Running Windows XP on a MacBook


J

John

Hello,

I will soon be getting my Refurbished MacBook which will be able to run
Windows XP. I plan to buy the home version on ebay for a low cost. How
much do you recommend I allocate to Windows XP? I was planning on giving
XP 30GB's but not sure if that can be changed once allocated. I do not
have much to run in Windows, however most apps work only on Windows, and
some job websites or online applications will not work in a mac browser
so it would be helpful to have Windows. (Although I have a job, I would
like a higher paying job and it frustrates me going to company job
applications that work only in Windows). For most of my day to day work
I will be using Snow Leopard. Also another advantage of XP is the much
superior BlackBerry desktop Manager.

For the time being I will be booting into Windows and eventually may run
them side by side, but this will require more RAM and I think Windows
may not work as well in such an environment, although I do not know.
Also can someone tell me if Windows hardware will work on my MacBook? I
may want to get a USB to serial adaptor for some hardware and eventually
dump my old 1999 Compaq Windows 98 laptop, but may keep it for the old
hardware. I have a GPS and a Jornada 720 which I use to connect t the
Compaq via Serial. Will it work in Windows XP on the Macbook?

Also where will the XP files be stored? Can I use XP to access the Mac
files and vice versa in the boot camp mode? May install Office 2003 on
MacBook (as its much nicer than the Macs Office and Outlook beats
Entourage for most uses.

Thanks for your help.



John
 
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J

Jim Gibson

John said:
Hello,

I will soon be getting my Refurbished MacBook which will be able to run
Windows XP. I plan to buy the home version on ebay for a low cost. How
much do you recommend I allocate to Windows XP? I was planning on giving
XP 30GB's but not sure if that can be changed once allocated. I do not
have much to run in Windows, however most apps work only on Windows, and
some job websites or online applications will not work in a mac browser
so it would be helpful to have Windows. (Although I have a job, I would
like a higher paying job and it frustrates me going to company job
applications that work only in Windows). For most of my day to day work
I will be using Snow Leopard. Also another advantage of XP is the much
superior BlackBerry desktop Manager.

30GB sounds about right. You are right in that you cannot change this
value without redoing your Windows install.
For the time being I will be booting into Windows and eventually may run
them side by side, but this will require more RAM and I think Windows
may not work as well in such an environment, although I do not know.
Also can someone tell me if Windows hardware will work on my MacBook? I
may want to get a USB to serial adaptor for some hardware and eventually
dump my old 1999 Compaq Windows 98 laptop, but may keep it for the old
hardware. I have a GPS and a Jornada 720 which I use to connect t the
Compaq via Serial. Will it work in Windows XP on the Macbook?

Under Bootcamp, Mac OS X and Windows cannot run "side by side". Only
one can run at a time, as determined at boot time. Some Windows
hardware may work on a Mac, as many of the peripheral connections are
the same (USB, etc.). There is no way to tell ahead of time, unless you
can find somebody who has already used the exact same hardware on the
same computer.
Also where will the XP files be stored? Can I use XP to access the Mac
files and vice versa in the boot camp mode? May install Office 2003 on
MacBook (as its much nicer than the Macs Office and Outlook beats
Entourage for most uses.

XP file will be stored on the Windows partition on your boot drive.
Windows cannot access the Mac files on the other partition without
special software (e.g. <http://www.macdisk.com/mden.php3>). Mac OS X
can access Windows files, either read-only or read-write depending upon
the type and size of the Windows file system (see info link below).

<http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1656>
 
S

Stefan Patric

I will soon be getting my Refurbished MacBook which will be able to run
Windows XP. I plan to buy the home version on ebay for a low cost. How
much do you recommend I allocate to Windows XP? I was planning on giving
XP 30GB's but not sure if that can be changed once allocated. I do not
have much to run in Windows, however most apps work only on Windows, and
some job websites or online applications will not work in a mac browser
so it would be helpful to have Windows. [big snip]

Your best option, if your MacBook has the resources, is to run XP on a
virtual machine in OSX instead of dual booting. It's an easier and less
problematical solution.

