What is the most secure way to run windows on a mac?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by DannyD, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. DannyD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    #1
    I need to use internet explorer on either Windows 2000, XP, or Vista in order to access a web site to do my math homework for school. I only need to use windows for this one purpose other than that I will be using my mac as usuall so speed and performance is not a huge issue to me. The only thing I am worried about is any viruses that may infect my mac through windows. So my question is...

    -What program do I use to run Windows? Boot Camp, Parallels, other?
    -Should I run it natively or through virtualization?
    -Which version of windows should I use?

    Whichever one of these options is less prone to windows viruses is the one I want. Also I'm not sure if these questions have been answered in other posts but I couldn't find them so please bear with me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.:D
     
  2. sine-nomine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
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    Finer stores everywhere.
    #2
    AFAIK, they're all equally (in)secure. The advantage to using something like Parallels or VMWare is that you don't have to reboot into Windows just to do your homework, and I believe you can back up your virtual machine very easily, so restoring it in case of a virus should be easy. The main thing to remember is that a virus in Windows won't affect OS X in any way, regardless of which method you use.

    PS - is it Pearson's MyMathLab you're using? They are supposed to have a Mac-compatible version out by the summer. It may not help you now, but later on you might not have to worry about it again.
     
  3. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    yep

    There is not more or less secure way to run Windows on a Mac.

    For ease of use, try parallels or VM Ware.
     
  4. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    Jun 21, 2006
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    #4
    All the methods are secure provided you have them configured properly. If you are using Boot Camp, it is inherently secure due to the fact that Windows can neither read nor write to HFS+ partitions. If you are using VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop, as long as your shared folders are set to read-only or disabled there is no way for any files to spontaneously be transfered from the VM to the host OS.

    However, I think the best method would be to use CrossOver Mac from Codeweavers. Internet Explorer runs through wine using this method, which completely eliminates the need for a virtual machine or Boot Camp installation thus offering a thoroughly integrated experience. It'd be a waste of money and resources to install an entire operating system just for internet explorer.

    Lastly, the method least prone to viruses would definitely be CrossOver Mac, although a virtual machine or Boot Camp would be more isolated from OS X.
     
  5. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2008
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    Ontario
    #5
    For your usage, looking at websites and using web-based applications, virtualization should be fine. Booting natively is for when you need to use the raw power of the machine. As others have said, virtualization gives you much more convenience. You can just have Windows open in a window alongside all your other Mac apps.

    Now, if you're going to run Windows in a virtual machine, you can either install Windows directly inside the virtual machine, or install it on a Boot Camp partition and let the virtual machine use that installation.

    The advantage of the first option is that you can pause the VM and resume it when you're ready to use it again. The disadvantage of the first option is that the whole VM, including Windows itself and all of your Windows settings and programs and data and everything is stored in a single huge file, which takes up space in your OS X hard-drive partition.

    In a VM run from Boot Camp, most of that data is stored in the Boot Camp partition, and does not take up space on the OS X partition. Because of data syncing issues (you could boot it outside the VM), you cannot pause a Boot Camp VM, at least in VMWare.

    However you install Windows, keep in mind that it is a full Windows installation. You have to take the same precautions against malware as you would in any other Windows machine. But... that Windows malware cannot harm your Mac system. At most, it might pass through your Mac harmlessly, say on a forwarded email. (This is why there are malware scanners on the Mac: they're checking through-traffic.)

    Re: using Codeweavers Crossover, as Bill mentioned.

    Many of the more complicated web applications (like the ones I deal with at work) use Java and ActiveX and all sorts of things beyond just a simple web page. Test IE and Crossover first, on the websites you are going to be using, before you actually need to use them. Crossover is only guaranteed to work with a very small sample of specific versions of Windows applications, and hours before a deadline is no time to find out that something mission-critical doesn't work.
     
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    Feb 2, 2007
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    #6
    do you guys know whether running IE in crossover is stable enough for normal browsing? can you use activex?

    im asking this because the only reason im running windows in parallels is for office and IE. now that office 2008 for mac has been released i only use IE in parallels and i would like to remove parallels as a virtual OS takes up too much space just to run IE.

    i need to run IE7 for the movies at foxsports.com.au and my ISPs movie "youtube like" and games sites which are data free
     
  7. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I've never actually run IE with Crossover. For some reason, it just never occurred to me. I'd been using Crossover to run my very old versions of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and other old Windows apps, until Boot Camp came out and I could install Windows, and that is only until I got the OS X versions of those programs.

    It would make a good experiment. Does Crossover let IE use OS X Java without problem? Does Crosover support Active X? Will MS let you download IE 6 or IE 7 to a Mac?
     
  8. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    as an alternative to Crossover, IE6 runs just fine under the open-source version of Wine, and it's dead easy to install (I use it for web site testing).

    Just download DarWine and IEs4OSX from here
     
  9. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario
    #9
    Experimentation time.

    I downloaded IE7 without problem, but when I started Crossover, the newest "bottle" (configuration) I could select is for Windows 2000, and IE7 is for XP SP2 minimum. Can I get an older version of IE somewhere? Digging around on the MS web site, I see all sorts of updates for IE6 but no base downloads of the program itself.

    Edit: interesting, tersono. Does that work on Crossover as well?

    Edit: Nope. It wants Darwine.

    Edit. Installed Darwine. Now installing IE6. It seems to be installing ActiveX and Flash as well. Installed! Looks kind of odd though, and can't connect. More experimentation!
     
  10. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #10
    IE7 doesn't install in crossover using the software package for Internet Explorer 6 using the unsupported software option. i just tried it. the Crossweavers compatibility page for IE7 suggests the same for other Mac OS X and Linux users.

    dang, i really thought it was gonna work and unfortunately my websites require IE7.
     
  11. nikopolidis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    #11
    I had the same question when I started working with Parallels Desktop on my Mac.
    I found an official answer on this question on Parallels web-site. Check it.
     
  12. DannyD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    #12
    Thanks!

    Thanks for all the ideas guys! I am not sure which one I will use just yet but I am trying to use DarWine and IEs4OSX since it seems like the easiest and least expensive but so far I can't get it to work. I downloaded them both and installed them but when I try and run IE 6 it looks all weird. Wouldn't be a problem except I can't see any of the browsers text. Any Ideas?
     
  13. Photomax macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #13
    I tried it as well. I think the DarWine and IEs4OSX combo is not ready for prime time. From what I have read the browsing "experience" is nowhere near as realistic as it is running on IE under Windows natively. The IE 7 browser really does not work at all. When I launch DarWine and IEs4OSX for IE 6 my web address window is missing and it seems very unstable and I am using one of the latest Mac Pro's with plenty of memory etc.

    Getting Windows to run on an Intel Mac is confusing: there just seems like there are endless combination choices: Bootcamp, VM Fusion, Parallels, partitions yes, partitions no, external drive with Bootcamp, external drive with emulation, etc, etc...

    Maybe someone should build a chart with all the choices...
     
  14. djembe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    #14
    I'm stumped

    I have a similar problem. I can only access my work remotely via Internet Explorer.

    I downloaded Darwine and ies4osx - this got IE working on the MacBook. But it needs to detect either a Citrix ICA Client or Java Virtual Machine. I downloaded the Citrix ICA Client for OSX but it doesn't detect it. Similarly, I can't work out how to get Java working in IE (Tools-Advanced shows that Java is not in IE). When I looked to see if I could download Java, I discover that Java comes with OSX - but, again, IE can't recognise it.

    I'm truly stumped. Is my only option to buy Windows and run it from BootCamp?

    thx
     

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