Windows onna Mac

I finally got a MacBook Pro, which, unlike my PowerBook G4, has an Intel chip. I understand that this OS will run Windows programs. Is that correct?

It would be very useful if I could run the Garmin GNS 430 simulator, but it only runs on Windows XP.

The OS won’t run Windows programs by itself. You can use Apple’s free BootCamp utility, which will allow you to install Windows and then boot your Mac directly into Windows. Your Mac will then run Windows natively.

Alternatively, there are a few 3rd-party options that allow you to run Windows inside Mac OS X, and then you can run your Windows apps inside that instance of Windows. Parallels is the one that comes to mind.

Caveat: I haven’t tried any of this myself. Yet.

I have done this for years now. As Rik says, you can set up with Bootcamp, which allows you to reboot your Mac and start in either MacOS or Windows - natively. My MacBook was actually the best Windows laptop I had ever used.

Parallels is a Mac application (I have an unused version somewhere) at let’s you install and run Windows in a Virtual Machine.

PM me if you need more info.

I’ve heard of BootCamp. Actually, I’ve seen it on the new computer. With all of the malware out there for Windows, I didn’t want to run Windows on my computer (even before I had one that would do it). Plus, I hate re-booting; especially if I just want to pop over to another application. If Parallels runs in the normal Mac mode, then that might be good to have – but I’d want to make sure the simulator would run on it before dropping 80 bucks on it.

I’ll have to read up on BootCamp.

(Gods, I hate Windows machines! I accidentally hit the Power button, and it shut down in the middle of my post! :mad: The Mac gives me a two-minute warning during which I can confirm or cancel.)

Anyway, where was I… Oh, yes. It looks like I need to buy a copy of Windows in order to run Boot Camp? Boot Camp will not support XP, which is required for the GPS simulator; so I’d have to use Windows 7. Is Windows 7 back-compatible with XP?

Actually, I have Windows 7 Professional here at the office (no access to my Mac today). I could just d/l it and see if it works.

Is there some version of Wine that works on a mac? That would be another option if so.

Just noticed this on the Garmin site:

It’s called Crosover…

I used Parallels for years, and finally ditched it because performance kept getting worse, and I was forced to upgrade because older versions wouldn’t work on new OSes (which I had because I upgrade my laptop every two years or so).

Parallels 4 was really good. Parallels 5 was noticeably slower and I had trouble running some games (not at all graphics-intensive ones) and other programs that used to run without a hitch. Parallels 6 was effectively unusable. It took 10+ minutes to boot Windows and kept stuttering doing even basic tasks. Opening a program via the Start menu was a challenge because the response was so slow.

I understand they are supposed to have fixed those problems in version 7, but I haven’t verified that. After being burned by version 6 I’m not inclined to give them more money.

Other options are VMware Fusion, which I just bought and will be trying out shortly on my work machine, and VirtualBox, which is free for personal use.

I would not recommend Wine unless you’re very comfortable with Linux and are ok with figuring out how to make things work by reading cryptic message board posts and email list archives.

I’ve used VirtualBox to run Windows on a Mac, and I’ve used VMware on Windows to run other Windows instances. Both seem to work well enough. Some things involving resource sharing can be a bit tricky to configure, but mostly they’re both pretty straightforward. You do need a valid license (and installation files) for whatever OS you want to run. It’s not free just because it’s virtual. You also need a fair amount of RAM.

I had good luck with Parallels all the way from v3 to v6 without any substantial problems and I’d recommend it for the OP.

I’ve stopped using Parallels only because I decided that Remote Desktop Connection was an even better solution. Instead of maintaining Parallels and Windows on each Mac, we have one Windows server that permits multiple simultaneous logins.

There is no such thing as a windows machine. Microsoft is a software company.

I’d also like to know how you accidentally hit the power button (I’ve never seen a computer that doesn’t require holding down the power button for a few seconds to shut down and I don’t think I’ve seen many that put it where you could press it by accident)…

Yes, the three options for running Windows programs on an Intel Mac are Bootcamp, virtual machines, and Wine. (Remote access involves running Windows on a distant machine; I won’t cover it here.)


