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Thread: Running PC program on a MacBookPro 2.8GHz i7

  1. #1
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    Default Running PC program on a MacBookPro 2.8GHz i7

    Hello friends,

    Before I start Googling and reading every link I'd appreciate any tips, links, cautions, or input with this project.

    A caregiver, cousin and just a great young lady just bought a MacBookPro 13" 2.8GHz i7 with 4GB RAM and a 750GB HD.

    She needs to run a PC program on it for some college classes. I've followed several of the threads/discussions here but not intensely as I myself never had the need.

    Will the HD will need partitioned? - yes
    And I'll need to move her current data to partition it? Can I do it another way? - nope, need to backup and erase it and make 2 partitions?
    Will she need to then need to install both 10.7 and a Windoze program? - right?
    Can this be put on a flash drive?

    Good enough for now. I'll start reading and see how confused I get.

  2. #2
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    I needed to add Windows to one of our workstations recently. Was having trouble adding it using BootCamp, would never get all the way through. So I did it with Parallels where the Windows install is on a partition of a drive.

    Parallels uses a Mac OS Extended partition to install the Windows volume on. I don't think you even need to partition the drive to do it, can be stored in a folder. And Windows can be launched anytime and cross accessed along with Mac OS.

    For user simplicity I would recommend it a lot. It works and you don't have to be a pro to set it up. The Parallels software comes with all the drivers, so you don't even have to go after those. Everything just works.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Thanks Rick,

    In a thread Brian started I was reading about that. I really did not want to partition but kind of thought I'd need to. I'll be reading.

    I like simple. And simple is all that she will need or me to fix.

    Any comments keep em coming.

  4. #4
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    I don't think you even need to partition to install Parallels and Winders.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  5. #5
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    I was just reading your link. Trying to see if she needs PC OS or just the Parallels application.

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    Anyone ever test or try the "trial version"? I will need a PC OS if I'm reading this right.

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    I used bootcamp to install windows 7 pro and to partition. Went without any errors at all. Yes you need to back up and yes you need to partition (using bootcamp and one drive) but hopefully you won't need the backup at all since the drive does NOT get erased, if all goes well you will not have to use your backup.

    If you are using 2 drives (thumb drive is acceptable as long as her Mac can boot from it) you won't even need to partition anything since each drive is it's own partition. Use bootcamp to install the support files and aim windows at the thumb drive
    Damien,

  8. #8
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    I am going to test or try this on an older FW backup drive first.

    She will only one drive.

  9. #9
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    No matter what she will have to own Windows OS.

    I found Discount Mountain Software to have as good a prices as anyone. The OEM versions work perfectly but from what I understand you may not be able to move an OEM version from one computer to another. Even if the first ones dies.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  10. #10
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    That should do it. I've got all my questions answered. For now anyway.

    Looks and sounds fairly easy. I'll try a test later.

    Don't want to practice on her new MacPro.

    The OEM versions work perfectly but from what I understand you may not be able to move an OEM version from one computer to another.
    That means I could not test on mine and then redo on hers.

  11. #11
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    Parallels, VMWare, and Virtual Box all virtualize a second OS (or more).

    No partitioning needed, the virtualized OS is simply a folder to the Mac OS. Virtual Box is free and very good, but not quite as sexy of feature rich. Here is a review.

    All 3 are good, and Parallels is fastest, and VMWare is the most user friendly. As Rick said, you need a Win OS to install, and enough RAM to run both OSes. That's about it. Consider taking her to 6GB or more if she needs to run both OSes and lots of apps all the time. With 4GB, it is good to quit everything you don't need.....amazing how many users think closing a window = quitting an app.

    Don't worry too much about the OEM mumbo jumbo. Usually has to do with BIOS locking......but Macs have no BIOS, and VMs are much more portable than an install on a PC. You can literally copy it to another Mac (that has the same VM software installed). Don't worry about practicing either.....the entire VM is only a folder. Just throw it away if it looks at you funny.

    Oh, and I agree with the reviewer that VMWare is more forgiving about upgrades, licenses, and overall cost. Parallels is a great product, but maybe not the best company. VMWare has great support, free downloads, very user friendly.
    Last edited by unclemac; 05-17-2012 at 09:10 PM.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  12. #12
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    I didn't do the research that Matt did since I already had a copy of Parallels sitting around. Sounds like he has the inside track on what would work best. I would recommend one of these over BootCamp any day. The ability to go right into Windows, backup easily and get right out is awesome for the purposes you mentioned. And I had no idea that the OEM thing was bios related - I have certainly had my train wrecks with Windows and changed system configurations - since I am always changing things Micro$oft has lots of kittens. So I tend towards being conservative when I set up my Windows installs.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  13. #13
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    Hmmm....well these guys say it is a crock. Perhaps so with workstation OSes, but I know server OSes can be locked to specific hardware. Been there, done that. Read this. Funny. Almost feel sorry for the winders guys trying to sort it all out.

