VirtualBox Question

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by thefirstone, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. thefirstone macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Mac newbie here. I'm planning to install VirtualBox to run Windows 7.

    Once I install a VirtualBox VM, I guess I can size the amount of disk space I want to give it and max RAM.

    However, if I want to delete the Windows installation, it should be pretty seamless as I am not creating a new partition, right? Rather, by going the VirtualBox route and not Parallels/BootCamp route, I can keep Lion has the main OS.

  2. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    By default, VDI's are dynamic. So you can specify any size (through the GUI up to 2TB, through command line, I'm not sure the limit but at least 3TB) which acts as an upper limit, but the size of the resulting VDI file is limited to the amount actually used. So a 2TB VDI will start out at a few MB of space on disk, once you format, and install Windows, it will grow to ~15-30GB depending on install options. And as you install apps, it continues to grow.

    Since this is a single monolithic file, ever time you change one little thing, even a tiny log file within Windows, the VDI as a whole is considered changed. So for backing up, I'd exclude it from Time Machine and use a different backup strategy. Once you get your base Windows environment configured the way you want, learn about how to use snapshots. The snapshots contain changed data, and then the (large) base VDI doesn't change.[/quote]

  3. thefirstone thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011

    Thanks for the tip. What do you use for snapshots? I'm yet to configure Time Machine as my external HDD is NTFS. Will Lion's Disk Utility let me create a OS/X partition on my external HDD while keeping my current NTFS data? Kinda like what Partition Magic can do for Windows?
  4. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    It's built into Virtual Box. Each machine has a snapshots tab to keep track of all the snapshots you've made.

    Mac OS X can't resize NTFS volumes. There is GParted Live which uses linux, parted, and gparted to present a GUI for resizing NTFS volumes. And maybe Windows itself has a resizing capability for it's own volumes which you could use, then use Disk Utility to add a partition and format it JHFS+/X for Time Machine.
  5. thefirstone thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Thanks much!

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