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Dual Platform on MacBook - HowTo..

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#1 Cotts


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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:41 PM

I wish to run dual platforms, MacOSX and Windows 7(?) on my MacBook. I understand that there is a Mac Program that I can buy and install to accomplish this (forgot the name of this program, though...). I would then have to buy the Windows OSand install it somehow... Is this difficult to do?

My goal is to run Registax and REDUC (double star measurement software) without having to go out and buy a PC.....

Anyone with experience in this sort of thing?



#2 JMW



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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:15 PM

Apple has an application in the Utilities folder called Boot Camp Assistant. If you have a lot of free space on your drive, it can repartition the disk into multiple partitions without destroying the data on your OSX partition. It will prompt you at the appropriate time for the Windows 7 media. Read the documentation to be sure you have the appropriate version of the install media.

Once the process is complete, you can boot back and forth between the OSX and Windows partitions as required. My Macbook Pro 17 has two SSD drive in it. I replaced the original drive and the optical drive to do this. I have one SSD for OSX and one for Windows 7. I purchased additional software to allow OSX to read and write the Windows NTFS partition.

If you only need to run Registax you may want to consider VMware Fusion or Parallels and install Windows 7 as a virtual machine running as an application under OSX. This is less complex and you can have access to your OSX applications at the same time.

I boot to Windows 7 for running all my ASCOM mount and imaging software. I boot back to OSX for post processing with PixInsight or Photoshop.

#3 rboe



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:13 AM

VM Ware has a product (sometimes it's free for home users that want to dual boot like you) that runs virtual machines in a separate window on the desktop.

On the plus side you can have several machines with different settings and you don't have to reboot to launch it. On the down side you will need a LOT of RAM for it work nicely.

#4 JMW



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:01 AM

VMware Fusion, Parallels or VirtualBox can all provide a virtual machine environment. VirtualBox is free and is the least mature product.

#5 Raginar



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:18 PM

VMWare, Parallels, and VirtualBox can be finicky with USB devices. Just be prepared for it not to work with some of your devices.

Bootcamp assistant is free; you just need a copy of Windows (at least XP SP3 I believe). You'll also need a DVD; many of the USB copies don't work because Apple wants you to 'only' use the DVD. There are ways around it but it's a PITA.

I was doing the same thing till I got worried about my macbook outside... I decided a cheap Windows laptop was a worthy investment.

#6 *skyguy*



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:44 PM

I installed Win 7 on my Macbook Pro laptop using Bootcamp ... and now I use Windows side about 99% of the time! ;)

#7 Darrenlh


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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:15 AM

The Virtualization works very well on Mac as has been stated. The only real issue with USB devices is that as long as the "Host OS" - MacOSX can "see" the USB device, then the "Guest OS" - Windows will be able to connect and install a driver. On the plus side, ever have this happen? - you plug a USB camera or autoguider into a different port on a XP machine and XP complains it doesn't have the driver...then you have to find the disk or remember to copy the drivers to your harddrive for XP to find and wait 10 minutes for it to install. With VM's that nonsense goes away because the software points XP to the right device everytime. Also, you can take "snapshots" of the Guest OS EXACTLY the way you install...that way when you upgrade software and find your camera/autoguider no longer works for some reason - you just revert to a previous snapshot. It's also super-easy to back-up VM's to a harddrive and if your Mac blows-up one morning, just grab ANY decent machine with similar chip specs (Linux, Mac, Windows)..and your up and running within an hour or two.

#8 tomcody



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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:51 PM

For what you want to do buy VM Fusion ( you can get it as a on-line down load) and install Windows on it. I have run windows both as a bootcamp partision and as a virtual machine withVM Fusion and both work fine.

#9 Greg K.

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 01:17 PM

I'm another VMWare Fusion user. I actually use it to virtualize my Boot Camp partition, so I can run Windows either way if I desire. Kind of a pain to set up, though - since Windows sees each mode as a different machine and needs to re-authorize itself.

You do lose some benefits of VMWare doing it this way, though - like the ability to suspend the VM. (You can enable this, but you need to make sure you never boot to Boot Camp mode when the VM is suspended).

#10 Ranger Tim

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:11 PM

I have used Parallels with a MacBook Pro for years. It runs my Windows XP beautifully and is a fun way to avoid the inconvenience of rebooting every time you want to transfer files across the divide. Parallels is fully compatible with drag and drop from one OS window to the other, perfect for me to run Deep Sky Stacker and have the resulting stacked file deposited in the appropriate mac folder. It even can "see" into the other OS.
I also really dig the way the windows can be customized - I like the full screen Windows desktop that can pivot on a virtual hinge to show the Mac desktop, like two sides of a cube that rotates. There are a half dozen ways to configure the view at least, and it can be controlled with quick keys. Graceful!

The ability to freeze/suspend the Windows OS and have it open back up exactly as I left it saves me heartache and time. I don't run it often, but when I do it works as expected. It will run slower, but who's in that much of a hurry? I run Snow Leopard and 8 gigs of RAM.

I never tried VMWare Fusion. Had a bad experience many eons ago with Virtual PC though.

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