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Makling my MacBook Pro my primary PC

Posted on 2011-10-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I want to stop lugging around my HP with its moster screen and short battery life, and need to make my MacBook Pro fully functional as a Windows machine.

I am a software developer and always need Visual Studio 2010 for one thing or another. I use ASP.NET mostly but have been focusing on jQuery and JavaScript. I have an MSDN license.

So far I have installed Office for the Mac from my MSDN license. What other toold do I need in order to have the ability to boot to Windows 7 on my Mac?

Will I create two partitions?
Can I toggle between Windows and OSX? (I have Lion)
Is BootCamp what I need?
Will I need distinct backup software for each OS?

Thanks.
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Question by:newbieweb
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12 Comments
 
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by:Papertrip
Papertrip earned 201 total points
ID: 36897799
The top 3 products for that are VMware Fusion, Parallels, and Boot Camp.  Your needs and your budget will ultimately be the deciding factors in which you choose.

Check out these comparisons:
http://www.labnol.org/software/download/compare-parallels-bootcamp-fusion-vmware-review/1036/
http://www.crn.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208401232
http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/19/boot-camp-vs-parallels-vs-vmware-benchmarks/
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 36897805
Have you used any of them?
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by:Papertrip
Papertrip earned 201 total points
ID: 36897819
Yes I regularly use VMware Fusion, and I have zero complaints.  I have not tried the others however for 2 reasons -- I'm not paying for Parallels (work bought Fusion), and Boot Camp is not conducive to my needs (I don't want dual-boot).
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 36897825
What is dual boot?
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by:Papertrip
ID: 36897826
Either you boot into Windows, or you boot into OS X.
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 36897830
So you instead can switch between Windows and OSX live? What kinds of things do you do with the two platforms? Is there any shared disk area that both OS'es can access?
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by:Papertrip
Papertrip earned 201 total points
ID: 36897837
Boot Camp is dual boot, you run one OS or the other.  Fusion and Parallels allow you to run a virtual Windows machine inside OS X, and yes they can access shared filesystems.

Read through those links and watch the video.
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SmartAceW0LF earned 100 total points
ID: 36897847
newbieweb: I have used most of the tools above and can say unequivocally that Parells Desktop is by far the easiest to use and maintain.   No need for dual booting.  Parallels creates a VM to run your Windows applications within.  It even has a mode called Cohesive, which will automatically detect when you are attempting to open a Windows (DOS) application.  At that point it will open your virtual machine of windows, start the app and then you may switch back and forth amongst your regular OSX apps on your Lion desktop and the DOS apps you need.  

Howq well does it work?  Quite remarkably in my opinion.  To be sure, you will want to boost your MBP to the maximum Ram it will hold.  Parallels runs somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 to 70 dollars and comes with 90 days of free tech support from the time of your purchase.  It has been my experience that their Tech staff is very courteous and proficient.

ANother tool you will likely wish to implement within your local area network is that of Remote Desktop for Windows.  There is a client for the Windows RDP ported to the Mac.
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:gmbaxter
gmbaxter earned 67 total points
ID: 36897865
vmware fusion 3 and onwards allows you to virtually boot your dual boot windows image. So you can have a dual boot of windows 7 and os x, use windows native when you're doing something demanding, or load it as a VM.
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LVL 53

Assisted Solution

by:strung
strung earned 66 total points
ID: 36898236
Have a read through this:  http://macwindows.com/winintelmac.html
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Assisted Solution

by:Andy De Maesschalck
Andy De Maesschalck earned 66 total points
ID: 36898751
When you choose to run a virtual environment and your budget should be low, you can go for virtualbox: https://www.virtualbox.org/

Virtualbox is an opensource replacement for vmware fusion.
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Author Closing Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 36916666
Thanks!
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