Saturday, April 30, 2011

iMac: Installing Parallels and Windows 7

Our PC recently gave up the ghost, and my husband Robert decided to get an Apple computer to replace it.  We were both sick of our PCs giving us problems -- slowing down, malfunctioning, etc. -- and had heard great things about Apple computers including that they are more stable, run just as fast three years down the road as the day it is brought home, and are less susceptible to viruses.

After several trips to our local Apple store, we finally decided on getting a 21.5" iMac.  It has a beautiful, large LED screen and all of the computer innards are contained in what looks like just a monitor.  I wasn't sure I would like the very low profile keyboard, but I do. It certainly frees up room on my desk.  I also love the wireless mouse, especially the way you can scroll without using a wheel.  Transitioning to a Mac involves a little bit of a learning curve, but Apple has great resources to help you in that regard (see future post).

Because we do have Windows-based software that we want to continue using, Robert decided to install Parallels on the iMac.  Parallels is the top-rated software for running the Windows operating system on a Macintosh computer.  According to one of the guys in blue shirts at the Apple store, Jonathan, it's been around since the 1990's.  Robert did not have any trouble (that I know of) installing Parallels.  We had to wait several days to install Windows because we ordered Windows 7 Ultimate off of Amazon.  I'll be honest:  I don't know why Robert decided on the Ultimate version of Windows 7.  I would've been happy with the Home Premium version.

Robert did have trouble installing Windows 7 using Parallels.  It allowed us to create a new virtual machine.  When it popped open a black window that resembled a boot-up screen, it said several things including that BOOTMGR was missing and that Parallels Tools needed to be installed. Robert couldn't do anything with it, and I couldn't do anything with it.  I tried looking on the Parallels website which wasn't much help.  Since I had an appointment at the Apple Store for some "tutoring" Robert told me to ask them to help me.  Jonathan, who is a great, personable, and helpful teacher, openly admitted that neither he nor anybody else there would be able to help and suggested I contact Parallels.  I had read that phone support would cost money and I really didn't want to pay if I didn't have to.  So I utilized Google to do a search for installing Parallels Tools.  Within a few short minutes, I found a website (sorry, I didn't save it) that helped.

The first thing I did was I told Parallels to create a new virtual machine and I renamed it "Windows 7 2nd attempt" (rather than the default "Windows 7").  With the Windows 7 installation disk inserted in the CD-ROM drive, it immediately began installing Windows 7 without so much as a hiccup.

That solved that problem.

The other problem that came up was that when I tried to startup Parallels/Windows 7 in my husband's user account, it didn't list the Windows 7 2nd Attempt virtual machine.  Back to Google which helped yet again.

I had to activate a Finder window, click on Macintosh HD, open up the Shared folder, open up Parallels folder, and double-click on the Windows 7 2nd Attempt icon.

I should note that when we set up the virtual machine, we told it to act like a PC which enables the sharing feature.

Clicking on that icon allowed Parallels to recognize that virtual machine while in Robert's user account.

When starting up Parallels and clicking on Use a Virtual Machine, it showed both virtual machines (Windows 7 and Windows 7 2nd Attempt).  The original Windows 7 will not work so it's pointless to have it listed.  Removing it from the list is as simple as clicking and dragging to the desktop and dropping it.

I also removed the icons from the desktop by dragging them to the trash can.

It took a little bit of searching and working, but we finally got it to working like we want it to.  I have yet to install any Windows based software, but Robert has.  Should there be any issues, you'll hear about it in a future post!
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1 comment:

  1. Great blog!!!! Its really helps you to solve your problem go through it and free from your problem
    BOOTMGR Missing in Windows 7
    Aalia lyon



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