Using Bootcamp and Parallels w/One XP Install?

quasar720

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 11, 2004
45
0
Berkley, MI
I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Mac Pro this week and a question has come to mind.

Would it be possible for me to install XP on a drive in bay 2 using Boot Camp and also have Parallels point to the same XP install? The reason I ask is I am a casual PC gamer (typically 1-2 titles come out per year that I want to play) but also use my PC on a fairly regular basis for things like Quicken or trying out PC-only software.

My ideal situation would be using Parallels for quick switching over to my Quicken account and miscellaneous daily PC work but using Boot Camp to boot into a straight Windows environment for gaming.

Does anyone know if this is possible? Apologies if it is an old discussion, a couple quick searches didn't reveal much.
 

NATO

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2005
1,692
28
Northern Ireland
Technically yes, as Windows is still only installed on one 'computer', although obviously Activation might get a bit confused and you'll probably have to phone Microsoft every so often for telephone activation.
 

slackersonly

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2006
525
0
It is absolutely possible.
But is it absolutely legal? Someone smarter than me will have to prove that.

To me, as long as you can only use xp in one form at a time (ie. you cant use boot camp AND parallels at the SAME time), it seem legal.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
quasar720 said:
Would it be possible for me to install XP on a drive in bay 2 using Boot Camp and also have Parallels point to the same XP install?
I think the previous posters might have misunderstood what you were asking, or I did. What I gathered was.. can you crate a partition using BootCamp, install Windows on it, and then install Parallels and point Parallels at the BootCamp'd Windows partition as it's VM? Is that what you were asking?

No, it is not possible. Parallels creates it's own virtual disks. It's not possible to point it at an existing partition that has a Windows install. Especially if you created a partition that is NTFS formatted. Well, MAYBE if it's FAT32, but I'm not about to nuke/reinstall my Windows install via BootCamp to test.
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
This would be extremely useful. VMWare can do it in Windows or Linux...

Hopefully it'll show up in the next release. I'm submitting a feature request to them later to allow this.
 

n8236

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2006
1,039
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Yes, I run parallels for excel and other vital apps while i use bootcamp for my games. It works very well because parallels saves me a lot of time w/o rebooting and i can have mulitple screens for info.

I like my current setup a lot because I also installed VirtueDesktops and I can hotkey switch to Parallels fullscreen and back so it doesn't take up any space in my osx screen. I highly suggest this setup. Also, don't forget to install Parallels Tools, it makes Parallels run seamless w/ osx via mouse wise etc.
 

Digidesign

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2002
448
52
Most of you, except Yellow have missed the point of the Original Poster's question.


You cannot have Parallels run off or point towards a Bootcamp install. Parallels requires it's own virtual drive that it uses, and can only run XP if it's installed there.

On another note, I've never gotten Parallels to work on my Mac Pro. It gives me a kernel panic everytime I try.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,360
963
New England
Digidesign said:
On another note, I've never gotten Parallels to work on my Mac Pro. It gives me a kernel panic everytime I try.
Were you using one of the release candidate builds or the original released versions?

Mac Pro support is not there in the released version IIRC.

I've always suggested that Macs could ahve an easier time of this since the main reason you can't do this is that the virtualized hardware wants different drivers than the bare metail version. Since Apple controls the hardware more than generic PC vendors they could have a better time writing drivers that could support both cases.

How does VMWare deal with this issue? Do they always use the virtualized drivers even on bare metal?

B
 

quasar720

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 11, 2004
45
0
Berkley, MI
yellow said:
I think the previous posters might have misunderstood what you were asking, or I did. What I gathered was.. can you crate a partition using BootCamp, install Windows on it, and then install Parallels and point Parallels at the BootCamp'd Windows partition as it's VM? Is that what you were asking?

No, it is not possible. Parallels creates it's own virtual disks. It's not possible to point it at an existing partition that has a Windows install. Especially if you created a partition that is NTFS formatted. Well, MAYBE if it's FAT32, but I'm not about to nuke/reinstall my Windows install via BootCamp to test.
This is exactly what I was talking about. Installing XP twice would be a waste of resources. It seems like there would be a way for both programs to use the same install giving you either quick, virtualized access or direct, bootable access. Maybe someone will create a solution one of these days?
 

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
I remember reading on the Parallels forum that it was in their roadmap for the next general release of Parallels to enable booting and running from a real disk partition instead of a disk image.

