D gaming is still a no go in a virtual environment , but there is always boot camp :) .
  12. owwo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2009
    quick question- how would you mitigate any exposure to pc-related viruses? what i mean is, if my main computer is say a Mac Pro, running Mac OSX natively, would my hard drive be more compromised and exposed from running windows via boot camp rather than virtually via VMWare or parallels?

    my thinking is that running windows inside a virtual "box" would keep any viruses related to "pc" only inside that virtual system, thereby still keeping my physical mac osx native hard drive intact. does that sound right or am i missing something?
  13. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    You are correct. Parallels and VMware both offer a variety of security settings that separate your Windows VM from your OS X host. At the most lenient, your OS X home folder is mapped transparently to your Windows home folder (so, for example, anything on your OS X desktop will appear on your Windows desktop; when you open your Windows 'My Documents' folder, it will show your OS X 'Documents' folder, etc;) at its most secure, the only possible 'crossover' between OS X and Windows is if you share over the network.

    VMWare's current version can run fully hardware accelerated 3D, even on the Windows desktop (so you get the shiny "Aero" desktop;) and Parallels next version is slated to do so as well. It's not perfect, as many 3D apps don't work right, but for many, you take a negligible hit. (5-10%.) And both let you specify more than one CPU core to run in the VM. So if you have an 8-core Mac Pro, you could specify that your VM sees 4 cores. (Technically, OS X can still co-opt the CPUs, but for the most part, you will get full speed to Windows out of those CPUs.)

    To be yet one more voice answering the original question: No, it is not possible to run two OSes simultaneously on "bare metal" hardware without the assistance of virtualization software. The closest you can get is to run a "bare metal" VM software, where the 'base' OS is just virtualization software, like VMWare's ESX Server or Microsoft's Hyper-V. The best of these even let you 'map' certain hardware devices to pass directly through to a VM, so that the hardware is accessed directly by the 'virtualized' OS. But these are meant more for server purposes, I don't know how well they would do with more 'workstation' uses. (For example, I don't know wether or not you could use two video cards, having each one assigned directly to each of your two OSes.) Parallels Server supports this "bare metal" mode, but that is $1300 all by itself, and only supports OS X Server, not OS X 'desktop', so you'd need to shell out another $500 for Snow Leopard Server.
  14. owwo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2009
    So to clarify, if I run Windows virtually via VMWare or Parallels, I would be able to have MAC OSX running from one monitor and Windows on the other monitor simultaneously?
  15. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    Yes. As far as OSX is concerned, VMWare and Parallels are just applications running. You can resize their windows at will (and the windows desktop will get resized on the fly) or make them full screen on either monitor.

    Both also have a mode where the Windows desktop is sort of integrated into OSX. In these modes, any windows application becomes just another OSX window. Look up "Unity" mode and "Coherence" mode if you want more info.
  16. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    Only mainframe computers can run multiple operating systems natively - mainframes can "partition" their hardware for exactly that purpose. Macs and PCs cannot do that - yet.

    The only solution for desktop hardware would be to use virtualization software.
  17. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but any system with Intel's "VT-d" can partition hardware. This includes the current Mac Pro. As I mentioned before, Parallels Server can do this. You run a "bare metal hypervisor", which is basically just a boot loader for your separate OSes that takes care of the partitioning, then you run your separate OSes, which, as far as each is concerned, is running on the raw hardware.

    The only issue is that the software to do this is ridiculously expensive from a 'desktop' point of view. ($1300 for Parallels Server, $500 for OS X Server; as the 'desktop' versions of OS X aren't legal to run this way.)

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