VM vs dual boot windows 7/8

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by slitherjef, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. slitherjef macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    A bit long, so, bare with me... (some out loud thinking follows)

    I have an early 2012 MBP with 8GB of ram and 256GB crucial M4 SSD (did the upgrades myself).

    I have downloaded the trial version of parallels and the developer preview of windows 8 for it and did not do a whole lot. I do have a windows 8 64bit pro edition disc laying around that I bought shortly after release. Also got a full version of windows 7 home premium that I was running on my old desktop but the PC broke and I decided to just not fuss with the dang thing. I just need my raw images off of it. It will power on, but shut off shortly thereafter so trying to deregister windows 7 is going to be a issue. Perhaps a phone call to MS may help. I don't know.

    There is a couple other things I do need windows for and that is to run Odin and ADB.

    My question is, is it better to run Windows 8 (or 7) in a VM on the MBP or would dual booting be better? The issues comes to windows drivers for some of the devices I use, like MTP and sometimes there is a lot of unplugging and plugging back in of the USB cords. I don't do this a lot.

    I figure a VM may be safer then dual boot, because I just basically need just a temporary windows OS when I need it. Since I already have parallels installed, I should only need to buy the box (I prefere boxed software) then just enter the serial when I get it, remove the Dev preview and install one of the other two OS's I got laying around.

    The one issue I have with this is, if I run a script and I need to unplug things or have a device reboot (I am rooting and flashing roms on my android devices), there may be a chance I brick a device. I guess there is a risk either way so, I just got to be careful.

    I suspect dual boot will be faster but to get from one OS to the other, I will need a reboot, whereas VM, I can just pull things up when ever.

    I guess this kind of answers my questions and VM would probably be the way to go since it is pretty much all set up and I just need to enter a valid key.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you don't want to leave OSX and/or need the pure performance of windows running natively then go with the virtual solution.

    Running windows natively has advantages but only if you want to leave OSX and/or need the access to hardware, or performance.

    I use vmware and I'm quite happy but then my windows needs are very limited, that is I only run it a couple of times a month for some accounting software.
  3. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    VMs are great. Booting a computer is a chore.

    I've got a Windows XP VM running 24/7 on my server that is used solely to run Quicken. I have a Windows 7 VM to replicate my work environment when I'm at home. I also teach classes which use Windows only CAD software. I've got another VM for that. And some old software and documentation (done in WordPerfect) I maintain is under a Windows 2000 VM. I also do some development work in Ubuntu Linux -- VMs for that as well!

    I use Parallels (8 on my iMac and MBP and 6 on the server) for Windows and VirtualBox for Linux. I also run VitualBox for Linux VMs on my PC at work. The really fantastic thing about VMs is that they are portable -- you can build one and work on one system and then copy it to another and it will work there as well. And if the VM goes belly-up, as Windows seems to do on occasion, it's just a quick restore from a backup.
  4. slitherjef thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    Okay, I got a few more questions...

    I know windows is more virus prone, will any problems carry over to my MBP from running windows in a VM?

    I read VMs are portable, does this mean I can set up the VM on say a 16gb thumb drive?

    Will installing drivers and programs in the VM be a problem?

    Sorry, I have never really played around with a VM before. As I mentioned, I do have Windows 8 Developer preview installed in a parallels trial.

    My main concern is jacking up my MBP as I use it for finances and stuff too.
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    If you don't use the VM for web browsing or other risky activities it will never get a virus. My VMs run nothing but known software packages and I've never had any viruses.

    I've found that my MBP runs a program development application in a Windows VM five times faster than the same application runs on the work-provided, year old, Xeon powered HP Workstation that is burdened by company mandated anti-virus programs.

    You could but the VM on a 16GB thumb drive, but it would be incredibly slow!

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