The Top Seven Challenges of Dual-System Mac® Usage

The good news is Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X can now operate Windows and Linux systems under one roof.  Of course, new technology breakthroughs often come with new challenges. The top seven of these challenges users may face when leveraging dual-boot systems on your Mac are listed here, along with some convenient solutions.

1.  First Boot Camp Limitation – Free Space Rearrangement

Apple released its famous utility for dual-system configurations on a Mac – Boot Camp, which shrinks HFS+ volumes in Mac OS X and prepares a partition for Windows right alongside. One problem with Boot Camp is that you cannot resize these partitions later. If free space on one of the partitions is reduced to critical levels and other volumes still have a large amount of unused space, you get into trouble.

The solution for this situation is to relocate space between volumes with Paragon’s CampTune utility.  CampTune rearranges free space between HFS+ and Windows partitions and shrinks existing volumes to free unallocated space on a hard disk, and create new partitions without the need to use Boot Camp at all.

2.  Second Boot Camp Limitation – FAT32 Only

Apple Boot Camp does not support the creation of NTFS volumes because Mac OS X does not have the appropriate NTFS driver. Since Windows Vista and Windows 7 can be installed only to NTFS volumes, you will have to reformat this partition during the installation.

An easy alternative is to use Paragon CampTune from the beginning: resize the primary HFS+ volume, create second partition, format it as an NTFS volume and install Windows directly.

3.  Accessing NTFS Volumes in Mac OS X

Apple’s Mac OS X operating system has limited support for NTFS volumes; the NTFS driver in Mac OS X can read data only. You cannot change files, copy them to NTFS volumes, create new files, or  NTFS volumes – all significant limitations.

However, you can easily bypass these problems with Paragon’s NTFS for Mac OS X driver. It has none of these limitations and provides the same level of NTFS volume compatibility for Mac OS X as it does for regular HFS+ volumes. You can easily manage data on any NTFS volume; create files and folders, and copy data between HFS+ and NTFS partitions. The driver adds formatting support to Mac OS X for NTFS file systems and is accompanied by set of utilities for NTFS volume management, checkup and repair –  effectively removing boundaries between two incompatible yet universally used file systems.

4.  Accessing HFS+ Volumes in Windows

The reverse situation: you need to access HFS+ volumes in Windows. Though Apple Boot Camp ships with an HFS+ for Windows driver, it performs read-only operations; there is no write ability with Mac OS X volumes under Windows.

This drawback is easily resolved with Paragon’s HFS+ for Windows, which gives users access to HFS+ volumes on read and write levels with no limitations. You can even access content on an HFS+ formatted iPod.

5.  Securing Dual-System Configuration

Imaging is still the most affordable and robust way to secure computer data. Unfortunately Mac OS X backs up only HFS+ volumes, leaving Windows with dual-system configurations unsecured. You can permanently lose all of your data unless you have a Windows-compatible backup solution.

Paragon’s CampTune and Paragon’s Drive Copy for Mac can secure the entire dual-system configuration. CampTune creates traditional images of volumes or entire hard disks, Drive Copy can copy them to other disks. In case of an emergency, you can restore the previously created image or copy all your data back to its original state.

6.  Virtual Systems – Windows in Mac OS X

You do not have to change the factory configurations on your Mac for a Windows Installation, or change it back after a Windows de-installation. Just migrate your Windows-based environment to a virtual machine and run it anywhere, including on your Mac.

You will need to use one of Paragon’s products that support P2V technology, for example Paragon Go Virtual for Windows which is easily run in VMware Fusion on your Mac.

7.  Virtual Systems – Mac OS X in Mac OS X

Mac OS X users may also find the need to use the OS in special circumstances, for example: software developers testing their applications or home users making offsite copies of software environments for security or mobility purposes. The solution for these situations is Virtualization, which makes clone of Mac OS X with all software and data.

Paragon Go Virtual for Mac OS X is the best solution for Mac OS X migration to a virtual machine, which can now be run on almost any Mac. You can easily transfer any software on your Mac to a virtual image, then use it on other Apple computers, perform tests with software or run unknown applications. We invite you to take part in our beta testing program. Please, fill the form below, read carefully Paragon Software Agreement for beta testers and submit your request at and we will send you our latest available beta versions of the software.


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