VirtualBox is the easiest VM to set up and work with, and for personal
use, it's free.

http://www.virtualbox.org


B
 
S

Shenan Stanley

Mike said:
The price is definitely right, but how is it easier than Fusion or
Parallels?

I love VirtualBox.

On the macs though, I go Fusion, hands down.
 
J

John

Jim Gibson said:
30GB sounds about right. You are right in that you cannot change this
value without redoing your Windows install.

On Ebay what version of Windows XP Home do I need to look for?
 
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S

Shenan Stanley

John said:
I have no idea. But with 2GB of RAM I may be limited to boot camp.

512MB memory set aside for Windows XP should be good for what you said you
would be using it for... At most 1GB - and you won't be using that much
memory on your system so you have it to spare.

Go with VMWare Fusion. ;-)
 
E

Erik Richard Sørensen

Jim said:
30GB sounds about right. You are right in that you cannot change this
value without redoing your Windows install.


Under Bootcamp, Mac OS X and Windows cannot run "side by side". Only
one can run at a time, as determined at boot time. Some Windows
hardware may work on a Mac, as many of the peripheral connections are
the same (USB, etc.). There is no way to tell ahead of time, unless you
can find somebody who has already used the exact same hardware on the
same computer.

Unless you boot into OS X and then for example install 'VirtualBox'
(freeware), Parallels Desktop (commercial) or VMWare Fusion
(commercial), then they both can run at the same time. XP is then run as
a virtual system.
XP file will be stored on the Windows partition on your boot drive.
Windows cannot access the Mac files on the other partition without
special software (e.g. <http://www.macdisk.com/mden.php3>). Mac OS X
can access Windows files, either read-only or read-write depending upon
the type and size of the Windows file system (see info link below).

<http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1656>

Indeed you can. XPHome/XPPro can access the Mac OS X partition as a
'shared disk', and it's even possible to drag&drop copy to/from the
Windows partition. Just remember to add the OS X diskpartition as
'shared disk' in the Windows network setup. - I can access any of my
internal and external disks directly in XPPro without problems.

So I'll recommend to let the Windows installer initialize the Windows
partition in NTFS and install XP as normal. Then download VirtualBox and
install VB on the OS X and assign the Windows partition to VB. Also
download and install the NTFS-3G driver on OS X to make it possible to
drag&drop copy directly to the Windows partition from OS X.

VirtualBox 3.1.2 (freeware)
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/32363
NTFS-3G 2010.1.16 (freeware)
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/10913782

Setup in this way you can boot from XP or OS X and you can run XP from
within OS X.

Cheers, Erik Richard

--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Erik Richard Sørensen, Member of ADC, <[email protected]>
NisusWriter - The Future In Multilingual Text Processing - www.nisus.com
OpenOffice.org - The Modern Productivity Solution - www.openoffice.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
E

Erik Richard Sørensen

Mike said:
The price is definitely right, but how is it easier than Fusion or
Parallels?

Don't know whether the new VB 3.1.2 is easier or not, but the ver. 2.x
was rather hard to get to work properly in the networking part. - For me
Parallels runs just fine along with XPPro...

Cheers, Erik Richard

--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Erik Richard Sørensen, Member of ADC, <[email protected]>
NisusWriter - The Future In Multilingual Text Processing - www.nisus.com
OpenOffice.org - The Modern Productivity Solution - www.openoffice.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
E

Erik Richard Sørensen

John said:
On Ebay what version of Windows XP Home do I need to look for?

Go for Windows XPPro SP2 or XPPro SP3. The XPPro is far much better than
the XPHome. Donot go for Windows XP Home Mediacenter Edition. There is
too much useless crap in that one.

