Parallels, Bootcamp, Vista Ultimate

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by maztec, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. maztec

    maztec

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    60
    I have been reading the forums and looking around for about a month now... I have not really spotted anything that seemed like the answer I am seeking, so I am posting it. If I have missed it, please point me in the right direction without insulting me, thank you.

    - Situation: MacBook Pro running Parallels w/ Vista. I have returned to school and need Vista for Office 2007 (and refuse to buy a Dell computer).
    - Problem: For the proctored tests I am required to run Vista in BootCamp. The test taking software detects parallels (by the hardware it detects me using) and refuses to run.
    - Desire: I would like to run Vista in Parallels except the day of my tests or when I need it in BootCamp. I would like to avoid having two copies of Vista - although, if forced to, I will install it on an external drive for test time.

    - Hardware/Software:
    * I am running the latest OSX update, the latest Boot Camp, and the latest Parallel as of the time of this posting.

    - Problems:
    1) Vista in Parallels on a Boot Camp partition runs much slower than Vista on a Virtual Drive.
    2) Vista has to reinstall drivers every time I change between Parallels and Boot Camp.
    3) Vista in Parallels on a Boot Camp partition is extremely unstable... (I have had it permanently freeze, even on boot, unrepairably and require complete reinstallation three times now).

    - Questions:
    1) It appears Parallels has stripped certain things out on the Virtual Drive copy.. Can I safely strip these things out for the Boot Camp copy, if so what are they? Also, is there any way to fix this speed issue? I would thing the real drive would operate faster than the virtual compressed drive...
    2) Is there any way to set up multiple hardware configurations so Vista will happily swap?
    3) I assume this is some type of issue with mixed drivers....
    *) Is my best bet here to get an external drive and just boot Vista from that when I need a hard copy?

    Thank you for the tips/help/advice...


    -Maz
     
  2. ariell

    ariell

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    While I don't have the answers, I really want to applaud you on the formatting of your question. I'm sure it will help the people who know the answers to give you just the right information. :)
     
  3. maztec

    maztec

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    Thank you ariell. Now if I could only get an answer ;)
     
  4. LinkRS

    LinkRS

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    Hi Maz,

    I am a very novice Mac user (just got my first Mac about two months ago), but am pretty familiar with Windows. The reason you are having the drivers re-detcted each time you switch between bootcamp and Parallels, is that you are using different "hardware" each time. Parallels virtulizes your processor, but the rest of the computer is different between the two. The continuous re-installation of drivers is probably what is causing Vista to be unstable. Plus Vista is extremely slow upon initial install, as it takes a little while for it to optimize itself for your hardware. The only way to fix this, is to either have two copies of Vista (one installed in Parallels, and the other in bootcamp, but that will take quite a bit of space), or call the Activation number when given the option. They will ask you how many computers you have it installed on (it is important to tell them you only have it on 1, even though you techncially have it installed on 2). They will give you an authorization code, which will activate Windows. Of course as soon as you boot back into Parallels, you will have to do it all over again. Windows Vista (and XP to a certain extent) are desinged to prevent what you are trying to do (put it on multiple computers), so you either have to have two copies of Vista (legal method), or jump through hoops everytime you switch enviroments. good luck!
     
  5. maztec

    maztec

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    60
    LinkRS:

    Thank you for help. Fortunately, I am very familiar with most operating systems. Unfortunately, I do not know all of the ins and outs of Parallels.

    I purchased my copy of Vista through the MS Employee service - which has the happy side affect of not pestering me about activation past the first time. So, I am not having a problem with that.

    On the other hand. In Linux, I am able to set up my system to recognize multiple hardware configurations and load itself as appropriate. I was hoping there was some hack for Vista to do that. I would think I could do it with some form of boot-loader registry swap-hack to point the registry at the appropriate drivers on boot. However, I am not familiar enough with Vista & XP and how they load their drivers to pull that off.

    The instability issues seem to have finally resolved themselves (yay!). Unfortunately, I misjudged the necessary drive size.. and am going to have to dump Vista and resize it (boo!).

    As for speed differences.. I have a feeling that Parallels strips a lot of excess drivers out of Vista (or something) which results in it loading less and taking up less disk space. I could be entirely wrong on that, but it is what it appears to be doing.. I just wish I kne what it was doing that with (and don't have the time to run a drive compare).

    I know it is possible to make a Live Windows CD so you can boot it up on other computers as necessary.. I was hoping to take some of the tricks from that for driver loading.. Nevertheless, I do not have enough time to do all the research to pull that off myself - so was hoping someone would point me in the right direction..

    Has anyone tried running Vista on an external drive? I think I may have to pick one up and use that for test taking, then keep the virtual drive for actual use...


    Really, I am trying to figure out what all the people who are using it with BootCamp are doing to make it work more seamlessly, I feel like there is some trick I am missing..


    Thank you for the help Link. :)

    Anyone else?

    -Maz
     
  6. maztec

    maztec

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  7. LinkRS

    LinkRS

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  8. asterion

    asterion

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    My first question is do you absolutely need Vista? I am running Office 2007 just fine in XP, whether it's on my Windows desktop or in Parallels. What I mean is, does the proctoring software or whatever it is that's being used absolutely require both Vista and Office 2007? It seems odd that a school would require not only an expensive new operating system released within, basically, the last 6 months but also a new productivity suite that has also been out for only about 6 months. Those two pieces of software together, even if you could get the cheapest licenses available (upgrade and/or academic pricing with lowest Vista version and either those licenses or maybe Home and Student 2007), would still run $200+ easy. I realize you don't want to buy another copy of Vista, but how about a copy of WinXP? I'm not saying that using the Boot Camp partition for both native booting and virtualization of WinXP would be any better, but it might be. It seems like most of the problems I've seen on these boards is people trying to virtualize or do things like what you're doing with Vista, while I've yet to have a problem with XP even with Parallels 3.0. I will admit that I have not tried the Boot Camp/virtualization off the same partition yet with my MacBook, but if I had to guess, I'd bet that XP would behave better.
     
  9. maztec

    maztec

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    60
    asterion:

    You are correct. Windows XP supports multiple hardware profiles, primarily for docking purposes.

    Technically the school requires a Dell Laptop running Vista w/ Office 2007. They prefer each class to be homogeneous in hardware and software. They enforce it by detecting your OS on login, if it isn't Vista then the network refuses your login for my class. It is dumb, I know, but it is their "requirements". I have deep objections to purchasing a Dell computer, so I make do with what I have.

    Once I am logged in my MAC Address is stored and approved for 24 hours. I suppose I could make the browser spoof my signature (I am pretty sure that is how they are deteting it).. But that is not ideal (just too much work and too chancy). I really don't care about the cost, I am just wanting to avoid installing multiple OS's and using up more disk space on my laptop.

    -----

    Link: Thank you for that link. Too bad it seems to limit things to the Services .. and the profiles Vista has automatically identified.. There must be a way to make it work.. going to take a bit of messing around though.

    If ayone has an idea of how to force profile creation in Vista....
     
  10. maztec

    maztec

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    Aha.. DirectX was disabled.... Now that I enabled it Vista and OS X are running quite happily/speedily.

    Now, if I can just figure out how to create a custom hardware profile so when I "Dock" my computer it recognizes the change of hardware... and uses that on boot, I will be set..

    Still is not quite as fast as running it on the Virtual Drive, but oh well.
     
  11. asterion

    asterion

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    16
    Well, I've heard of dumber things in academia, but that is way, way up there on the list. Anyway, the only reason I asked is because sometimes going at it the easy way (known and proven software in this case) works. I'm going to be no more help, I'm afraid, because there is no way I am even going to think of buying Vista until at least SP2. Honestly, I like the idea of spoofing.

    Actually, how do you feel about editing your registry or the like? No idea if it'd work or if you'd wind up trashing something, but if you could trick winload.exe, maybe by running bcdedit.exe, it might work.
     
  12. maztec

    maztec

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    asterion: I was thinking of that.. Pre-Hack the registry on boot.. Actually, I think Parallels needs to register itself as a profile with Vista, there has to be a way to do it.. probably through some device driver.. I am going to hit up my Vista Guru's tonight (yay!) and see if any of them can think of how to do it..

    The odd thing is that some of the functionality is still there.. Vista is just maintaining it automagically.. if I could get it to ask me on boot or Parallels to trick it on boot... I would be set..

    I have a feeling this is something they disabled to allow their new activation schema to work properly...


    Oh - and a side trick to activation issues is to activate itin the one of the two you use the most.. it will bond with that, then the other will not be an issue except when you occasionally load into it .. and all it will do is nag you (which you can disable).. since you keep going back to activated system, it shouldn't utterly kill things.. but I'm not 100% convident on that.. (of course, it is possible to easily push out activation indefinitely *cough*)..

    Anyone know the name of the program for handling hardware profiles? :p
     
  13. asterion

    asterion

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    16
    Well, that's the problem. Vista is supposed to autodetect the hardware on boot and load the appropriate files. There is no program, as far as I can tell from what I've found on the net, that will allow for user management of the hardware profile. I'd say find some way to force the BIOS to do the allocations, but Vista won't work at all if ACPI isn't detected.
     
  14. maztec

    maztec

    Messages:
    60
    Meh. I have a feeling it is doing the detection by "seeing" a "Docking Device" and then adjusts the system hardware appropriately.. So, what really needs to be done.. is to set up parallels with a custom "Docked" device that notifies Vista that a new hardware profile is being used...
     
  15. LinkRS

    LinkRS

    Messages:
    40
    Hi Maz,

    It seems the secret is the role assigned to your computer. If Vista detects you are on a notebook PC, it will allow the whole docking profile options. Otherwise, it just assumes if it detects other hardware, you have moved it and are a pirate (Arrggghhhh matey!). You can tell if Vista is setup as a mobile PC, by the presence of the Windows Mobility Center in your control panel. If it is not there, your VM is setup as a desktop. I am not sure how to change the role (was pretty easy in XP), but I am still looking. If I get any more info, I'll let you know. Good luck!
     
  16. maztec

    maztec

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    60
    Hmm, it's there in BootCamp but not in Parallels. Go figure :\

    Why? Because Parallels does not pass on battery information to Windows.

    I wish there was a way to add custom devices to Parallels ... that would make thingsl ike this much easier to setup.. I simply need Parallels to trick Vista/Windows into thinking I am plugged into a docking station - even a secondary docking station to my primary one.. Could use some type of fake docking device to do it..

    *sigh*
     

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