Running Windows on Imac

Posted:
in Genius Bar
I'm new to Apple and I wanted to know how much internal storage is suggested to run Windows on an Imac 27, 2017. I have been told a couple of different answers. I do want to stay with SSD if possible. I will be purchasing one soon so any help is appreciated.

BaldToe


Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    It all depends on how you want to run Windows AND what you plan to do under Windows OS.

    You can run a virtual machine (Parallels was my choice way back when, but I haven't had a need to run Windows in years) and not HAVE to have a separate drive (or partition) to do it or to store your Windows docs... everything is stored on and accessible on a MacOS drive.

    If your preference is to install and run Windows natively on its own drive or partition, then your size needs will depend on what you're going to be doing with it. (Do you need to store GB's of video files?... or just a few MBs of more pedestrian data?


  • Reply 2 of 5
    Really just MB of data for windows. My wife hates mac as she gave her MB pro to our daughter and I had to get her a surface. We are setting up an office at home and I want my daughter to learn MacOS for pictures and videos. So I have the need to have Windows on the Imac. Sounds like parallels is what I need. But really want to make sure about hard drive space. 512Gb with an external or 1Tb. It gets expensive with bigger SSD.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    i used to run Parallels but recently switched for several reasons:

    1. Better device support in VMWare Fusion.
    2. A VMWare Fusion license allows you to run it on all Macs owned by you.
    3. Parallels is a Russian company.

    Number 3 never really mattered to me, but since the Kaspersky disclosures ... let's just say I'm being a bit more cautious.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,202moderator
    BaldToe said:
    Really just MB of data for windows. My wife hates mac as she gave her MB pro to our daughter and I had to get her a surface. We are setting up an office at home and I want my daughter to learn MacOS for pictures and videos. So I have the need to have Windows on the Imac. Sounds like parallels is what I need. But really want to make sure about hard drive space. 512Gb with an external or 1Tb. It gets expensive with bigger SSD.
    I wouldn't recommend using a VM like Parallels or VMWare if the work it's being used for is critical and long-term, they help out when you need to run specific apps but there's overhead. Some apps run much slower inside a VM, most are ok. You sometimes get odd issues that affect different machines, there's a list of some examples here:

    https://www.vmware.com/support/fusion/doc/fusion-71-release-notes.html

    A VM also expands its space when you copy files into it so if someone does something crazy and copies lots of large files into it and then deletes them, you don't get the space back again for the Mac side automatically. A VM image is also a single file so it's more easily corrupted than a Bootcamp partition and slower to backup.

    For long-term use, having Bootcamp is the most reliable but having the VM software allows you to boot the Bootcamp system while running the Mac side and that lets you share files between them. You can't access the Mac files when you are booted into Windows any more because the Mac drives are encrypted with FileVault.

    For storage space, Windows itself uses about 15GB for the install and you need about 5GB for swap space so leave minimum 20GB just for the system. Average apps will take up about 10GB, creative apps will take up more. Office is about 3GB.

    Leave 20GB for the system and 20GB for apps, then add some for average documents based on what you already use. Everybody's files are different so you'd be best measuring the space you currently use for Windows documents. For average office use you can probably get away with 60GB so that would be a 100GB partition and this leaves ~400GB for the Mac side if you get a 512GB SSD.

    Using an external drive for additional space is a good idea because it also allows you to share big files between both systems. The Mac system can read NTFS format but not write to it but you can write to it using VMWare/Parallels and then use it natively under Windows.

    You'd probably be fine just going for the base 27" iMac with 512GB SSD and an additional 500GB SSD or 1TB HDD instead of paying $400 for the 1TB iMac upgrade e.g:

    https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-T5-Portable-SSD-MU-PA500B/dp/B073GZBT36 ($180)
    https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Portable-External-Drive-WDBUZG0010BBK-WESN/dp/B00CRZ2PRM ($55)

    That drive would also help migrate files from the other Windows machines. You'd partition the Mac as soon as you get it so you know it's setup ok. You can get VMWare/Parallels later on if you feel the need for them. Once you have the right amount of space on each partition, install Windows using a download or Windows USB installer:

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/d/Windows-10-Home/D76QX4BZNWK4/1NT3

    To switch between systems, you hold the alt-key down when rebooting.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    That is what I was looking for Marvin.
    Thank you,
    Baldtoe. 
Sign In or Register to comment.