Your Opinion: Have 1 or 2 Installs?

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

  1. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #1
    Okay, so I have this dilemma.

    My current Windows on the Mac install is fairly basic. I have 3 partitions on my 750GB Hard Drive. It is split 50/50 for Mac and Windows. Now wait, I said 3 not 2 partitions right? That's true. The Mac side is also split for Lion Beta which I'm testing. So, my partitions dumb down to:

    335GB for OSX Snow Leopard
    38GB for OSX Lion Beta
    375GB for Windows 7 Professional

    Now, I had this partition style since I got this Mid-2010 and at first, I noticed I was using Windows quite a bit. I would constantly boot into Windows for some random application (3D or Windows only). However, now I've noticed I just work more and more within OSX.

    There are a couple of items which I cannot move entirely to OSX. For example, Internet Explorer is required for my work, no workaround at all. Secondly, I tune my bike which requires a software that runs only under Windows.

    For the two main applications I 100% need, they can be easily used via Parallels or VMware Fusion. And so far, that's how I'm accessing those items, via Virtualization of my Boot Camp Partition.

    In a perfect world, this would be pretty ideal. However, last week, I experienced a crash under Windows which made Windows refuse to boot. This resulted in me, reverting back to a Back Up copy of Windows, however this back up was 2+ weeks old since I'm rarely in Windows now and it's harder to allocate time for back up of Windows, where I don't have any real important files installed.

    Now, I was deciding if I should, repartition the drive, in which I would have:

    500GB for OSX Snow Leopard (-50GB for OSX Lion Beta)
    250GB for Windows 7

    The partition for Windows would be solely for games. However, I would install a 2nd Windows, this one, would be virtualized only via Parallels or VMware Fusion (Haven't made up my mind for that yet). This would have some benefits that I can think of, including:

    - Easier Back Up via Time Machine
    - Snapshots in case of Crash or Failure

    My question is basically, with what my needs are, would it be prudent to have 2, Windows installs? Basically, one for all my work via Virtualized and second for Gaming via Boot Camp only.

    Cliffnotes:

    - I currently have partition split 50/50 for OSX (SL & Lion) and Windows.
    - There are a couple of programs that are Windows only, no way around it.
    - Since my Windows crash, I'm debating if its such a good idea for a single Boot Camp partition that contains everything due to difficulty of Back Up
    - Have 2 Windows installs, one Virtual for Work and one for Gaming via Boot Camp
     
  2. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #2
    I think it's a good idea since you would be saving time by not having to boot into windows as often for your work related stuff. But, if you are really willing to reinstall windows, I think you had better figure out a way to backup your data files. You don't need to backup the whole windows partition as a reinstall is simple.

    Second thing, you should try to fix the windows problem rather than reverting to an old backup. Did you run a software update or install new software. You can usually boot in safe mode, and then run system restore to get back to a few hours ago, and this works to solve most of unbootable issues.
     
  3. ayeying thread starter macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #3
    The back up solution for the Virtual is Time Machine, it'll be backed up with time machine.

    The boot camp partition would only contain Games and maybe 3D software if they really don't work under virtualization. But since Autodesk supports Parallels, I don't see that much of an issue.

    I don't know what happened. I couldn't boot into Safe Mode or Regular. It just bluescreened and restarted itself non stop. The only solution was to use an old backup. Not to mention it was restoring 300GB, which took a long time.
     
  4. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #4
    I did a quick search and it seems that a lot of people are having issues with Windows 7 SP1. I looked through apple's website and there's no mention of supporting SP1, so this might be the issue.

    The other thing I recommend is just to backup the data files, not the whole windows partition. 300 GB will take too long and is difficult to make a full backup on a regular basis. Your 2 week backup is quite diligent or lucky :)
     

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