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Ordered a new macbook air, should i partition?

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  • Partition
  • Macbook
  • Laptops
Last response: in MacBooks
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April 26, 2012 6:16:46 PM

I plan on going to college online for some sort of degree in programming, which i recently fell in love with. I've been starting off by learning c++ on my pc but i wanted to have a laptop, and be able to be familiar with and program on both macs and pcs. I have very limited experience with macs but I went ahead and ordered a 2011 11" macbook air 128 gb ssd with 4gb ram. I have heard that I should partition my laptop right when I get it so that it only has to search a smaller area for files, but I'm also curious to know if it would be feasible to not only partition it but also put windows (maybe xp?) on the other half of the partition so that i could bounce back and forth with whatever OS i feel like learning how to program for. would this work/be a good idea? i don't really know much about partitioning and I'm wondering if it would delete the OS X when I partition it since it apparently erases everything on the harddrive. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

More about : ordered macbook air partition

April 26, 2012 6:27:08 PM

You can't install XP on your MBA with the latest version of Boot Camp (and you should be using Win7 anyway). You can partition the disk in Disk Utility or the Boot Camp Assistant which will not erase any data. I take it that you've been using XP for a while since disk management in Vista, Win7, and OS X can do an online volume resize. Also, don't partition for the sake of it. It's not going to make anything faster, just more annoying for you. Partition into 2 volumes if you're going to dual boot with another OS, but leave it as one big volume if you're only using OS X.
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April 26, 2012 6:31:26 PM

Yes this is a "Great" idea, in fact maybe one day you could make a hacintosh, since you seem soo excited!
I would put windows 7 before xp. XP was a great OS, but windows 7 is the advancement. Or even check out Windows 8.

Its a sort of hard process. Put if you go on youtube there are dozens of videos going through the entire precedure. It involves boot camp which you will hear alot about in the process upon getting your mac. Mac Programming takes sort of certification on its on to do. Not saying you won't be able to do it right off the bat when your done with your Programming Courses but.... The code may not be as familiar. Since Mac OSX is programmed a little more deeper and complicated to but a sort of barb wire around the security field for virus purposes, which has been breached by over 600, 000 people
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April 26, 2012 6:36:16 PM

It's very straightforward to install Windows 7 and there's not a big difference between programming for each OS on the surface. If you go to the kernel level, you'll find some significant differences. If you're making a basic C++ program, you'll have no trouble compiling for both OSes. If you're doing GUI stuff, it will be a bit harder and you'll probably need a little portability code for Windows and OS X. If you're writing drivers (which I highly doubt you are), you'll be exposed to completely different APIs. What rockdpm is probably referring to is the difference in programming languages, Objective-C is Apple's preferred language but nobody says you have to use that.
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April 26, 2012 6:37:42 PM

ok two more questions. would having 2 operating systems installed slow down this particular laptop? and also, what is a good IDE for c++ for macs if I am used to using microsoft visual c++ express, maybe notepad++?
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April 26, 2012 6:39:30 PM

Having 2 OSes won't have much effect on the speed. I could see a potential for slight degradation if your OS X partition is particularly full since Boot Camp's BIOS implementation runs the SATA controller in IDE emulation mode which prevents TRIM from working. I really like Apple's native Xcode for OS X development. It's a nice collection of proprietary and open-source tools for static and runtime analysis, debugging, source management, version control, etc.
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April 26, 2012 6:44:03 PM

alright, now should i partition it 50/50 or give OS X a little more room? i dont plan on having either OS have a whole lot of media files or games or anything
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April 26, 2012 6:47:03 PM

I've got my 120 GB SSD partitioned with 80 GB for OS X and 40 GB for Windows. I've done a bit of tweaking to Windows to slim it down a bit by lowering the page file size and turning hibernation off. I also use OS X as my primary OS with most of my data stored there.
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April 26, 2012 6:50:36 PM

ok, now can this laptop im getting run windows 7 64bit? and if so should i go with that or 32bit? its has 4gb ram so im thinking 64bit if its compatible
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April 26, 2012 6:52:46 PM

You should go with 64-bit.
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April 26, 2012 6:53:50 PM

it depends on how big your hard disk is and how much you plan to use either OS. If you have a 500GB HDD 50/50 is probably a good idea. If you have a 240GB SSD or smaller (SSD's are awesome by the way) you might need to be a little bit more judicious about your choice of space allocated to each OS.

IT IS NOT EASY TO RESIZE A BOOTCAMP partition once you have installed Windows and all your apps on it. Resizing requires unofficial risky procedures which may end up causing you to lose data and reinstall Windows and all your apps again anyway.

There is an application available for a cost that apparently makes this procedure simpler and less risky. Paragon Camptune X. Though I have never used it.
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/camptune/how_it_wo...

I would not suggest using Windows backup from within Windows itself (unless you completely blow OS X off the machine and just have windows present), instead use Apple's included (and great) backup software Time Machine combined with an awesome program called Winclone: http://twocanoes.com/software.php?software=1

I have used Winclone and its awesome!