Presumaby you could run from the "bootcamp" partition, but how this would actually work remains to be seen.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
quasar720 said:
This is exactly what I was talking about. Installing XP twice would be a waste of resources. It seems like there would be a way for both programs to use the same install giving you either quick, virtualized access or direct, bootable access.
Unfortunately, in it's current incarnation, Parallels does not support this.
But they've been pretty pro-active in their support of Windows on the Mac, so I don't see any reason why they won't make this available in the future.
 

iKwick7

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2004
1,055
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The Wood of Spots, NJ
n8236 said:
Yes, I run parallels for excel and other vital apps while i use bootcamp for my games. It works very well because parallels saves me a lot of time w/o rebooting and i can have mulitple screens for info.

I like my current setup a lot because I also installed VirtueDesktops and I can hotkey switch to Parallels fullscreen and back so it doesn't take up any space in my osx screen. I highly suggest this setup. Also, don't forget to install Parallels Tools, it makes Parallels run seamless w/ osx via mouse wise etc.
So do you have 2 windows partitions then? I am not familiar w/ parallels, so any help here would be appreciated. When I get my new iMac I want to run AutoCad in parallels and would like to run a game every once in awhile in bootcamp. Does that mean you have 2 windows partitions?
 

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
iKWICK7 said:
So do you have 2 windows partitions then? I am not familiar w/ parallels, so any help here would be appreciated. When I get my new iMac I want to run AutoCad in parallels and would like to run a game every once in awhile in bootcamp. Does that mean you have 2 windows partitions?
No - one partition for OS X, one partition for windows (bootcamp). Parallels uses a disk image which resides inside OS X - no partition for this needed.
 

iKwick7

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2004
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The Wood of Spots, NJ
Scottyk9 said:
No - one partition for OS X, one partition for windows (bootcamp). Parallels uses a disk image which resides inside OS X - no partition for this needed.

Sounds good enough- looks like I have a lot of tinkering to do this weekend (hopefully)!
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
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New England
iKWICK7 said:
Sounds good enough- looks like I have a lot of tinkering to do this weekend (hopefully)!
Note also that, unlike Boot Camp, you can host your Parallels VM on an external drive without any issues... so you need not always need to have your image around.

B
 

quasar720

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 11, 2004
45
0
Berkley, MI
balamw said:
Note also that, unlike Boot Camp, you can host your Parallels VM on an external drive without any issues... so you need not always need to have your image around.

B
Very interesting. I hadn't heard that.

I guess for now I will end up buying a second HD for bay 2, installing Boot Camp on it and just partitioning a portion of by main HD for a parallels install. That way I can use the parallels version for quick access and will use the Boot Camp version for gaming.
 

n8236

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2006
1,039
8
In the setup I described, I believe is quite convenient. In a touch of a hot-key I can switch over to Excel via Parallels and work on whatever I need.

The amount of resources used is quite insignificant considering how much time and effort it saves. On idle, Parallels uses 10-20% CPU and around 100 mb of active ram. I have two 2gbs on ram on my mbp so I always have Parallels running side-by-side.

With every build, Parallels is being optimized, and expect it to work very well q1 of 07. If you frequent the Parallels boards, you can see there are still a host of misc issues and concerns to be solved, but for the most part the Parallels team has been busting their ass and I think they deserve a lot of credit.

One of the issues I ran into was when plugging in a regular flash drive while Parallels was running. Parallels would immediately take host of it so it won't show up in OSX unless I turned off Parallels. A poll showing the most wanted features on their next big releaase was either 3D emulation or USB 2.0 support. I think both are equally important, but Crossover has some exciting stuff going for them as well.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
Digidesign said:
I downloaded the current version at the website:
Are you on a Mac Pro? That version doesn't support the Mac Pro. You need to download a more recent build of Parallels.
 

iKwick7

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2004
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The Wood of Spots, NJ
balamw said:
Note also that, unlike Boot Camp, you can host your Parallels VM on an external drive without any issues... so you need not always need to have your image around.
B
That is fantastic news! I was planning on using my external drive for backup, but maybe I will now leave some room on it for parallels.

p.s.- my 24" arrived today :)
 

Digidesign

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2002
448
52
balamw said:
Build 1922 is the latest build at the link I provided, you need that to run on the Mac Pro. Good Luck!

B
Thanks Balamw and Yellow, I was running an incorrect version for the Mac Pro. I'll try out Build 1922 tonight.