How does using a Boot Camp partition work?

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by cam815, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. cam815


    I'm a bit confused as to how we can use a BootCamp-created partition to boot off of in Parallels. I love the idea - that way you can do things quick in Windows under OS X or completely boot into Windows via BootCamp to get 100% of your system resources for a something CPU or GPU intensive.

    But as far as I know, Parallels creates an array of virtual hardware and uses drivers to basically translate everything on the Windows side to the corresponding OS X hardware. In the BootCamp partition, won't completely different drivers be installed already? So how does that work? Will Parallels change all the drivers to make the partition work as a virtual machine? What about Parallel Tools when you're *not* using Parallels, will that mess things up?

    If the new version works as slated, I'd be very tempted to reinstall BootCamp and run Parallels from that - but I'd like to get some answers first :)

    Thanks in advance,
    - C. Marcera
  2. James Bond 007

    James Bond 007

    You are right, and therefore, if you install a retail or OEM version of XP using Boot Camp and then attempt to use Parallels to run XP from the Boot Camp partition, XP will see a completely different set of hardware and will require reactivation.

    I strongly suggest you do not try something like this, not until Parallels or others figure out a way to get around this reactivation cycle (going to Parallels and back to Boot Camp). Microsoft may not be so kind to grant you reactivation codes to use.

    These issues shall not exist if you are using a Corporate version of XP, although you may face other issues such as a Blue Screen (I saw this several times when attempting to boot XP installed using one motherboard under another motherboard).

  3. j-active


    Exactly right. The parallels team has very cleverly repurposed a feature in Windows that is normally for laptops or other mobile devices.

    Think about the "driver set" on a laptop that is out in the field using WIFI vs. docked with an external monitor, USB keyboard, and fixed LAN access. With Parallels, the two profiles are the Boot Camp profile and the virtual profile with the specialized drivers required when running in OS X.

    Windows activation gets retriggered when you make certain changes to the operating system. Some of those are obvious: new hard drive, but some not: new RAM. When you are switching profiles in Parallels going back and forth, Windows is seeing an entire array of new hardware.

    It's a really innovative way to do what they are doing. The trick will be working around the activation without resorting to any hacks that render your license invalid or violate DMCA.

    Godspeed to the team though figuring this out, this is a very useful feature. Just the promise has motivated me to set aside some time over the past few days to try and get this working.
  4. cam815


    That's exactly what I wanted to know! Thanks :) Hopefully the activation thing gets squared away because this feature will be incredibly useful.

Share This Page