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So I recently bought a Macbook and I'm loving it. Only problem is, I'm missing ... Macs & MacBooks forum

  1. #1
    ssnxp's Avatar
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    Question Parallels/VMware/Boot Camp questions.

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    So I recently bought a Macbook and I'm loving it. Only problem is, I'm missing the DM! Of course I can use PM or MS, but I want the full-fledged DM. This being said, I've been looking at my options. I've been doing a lot of research and I can't seem to choose between the three.. However, I think I've eliminated Boot Camp, as it can't do one of the things that I want (Shared files between both OS's).

    Here are a few questions that I hope you guys can help with!:

    1. Using any of the three, will an installation CD for WINDOWS only still work the same way and install in the little Windows window? Or will there be issues here? For example, if I pop in a MS Office CD/DVD for Windows, will it prompt me for installation in Windows, or will it go nuts?

    2. Using Fusions or Parallels, are the files in both OS's shared, or would I have to make a separate Windows partition that can not be accessed while using OS X, and vice versa?

    3. Do all of these run the DM well? Have the bugs been ironed out?

    4. How do the short cuts work? I'm guessing "control" is still "ctrl", and "option" turns into "alt"?

    5. If I was going to jump between the 3 for testing, would I need 3 different licenses for Windows XP, or could I use one? What if I only have ONE of the three installed at a time?

    6. What would YOU recommend? I was down to Parallels when I started reading some good feedback on VMware. Now I'm lost again! What are the pros/cons?


    Thank you, from a Mac newbie! (:
    Last edited by ssnxp; 06-15-2008 at 09:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    I am using VMWare, but I think both products are good. What I did in with VMWare, and I think you can do with Parallels too, I installed Bootcamp and loaded Windows (I used XP Pro). I then installed VMWare on OSX and pointed the virtual machine to use the Bootcamp partition to run Windows.

    With this setup you get the best of both worlds.... you can run windows as a virtual machine in OSX and boot into full windows via bootcamp.

    1. Windows installs easily with both programs. If you pop in a windows software cd i.e. Office, and you have XP running as a VM, XP will detect the Office CD and do its thing. If you dont have your XP Virtual Machine running, then the Office CD will mount in OSX, but nothing will happen per se, OSX will treat it just like anyother data cd.

    2. I think if you install Bootcamp as I stated earlier, you can use the Bootcamp partition to run your XP VM with either program. Good way to test with one windows install.

    3. I dont use DM, I use MS as I am ingrained with iCal, Address Book etc etc. There is rumor that RIM will be releasing DM for OSX... I am hoping it is soon.

    4. Shortcuts? OSX uses aliases. OSX uses Command in most cases as you used CTRL in Windows. However Office for Mac lets you use CTRL as you would in Office for Windows.

    5. See #2

    6. I think both are good... pick your poison!

    Welcome to OSX!!!
    Last edited by kilofox; 06-15-2008 at 09:53 AM.

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    Thank you for the quick reply! Helps a lot! I actually wanted to NOT have a separate partition for Windows. I would like to be able to access all of my files, whether on my OS X platform OR my XP platform. Is this do-able?

    Edit: I would also love to use iCal and Address book to sync with my Curve, but I've heard of issues with PM sometimes not syncing correctly if there are conflicts and what not.. is this still an issue?

    Edit 2: I also may be confused by what "partitioning" really means in this case; It would be great if I could have a "Windows" folder syster (Such as C: Program Files/Common Files/etc), but I would also like it to be accessible while browsing through OS X with Finder. Does that make sense? Is it asking too much?
    Last edited by ssnxp; 06-15-2008 at 10:18 AM.

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    You are correct that you cant access your files while in bootcamp. However you can when using your Virtual Machine even if your VM is loading from a Bootcamp Partition.

    One thing I might add..... I have never encountered this, but I have heard that it is never a good ideal to do a firmware/OS update via a VM, its better to do a firmware/OS update via a full windows boot. I cant say this in the case of a Blackberry firmware/OS update as I have never had to do one yet with my 8330.

    In the case of my Sony Reader, the firmware updater only ran as a windows program. Most Mac users I conversed with gave me the bootcamp advice.

    Someone may have experience to the contrary. So please chime in if you do.

    I understand not wanting to have a separate partition, but it does have its advantages. Windows runs a little more robustly, which is nice if you are running a program like Photoshop... and of course games if you like. You can use it when you need it and use your VM when you dont.
    Last edited by kilofox; 06-15-2008 at 10:25 AM.

