Running Windows on Mac

nanogirl21

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2011
697
63
Midwest United States
There are 2-3 programs that I use daily that are not mac compatible. From my understanding, there is a way to run windows programs on your mac by partitioning your hard drive. Can someone walk me step by step on how to do this please. Also, how would I transfer files back and forth from the windows section to the mac section? Thanks for any advice.
 

Forum-User

macrumors member
Jul 8, 2009
31
12
I use VirtualBox for Windows on Mac

As I prefer not wasting precious disk space creating a Bootcamp partition, I downloaded VirtualBox for free from virtualbox.org and installed it. Then I installed Windows as a Virtual Machine. This lets me run Windows in a window on OS/X as if it was just another Mac program. I installed the VirtualBox guest additions, so I can resize the Windows desktop window and copy/paste the clipboard between Mac & Windows. I mapped a drive between Windows & Mac, so I can share files between the two. I used "net use M: \\vboxsrvr\Downloads" to make my Windows M: drive see my Mac Downloads directory. You can specify how many computer resources to allow VirtualBox to use, and adjust them later. I know many folks pay for Parallels, but I use Windows so infrequently, I prefer the free option.

Bootcamp has so many limitations and disadvantages for my needs, such as: requiring reboot to use unless using Parallels with special configuration, Windows files not included in Time Machine backups, no simple backup options, resizing of Bootcamp partition not allowed without reinstallation unless using for WinClone (which I purchased), not simple to share files between Windows and Mac, no integration with Mac desktop or apps, etc.

As such, Bootcamp is not the best option for most people. Good luck with your VirtualBox installation (or Parallels purchase). I have been very happy using VirtualBox for several years on several machines and operating systems.
 

quackers82

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2014
340
168
You could also try Wineskin, no need for Windows. Works with some or there is also Crossover. I use Wineskin for some Windows programs i have with great success.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
I did what Forum-User did. If you only need it for one or 2 programs for limited use during your normal workflow, a VM is the way to go IMO. I also used VirtualBox and Win 7 for mine.
 

nanogirl21

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2011
697
63
Midwest United States
As I prefer not wasting precious disk space creating a Bootcamp partition, I downloaded VirtualBox for free from virtualbox.org and installed it. Then I installed Windows as a Virtual Machine. This lets me run Windows in a window on OS/X as if it was just another Mac program. I installed the VirtualBox guest additions, so I can resize the Windows desktop window and copy/paste the clipboard between Mac & Windows. I mapped a drive between Windows & Mac, so I can share files between the two. I used "net use M: \\vboxsrvr\Downloads" to make my Windows M: drive see my Mac Downloads directory. You can specify how many computer resources to allow VirtualBox to use, and adjust them later. I know many folks pay for Parallels, but I use Windows so infrequently, I prefer the free option.

Bootcamp has so many limitations and disadvantages for my needs, such as: requiring reboot to use unless using Parallels with special configuration, Windows files not included in Time Machine backups, no simple backup options, resizing of Bootcamp partition not allowed without reinstallation unless using for WinClone (which I purchased), not simple to share files between Windows and Mac, no integration with Mac desktop or apps, etc.

As such, Bootcamp is not the best option for most people. Good luck with your VirtualBox installation (or Parallels purchase). I have been very happy using VirtualBox for several years on several machines and operating systems.
So you know if virtual machine runs in lion?
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,518
31
Singapore
So you know if virtual machine runs in lion?
I recommend you purchase (for a small price [less than $100 USD]) VMWare Fusion for Mac, or Parallels Desktop for Mac. These are well known virtualisation softwares, and allow you to install Windows OS (any you choose) and then run the programs seamlessly from your Mac. They are well known and well used. If the apps are either CPU or memory intensive, the performance will be degraded (as it's virtualised, obviously) but it's a decent way to run Windows software.

If you wish to have native speed and full support - you can install an Microsoft Windows OS directly onto you hard disk after partitioning it. This is called BootCamp.

VirtualBox is great also, it is free and open source - I personally prefer Parallels.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
So you know if virtual machine runs in lion?
A look at the first chapter of the manual reveals the following regarding OS X compatibility:

Mac OS X hosts:[2]

10.6 (Snow Leopard, 32-bit and 64-bit)

10.7 (Lion, 32-bit and 64-bit)

10.8 (Mountain Lion, 64-bit)

10.9 (Mavericks, 64-bit)
The manual hasn't been updated since Yosemite released but it is supported as well as I use it on Yosemite.