Cheers, Erik Richard

--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Erik Richard Sørensen, Member of ADC, <[email protected]>
NisusWriter - The Future In Multilingual Text Processing - www.nisus.com
OpenOffice.org - The Modern Productivity Solution - www.openoffice.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
J

John

Shenan Stanley said:
512MB memory set aside for Windows XP should be good for what you said you
would be using it for... At most 1GB - and you won't be using that much
memory on your system so you have it to spare.

Go with VMWare Fusion. ;-)

How much does that cost?
 
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S

Shenan Stanley

Alan said:
I meant to add to all the above, that the amount of disk you assign
to the Windows partition really depends on what you need it for and
how much storage that requires.

I'd guess 30 GB as a minimum with little storage or future growth.

30GB is a decent number - although you can easily get away with 20GB as long
as you use network/mapped directories for your files. Windows XP is just
small, even if you install MS Office and assorted full versions of Adobe
products (why you would do that on a mac in Windows is weird to me) and
autdesk products and corel products and the likes - you might make it to
10-12GB used space.
 
J

John

Shenan Stanley said:
30GB is a decent number - although you can easily get away with 20GB as long
as you use network/mapped directories for your files. Windows XP is just
small, even if you install MS Office and assorted full versions of Adobe
products (why you would do that on a mac in Windows is weird to me) and
autdesk products and corel products and the likes - you might make it to
10-12GB used space.

Well the MS ofice versions are much superior to the Mac versions, and
Windows has much software that Mac does not, and usually Windows
software is better with more features.

If you know of any steals on ebay for a WinXP Home edition (I really
could care less about Pro if Home is cheaper) let me know.


Thanks,


John
 
M

Marc Heusser

Dan said:
Forget XP Home. Professional is the same price on eBay - about $50 -
$60.

You want at least SP2. Discs with SP3 are a little more, around $75.
You can download SP3 and install it yourself if you need it. I
personally have not bothered with SP3 on the ancient laptops that I have
that are still running XP.

All of my main Windows machines here are 7 now. Just deleted my last
remaining Vista partition. I would take either Vista or 7 over XP on
new hardware. Running XP on new hardware is like running OS X 10.2 on
new hardware - pointless.

Get Parallels 5 unless short of cash
http://www.mactech.com/articles/special/1002-VirtualizationHeadToHead/ind
ex-001.html

If you can, get a corporate edition of Windows XP - no activation.
Otherwise get Windows XP SP2 at least (so you can boot XP as well under
BootCamp - it is possible to use the same partition also in Parallels,
ie parallel to Mac OS X).
And certainly update to SP3 immediately, to cover the most glaring
security holes.

And certainly do not get Vista, if not XP then get Windows 7, much
cleaner.

But Windows XP is still compatible with more software, so unless you
need Windows 7, or absolutely want it, then go with Windows XP. It will
run faster.
You'll find yourself using Windows less and less anyway.

HTH

Marc
 
S

Stefan Patric

The price is definitely right, but how is it easier than Fusion or
Parallels?

Perhaps it isn't anymore. They all have GUI interfaces now.

It has been about 4 years since I last seriously looked at VMWare. At
that time, VMWare--I don't even think they had a Mac version then--was a
very stable, for pay, commercial product designed for running multiple
virtual server servers, although you could run it on a desktop, and
people did. (There is now a free one for non-commercial users, but only
for PC platforms. I hear it's very good.)

Set up was technical--you had to know what you were doing--but was at
least through a GUI and a lot easier than the commandline VM I was using
then. Then I discovered VirtualBox. Its market was for the general
desktop computer user like me who wanted an alternative to multi-booting
OSes. It still basically is that, although they do have a "pro" version
that they sell.

Since VirtualBox is free, even for the Mac, and is designed for the
casual user, wouldn't it pay to try it before buying one?

Have no experience with Parallels.