Also, I don't mean to make you regret your purchase etc. but now was a horrible time to buy a new MBA or MBP. Should have waited until a new one got released. Its always best to buy an apple product just after a line refresh because you either get the newer hardware for the same price or the hardware you would have gotten for cheaper. The worst time to buy is just before the lineup is expected to be refreshed because you basically end up getting ripped off.
http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#MacBook_Air

As a matter of fact the next refresh should offer great benefits regarding battery life etc. since it will be making the jump to Intel's Ivy Bridge Processor.

Only use Windows 32-bit if you already own it. If you plan on buying Windows always grab the 64-bit version. There is little to no need to buy a 32-bit version anymore. Having said that, now is also a horrible time to buy Windows 7. Windows 8 is around the corner. Though if you need Windows 7 now its not that bad of a purchase.

I would definitely try to hold on on the MBA though for Ivy Bridge.
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April 26, 2012 6:56:58 PM

geogolem said:
IT IS NOT EASY TO RESIZE A BOOTCAMP partition once you have installed Windows and all your apps on it. Resizing requires unofficial risky procedures which may end up causing you to lose data and reinstall Windows and all your apps again anyway.


I had to help a friend over the phone who tried to do this and it took me two 4 hour calls over 2 days to get his problem totally solved so that Windows 7 and OS X would boot. I had to explain to him how to repair his hybrid MBR (which I had to learn myself as well) which had been crushed by gparted when he resized the GPT volumes.
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April 26, 2012 7:06:12 PM

Also, just a heads up if you plan on entering the apple eco system. I love Apple products. I own a 2010 MBP, an iphone 3GS and a 2TB Apple Time Machine.

There is a premium to apple products but in many cases its worth it IMO. My MBP is 2 years old and I'm still quite happy with it. For me that is unheard of with a laptop - I usually want a new one as soon as year later. After 2 years I usually can't stand the one I have. (mind you I'm basing this off experience in the past and maybe when I bought my MBP the tech just hasn't changed that much compared to how it changed in the past).

Personally even if you completely disregarded OS X (which would be dumb, its a nice thing to use or at least have around) I think the MBA or MBP are the best Windows 7 based laptops on the market too.

before Windows 7 I felt OS X was a far superior OS to Windows. Windows 7 seems to have closed that gap and I can't decide which is better anymore. I use both!

If you ever become interested in a device like an Apple Time Capsule I reccomend instead you get a regular router that supports NAS or has a usb port etc. The Apple Time Capsule even has a usb port for a printer or additional HDD but it uses a proprietary Apple file system on the internal drive which doesn't allow partitioning etc.

Its much better value to simply buy your own external HDD and plug it into a router with a usb port. You end up with more features and flexibility. OS X Time machine backup software will still work with NAS devices other than an Apple Time Capsule.

Also OS X Mountain Lion will be coming out soon. I bet if you wait a month or 2 you will get a newer MBA with Intel's Ivy Bridge processor and the new OS X Mountain Lion all at the same price if not cheaper.
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April 26, 2012 7:15:28 PM

alright well i think im gonna end up partitioning it right when i get it and leave one side of the partition blank until windows 8 launches. i know theyre gonna end up coming out with better macbooks in a few months but i could always put mine on craigslist or ebay and get the newer one, i dont mind losing a few hundred bucks as an impatience fee.
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April 26, 2012 7:18:22 PM

ctguy1990 said:
alright well i think im gonna end up partitioning it right when i get it and leave one side of the partition blank until windows 8 launches. i know theyre gonna end up coming out with better macbooks in a few months but i could always put mine on craigslist or ebay and get the newer one, i dont mind losing a few hundred bucks as an impatience fee.


No need to partition right away. Its very easy to create a new bootcamp partition or remove a bootcamp partition at any time from within OS X. Its just not easy to resize an existing bootcamp partition after you have installed Windows and apps on it.

You might as well just not worry about partitions etc. until you plan to install Windows. At that time it should be simple to follow the bootcamp wizard from within OS X.
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April 26, 2012 7:20:52 PM

o alright good to know, i might just end up then playing around with this one for a few months then selling it to get the next macbook, then ill have mountain lion and windows 8 on it
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April 26, 2012 7:27:36 PM

Just to also make you aware, you can probably return the MBP for a full refund within 14 days or maybe even 30 days depending on where you bought it.

If you use Apple's built in backup software Time Machine to make a backup of your system its unbelievably easy to transfer your full system to a new one though if the new one comes with a new version of the OS, I would reccomend a clean install; however you could also restore your backup and then upgrade using the installation dvd included with the new one.

I'm not reccomending this type of behavior lol, its a pain in the ass but you could always try it out for 14 days and return it and potentially keep a Time Machine backup on an ext HDD etc ready to dump into a new one at anytime. Hell, in theory you could just buy a new one every 14 days. It just takes a few hours to make the initial backup and then a few hours each time you do a full restore. After the first full backup all you need to do is "incremental backups" which don't take that long, especially if you haven't made many changes.

lol - I'm not suggesting you do this - I'm just making you aware.

With the billions of cash on hand that Apple has, I doub't they'll be missing out by losing your "impatience fee" lol.
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