EliotR
Contributor
Contributor

Risks of using Fusion with Vista Home Premium installed in Boot Camp?

I have Vista Home Premium installed and working in Boot Camp on my MacBook running Leopard 10.5.1. Home Premium is not among Fusion's list of supported Guest systems.

A sales person said this is because there may have been some problems during Beta testing. She said it CAN work, but that VMW doesn't provide support if there are problems.

Can you give me some idea what / how major the problems were and how likely they are to occur? Fusion seems like a good and useful program, and I'm ready to assume a bit of risk, but I'd like a better sense of how BIG the problems might be (and how hard it would be to RETURN to a pre-Fusion working state), and HOW LIKELY they are to occur. Thanks!

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13 Replies
admin
Immortal
Immortal

Not sure what the sales person was talking about, but the EULA for Vista Home editions prohibit them from being run in a VM. While you might live somewhere where this clause is not enforceable, I'm pretty sure it's the (main?) reason Vista Home is not a supported guest.

WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

Can you give me some idea what / how major the problems were and how likely they are to occur? Fusion seems like a good and useful program, and I'm ready to assume a bit of risk, but I'd like a better sense of how BIG the problems might be (and how hard it would be to RETURN to a pre-Fusion working state), and HOW LIKELY they are to occur. Thanks!

If you read the Release Notes you know then that it states...

"Using the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine can, in a few instances, result in a corrupted Boot Camp partition. There currently is no known workaround. Work is in progress on this problem."

Well ask yourself this, with a statement like the above do you want to take the chance and if you do you need to be prepared to make a recovery and I'd suggest backing up your data off-system and regularly! (I'd suggest that under any circumstances!) Smiley Happy

That's not to say that there aren't plenty of people using their BC partition without any problems but I personally would not do it when VMware makes a statement such as that without qualifying it further unless I was willing to loose at the minimum the time energy and effort to re do it much less the possibility of loosing data. The reality is under any circumstances and technologies one needs to be prepared for disaster recovery regardless of who and or what is to blame.

Are you prepared? Smiley Happy (rhetorical question)

If you want to backup your BC partition you should look at Winclone.

rcardona2k
Immortal
Immortal

It might be helpful to understand/confirm that you need Vista in Boot Camp vs. a regular Fusion VM.

WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

It might be helpful to understand/confirm that you need Vista in Boot Camp vs. a regular Fusion VM.

The OP already stated "I have Vista Home Premium installed and working in Boot Camp..." and wanted to know the "Risks of using Fusion with Vista Home Premium installed in Boot Camp" so what's there to understand or confirm? If the OP want to run it as a plain VM he certainly has the ability to do it and as such there is no risk to the BC Partition if he choses to create a native Fusion VM. Licensing issues notwithstanding!

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lordmorgul
Contributor
Contributor

I cannot speak to the real risks of using Vista home premium in a bootcamp install as your VM...

But I can speak from my own experience with Vista Business installed on an NTFS partition (bootcamp created) and using it as both a VM and native boot. I've had no issues thus far with disk corruption or any usability issues (vmware tools works fine and does not effect vista while booted natively). I am using MacFuse and NTFS-3G for the OS X ntfs driver and I would definitely suggest that choice. See:

http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/wiki/FAQ andhttp://www.ntfs-3g.org/

a how-to at http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/how-to-read-and-write-ntfs-windows-partition-on-mac-os-x.h...

I've run this way for about a month with no issues in Vista.

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rcardona2k
Immortal
Immortal

>

The OP already stated "I have Vista Home Premium installed and working in Boot Camp..." and wanted to know the "Risks of using Fusion with Vista Home Premium installed in Boot Camp" so what's there to understand or confirm?

I would like to challenge the original poster's assumption of using Boot Camp v. IMO, against some of the greater benefits of running a native Fusion virtual machine. The original poster would only have to say, "i tried a native VM" or "i need to use game X", or "hardware device Y". I'm making sure the "risk" discussion is more tangible than a preference, a possibly irrational one.

Thanks

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EliotR
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments!

I'm new to Leopard. I just learned that Time Machine does not backup the BC partition. So I'll use WinClone to back it up regularly. Thanks for underlining the importance. (Tho my data is safer by being stored on the Mac side by using MacDrive 7.)

I had been running SAS (a statistics program) using VPC 5.x under Win 2000 on my G4 PB. MUCH too slow!

So I thought I would often use VMW Fusion for the back-and-forth convenience, but POSSIBLY want to use BC for the additional speed when running very large analyses. (Not yet having used SAS much in either mode, I still don't know how much speed will be an issue. )

Did I read somewhere that apps under Fusion run about 90% as fast as under BC? If so, perhaps I should forget about using BC? And therefore ??, would do better NOT having Windows in a BC partition?

