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Marc's Place


Bootcamp partition

I use Parallels Desktop for Mac (have used VMWare Fusion, but found it really slow) but I find it too slow to work with on a daily basis. Therefore I thought I'd switch to a Bootcamp partition and boot the Mac directly into Windows. That way it would a) be faster and b) at last I could use my cheap Windows USB film scanner and digital Blocknote, which Parallels was never able to recognize. So said, so done. But yesterday two things happened :
  • My MacbookPro wouldn't boot off the Windows partition anymore - it simply remained stuck in the startup process. I don't know why... it's just disappointing after so many hours.
  • In my email I saw an announcement of Parallels 5.
I started reading about Parallels 5 and it said that at last it would recognize all USB hardware, was Snow Leopard ready and could boot off a Bootcamp partition. A few seconds later I had my upgrade serial numbers and was installing P5 over P4.

After installation I started my normal Windows XP virtual machine and let P5 upgrade it. Then I quitted the machine and backed up the 40 Gb file to my Drobo. Then I clicked the big + to add a new virtual machine and chose 'Bootcamp' and hoped that it would pick it up. It did! After a while P5 was ready to start and so I did. P5 created a 2Gb virtual disk - I don't know why and booted the Bootcamp Windows XP without any troubles. And you know what? It runs almost 10x faster off the Bootcamp partition as with its normal virtual disk structure. With P4 and the virtual disk, MS-Excel 2003 took ages to start up. But now, it's like a flash - as if I've booted directly into Windows. And... it recognized indeed my cheap Prolectrix film scanner and my cheap Medion digital blocknote. Great, really great! Of course I immediately backup up the 2Gb virtual disk and the bootcamp partition to my Drobo. You can backup and restore a Bootcamp partition with Winclone.
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