Besides having Parallels Desktop for Mac on my Intel iMac, I also have an installation of Windows XP created using Apple’s Boot Camp. Because of the famously draconian software validation practices used by the Evil Empire, I’ve only been able to use my Windows XP installation via Boot Camp. I’ve been using Windows 2000 up until now with Parallels.
So I greeted with delight the news that Parallels had released a new Beta build that would let you run your Boot Camp Windows installation via Parallels. I quickly downloaded and installed the Beta version (build 3036).
When I first tried to start my Boot Camp XP installation Parallels issued a failure message. After reading some details about the Beta in the Parallels forum I found that my failure was occurring because I had created a FAT32 partition in Boot Camp instead of using NTFS. I did this because I knew that OS X can mount, read, and write FAT32 partitions but not NTFS.
To work around the fact that this build from Parallels won’t deal with a FAT32 Boot Camp installation I converted the Boot Camp partition’s file system to NTFS. This can be done from a Windows Command Prompt using the command CONVERT C:/FS:NTFS. On my very small (5GB) XP installation this took less than a minute. Once I did that Parallels started and ran my Boot Camp installation on the first try.
There is also a new installation assistant that guides you through the process of installing Windows. And the user interface and dialog boxes have been improved as well.
I rarely feel the need to use Windows. When I do it is primarily for the purpose of looking at a web page I’m working on with Internet Explorer. So I doubt I’ll be booting via Boot Camp very often anymore, since Parallels now does everything I could wish for.
If you want a physical CD with documentation for Parallels, you can buy it right here.
[tags]Parallels Desktop, Parallels, Software, Reviews, OS X, Virtualization, Windows on Mac[/tags]