Parallels Provides Guidance on Expiring Boot Camp

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Ben Rudolph, the Director of Corporate Communications at Parallels, provided some guidance on Wednesday how to handle the expiration of the Boot Camp beta license when Leopard ships this month.

"If youire not ready to upgrade to Leopard right away and still want to use your Boot Camp partition, Parallels makes life very, very easy," Mr. Rudolph wrote in his blog.

Option 1: The redirection

"For months now, Parallels Desktop has been able to use a Boot Camp partition as a virtual hard drive, meaning that you can boot your Windows XP or Windows Vista partition in a virtual machine at any time, and move back and forth between the two. When Boot Campis license expires, you can still access your hard drive partition without using Boot Camp by booting the partition into a virtual machine. You wonit have to reinstall anything or worry about losing any of your critical Windows files," he said. He also provided a second option:

Option 2: The full-on migration

"Tired of Boot Camp and want to go all-Parallels? Run Parallels Transporter (bundled free with every copy of Desktop for Mac) to convert your Boot Camp partition to a fully-functional Parallels virtual machine. Copy the new virtual machine over to your OS X partition and start using as a new VM within Parallels Desktop. Once its Transported, you can delete your Boot Camp partition and free up a ton of disk space. Working with a native Parallels image also gives you access to key features like undo disks & snapshots."

Of course, the simplest option, one that most will take, is to upgrade to Leopard. However, some users and sites under configuration control may not have that option immediately after Leopard ships and will need to use these techniques in the interim.

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