Jaysen!-and other geeks--I am coming here first

because this is family and always the first ones I go to… :wink:
and if I have not, for some unfathomable reason, used up my “Free Intro to Running my Computer” quota, I’d dearly appreciate some very basic info on running Windows on my Mac. Why, you may well ask? Well, I just purchased (and am sure I can cancel but would rather not) a piece of software that apparently only runs on a Windows platform (even an old one, anything from Windows 95 up). So a little research has turned up a nice thingie called VMware Fusion 3, and I have the old Dell Reinstallation CD of MS Windows XP (including Service Pack 1) that came with my daughter’s laptop, which may or may not work, and I was wondering if a total luddite such as myself, which you will readily confirm, Jaysen, could figure this one out…


Fusion is not bad, but I use Parallels. If you want to go that route I can certainly help you out with brutal details (you might even tempt me into doing it for you).

That out of the way the basic route is:

  1. Install VM software (Fusion or Parallels)
  2. Create new VM (process differs)
  3. Insert win CD and hit finish.
  4. Run windows installer (get lots of liquor)
  5. Reboot VM 4 or five times as prompted by windows installer (the vm not the mac)
  6. Install antivirus software in VM.
  7. install all AV updates. May take a while.
  8. Install windows updates (sp3 is current). Expect this to take several hours.
  9. Install your software.

Scared yet?

Not in the least. This is all theoretical so far. :laughing:

Tell me why you prefer Parallels–because that’s the other program PC World recommended.

Because I have been using it since before Fusion was available. I never really said “prefer”, but since you did…

While fusion (vm ware) has a lot of experience in the VM world, they are not the best company to deal with (I manage a large number of ESX based Vm and host servers these days (think large scale vm installs)). My initial experience with fusion on Mac, back in the alpha version days, was pretty bad, and the support guys were not very good on Mac. Calling my special guys I was able to get up and going but I was not confident that I would get the same level of support thorough “normal” channels. Oh and the performance was horrid. So Parallels was the choice.

These days Parallels is as bad as VM ware and VM ware is as good as Parallels. It all comes down to $$ and “who you know”. Meaning I can help with general VM issues if you go fusion but not specific steps or problem resolution. There may be other folks here that use fusion though.

I have another solution. Risky, but hey, we all live on the edge in one way or another. I can just USE my daughter’s circa 2003 Dell laptop, which I actually managed to wipe and reformat a year or so ago for my husband before we broke down and got him a nice new Apple laptop. It’s slow and noisy, but I’ve deleted everything I can think of off it and I never connect it to the internet, so it’s safe from virii, and I just want to use this writing program with it for awhile so hopefully it won’t crash before I’m through and in the meantime I’ll relearn how to burn disks so I can transfer my docs over to Ophelia.

Nothing is easy in this world. :confused:

Oh–and the program is Sol Stein’s FirstAid for Writers. As an ADJUNCT to Scriv, NOT a replacement, I hasten to clarity. I love Stein, and I had his Fiction Master program in my earlier life and really found it helpful.

Ok, I am going to hate myself for this, but… you might want to consider WINE. Put your glass down! Not that “wine”. It is a OSF software package to emulate windows without needing windows. It is available for mac, but …

Let me just remember that I went with a vm solution.

Now, the dell option is not a bad option. I was going to mention that for the price of Parallels I can get enough “dead” systems to build me a functional winblows box. I don’t do that anymore but the point is that a dedicated windows box is not that expensive. Considering that you just happen to have one sitting there … why not?

As to clean up, just reinstall the OS. Put the CD in, hit the power button, mash F12 until the boot selector comes up, select the CD and make sure you “erase” the HD. That will blow EVERYTHING away, but no need to scrounge for things to delete.

Oh, Jaysen, I LIKE the look of WINE! And they even have a spiffy version by Codeweavers called Crossover. This is great to know in case my daughter’s little Dell crashes on me.

So tell me, what are the drawbacks? Why are you going to hate yourself for mentioning it? Or is that comment just due to my “alleged” dipsomania???

Well, while I have nothing against wine (in any form) it is not 100%. Nothing but a full windows install will ever be 100%. And the likely hood that you, the one person who I have ever mentioned it to, will hit the one or 2 glaring omission is … let’s just remember Murphy and his spiteful law.

So if you are concerned that the dell is a short timer then consider Fusion/Parallels. Wine is an option if you want to live on the edge.

Just a small note of encouragement. I recently installed VMware Fusion on my MacBook without any problem. It works fine. I swith to it to run OneNote, which I also use heavily at the office. So far no problems at all… other than my MacBook has different keys than I’m used to on the PC at work.


More for those that are not used to cross platform stuff.

If you attach a USB keyboard with windows keys it will map to the VM. Big things that take time to remember:
• CMD == WIN
• That fn key gets you to the real function keys in winblows.
• The alt key is meta in OS X, but is command in windows (menu selection).

Hi all,

I use another virtualization program called VirtualBox, which is free (done by Sun). I can’t compare it to Parallels or Fusion because I have never tried them, but it works for me.

You can get it here: