Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Mac OS X

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

Going Off Script

Let's resume installing. At this point, I intend to leave the standard installation process and work more directly with the software. After the reboot, we're in the configuration phase of the script. I prefer to configure my installation manually because I don't use the version of Virtual PC that comes bundled with Windows XP or Windows 2000. (Those of you with the bundled software will be asked to put in the CD-ROM at set times in very nice order.)

You may be uncomfortable with leaving the script, or feeling a little threatened. What if Virtual PC is another one of those Mac OS X applications that's easy to install? But if you ever want to use advanced features, you'll need to cultivate a sense of adventure, so let's abandon the set script and consider the steps you'll use to install an unbundled OS such as Linux.

Cancel the canned setup program by clicking the Cancel button; then start the Virtual PC application. You put in the CD-ROM as instructed, and I'll restart the disk image file I have because I'm an MSDN subscriber (grrreat investment). Enter the product key and other required information. Figure 7 has my product key and name already entered as an example for readers worldwide (ha ha).

Figure 07

Figure 7 Enter your name and product key.

If your product key is okay, you'll get a confirmation note stating that you're eligible for support.

Creating a File System

Unlike dual-boot systems—which can cause raging nightmares—when you install Virtual PC, you won't have to reformat your hard drive, create oddball partitions, load a magic boot loader that loads reliably only 50% of the time, or choose an operating system to use at startup. Instead, you'll start the other system within the confines of Mac OS X, and it will be set up to run only as needed, totally under your control, via the Force Quit command in Mac OS X. This product won't hurt your careful Mac OS X installation; the alien operating system will be just another application and it will work in the least obtrusive way. But this all starts with creating a file system, which is contained in a file system image, which we'll create right now.

From Virtual PC's Window menu, choose Virtual Disk Assistant. Figure 8 shows the two simple choices you have at this point. The first option lets you examine and possibly repair existing drive images. We don't have any, so let's choose to create an empty hard disk image.

Figure 08

Figure 8 Choose to create an empty hard drive image.

Although the floppy disk has been dead to Mac users for years, many PC users still rely on the cheap storage for small tasks, which is why you can choose to create a hard disk image or create a floppy disk image (see Figure 9). Installing Windows XP or Linux requires more than a floppy in most configurations, so select the "Create hard disk image" radio button and click Next.

Figure 09

Figure 9 Creating a large, useful file system image.

Where will you store this disk image? I like the default location that Virtual PC uses. It will put the file system in your Documents file, in a folder named Virtual PC List—a good spot for several reasons:

  • Security, for starters. Your own home directory is a safe place to store your new, virtual XP system so that only you have access to it.
  • This location puts the virtual files square in the path of any backups you must do.
  • Virtual PC automatically looks in this spot for images before performing all operations. (You can choose a different location, but it's like doing an iMovie project outside of the Movies folder; when you want to open a project, it's a bother telling the application just where to find it.)

You're the boss. Save the image to a folder of your choosing, as demonstrated in Figure 10. After you've provided a location and a distinct name for the disk image, click Continue. As for me, there's no finer name for this disk image than XPSP2.

Figure 10

Figure 10 Place the disk image wherever you like.

Now we face the challenges! After all, a file system must be formatted correctly. Each partition must be labeled correctly to the disk controller. What's the difference between type determiner 82 and 83? Which FAT do I use, FAT32 or FAT16, and what's the difference? Do I want NTFS or Ext3? Ha—it's not that difficult with Virtual PC! This is a Mac product, and we Mac users expect some detail softening. Virtual PC doesn't disappoint. Figure 11 shows the scrollable list of supported operating systems; when you make a selection, most of those details are worked through by Virtual PC itself.

Think before selecting. Okay, maybe you have those seven old floppies for Windows 3, and that might be enough to make an application work. But do you really want to visit today's networks with today's viruses and auto-launch worms using software written during the first Bush's presidency? If you want to run old software, consider the impact and try to keep it off the network. Your information and your company's antivirus intranet security initiative will thank you later.

