Why is Boot Camp so troublesome for some people?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by kylera, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. kylera macrumors 65816

    kylera

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    #1
    I don't think I see it here often, but on a different forum, there are always people who have issues with Boot Camp...and there are just as many people who have a very seamless experience. How can Boot Camp be so troublesome? Would it be because they are using pirated Windows?
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #2
    Mostly PEBCAK?

    In all seriousness, dual booting diverse OSes is a non-trivial thing and with the wide variety of non-pirated Windows install media (mainly for versions prior to 7) many things can go wrong and per Murphy, they will go wrong.

    B
     
  3. fingerman macrumors member

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    Stockport, UK
    #3
    I used Boot Camp today for the first time on my Mac with Legit Win7 :eek:

    Really impressed how much of a breeze it was, the only issue I had was to delete all the ati software/registry entries and install the latest version of catalyst.

    You don't really get people on forums saying how good it all works, it's more issues/moans etc :rolleyes:
     
  4. murphychris macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I see problems all the time here and other forums. Some of those reasons are discussed in the recent thread on Boot Camp Partitioning.

    The people who are punished the most, in my opinion, are those who have a certain imagination for geekery but as yet not enough knowledge about how Boot Camp is implemented. So they end up doing things like using Windows disk utilities they really shouldn't be using because they can't possibly know about the unique way in which Windows exists on Apple hardware; and they do things like change their mind about their partitioning scheme and try to resize volumes. Regular Joe user makes a decision and sticks with it.

    In every possible case expert users should be trying to encourage people to not use Boot Camp, and use VM instead, unless the particular user requirement necessitates native Windows booting. It's so much easier dealing with VM's and snapshots, instead of native booting.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    Indeed, VMs have a lot more flexibility and for many uses the performance is enough on recent Mac hardware. Unfortunately many users want Boot Camp for Windows only games, where a VM is not appropriate.

    B
     
  6. murphychris macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Serious gamers use PC's or platforms dedicated for gaming. They have the latest graphics cards and drivers. Apple's hardware and Boot Camp drivers have neither. I see a lot more examples of people using architectural and legacy accounting applications than games. I'm not terribly sympathetic to the games argument, in that if people are going to go down the risky road of Boot Camp for games, it's like... OK good luck with that.

    Hopefully there are more reports of Windows 8 booting EFI on Apple hardware, and that Apple will get firmware updates to hardware up to 3 years old to support this in widespread fashion.
     
  7. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    PC games have gone the console way of late, and the only reason left for serious gamers to not use Bootcamp is they want to play their stuff at extremely high quality settings on multiple monitors with big overclocks on the hardware, and they care about losing minute amounts of fps.

    VMs are good enough for games that don't need to be responsive to be playable.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    Serious gamers know what they are doing. My experience is that many if not most Boot Camp users are casual gamers who really don't. They just want to play some of the games their friends are playing.

    Architectural and engineering software (my main use for Boot Camp) is somewhat prevalent and does require Boot Camp, but most other legacy or accounting stuff is best left for a VM.

    It will certainly be interesting to see what Boot Camp 5.x brings with it in terms of W8 support, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Especially on older models gaining any new features. As you have already pointed out, Apple's support for Windows in terms of drivers etc... is a bit rudimentary.

    Most of those, however, also have Cider ports available.

    B
     
  9. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    #9
    Lots of people approach boot camp unprepared, have a distinct lack of technical knowledge or the patience & willingness to do the requisite reading.

    Others are not good at following directions, or are too quick to make incorrect assumptions.

    Boot camp is both useful & very easy to setup if one takes the time to do it right. Despite Apples "it just works" mantra, it's still a computer.
     
  10. murphychris macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Agreed, I ought not hold my breath. Despite my sometimes aggressive criticism for Apple's choices with Boot Camp, I like imagining they can do a lot better.

    But I wonder if better UEFI compliance to support EFI booting Windows comes at a price Apple won't pay. Like making it easier to VM OS X or run it on Hackintosh hardware.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
    As I said, PEBCAK. :p

    I wish I had $1 for every time I posted a link to the PDF of the Boot Camp instructions.

    By the time you're done with Boot Camp, your Mac is just another Windows PC with all its foibles that also happens to run OS X.

    B
     
  12. murphychris macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    That's very misleading, because no other Windows PC will have a GPT and MBR on the boot disk. This causes much confusion, and from it stems myriad problems including that any other Windows PC can safely run volume resizing utilities from Windows, but Windows on a Mac can't. It requires a very specific tool familiar with hybrid MBRs to do this.
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #13
    I should have added "and all its foibles" after OS X. Sometimes the foibles of one get in the way of the other.

    B
     
  14. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #14
    Well... yes and no.


    The games i often want to play fall into 2 categories typically:

    1. too high end to run with adequate performance in a VM
    2. too old for a VM to run them properly - the graphics don't work at all


    that said i had a seamless experience with bootcamp on Windows 7. the issue comes if you want to run an older version of Windows than current (e.g., vista or xp) the boot camp installer doesn't support it.

    I installed vista and manually installed all the drivers (game issue on 7) but it was awkward.



    edit:
    if you're savvy with windows, bootcamp is a doddle. i suspect many bootcamp users have issues because they're typically non-windows using mac people, who are trying to get Windows working for some reason.
     
  15. murphychris macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    The most common "after the fact" issue I see has to do with resizing. People didn't get the initial partition estimate correct, and they want more or less space allocated to Windows. This should be trivial, but Apple doesn't support the creation or modification of NTFS volumes, even off line. So out of the gate a pleasant user experience isn't possible, users are by design backed into a corner from which escape isn't easy.

    Even if the user accepts they have to destroy their Windows volume in order to resize it, Apple's own tools can fail to merge the former Windows volume back to the Mac OS volume, resulting in unallocated free space. And the tools can fail to allow shrinking the Mac OS volume again even if merging was successful. In both cases the prescribed course is to re-partition the drive, reformat, and restore from backup – and I find that fairly user hostile.

    None of these have anything to do with Windows savviness, and arguably have little to do with Mac OS savviness either.
     
  16. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #16
    Well, if you were windows savvy, you'd get the size right in the first place :D
     
  17. murphychris macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    The corollary is that a Mac savvy user would get the Mac OS partition correct, and by extension inadvertently get the Windows one correct. Considering the number of people who have partition size remorse, I think your Windows savvy metric is orthogonal to the problem.
     

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