Virtual Machine and Drivers

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by ebayme, May 16, 2013.

  1. ebayme macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    Hello Everyone,

    First time poster and new Mac owner. Never had a Mac before but slowly coming to like it. Specially how work friendly they are.

    My job requires me to have both so to avoid having to travel with two computers I am trying to find the best and most convenient way to run a copy of W7 on it as well.

    Computer is: MacBook Air 2012, 8gb ram, 512 GB (if that matters).

    I've looked into different options and I really like the idea of running a virtual machine on my Mac for the few instances I have to use Windows. That being said, I'm not sure how this all works with drivers and so on.

    Scenario. We have products that don't use commonly released drivers. We have to install them separately and then use the plug and play to install them.

    If I run a VM on my Macbook, will I be able to install these drivers, use the equipment in the same fashion as I would if I was running an actual PC with Windows 7? Or, is the VM using Mac drivers? If it's running a true copy of W7 does it use the same plug and play ability of Windows 7 where it goes online to find the drivers for commonly used equipment?

    I'm trying to avoid Boot camping my computer just to find out that VM would have simply done the trick.

    Looking forward to your replies.

    Thank you very much for your time!
  2. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Jul 28, 2006
    Windows inside a virtual machine works exactly the same as Windows running on hardware, albeit a bit slower.
    The only difference is that it is running on (mostly) virtual hardware instead of the physical hardware.

    If your equipment is connected via USB you can connect it directly to the virtual machine running Windows, at that point it is pretty much exactly the same as if you connected the USB device to any other computer running Windows. So you can install whatever Windows drivers are needed the same as normal.
  3. ebayme thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013

    Thank you so much for this information. This is what I thought but I figured I would ask before I go through the trouble of downloading a VM client, Windows 7 and all that.
  4. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Peripherals and drivers have always been the Achilles heel of the VM. I have had a few problems installing some Windows based USB peripherals such as a Windows TV tuner. Generally HD are all ok.

    I have used Virtual box and Parallels and have found Parallels the best for drivers (but not bullet proof).

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