Posts tagged with boot-camp - page 2

Freeing up disk space on Mac OS X

Space was a little tight (5GB) after my upgrade to Leopard and so I went on the hunt to free up space and ended up freeing almost 20GB of my 100GB disk – enough to let me set-up a new 20GB Boot Camp partition that will host Vista and take over from my XP Pro Parallels image with any luck.

Large forgotten files

Disk Inventory X helps identify large files on your system which may no longer be required. In my case 8GB of imported iMovie clips, a 4GB Parallels backup HD image and a 140MB download of Boot Camp 1.4. A few blank DVD-R’s later and I’m almost 13GB lighter.

Unnecessary languages & platforms

I had previously removed the unused foreign languages and binary support using a mix of tools that was time consuming but obviously the Leopard upgrade has replaced all that.

Monolingual can remove both languages and binaries in a single sweep although it does take a good few minutes to run. Despite electing to keep English, English (UK), French and German for now as well as keeping the Intel and Intel 64-bit binaries I managed to claw back another 1.9GB of disk space. As an example Address Book shrunk from 45MB to 9MB.

As a warning, be aware you will need to reinstall Mac OS X if you want these languages back…

Music library clean-up

Head into iTunes and create a couple of new Smart Playlists:

  • Untitled and set the criteria of Play Count is 0
  • Abandoned Songs and set the criteria of Last Played is not in the last 3 months

Go through these and decide if they are worth keeping or not, in my case this was another 2.5GB.

You may also want to try dragging your ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music folder to the Library in iTunes to make sure iTunes is aware of all the files. I had about 30 songs that were no longer in iTunes but still in the file-system, no doubt from previously removing them in iTunes and hitting the wrong option.

Cleaning up the logs

Okay, we’re hitting that law of diminishing returns here but head into Utilities > Console and Move to Trash many of those logs.

Empty that trash can and rejoice!

If only we had compressible file-system support like Microsoft introduced with MS-DOS 6.2… Well, thankfully it’s on the cards as it is a feature of ZFS which is only read-only in Leopard but should be read-write before 10.6. That should claw back another 5-10GB of space for developers with all those highly compressible source files on their disks.


Apple’s Boot Camp beyond the expiry date

Screen shot of Boot Camp expiredStories about Apple’s Boot Camp and the looming expiration of the 1.x beta versions to coincide with the release of Mac OS X Leopard and Boot Camp 2.0 are abound.

To clarify there are a number of pieces of software which make running Windows on a Macintosh, they are:

  • EFI firmware update with legacy BIOS support
  • Boot Camp Assistant (partitioning tool)
  • Apple’s Windows drivers (iSight, touch pad, Apple Remote etc.)
  • Apple’s Windows software (Software Update)
  • Third-party drivers (Intel, ATI, Nvidia, RealTek etc.)

The license to use Boot Camp will apparently expire when Leopard is released however the Boot Camp Assistant will expire 1st January 2008. To re-partition your disk after this date simply set your clock back to any time during 2007 then launch the Boot Camp Assistant. I have tested this and it works just fine, just remember to set your clock back afterward ;-)

Other components are unlikely to expire as:

  • the EFI firmware update was never part of the Boot Camp package but a separate prerequisite
  • the third-party drivers are available directly from the vendors

The only real question is whether the Apple-provided drivers and software for Windows will continue to function. I believe they are unlikely to expire and if they do it only covers non-essential functionality like the keyboard back light, iSight driver, Apple Remote etc. many of which were not even present in earlier versions of Boot Camp. The touch pad functions as a standard input device (albeit in a more basic mode) without Apple’s drivers.

As Douglas would say Don’t Panic.


Parallels Desktop 3036 beta build out

Parallels have released a beta build of their excellent virtual machine for the Mac and it’s loaded with cool new features. Once out of beta it will be a free upgrade to existing owners.

The feature list runs something like this:

  • Drag & drop files between Finder & Explorer for copying
  • Boot from the Boot Camp partition (will require another activation and you loose suspend VM)
  • Read/Write to the Boot Camp partition (NTFS or FAT)
  • Use Mac clipboard cut/copy/paste short cuts in Windows (opt XCV)
  • Graphics performance increases of up to 50%
  • Windows auto resizes to Mac window size (about time)
  • Coherence mode puts Windows application on the Mac desktop & DockBar instead of in the VM window
  • Transporter lets you convert VMware and VirtualPC images to Parallels Desktop
  • UI has been revised & polished throughout to be more Mac-like

It’s not all perfect though – some people have been reporting problems with Mac Pro systems and video driver support so waiting for a few days might be a good idea but it’s great progress.

Microsoft have a number of VirtualPC images available including the Visual Studio Orcas preview and the Internet Explorer 6 test platform. With Transporter you should just be able to convert them and get going although I would imagine the copy of XP will balk and require re-activation :(

Now we just need vitalized multi-processors, 64-bit support and hardware accelerated 3D ;-)

Parallels has gained support for hardware accelerated 3D and VMware support for multiple cores/processors since this post was published.


Switching from Boot Camp to Parallels

A few weeks ago I managed to screw up my Windows XP installation on my MacBook using some low-level tools and driver related stuff.

I’d already run out of space on the 30GB partition I’d allocated, I was missing the OS X side and not running any 3D applications so I took the plunge to remove the partition entirely and switch over to using the Parallels VM product I’d purchase instead.

Installation was a breeze and I soon had a clean XP install with Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, .NET Reflector, IE7 and a bunch of other useful tools for work operational again.

Whilst the speed isn’t as nippy as the raw Boot Camp option was it’s fast enough – certainly faster than the Pentium 4 box my client provided for development although having 2GB of RAM certainly helps.

With XP just running the dev tools this meant I could access my iTunes library on OS X whilst I work and get back to using Colloquay and Adium.

Safari crashes every time I try to blog post even though it doesn’t even try to support HTML editing abilities so Firefox and Camino are my staple on the Mac side.

I use a dual-monitor configuration during the day and Parallels works like a breeze with OS X on one display and Windows on the other. The mouse just glides between the two seamlessly – no clicking in/out or awkward keys to press to jump between the two although Parallels did need to be manually told what the resolution was.

It seems I’m not alone in choosing this set-up.

All Parallels need to do now is to enable the virtual machine to utilize multiple cores and 3D acceleration and it would be perfect.

Well, switching over to a Core 2 powered MacBook Pro with 4-8GB of RAM might be perfection… and a bigger hard-disk…