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Following a recent problem with a customer regarding an installation on a Parallels Windows installation using a Macintosh, I think it would be useful to have an article made up regarding this, perhaps more customers will want to use this option more in the future…


Let's look at some options before we dive right in, Macintosh can't truly run System Five on it, neither can Linux, and WINE is not an option (At least not currently anyway…) So we have a few resources available, however each of these options WILL require a legitimate copy of Windows, and a copy of Windows that is supported by System Five nonetheless. So what are our options? Well the title of the document should be a bit of a give away. The three most obvious ones are:

  • Parallels
  • Bootcamp
  • Virtual Box

The could potentially be more options, however they remain untested, and thus don't appear as more viable than the aforementioned options, at first glance anyhow.

What is Parallels? Parallels work similar to Virtual Box, if you are familiar with this, if not, simply put, it is a virtual machine that runs in a Window on the Desktop, that requires a full installation of Windows on it. Parallels. Parallels is the simplest option for new Mac Users. It will need to be purchased alongside a copy of Windows also. A free trial can be download here should a customer want to test this out. Here is how we set up a Windows XP Machine on Parallels.

  • The first step is to run the Parallels application, which, once installed, should be located in the Applications menu in the Finder.
  • Hit the New VM (Virtual Machine) button.
  • Hit next and create a typical VM, this can be edited or configured later if required.
  • Name the Configuration.
  • Directories should create automatically, you just have to accept the prompt.
  • Once this is done you should get a VM overview of your configuration.
  • You can change the amount of allocated memory also, or any other setting by clicking on the blue highlighted underline words i.e. Memory
  • Put the Windows disk in and push the play button on the VM
  • Now all you have to do is pretty much hit next, next, next etc, as you're guided through the Windows Setup, which identical to a normal Windows Installation
  • From here you will just have to run Parallels every time and load up this Windows VM, provided the hardware is configured correctly for the machine and has enough resources, the Windward installation should be no different than in regular Windows. The speed on this however, won't be as good as using a Bootcamp installation.

Bootcamp is the best option for performance, but for some people this may not be the best option. Bootcamp is another word for a Mac Friendly setup wizard for partitioning your Hard Disk, and installing a separate copy of Windows on it… A Dual Boot. The Mac Installation disks also come equipped with drivers to install after the Windows installation is complete. The setup will require one of the newer Intel Macs, not the Power PC CPU variety (Mac OS X 10.5 or higher), and a copy of Windows that System Five is compatible with, the user will also need to have enough Hard Disk space at their disposal in order to perform the installation. As a note Bootcamp can be used to install more than just Windows; some boot linux on it, Solaris etc. The only problem with having more than the dual boot option enabled, i.e. trying to install Windows and Linux and Mac, can be very complex and usually not an option, due to Macs EFI bootloader, and only having a limited number of Primary Partitions that can be used. So for customers who have another Operating System installed on their Mac, they may want to try something like Virtual Box or Parallels. The steps are:

  • First of all we make sure we have enough Hard Disk space on the mac, we have an Intel processor in the Mac, and a legitimate copy of Windows; XP SP2 or later. (You'll want at least 10GB for XP, 20GB for Windows 7)
  • Do a back up of any important files beforehand to avoid any potential data loss during the partitioning.
  • Perform all the latest Mac software and firmware updates. (Hit the Apple on the top left menu, then hit Software Updates, follow the menus and install everything, this will involve a restart of the machine also)
  • Hit the magnifying glass at the top right menu to bring up finder, do a search for Boot Camp until the utility pops up, click on this to run it.
  • Create a new partition on the hard disk
  • Drag the size of the partition you would like to create
  • Hit the partition button (On some instances this could take a while, if you get any errors, you may need to put the Mac Installation disk in and reboot, hit option button at start up and boot into the CD when it shows up. When you get the Mac Installation screen up, click on the tool bar at the top until you find Disk Utility, select this. Use this disk utility to check over and repair the partition if need be, then restart back into Mac and try the Bootcamp again)
  • Once the resize partitions correctly, hit the Start Installation button, make sure the Windows CD/DVD is in also, the computer will reboot and you will enter a usual Windows installer, let Windows install from here as standard.
  • Once it is installed the computer will reboot, you may not reboot back into Windows, it may boot back up into mac, if so, restart and hold down the option key. You should see two options to select the Macintosh HD, the Windows partition and possibly the Install CD/DVD if it is inserted. Select the Windows partition.
  • You may need to install the Boot Camp drivers from the Mac installation disks, once booted into Windows, put the disks in and select the installation from the CD/DVD drive, follow the procedures and restart if necessary. You should now have Windows and Mac installed. To select either Mac or Windows, always remember to hold down the option key at the start up until you see the boot menu.
  • From here configure the network as per usual on the Windows partition, it is now essentially a Windows installation plain and simple, and everything, System Five included, can be set up normally.

Some people may not like the idea of having to partition their computer to install Windows, if this is the case, they can use Parallels or Virtual Box, Virtual Box is the free option.

The other alternative to the aforementioned solutions, is to install Virtual Box, it is free, and it is very powerful. The webpage can be found here. On the downloads page you should be able to find the installer for Mac OS X. Download and install this, then run it from the Applications folder in Finder, you can also drag the icon to the dock for easy access if necessary.

  • Run the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager. Then hit the New button.
  • Hit next and enter the Virtual Box name, select the Operating System type from the Drop Downs and Windows Versions.
  • Adjust the memory accordingly to designate memory to the Virtual Box, this can be changed later if mistakes are made.
  • Select to create a new hard disk and hit next.
  • Choose the Virtual Hard Disk option - VHD
  • Select Dynamically Allocated
  • Change the location name if you choose, and then select the amount of space you would like to designate to the Virtual Hard Disk using the drag along slider.
  • Check over everything at the final prompt and then click create to make the VM.
  • Now select the CD/DVD as the bootable media when the VM starts.
  • Install as a normal Windows installation, once the installation is done, the customer will just need to hit Run everytime they want to boot into this VM.
  • Install System Five on this machine as per normal.
  • You may need to install VirtualBox guest additions in order to gain more functionality out of the VM. Any networking in the box can be set up through the settings menu.

I hope you found this article helpful, feel free to add anything to it if anyone finds anything useful out or has more insight and knowledge on this than myself. I will try to add some screenshots or more indepth detail further down the road to make this article better.

Created by Leslie Cordell Thursday, May 24 2012 4:38PM

macintosh_installation_vbox_parallels_bootcamp.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/25 11:56 by lcordell