Stef
 
R

Richard Maine

Stefan Patric said:
Perhaps it isn't anymore. They all have GUI interfaces now.

It has been about 4 years since I last seriously looked at VMWare. At
that time, VMWare--I don't even think they had a Mac version then...

They didn't. It was released in late 2007, if Wikipedia has it right. So
no, you don't have any experience with the Mac product. And...
Have no experience with Parallels.

Ok. So you have no basis for judging whether "it is the easiest VM to
set up and work with".

It might be easy. Not having tried it myself. I couldn't say. (I have
used both Parallels and VMWare on the Mac, in addition to a much older
VMWare product on Linux some time ago). I don't dispute that VirtualBox
might be a fine product, and that the price is right. I just note that
your statement about it being "the easiest" is, by definition, a
statement of comparison, for which you appear to have no basis.
 
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S

Stefan Patric

They didn't. It was released in late 2007, if Wikipedia has it right. So
no, you don't have any experience with the Mac product. And...


Ok. So you have no basis for judging whether "it is the easiest VM to
set up and work with".

Since your reply a few days ago, I've familiarized myself with
Parallels: perused their web site, read through the User Manual and a
few reviews, tests, comparisons of all three VMs as well as updated
myself with VMWare Fusion and Player. The last time I checked (a year or
so ago) Fusion was still in beta and Player couldn't create its own VMs.
And I'm currently using VirtualBox 3.1, the latest version, on Linux
Fedora 12 having upgraded a couple months ago from VirtualBox 2.something
on Fedora 9.

So, as far as my statement to the OP on the ease of use of VB, my opinion
remains unchanged. VB is easiest simply because it's simplier: Less
features, less options, less user choices needed to get up and running.
It is the perfect choice, cost or lack of cost aside, for the casual non-
techie user who needs another OS on rare occasions.
It might be easy. Not having tried it myself. I couldn't say. (I have
used both Parallels and VMWare on the Mac, in addition to a much older
VMWare product on Linux some time ago). I don't dispute that VirtualBox
might be a fine product, and that the price is right. I just note that
your statement about it being "the easiest" is, by definition, a
statement of comparison, for which you appear to have no basis.

Why don't you try VirtualBox and see if it's "easiest." I would be
interested in your opinion. Really.


And to the OP: FWIW, another option other than a VM is Codeweavers
Crossover Mac (http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/). You can run
Windows apps with no need of the Windows OS. Although, it is optimized
to only run some Windows apps well like Office, Word, etc.


Stef
 
S

Stefan Patric

Stefan Patric said:
Why don't you try VirtualBox and see if it's "easiest." I would be
interested in your opinion.

I've thought about it in the past. At the moment, I'm in the position of
having a paid-for copy of VMWare that is doing what I want. My system
not being broken in this regard, I'm not at all sure that I want to
"fix" it just for curiosity about whether another solution would also
work. Yes, I'm also curious, but probably not enough so to risk breaking
what I have now (I can easily imagine conflicts from having multiple
virtualization apps installed.) Maybe one of these days I'll try it on
[big snip]

Here's an idea: Use VMWare to create a new virtual machine; install
VirtualBox on THAT machine, then use VB to create a virtual machine on
it. That way VB is isolated from the host machine, and in no way can it
muck it up, and you can safely play with VirtualBox.


Stef
 
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R

Richard Maine

Stefan Patric said:
Here's an idea: Use VMWare to create a new virtual machine; install
VirtualBox on THAT machine, then use VB to create a virtual machine on
it. That way VB is isolated from the host machine, and in no way can it
muck it up, and you can safely play with VirtualBox.

I wouldn't expect that to work. Suppose I could be wrong. Even if it
did, it wouldn't really end up being the particular port of VirtualBox
that I'd have any interest in. I can't do an OS-X guest OS, which is
what I'd need in order to then run in it the port of VirtualBox that
uses an OS-X host. I have no interest in any other host systems.
 
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