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    To be completely honest, I don't think I'll be running many resource intensive programs like Photoshop or playing many games on the Mac. I just want it for the basics, like running the few programs I might encounter in class, and syncing up my BB. Just the little things that are so important. Those are my needs! (:

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    What makes OSX nice is how all the programs like iCal, Address Book, Mail.app work together with each other and other programs like iPhoto etc etc. I realize that Outlook is a robust program in itself and also extends its self into other programs too. It would be tough to give up... I am sure.

    As an ex-Outlook guy myself, I dont miss it much. I even dumped Entourage (Outlooks Twin Brother in Mac Office) as it didnt do that much for me. Of course everyone is different and has different needs.

    Missing Sync works great, except it doesnt install programs and it isnt free.... It works great with iPhoto and iTunes too!

    Good luck in your OS journey... OSX is great... you are going to have tons o' fun!!

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    Thanks for all of the help! I just have one more question..

    I've been reading up a bit more and now I'm getting kind of drawn to Boot Camp. I'm very indecisive. The Windows partition and the OS X partition are completely seperate, correct? Neither OS can access the others' partition?

    Also, during the partitioning process.. are the files/folders on the OS X side moved around? Do they become messed up?

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    Love to see other Mac users on here! I am running Parallels on my Mac - OS 10.5. I am using Desktop Manager and even used it to upgrade the BB to 4.5. I had some issues the first time, but worked fantastic the 2nd time. Actually, it was fine the first time, I just didn't realize the "theme" it had was set to none so it looked funky and it freaked me out. But there was never "really" a problem with the first upgrade.

    Anyway, I think Parallels is a great choice. No need for partitions. You can share files between the two OS systems and use spaces to run between them. XP in full screen one one, Mac desktop on the other. That's how I use it anyway. Backup works great. I can't speak on syncing since I use Apple mail and still use PM to sync them together, which I hate. I keep hoping RIM will recognize the Mac users out there and make DM native to Mac. *cross fingers*

    There is a trial of Parallels that you can use so I suggest using that to see which one you like better. For me, I wasn't willing to give up use of my Mac while in Windows mode, so I never even gave Boot Camp a test run. I think you can run the same license on both copies of Windows if it's on the same machine. But don't quote me on that...I would hate to have MS coming after me. lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssnxp View Post

    Edit: I would also love to use iCal and Address book to sync with my Curve, but I've heard of issues with PM sometimes not syncing correctly if there are conflicts and what not.. is this still an issue?

    Edit 2: I also may be confused by what "partitioning" really means in this case; It would be great if I could have a "Windows" folder syster (Such as C: Program Files/Common Files/etc), but I would also like it to be accessible while browsing through OS X with Finder. Does that make sense? Is it asking too much?
    1 - Yes, it's still an issue. I thought it was working OK until I called someone after a few syncs and someone elses # was in their slot. Ugh. I think I fixed it, but I'm paranoid now and am constantly checking after every sync. One thing I learned was that in the phone #s in Address Book, make sure all the #s are assigned to home, mobile, etc. If it is assigned to "other" or "generic" it will not sync. And BACK UP BEFORE EVERY SYNC! Or pay for MS.

    2 - When using Parallels, you have a Windows folder system that installs. You can access Windows folders though Mac, Mac folders through Windows, etc. It really does run like a PC, it's actually faster than PCs I've had in the past.

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    Thanks for the response! That makes my decision.. easier? Hahaha. I have a copy of windows in my hand right now, I think I may go download a trial of Parallels and VMware..

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    Update: I'm using VMware Fusion right now, and it seems to be running fine. I had a few problems downloading the desktop manager (IE would give me an error and force quit on me) but I got it eventually. I also installed MS Office 2007 and that works well so far. DM sync worked fine, and everything seems to be good so far!

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    Good to hear things are running well for you on your new toy.

    Also, be sure you have at least 3GB of RAM. 2GB works fine, but any VM will use up your memory. So if you plan to run other apps while running VM, it might get slow if you don't have enough RAM. I just upgraded mine to 3GB and tested running Palallels, Mail app, PhotoShop CS3, Safari. It was pretty smooth...

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm still stuck with 2GB right now, but I also installed Boot Camp. I think this may work for my needs better, even though it wasn't one of my first choices..

    I think it's my favorite solution. It "feels" much more stable than VMware at least. I still have almost a good month to play with both before I HAVE to make my decision.

    Thanks again for all the input!

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