windows partition on mac a good idea?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by olup, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. olup macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    I'm gonna be in the market for a mac next year and would like to know, if it's a better idea to set up a windows partition on the mac or just keep the pc I have now for windows stuff. What are everyone's experiences so far?
  2. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    It's a personal choice; it's neither a good idea nor a bad idea.

    It has worked well for me since Boot Camp was in beta.
  3. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    How can anyone give you an answer with this insufficient inofrmation?
    - why do you want a MAC? (e.g. specific reason, software, hardware?)
    - why do you need to keep windows? (what software do you need to keep running?)
    - which Mac are you looking at (do you need to be mobile?)
    - do you need access to the MAC OS and to Windows at the same time?
    - is equivalent software avaliable for OS X?
    - budget limitations?
    etc etc

    (I am not getting stuck into you, just pointing out some of the obvious things going through my mind)

    I have software that I need to run under Windows and there is no Mac equivalent. For me this WIndows software is "mission critical". I tested recovery when the internal HDD is shared by both OS X and Windows in the Apple recommended way and it was a nightmare. I resorted to using a MBR partitioning scheme for the internal disk and am running only Windows on it.

    On an external disk (using firewire) I am running OS X and I even have on that running VMware and a backup version of my mission critical software running under Windows (Windows will not run natively on an external disk). Mouse behaviour under virtualisation is lagging and I have some trouble with function keys but it is workable.

    I am only using a MAc mini because of deteriorating eyesight and requiring a larger matte screen. I cannot stand noisy computers and could not find a similar quiet small footprint computer for windows with the same grunt.

    The upshot of this is: if you have to ask then I doubt you have mission critical software and as such you do not need the expense of an extra windows license and / or having the extra workload of maintaining two operating systems.
  4. olup thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    thanks for the replies .....@ mjl well most of those questions don't really come into play yet. I have some software stuff on my pc right now, where there's no mac equivalent. The reason I want to go mac is that a) I'm tired of getting my pc fixed up every two years or less(so far it still runs ok) b) I'm tired of needing to worry about viruses and doing drivescans every week or two, which is why I was asking.
    Since the windows partition behaves like a regular pc partition, I simply wanted to know, if anyone ever had any problems with malware or viruses affecting the performance of OS X.......
  5. waynep macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2009
    I switched my personal computer in January to a Macbook Pro from using Windows/DOS since the . . . well since before Windows was born. I love the Mac.

    I have a couple things that I still need to run on Windows. I still have the desktop machine but wanted these things on my MBP also. Nothing needed super performance in Windows, just functionality. Quicken for windows, Personal Ancestry File and a Ham Radio program. So I am using Virtual Box and running Win 7 in a Virtual Machine. Works for me.
  6. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    If you run it as a virtual machine you can either run it integrated in which case you need to worry about viruses or you can run it as a seperate environment in which case there is no worry.

    If you go through my old posts then you might discover that initially I came back to Apple after a long absence with a Mac mini 2010 model which I loved. Unfortunately it did in the end not have the grunt I required and I upgraded to the 2011 model and moved the 2010 model on. Unfortunately the 2011 model is running a lot hotter and I am not impressed and it might be the last Mac that I have.

    I had a good run over the past 15 years with initially Toshiba laptops and later top of the line Thinkpads and moved away from the laptops because of eyesight issues. But I would have left the Thinkpads anyway since I am of the opinion that the quality since the Lenovo aquisition has gone downhill. Any new laptop would have been either an Asus or back to Toshiba. (some of my laptops that I sold are still runnning 8-9 years on)

    I agree on the maintenance of windows and the drivers. However I have for performance reasons been running without any anti-virus/trojan/whatever running for the past 11-12 years. I just do not visit "dubious" websites or open email (using hotmail) from unknown people. No but's or if's! When monthly Microsoft releases their patches I do with Acronis a restore, apply the patches and do a backup. I have my personal data weekly backed up in a Truecrypt container sitting on an external 40 Gb SSD using FBackup. Have not had any issues over all this time.

    Initially I used to do a scan every week but never found something and now I do one perhaps every 6 months (if that). If some strange behaviour happens while / after visiting a (new) website I may do a restore, do an online scan before restoring data from the Truecrypt container. This has cut down my maintenance considerably. Cannot even remember when it was the last time I did this, it is that long ago (2, 3 or longer ago, I honestly do not remember)

    My personal opinion is that Apple may leave the computer part of the business and go for mass entertainment stuff. Hence OS X will morph into iOS and I am not impressed by that OS and I feel eventually functionality for PC use will suffer. In addition Apple is more and more starting to behave like a tirant with their components: e.g. only an Apple SSD is being recognised in the software and only for an Apple SSD TRIM will be enabled. In some models they even changed the HDD connector so you could not put in a different one.

    Just be aware that there is a difference between computers designed for business computing and home computing I see the differentiation blurr because of cost cutting. However there are good desktops and laptops available for Windows but they are not cheap. If it was available locally I personally would take a hard look at the ASRock Vision 3D.

    If you do go the Apple / Mac way then you may consider running the internal disk on a MBR partitioning scheme and have Windows and Mac installed seperately on that. That creates total seperation and as long as you do not repartiton while doing a windows restore you'll be OK (reformat is OK) - it will leave the OS X partition alone.

    In order to achieve this you'll need to install Windows first, then use Paragon Disk Manager to create an Apple HFS partition and then use time machine to restore OS X. There is only one issue that I've come accross with that: Under OS X you can not select which partition to boot from. If OS X has been set to the default boot (automatically) and you want to boot Windows then you'll have to hold down the Alt/option key on the boot up chime. You can set the default boot up partition under windows to either Windows or OS X.

    Hope this helps. Marinus
  7. olup thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    thanks for your answer, marinus, I'm most likely tending to keep my pc until it dies and see what apple has to offer next year. I haven't had any viruses or maldware recently either, but I always had to figure out which antivirus software would suit my needs. Finally I settled on Microsofts own solution, which runs fine and doesn't take up much resources. If I do decide on going the apple route, I will certainly consider a refurb, depending on whatever comes out next year.
  8. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Yes, the Microsoft security essentials do not slow your computer down (unlike Norton). I cannot stand a glossy screen hence no Imac. I do like the small form factor and the low noise level of the Mac mini (plus if push comes to shove I can travel with the mac mini: mac mini in hand luggage and the keyboard and mouse go into the checked in luggage. Hotels these days have HDMI televisions and they can work as a monitor and if I was to have a job (I have not since 2000) then work would at another location always have a monitor. And no damage by others pushing their luggage in an overhead locker and damaging a laptop. In that case a SSD would be a good idea - the mini can then even be dropped without going non-functional.

    Good luck.
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No Windows malware can run on Mac OS X, so it has no effect. Windows on your Mac can't write to the OS X partition, unless you jump through some hoops to make that possible, which you're not likely to do. That means that any Windows malware is confined to the Windows partition and will have zero effect on Mac OS X performance.

    You don't need any 3rd party antivirus software to protect Mac OS X from malware. Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.

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