    I think it comes down to 2 different kind of OEM software options.

    1 - is very similar to a retail license, with regard to functionality. Used by custom builders, not linked to hardware physically.

    2- is distributed by a large OEM (Dell, HP, etc) and seems to be linked to hardware. Won't install on anything else....or perhaps will install, but cannot be activated.

    The first type will install on anything, including as a VM. The second.....dunno. Doubtful.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  14. #14
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    I have tried the Dell/HP OEM software - works perfectly, just have to activate it through M$ website. Easy - just takes a second. Works exactly the same as any other Windows application. With an OEM HP Windows XP install I moved it from my first MacPro to my second MacPro and had to reactivate it. But no big deal.

    The same newer MacPro also has OEM Windows 7 64 bit from HP as well. It was same deal - did an install, got warned a month later wasn't activated, so went through process at Microsoft of making sure it was all legit. Don't know if I can move it to a different machine later or not, but at a lot less than $100 it is still cheaper to use it for a couple years and get another copy later.

    Needed Windows on another workstation here, so picked up another OEM copy. Problem was BootCamp, not the Windows. BootCamp decided that the original 2006 MacPro wasn't capable of using Windows - even though that is the machine I originally had XP on. Parallels resolved that in very short order. Easiest Windows install I ever made. And you do not go after the BootCamp drivers, which would not download when I tried that method. Apple has been all screwed up on their BootCamp drivers. I get the distinct impression that it is only grudgingly that APple supports Windows at all. It was really nice to have a flawless, no fuss install with Parallels.

    Mind you, I like the BootCamp install on my own machine - booting directly into Windows is great for gaming. For just about any other Windows work applications Parallels or VMWare would be better. Nice with Parallels is you can backup with Mac backup software. Major PITA backing up BootCamp volumes - even worse restoring them.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Mind you, I like the BootCamp install on my own machine - booting directly into Windows is great for gaming. For just about any other Windows work applications Parallels or VMWare would be better.
    This cannot be stressed enough. If you game you need bootcamp. If your app is not graphics intensive then Parallels does an excellent job
    Damien,

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    This is great help guys.

    Nothing to intense and no gaming it's primality for college. She was given a disk that can keep her from having to go to the "college lab" for several classes including some next year. She is a forestry major so a little mapping. Because she just spent so much on the new MacBookPro she'll live with it for the last 3 weeks.

    Sounds like she'll want to do it when she can come up with the extra money. She's one of those younger ladies 25 but is a very hard worker, good ethics, the type I feel good helping because she'll use and appreciate it. The type of girl/lady any parents would be proud of.

  17. #17
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    A little late to the party.

    I have the MBP that came just before the speed bump last year, so mine is an i7 2.7 with 8GB of RAM. As others have said, if she can bump the RAM to say 8GB it's worth it when running VM. I use VMWare Fusion; I abandoned Parallels after it hosed my Boot Camp partition a few versions back. No gaming, I use it mostly for Windows Office, QuarkXpress, Acrobat, and some enterprise apps that are Win only.

    Her 13" probably has the Intel integrated graphics, so it's stealing system RAM for use as VRAM. 256MB if I recall with 4GB; it jumps to 512MB for VRAM with 8GB of RAM. An 8GB RAM upgrade doesn't cost much these days.

    As far as portability and hardware changes with Windows, if the hardware changes enough, Windows (at least XP) gets bent out of shape and you have reactivate. It can also cause some apps to get fussy too, e.g. Quark. And you *can* see this even with a VM. I did when I copied my XP VM from my old MBP (Core 2 Duo) to my new i7 MBP. Since I had more cores, I upped the VM settings from 1 to 2 cores. Windows and Quark threw fits about the hardware changes afterwords.

    So I rolled back, deauthenticated the apps, then tweaked the CPU again. Thereafter I reauthenticated the apps and reactivated Windows too.

    When setting up a VM, I wait to activate/authenticate everything until the last moment -- until I'm confident about CPU/RAM settings. Ain't much fun calling MS for a new code.

  18. #18
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    Thought and input appreciated Eric.

    I think she'll do this over summer. College is nearly done this year. She'll need to use that program next Fall again.

  19. #19
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    @Eric:

    C'mon, Quark is ALWAYS fussy. Even if you just look at it wrong....
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  20. #20
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    what app does she need to run?

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