As others have said, Bootcamp splits your hard drive and gives you a second partition in which you can install Windows. You can then choose at boot whether to start Mac OS or Windows.

Both operating systems are completely separate, and you can only run one at a time. Apple provides drivers for Windows to enable it to access the Mac’s hardware.

*Virtual machines. *

There are several programs which will emulate a complete computer inside themselves, and allow you to install Windows (or other operating systems) on that computer. The emulated computer is known as a ‘virtual machine’ (VM). The installed OS is called the ‘guest’ OS.

As far as the installed OS can tell, the virtual machine includes complete hardware: processor, memory, hard drive, video card, networking, everything. You can even connect your physical hardware to the virtual machine (this prevents programs outside the virtual-machine program from using the connected hardware, though). You can set this up from a control panel provided by the virtual machine program.

The most well-known VM software seems to be Parallels, VMWare, and VirtualBox. On the Mac, VMWare’s product is called Fusion. At different times, I’ve used Fusion to run Windows XP, Windows 7, several versions of Ubuntu Linux, PuppyLinux, a preconfigured Drupal server, and even Haiku.

If your host machine is powerful enough, you can actually run more than one virtual machine at the same time. Virtual machines can have different configurations of their virtual hardware, and can be set up to communicate with each other, or with other machines on your network.

You install Windows or another OS into a virtual machine in the same way as you install it into physical hardware. There are drivers you can install to allow the guest OS to access both the virtual machine’s hardware and your physical hardware outside the VM program; they allow such things as drag-and-drop of files between your main Mac OS desktop and the desktop of the guest OS.

Parallels and Fusion, at least, even have a feature that will copy an existing PC into a virtual machine. I have never used this and don’t know how well it works.

Windows emulation.

The third choice is Windows emulation. In this, a program running on Mac OS provides the operating-system services that a Windows program needs to run. There is no copy of WIndows involved.

The Windows-emulation program I’ve used is Wine. This was commercialized as Crossover. What I found was that it works, but is extremely picky. The emulator can only handle very specific versions of the Windows programs you might want to use (like Photoshop or Office). If you don’t have those specific versions, it won’t work at all.

I found that, you you have a powerful-enough computer, a virtual machine is the most flexible of the options. It gives you a full Windows installation, so you can do anything you can with a Windows-only PC. It allows easy transfer of files between the host OS and Windows.

Windows doesn’t behave that way by default. Either your power button is wired wrong, or someone fiddled with your power settings (that is, intentionally told Windows to shut down immediately.)

I was being colloquial. I thought people would know that a ‘Windows machine’ was a machine that ran Windows.

It’s an HP. The power button is nest to the DVD drive. It does not have to be held to work. It’s just like flipping a switch.

Another vote for Virtualbox here.

Here, at the office, all our Macs run either Parallels or VMware. We tried Bootcamp for about a month, but everyone hated, and I mean HATED, having to reboot to switch OSes.

Next was Parallels but, as alluded above, with each version update and patch it became less and less stable. We’re in the process of slowly migrating all our machines to VMware’s Fusion which, I have to say, is much more stable than Parallels. I’ve had it on my Mac now for a little over a year and have had no problems.

Also, VMware supports XP, at least it did when I first had it installed. I’ve since upgraded to Windows 7, and have upgraded my VMware as well.

Well, as this thread has established, even a mac can run windows and the positioning of a power button is down to the hardware, not the OS.

No need to be pedantic.

Why would they do that? I haven’t seen any computer in the past 10-15 years that had a real power switch (or if they did have one, it was on the back of the power supply, where you’d never see it, as does my computer; no, not a 115/230 switch but a power switch), as opposed to a software/logic controlled button. Myself, I set it so that Windows hibernates when the power button is pressed, so if it were ever accidentally pressed (of course it’s a desktop so that would only happen if you did something like bump the computer, or if you had little kids and they pressed it) unsaved data wouldn’t be lost (much less so for the on/off switch on the power supply - more likely to knock the cord out than flip it off).