Parallels and Bootcamp - Take 2

Posted by Tim Connor Mon, 05 Mar 2007 20:13:00 GMT

So after getting my iMac back I, of course, wanted to give it another try. This time I did the bootcamp thing first, in case there were any problems. It went smoothly this time – with a new full price retail box of XP Pro.

I partitioned the drive with the Bootcamp assistant, and noticed that it seemed the Apple Store ripped me off, as the drive only indicated 200 gigs on a “250” gig drive (which is actually 230, of course, depending which way you count gigs – it’d be nice if Apple could be consistent between what their software displays, and what the specs/marketing say, of course). Once I got into the Window installer, though, there was a 200 gig untouched partition in addition to the Windows partition. So the 200 gigs was the Mac partition, and there was probably already a Windows partition. It seems to me this means that either they just reinstalled OS X, gave me a $0 warranty receipt, and kept the drive, or Apple actually pre-tested the drive to work with Bootcamp. I’m leaning towards choice number one – but no skin off my nose.

Windows installed as normal – boy it is weird to boot an iMac into Windows. I installed the Bootcamp drivers, but tried not to update Windows any more, so I’d have a base system. The auto-update went through, despite my unchecking it, but fortunately it didn’t seem to update IE any further, which was my main concern (since I am doing this mostly to have IE to test pages with).

Booted back into OS X, and downloaded the newest beta (Release Candidate 3) of Parallels. Installed that, told it to make a VM using the Bootcamp partition, and wallah, we were (basically) done. They even have seemed to fixed the windows reactivation problems, probably with hardware profiles. I didn’t even have to activate Windows again the first time I booted it virtually into Parallels (the docs said you might have to once).

So that I could update this copy of Windows fully, without losing my base IE, I made a fully virtual copy for another VM. Parallels Desktop ships with an additional product Transporter, that lets you migrate a non-virtual install, such as the Bootcamp one to a virtual hard-drive copy. And since my main VM ran off of the hard-drive, it is essentially a “real” install, that just happens to be run through some additional software.

To cut to the chase, I installed the Transporter Agent on the harddrive Parallels VM, and started up Transporter. After a while it was done, and I had an additional VM to play with. Of course, this version does run afoul of activation issues, but I am sure that some people out there could find ways around the activation problems on the additional virtual copies, such as re-keying those copies, or something, if they cared to.

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