Silly question about Windows 7 OS

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David King
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Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by David King »

Hi Folks, I need to buy a copy of MS Windows 7 OS to run Inventor on an Intel mac. I see the OS sells for anywhere from $54 to 299. That seems like a large price disparity. How do I know what a legitimate price is? Is $99 a legitimate street price and $77 a hoax? Why would Amazon sell it for $264 if they were trying to compete? We are talking OEM install in some cases and "Retail" in other cases. None of these are "Upgrade". Thanks!

Simon Magennis
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Simon Magennis »

MS has a policy (like mobile phone companies and airlines) of having lots of different versions (confusopoly - scott adam's term) with lots of different list prices prices. So probably all the prices you have seen are "legit" to one extent or another. If you are going to use it exclusively for one program then get the "lowest" version you can find. Apart from the "home" versions in the price range you mention they also have "enterprise" versions and there is a special version for netbooks with other restrictions.

This is one of ms comparisions http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... ts/compare - however if you did deeper you will probably find something like 10+ "different" versions of windows 7.

Al Dodson
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Al Dodson »

Is it any wonder that I sometimes feel like sticking a chisel in me eye?

I am was thinking about upgrading from XP and encountered the same thing. Do you recommend a sharp chisel or can I use a dull one?

Darrel Friesen
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Darrel Friesen »

The Microsoft policy (according to the manager) at the store where bought my last OS was that if a separate microsoft item was purchased (a $20 mouse in my case) then they could sell the heavily discounted software to me. YMMV

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Pat Foster
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Pat Foster »

If it's only for one program, it might be easier to get Crossover, or something similar, an application that simulates Windows on Intel Macs. Cheaper and simpler. They offer a free trial.

Pat

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I like to start slow, then taper off.

Mario Proulx
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Mario Proulx »

All, always use a sharp chisel....

RE: Win.OS. If you check closely, you'll see that every version is slightly different, depending on what it's meant for. Not everyone needs all the features, so it's only fair that not everyone needs to pay for all the features. For 99% of us, the basic version is all we'll ever need....

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Jim McConkey
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Jim McConkey »

Be wary of OEM versions. They are often locked to a specific manufacturer or kind of equipment.

I use Parallels and have not encountered CrossOver before, but it looks cool. Unfortunately, its compatibility checker does not know if it can run Inventor (Autodesk CAD program, not to be confused with Open Inventor).
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David King
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by David King »

Here's a version that looks like it will work for $49. http://www.365professionals.com/store/i ... duct_id=30
After looking through Autodesk's minimum requirements for Inventor I'm a little more confused if anything.
I assume that Windows 7 SP1 is "higher" than Vista SP2?
I don't follow these things very closely.

Thanks Jim, Inventor is a 3D parametric cad program similar to Solidworks. It can draw pretty heavily on the graphics card and it looks like Parallels is OK for small parts but you need to boot directly into windows for anything with moving parts. I think that's probably what I'll do so I can skip the Parallels until I know inventor is a program I can master in this lifetime. (I have serious doubts about that and the $5k-$9k price tag.)

Simon Magennis
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Simon Magennis »

David King wrote: I assume that Windows 7 SP1 is "higher" than Vista SP2?
Yes.

The SP (service pack) is simple an update to the basic system. If you want to be cynical, its the update that makes it work more or less as promised originally. Windows 7 is the follow on from XP and by many accounts substantially improved.

David King
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by David King »

Got it. Thanks all!
I downloaded it for $49 and aside from the 3.2 gig size, it looks to be intact. Now I need to figure out how to install it...

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Pat Foster
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Pat Foster »

Jim McConkey wrote:Be wary of OEM versions. They are often locked to a specific manufacturer or kind of equipment.

I use Parallels and have not encountered CrossOver before, but it looks cool. Unfortunately, its compatibility checker does not know if it can run Inventor (Autodesk CAD program, not to be confused with Open Inventor).
That's what makes the free trial so nice.
I like to start slow, then taper off.

Paul E Buerk
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Paul E Buerk »

The Professional and Enterprise Editions are for use with larger networks, so the personal editions should be fine for your use. As for Crossover and other emulators, my years with an Apple Specialist / Pro Film & Video VAR lead me to recommend against using them as they usually cause more trouble than they're worth IMO. With the Intel-based Mac's, it isn't necessary since you can use one of the VM solutions such as Parallels or VMWare Fusion (I prefer the latter, but both will work well). Biggest problem you'll probably run into with Autodesk software is graphics card compatibility, so I'd recommend checking the documentation. I ran into problems with Studio and Maya (Windows versions) running in VM's on a Mac, mostly with little things in the User Interface.

It's too bad they don't offer Mac versions of Inventor like they do for Studio, AutoCAD, and Maya.

David King
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by David King »

So I finally managed to burn a dvd of the .iso and install the OS on a drive partition. It was not an easy or straightforward process. I can now boot into windows 7 which feels a little like dropping into the late 1980s. So far so good.
None of the drivers I need for ethernet, wireless, bluetooth seem to be part of this package. I feel like I just spent a week and a half tunneling into what has turned out to be an empty dumpster. What a huge waste of time, $ and effort. Am I just spoiled or is there more to windows than meets the eye?

