Parallels Success Story

March 25, 2008 - 1:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new
Like a lot of design studios, we're cross-platform, though our Macs outnumber the PCs. As I trade up from older G4s and G5s for Intel Macs, I would love to sell off the Windows boxes too, and migrate the contents of their hard drives to virtual disks running inside OS X via Parallels. The dream is to have fewer, more powerful and flexible computers, each workstation able to run OS X and Windows XP or Vista at the same time.

I'd put the extra money into sleek new flat-panel screens, at least 24" each.

I posed this to my local Apple-authorized support shop. I asked their opinion of my planned migration #1: Move the contents of an iMac G5 running Tiger and the contents of an old Dell Dimensions (256 Mb RAM, USB 1.0) running XP Pro to a single Intel Mini running Leopard.

Ha! They said. No way! They said. But, I whined, what about that free importer utility from Parallels that lets you "suck in" the contents of a Windows boot drive into a Mac, over the network? Parallels says that all the user files, applications and settings, and XP itself, is converted to a Parallels virtual machine, ready to run on the Mac exactly as it did on the Windows box. (I really wanted to do this, as the Dell had a Windows-only business program I had paid a consultant to install and configure years ago, and I wouldn't be able to install or customize it on my own.)

My support shop said that the utility, called the Parallels Transporter, "is a nice idea," but seldom worked as described.

Well, they're a great shop, but in this instance they were wrong. (Or, it could be their experience was with Parallels 2.0; I was using the new 3.0 version for the migration.) It actually worked FLAWLESSLY. It took less than a couple hours for Parallels to bring about 40GB of Windows files into the Intel Mini over our slowpoke Ethernet network — I thought it was going to be an all-day thing. When I started up Windows XP on the Mini (through the Parallels app), it didn't even ask for the original XP Pro install CD, which I had at the ready.

Once the Windows desktop appeared, the first program I ran was that business one. It, too, worked flawlessly. I was able to get on the network, get on the web, print to my printer, everything. I am thrilled! (And the 24" flat panel monitor looks great.)

Parallels Desktop 3.0 for the Mac (also available for Windows)

Parallels Transporter (free download)

Back to Potpourri Issue: What Does She Mean by Potpourri Issue?


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