Saturday, May 31, 2008

Parallels to VMware - my experience

As part of my move from 10.4.11 to 10.5.3 I switched from Parallels (Windows 2000 VM running Office 2003 and MindManager to VMWare Fusion (updated 5/30 for 10.5.3). Here's how it went.
  1. Uninstall Parallels prior to the OS update. Don't delete the VM files (Win2K.pvs and W2k.hdd on my disk).
  2. Update OS.
  3. Download latest version of VMWare Fusion (not the beta though). You need to be a registered user to do this.
  4. Install VMWare Fusion.
  5. Download beta version of VMware Importer tool and install (requires Fusion be installed).
  6. Find the Parallels files - Win2K.pvs and W2k.hdd. Drop the PVS file on the importer. The importer then converts the 3.1 GB Parallels file to a 3.4 GB (10% larger) single file stored in a Virtual Machine folder in current_user/Documents. (After I'd finished the entire install, however, the VM file was 4.4 GB, a 33% increase.)
  7. I double clicked on Win2K (my VM name) and Windows 2000 SP4 launched. Fusion shows an inline reminder to install the VM tools, but after a LONG startup and restart (for Win2K this is a new machine) Fusion installed them automatically. I saw a Windows dialog requesting help with an unrecognized device -- ignore those and let the Fusion tools install and Win2K restart.
  8. Shutdown Win2K after this initial install (good practice after initial config), in future just suspend it.
After the conversion and setup Win2K SP4 goes from shutdown to running in 30 seconds on my MacBook. Much faster than XP, much less Vista! Of course one would usually suspend the OS when done, not do a shutdown.

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