Figure 11

Figure 11 Determining your operating system and disk image.

I've elected to run XP, which leads me to the next question. How do I want this file system to behave? Do I want to just reserve a fixed amount of drive space for XP? Do I want a dynamically expanding file system, one that can grow to consume all the space on my hard disk? Giving a fixed allotment seems wasteful, but allowing my XP system to consume all the space seems like a problem as well. A nice compromise is to select the Advanced Options check box and then select a dynamically expanding disk image with a limit (see Figure 12).

How much is enough? Now, let's not get stingy here. All operating systems grow, thanks to updates and new applications. A Tiger, for example, is bigger than a Panther, which is bigger than a Jaguar. I recommend biting the bullet and setting the limit at 4.5GB. When you've done this, click the Create Disk button to create the file system.

Figure 12

Figure 12 Creating the disk image.

If all went well, you'll see the success message shown in Figure 13. Click the Done button to finish creating the file system.

Figure 13

Figure 13 Finishing the disk image.

We now have a disk image ready for our new install, we have Virtual PC installed, and we're ready to install XP. Right?

Wrong. First, we need to create a PC and associate a disk image with it. Begin by clicking the New button (see Figure 14).

Figure 14

Figure 14 No Virtual PC, but starting a new one.

Once you click New, you can choose from three methods for setting up your new PC, as shown in Figure 15. Because we're installing a fresh copy of Windows XP Professional, click the "Install your own operating system" radio button.

Figure 15

Figure 15 Let the installation begin!

As Figure 16 points out, we must first create a virtual PC before we can install operating system software. Click Continue to create your virtual machine.

Figure 16

Figure 16 Creating the PC.

Now, let's consider the drive layout again. From the Operating System drop-down menu, choose Windows XP Professional and then select the "FAT32 (recommended)" radio button, as shown in Figure 17. (I know from past experience installing XP that I'll get to format the drive as NTFS later in the XP installation, which is what I must have for NTFS security and performance. Accept no substitutes.)

Figure 17

Figure 17 Formatting the disk image with defaults.

Next, we need to name the Virtual PC and choose a location for the machine, as shown in Figure 18. Click the Change Location button if you've decided to use a nonstandard location.

Figure 18

Figure 18 Naming and storing your new PC.

Okay, maybe you're not excited, but I am. It's time to start the new PC on my iBook! I'm pretty stoked. Figure 19 advises clicking the Start PC button and installing away.

Figure 19

Figure 19 Beginning my XP installation.

So here it is: the moment of truth. I'm going to insert a Windows XP Professional CD into my iBook G4 and install XP. It won't be the fearful mix of matter and antimatter posited on several Star Trek episodes, leading directly to the end of the world. I'm not going to see the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse galloping down from heaven. It's just going to work. Right?

Figure 20 shows that I've successfully installed Windows XP on my Mac. Amazing!

Figure 20

Figure 20 Frankenstein lives!

But folks, that ain't all, as Figure 21 shows.

Figure 21

Figure 21 The lion shall lie down with the lamb.

What are those icons on the bottom of the window? Doesn't this emulated PC take a lot of system power? Is there any way to tune it? How do I exchange data between the iMac, the emulated PC, and that communal shared PC in the office library?

All of these questions and more will be answered in my follow-up article on advanced Virtual PC features and Windows/Mac OS X integration and performance tuning.

One last thing: As you go through these exercises, you may notice a small error. We created a virtual disk image. We then installed a Virtual PC instance for XP, and this installation asked many of the same questions we answered when we created the virtual disk image. Was XPSP2 even used?

It wasn't. So why cover all those steps in this first article?

Many people like to isolate data and apps on one disk and operating system files on a second, for performance reasons. If you're one of those people, I've shown you how to create a separate disk image you might use. How do you assign it to the virtual machine? We'll get to that in the next article. For now, you have all the baseline understanding needed to design and install the perfect WinTel machine—on your Mac.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020