Running W7 on MBA with Parallels

Birone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 19, 2012
28
0
Is it possible to run a full Windows 7 install from a jump drive, using parallels? I have 128GB MBA, and I don't like the idea of partitioning. I didn't see official documentation regarding this, just a rumor that you could theoretically run the entire VM off something like a 32GB flash drive. BTW i'm not itching for windows, just need it come next week to run Virtual Studio 2010 and some other developer windows applications.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,504
3,049
You can, but remember that a typical jump drive is pretty slow. If you have a 2012 MacBook Air, I'd suggest getting a USB 3.0 jump drive with a decent write speed (I've seen claimed speeds in the neighborhood of 60-70MB/s).
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,549
11
Yay Area, CA
You could just keep it on your main drive. Since it's running off of Parallels, there would be no need for partitioning.
 

Birone

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 19, 2012
28
0
You could just keep it on your main drive. Since it's running off of Parallels, there would be no need for partitioning.
Its more of a space issue, and my intention is to keep my 128 simply for mac, and have windows 7 just a removable unit when needed, not worrying about keeping it on my system. Do you know where and what size parallels keeps a windows 7 file system?

You can, but remember that a typical jump drive is pretty slow. If you have a 2012 MacBook Air, I'd suggest getting a USB 3.0 jump drive with a decent write speed (I've seen claimed speeds in the neighborhood of 60-70MB/s).
I have the newest MBA, and I was eyeing this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226227
Its rated at 120 read, 70 write. Sounds like it would be adequate to run my intended programs.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,504
3,049
That one looks like it would work, once it's back in stock. By comparison, I have a USB 3.0 enclosure with a Seagate hybrid drive (500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache) and get read and write speeds of about 100MB/s.

Parallels lets the Windows installation use up however much space is on the drive where it installs the file. It also lets Windows access any other drives connected to the Mac (such as the main drive). What you could do is put a copy of a Windows .iso image onto your desktop, and then while your USB key is plugged in, use Parallels to install Windows onto the key.
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,549
11
Yay Area, CA
Its more of a space issue, and my intention is to keep my 128 simply for mac, and have windows 7 just a removable unit when needed, not worrying about keeping it on my system. Do you know where and what size parallels keeps a windows 7 file system?


I have the newest MBA, and I was eyeing this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226227
Its rated at 120 read, 70 write. Sounds like it would be adequate to run my intended programs.
You set how big you want windows to be. It can be 10GB or 100GB. Just make sure you have enough space for the programs you wish to install.
 

ixodes

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2012
4,430
2
Pacific Coast, USA
You'll be just fine as long as you are very careful to calculate the amount of data you expect to have in OS X & Windows. If you wish to save some money while still enjoying a good experience, I'd suggest VirtualBox. I've used VMWare, as well as Parallels also. Of the three I actually find VirtualBox (it's free) my favorite. There are trial versions which you may want to try before making a final decision. For what it's worth, I've found VirtualBox measurably faster & completely bug free.