BUT -- geeze! this gets complex. -- MacDrive says it cannot provide access to the startup drive with Fusion. I just ordered an 8GB Flash Drive, so that could could be my vehicle for exchange of files I'm currently using. But -- perhaps I'm being a prima donna -- access to all of the Mac side without recopying to an external HD or FUSB (via MacDrive) seems very convenient.

Re: MacFuse etc. From looking briefly at your links, it seems akin to MacDrive but in reverse (and perhaps does much more). But I'm not a techy, I've barely used terminal at all, and I fear that if something didn't go right, I'd be in very unfamiliar waters and perhaps in deep and very time-consuming trouble. No? Why do you recommend these? Are they necessary?

Again, thanks for all your suggestions! Eliot

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lordmorgul
Contributor
Contributor

Yes applications run under Fusion very efficiently if you've got a Core 2 duo or later processor (less so with a Core duo but still ok). The major limitation to using Vista and heavy applications in Fusion will be memory... when I'm working in excel and powerpoint at the same time on the vista side with email, browser, and a few apps open mac side it does force the machine to heavily swap to virtual memory. (using 1Gb dedicated to Vista, 2Gb physical ram)

However, with my Macbook (black core 2) I really don't see the need to reboot to do anything windows end except firing up a 3d modeler or game (that still is way too slow, about 70% loss in framerate).

MacFuse + NTFS-3G is the most stable and SAFE read + write ntfs filesystem driver for OSX right now. It has the least impact on your mac system because it is a user-space filesystem (so it won't be crashing your mac's kernel even if it nukes your windows filesystem). I've been using the NTFS-3G driver for combined Windows + Linux read and write access to ntfs filesystems for over 2 years and have had no issues with it, but its still possible to lose individual files or full filesystems (this is always true while accessing the non-native filesystems from another OS). OS X does not have a native write driver for ntfs, you can only read, so you won't get much done booting your bootcamp in fusion without a change.

There are a number of other how-tos out there for installing MacFuse and NTFS-3G, I suggest just googling a few and pick one that looks like you can follow/understand the steps.

Good luck with your mixed setup, just be sure you do keep the really important things backed up regularly... both MacDrive and ntfs-3g have the potential to damage your hfs+ and ntfs filesystems and you should never forget that relatively small possibility. Do not trust MacDrive not to screwup just because its a commercial product.

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lordmorgul
Contributor
Contributor

I also meant to say that rcardona2k does really have a good point, and if you feel after looking into NTFS-3G a little bit more that you're not comfortable going that route... then just install windows as a pure VM and see how your applications perform. It might be a viable choice for you to just ditch Bootcamp altogether (or to keep two separate installs of Windows). I've got a Win XP install as a VM, and Vista Business as my bootcamp, even though I can use vista as a VM I use XP at times as well.

Its arguably much safer to do this, especially since you can then take snapshots of the VM. You cannot use Fusion's built in snapshot feature with your Bootcamp used as a VM.

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Guddler
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'm pretty much doing the same - Vista business under boot camp, XP Pro as a pure VM x several. My usage is that the XP Pro VMs are in use pretty much all day every day. One is a clone of the laptop that I have from my employer. Unbelievably, it runs faster on my C2Duo MBPro as a VM than the Dell laptop can run it! The other is a further XP development platform. The Vista partition really doesn't get used too much, simply for games but I still have it set up so I can boot it in Fusion if I want to.

I have to say, not being one for reading readme's prior to getting a problem (what, you're meant to read them first??!! LOL!) I had no idea of the warning of potential data loss. That would only suck because it would eat up another Windoze activation but all the same :O|

The NTFS-3G setup is on my hitlist of things to tackle but I've had higher priorities lately so it hasn't got done yet.

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WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

I have to say, not being one for reading readme's prior to getting a problem (what, you're meant to read them first??!! LOL!) I had no idea of the warning of potential data loss. That would only suck because it would eat up another Windoze activation but all the same :O|

Just curious, do you leap before you look? Just kidding... Smiley Happy You do not have to use another WPA is you keep your BC partition backed up with Winclone. This would save having to reinstall the OS and you should not have to go through WPA much less reinstall all the apps you may have installed. However this does not take the place or regular off-system data backups.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

"Using the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine can, in a few instances, result in a corrupted Boot Camp partition. There currently is no known workaround. Work is in progress on this problem."

This specifically refers to a BSOD with stop code 0x7b, which you can recover from by using the last known good state in native mode (Fusion still might not be able to use it, but native boot should work again). We're trying to clarify the release note.

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EliotR
Contributor
Contributor

Again, thanks to all of you for your suggestions and information. My time is tight right now, but next week or so I'll look more into MacFuse, perhaps ask what kind of help might exist should I get myself into trouble, and perhaps give it a try. Things seem to be working fine so far. Cheers, and have a good holiday! Eliot

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