Bootcamp/Parallels

Steve170

Active Member
Got my new 27 inch iMac a couple of days ago (absolutely loving it) and I'm looking to install Windows 7 so I can run a few things I need.

My plan is to install it via Bootcamp and then set Parallels 7 to run it from Bootcamp, so I have the option of either booting into Windows or working with Windows progs in Lion. In the Parallels guide it says the limitations of this method are it can't be compressed, can't be run in Safe Mode and can't be saved as a snapshot. I'm not bothered about the first two of these, but what does the snapshot thing refer to?

Just wondered if anyone had any other tips before I go ahead? I've got an SSD and HDD in the iMac, so I assume I'll use Bootcamp to create a partition on the SSD for Windows. Is there any ideal size to use for the Win partition? Anything else to consider?

Thanks.
 

alanrob

Active Member
Snapshot is a backup of the VM at the time of taking the Snapshot. Not vital if you are backing up the Win7 partition via another program or if you don't care about backing it up :)
Why not just run Win7 via a VM or do you really need to run it Bootcamp?
 

Steve170

Active Member
Snapshot is a backup of the VM at the time of taking the Snapshot. Not vital if you are backing up the Win7 partition via another program or if you don't care about backing it up :)
Why not just run Win7 via a VM or do you really need to run it Bootcamp?

Thanks. I'm not particularly bothered about that then. I don't think there'd be much on the Win partition for me to bother doing full backups.

My reasons for installing via Bootcamp were firstly if there were any compatibility issues that might arise from running in a VM (unlikely I suspect) and also I thought I might give some Windows games a go at some point and I believe it's recommended to go through Bootcamp to get best performance for this?

Basically, I thought this solution was 'best of both worlds', in that I'd have the Bootcamp option there, but most use would be via a VM.
 

Br0ken

Distinguished Member
Parallels 7 has better support and improved performance for 3D games but it won't beat a Bootcamp install. I run Parallels 7 with VMs which include Ubuntu Server, Win XP and Win 7. I do find the snapshot feature really handy as I tend to use the VMs for experimental things that I might want to back out of. I would say from what you've posted that going the Bootcamp then Parallels route will be just fine.
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
Snapshot is a backup of the VM at the time of taking the Snapshot. Not vital if you are backing up the Win7 partition via another program or if you don't care about backing it up :)
Why not just run Win7 via a VM or do you really need to run it Bootcamp?

Sorry to be picky, but that's not entirely true. Snapshots are not backups and not being able to take a snapshot does not prevent you from backing it up. You can still take as many backups as you like.

A snapshot is a point-in-time reference of how your system looked at that point. You wouldn't use it for backups, you would use it before you did something potentially risky, such as installing updates, new software, making system config changes etc. It would save the state of your system (not a backup) at the point you make the snapshot, all changes you make from that point on (all disk I/O in fact) is written to the snapshot leaving your original version in place, but done seamlessly so you don't notice any difference.

Let's say you're installing Windows Updates, something that always has the potential of going wrong. You take a snapshot, the state of your Windows VM is taken and stored, a new file is created and all changes are written to that snapshot file rather than the original virtual HDD. It's seamless, both you and Windows are blissfully unaware of this. OH NOES! The update cocks everything up, you're system wont boot... disaster. Nope, you 'Go To' the previous state of your system as if nothing had happened and you can start over again. If you want, the snapshot can be deleted or kept at this point.

You can also have multiple snapshots, you could take one each day if you really wanted and have the option of reverting to each of those days.

Sorry, a bit picky perhaps as the two can be confused, but since you asked what a snapshot was... ;)
 

sparkysparkster

Novice Member
If you are planning on running games then bootcamp is the way to go. I have the parallels software and don't use it as not suitable for running games but ok for lower powered items
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
If you are planning on running games then bootcamp is the way to go. I have the parallels software and don't use it as not suitable for running games but ok for lower powered items

That's why the method the OP suggests is the best of all worlds - you get the Bootcamp performance (Windows directly on hardware, so to speak) when you need it, but the flexibility of a VM when you want it, all from the same Windows install.
 

Steve170

Active Member
So, I installed Win 7 via Bootcamp and gave the partition 40GB. I thought this would be plenty for what I want and maybe to install a couple of games.

I was surprised to see that after installing Windows and the Bootcamp utilities, it reported the partition as 34GB used and only 6GB free! Is this normal usage for a bare install of Win7? I did install the 64bit version if that makes any difference.

Don't know whether to delete it and start again with a bit more space.
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
That's not quite right, I've got W7 installed on a 20GB partition with space left. Download 'Treesize' and run it inside Windows to scan your C: drive to see what's eating your space.
 

Steve170

Active Member
That's not quite right, I've got W7 installed on a 20GB partition with space left. Download 'Treesize' and run it inside Windows to scan your C: drive to see what's eating your space.

I ran Treesize and it reports the Windows folder as approx. 13GB. However...There's a hidden folder on the C: drive that contains the pagefile.sys, which is 9.5GB, and hiberfil.sys, which is over 12GB! Never heard of hiberfil.sys, but having googled it, it appears to be used for the hibernate function and the more memory you have, the bigger it will be. I've got 16GB of mem, so I guess that explains that.

Apparently, you can disable the hibernate function via the command prompt and this will delete the file. The pagefile seems a bit big as well. Can this be changed?

Ok, I've found where to change the pagefile size. Might leave it for now, but any significant impact if I brought it down to 5GB ish?
 
Last edited:

RobM

Distinguished Member
That's a way OTT pagefile, drop that down for sure. How much RAM have you allocated the Windows VM? Don't allocate the full amount you have on the system to the VM, as you'll risk crippling OSX. When you boot into Bootcamp you'll get the full use of it all anyway.

My advice, allocate 4GB RAM to the virtual machine in Parallels. Drop the pagefile to 5GB.

When you're in Bootcamp directly on hardware, you'll have the full 16GB available so your pagefile shouldn't see much use. When you're in the VM, the pagefile will be less of a concern to overall performance.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Large Screen HDR TV or Projector For Home Cinema + Best of the Month
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom