Running Windows on a Mac: Dual-boot or Virtual Machine

macOS and Mac Apps
Greetings all you OS X gurus, I love my Mac and kind of hate to do this, but I need the best of both worlds for college right now without lugging around two computers. I have no idea what I'm doing at this stage, so beg asking the question: Dual-boot or VM? A bit of background: Running a MacBook Air top 2011 model with a 128 GB internal. This is no problem, since I keep all big files on other external drives. The main things I plan on using Windows for are: 1) Running a laboratory data analysis program which runs fine on my other computer with lower specs. 2) Running Office every now and then. 3) Using the occasional audio game. What do you guys think? I've heard 30 Gigs for Windows, and that sounds about right. Since I'll have to have a sighty around for the Windows install, accessibility of the dual-boot software won't be a problem. Is the VM slower? What have your experiences been? Looking forward to a heavily infused Mac school year, and thanks! Chelsea



Submitted by Santiago on Saturday, August 11, 2012

I'd suggest you dual boot Windows on your Mac. That's what I'm doing and it has a much better performence than using a VM.

I believe you can have your cake and eat it too if you have VMWare Fusion. I've never done this, but I remember someone telling me that you can have it make your Boot Camp partition into a virtual machine. This way, you can run the VM for quick little things so you wouldn't have to go through the whole restart process.

Hello. Can you have voiceover help you set up windows on a dual boot? I was running windows 64 bit on my macbook pro and it was very slow. I had to give windows 7 half the 4 gigs of ram I have on this machine. I want to upgrade my ram but I don't even know which ram to buy. So I'd be curious in dual booting but I don't know if you can set up windows by yourself.

There is a way, but it requires a little work. You need to have a file called AutoUnattend.xml on a USB stick. This file contains the instructions that tells Windows setup how to install Windows. It can be on the same USB stick as a bootable Windows installation, or you can have just the file on it and use the Windows DVD.