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Jim McConkey
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Jim McConkey »

Windows 7 should have drivers for most of the hardware.

We recently setup a bunch of work computers (MacBooks) with Parallels, and after installing Windows, we had to run something else from the Mac side to install the drivers. Yes, Apple actually provides Windows drivers for its hardware since so many people do this. I don't remember enough of the details though. Hopefully someone else can add a little more.
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Mario Proulx
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Mario Proulx »

I feel like I just spent a week and a half tunneling into what has turned out to be an empty dumpster. What a huge waste of time, $ and effort. Am I just spoiled or is there more to windows than meets the eye?

A Windows install on a PC is easy and simple, and I've never had to search for and install drivers after all the necessary updates are done. But then again, I've never tried to install it on a Mac....

David King
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by David King »

Jim,
That was it, thanks, it made a world of difference too. The initial screen resolution was something like 800 x 600 and the effect was a little jarring on the 27" screen. All the drivers helped but I'm still having trouble getting the bluetooth mouse to get picked up now. Once that's taken care of it will be very nice again.

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Jim McConkey
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Jim McConkey »

Glad it worked! Windows defaults to 640x480 (which is awful) until the proper video driver is installed. Lowest common denominator...

Now please write here what you did in case anyone else has the same problem.
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David King
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by David King »

Jim,

This is a great question, basically I learned though trial and error to *read* and *follow* directions. This is isn't something that comes to me naturally.
You need to work with the version of Bootcamp that comes with your OS, in my case I'm using Lion 10.7.5 which comes with bootcamp 4.04.
You will need a blank CD-R for the drivers that boot camp will automatically download and burn for you.
You will need a blank DVD-R for the Windows 7 installer .iso.
You will also need a USB wired keyboard and a USB wired mouse.
You can only install windows from a USB flash drive if your mac model has no internal optical drive. Don't bother trying this without using the optical drive, I tried and the USB flash drive could not be accessed as a boot disk in spite of anything I read on the web.
Install all mac os updates. Repeat as many times as necessary.
Write down on a piece of paper your windows serial key!
Open Boot Camp Assistant in the utilities folder. Follow the instructions exactly.
In my case I had downloaded a windows 7 SP1 64 .iso (free download w one month trial).
Bootcamp will create a new partition formatted for windows of the size you require. I chose 40GB and that was a mistake as I barely had room for the installation even after I trashed the installers. Eventually I'll repartition (trashing my installation in the process) and recreate the install from a cloned backup. A 100GB partition would have been wise.
Downloading the .iso takes about an hour (3.02GB)
Downloading the windows drivers for mac (through bootcamp assistant) takes about 30 minutes. It tends to hang at 3/4 of the way, be patient.
The windows installation off dvd takes a long time (hours)
The installing of drivers for the mac from the CD takes less time
Updating Windows 7 required 104 updates and took over an hour.
Downloading Inventor took about an hour
Installing Inventor is ongoing because I hadn't closed ALL other applications during the installation (especially IE-8).
Windows 7 + Inventor 13 = about 38 GB of drive space.
Note that once you've got windows installed your computer will always want to boot into windows by default so you'll need to hold down the "option" key as soon as you hear the startup chime. You'll choose the boot OS via a USB *wired* keyboard using the cursor arrow keys and the return key to select.
I hope that helps.

Regarding the bluetooth magic mouse, it looks like I'll need to un-pair it in the mac OS and then pair it in Windows before pairing it again back in Lion. Even then most of the multi-touch gestures won't work in windows. I'd recommend getting a windows mouse instead.

David King
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by David King »

So I ended up having to buy an application called camptune (paragon software) which is currently reconfiguring my partition for a modest $19.95. It's supposed to do in 15 minutes what would otherwise take 5 hours. Well it's been at it for a good 50 minutes and still has a ways to go.
It's extending the size of the widows formatted partition without destroying what's already in there (the win-7 OS).
There is apparently no way to back up a windows partition or clone a windows operating system without a separate backup drive. Your mac's Time machine drive is mac-only.
I wish there was a way to clone the windows OS to a USB flash drive or DVD-R without paying for more 3rd party software.

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Jim McConkey
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Re: Silly question about Windows 7 OS

Post by Jim McConkey »

It depends on how you are using Windows. If Windows is installed under Parallels, Time Machine can back up both partitions. That probably won't work if you only have Windows under Bootcamp. My work MacBook is setup with Windows 7 (the same copy) under both Parallels and Bootcamp, though I nearly always run in Parallels. I have yet to find any program that doesn't run correctly, though I hear CAD programs are one of the few exceptions. Being able to seamlessly copy back and forth between Windows and Mac is really nice.

I don't remember needing any blank CDs or DVDs to install Windows. We did it using a single external USB hard drive. BE WARNED, the process wipes the entire hard drive when you use it! I'm surprised it won't work with a USB flash drive, unless it is too small. Hard drives and flash drives are virtually identical to the OS over USB.

There is a way to set which OS Bootcamp boots to. Boot to OSX, go to System Preferences, Startup Disk, and select the default boot partition from there.
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