Configuration of Parallels: Bootcamp or No Bootcamp?

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by TimothyP, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. TimothyP


    I'm a computer novice so forgive me if this is a naive question. If I understand correctly, Parallels can be installed on a MacBook that either does or does not have a Bootcamp partition. So, I can install Parallels directly onto my Mac OS without any Bootcamp partition, or I can first partition my MacBook hard drive using Bootcamp, install Windows 7 on one partition, and then install Parallels on the Mac OS partition and use the Windows Bootcamp partition as my virtual hard drive? Is my understanding correct? If this is so, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using the former configuration (no Bootcamp partition) versus the latter configuration (Bootcamp partition)? If I am going to be using software that utilizes a lot of memory, is one configuration preferred over the other? Thanks for your assistance!
  2. joevt

    joevt Kilo Poster

    You are correct. The advantages / disadvantages should be obvious:

    If you boot using Boot Camp, nothing (CPU or RAM) is being used for Mac OS.

    If you boot using Parallels, you can use Mac stuff at the same time.

    If you don't use Boot Camp, you can save hard drive space using an Expanding virtual hard disk. You also get the Parallels Snapshots feature.

    Otherwise using a Boot Camp partition in Parallels performs about the same as a virtual hard disk.
  3. RalphT



    I had similar questions when I first started using Parallels and chose not to use Boot CAMP. BIG MISTAKE! If you have problems with the Windows install, it's impossible to get rid of the Windows install without also having to reformat the whole drive, including your Mac OS as well. I had problems and had to start from scratch with everything, so I speak from experience.

    Even if you don't have problems, the day may come when you simply want to upgrade the Windows OS. It will be a whole lot easier if it's on it's own partition. Therefore, I highly recommend not putting two OS's on one partition.
  4. TimothyP


    Thanks for your helpful advice Joe and Ralph. Ralph, that's a very good point and one I hadn't considered. I recall a post from someone on this forum that also recommended using a partition simply because if Parallels crashes or experiences problems, at least the Windows files, documents, etc. will be safely retained on the Windows partition. Given all of these considerations, I think that I will be using a partition.

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