What's the cheapest way to virtualize a Boot Camp partition?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by moonman239, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. moonman239 macrumors 68000

    Mar 27, 2009
    I found out that I can legally obtain a free copy of Windows through my school. I know there are two options for running Windows on Mac: 1) through a VM, or 2) through a dual-boot setup. One thing I found out about Parallels Desktop is that I can install Windows onto a separate partition and run Windows in Parallels from there. This gives me more freedom to choose how I want to use Windows.

    However, Parallels is $84*, so I want to look at other options. I've heard VMWare Fusion - which costs $24* - has the same feature.

    * = Prices in USD.
  2. lizurd macrumors newbie


    Feb 5, 2013
    If you want to bring the price down even more, VirtualBox is $0
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I have used various virtual offerings and for my needs, both Parallels and VMware Fusion work well enough. There are challenges with each but for Parallels, the biggest complaint is that the upgrades are somewhat forced upon customers in order to match newer versions of OSX. VMWare for some seems not as smooth or friendly as Parallels (I don't find it that way but folks do) but has been in the virtual game far longer and is a company that has a great track record within the business world. As for Virtual Box, best to read up on it as it has some challenges of being somewhat behind the above mentioned in updates and total capabilities as a host application. If meets your needs and you are okay with community support, it certainly is the least cost up front (zero) but may cost down the road in time if problems occur.
  4. Forum-User macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2009
    One potential "gotcha" with the separate partition approach is not being able to easily alter the boot camp partition size later, without third-party tools such as WinClone (which works well, but has a cost). Creating a virtual partition for Windows seems a better long term solution, especially if you don't know how often you'll use it yet.

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