Windows 7:Bootcamp first and then link to Parallels? (or other way around works too?)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by doxavita, May 24, 2011.

  1. doxavita macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    If I buy Windows 7 and Parallels.

    Should I install Windows 7 (through Bootcamp: for gaming purposes) first and then link that partition/installation to Parallels?

    Or the other way around works too? Install Parallels then Windows 7 (through Parallels) and then somehow link that to Bootcamp, would that also be possible? (Always the same Windows 7 license)

    I'm new to all this, so your advice will be appreciated.

  2. Quad5Ny macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2009
    New York, USA
    You want to install everything in Boot Camp first and get all the drivers/updates loaded. Only after you do that, do you want to import your Boot Camp partition into Parallels Desktop.

    If you have activation issues read this KB article -

    Remember if your using Parallels & Boot Camp together. ALWAYS Shut down Windows completely before switching between the two (Don't use Suspend or Hibernate).
  3. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    And can I install it only in Parallels first, (which is where I'll be using Windows 7 most of the time) and LATER on if I decide to run a game in Bootcamp, do that installation after?
  4. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    OK, so how would it all work? what should I read? If I install in bootcamp first, can I resize the partition later? Once I install it via bootcamp, how can I link it to Parallels? & I can still write to the partition? If I don't press a key at boot then I won't see any OS menus? (don't want any annoying menus each time I restart/boot my system). I'm new to all this, so your help will be greatly appreciated! :)
  5. tomllama macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2007
    If you install via Parallels, it will create an ISO file in your normal OSX disk space that is where it installs Win7. You will not be able to transfer this installation to bootcamp. So, if you install in Parallels first, you will end up with two different installations of Win7 on your computer that can not interact.

    If you install in bootcamp first, you will create an NTFS partition and install Win7 there. You can tell Parallels to use the bootcamp partition and you will then share the same installation of windows. This way all files will be shared and if you want to boot into Win7 for games you can but if you only want to do something simple via Parallels you can do it without rebooting and you will be sharing the same files between the two.

    Save yourself the effort later, install it via bootcamp first. Yes you can resize the partition later (bigger if you need it is MUCH easier than trying to shrink).
  6. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    And if I first install Windows 7 in BootCamp, and then link it to Parallels, can I still install all the "Parallels Tools" & the Parallels "Antivirus" that comes with the program?
  7. tomllama macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2007

    You first install Win7 via bootcamp, do all the updates to Win7 and the boot camp drivers.

    Once everything is working as you desire via bootcamp, you install Parallels and tell it to use your bootcamp partition. It will then automatically add all the parallels tools and other bits required by parallels. You will need to reactivate Win7 in parallels at the end of the parallels install.
  8. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    So how many times do I need to activate? Can I install Win 7 through Boot Camp, activate it, and then link that to Parallels? (does that work?) or I have to avoid activating anything at all in the first place, just link to Parallels, and then bother with activations? Has anybody experienced this issue: before? Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :)
  9. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Whatever you do, you still run some risk in triggering reactivation.

    With VMWare, I had a fully working Boot Camp/Fusion setup that worked for close to a year until VMWare Tools did an update and it broke my activation. Had to reactivate both sides.

    I would suggest following the path in the KB article for minimum risk.

  10. doxavita, Jul 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011

    doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    a. The worst that can happen is it will ask for a key twice? or does this involve reactivation over and over nonstop? would this be fixed by calling Microsoft? or is this also a glitch?
    There's nothing to worry about?

    b. Found this thread:
    although it's dated September 8, 2007, this is far too technical for me. Do you think the issue has been fixed by now? (for Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac)

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