'Yes, you are wrong, no partition is needed to install Windows in a Virtual Machine'
Thanks very much for clarifying this.
I think where I was getting confused, was, a while back I was in an Apple Store, the sales assistant that I spoke to, briefly told me about Boot Camp, she basically told me what it was and then went on to show me brielfy on an instore iMac how you set it up/installed Windows, part of what she showed me was, you create a partition. I assumed the same partition creation was required for Parrellels Desktop.
'if you intend to use Parallels Desktop you won't need to partition the hard drive - and if you did decide to use BootCamp which does require a partition CarbonCopyCloner wouldn't back up the BootCamp partition.
Assuming you stick with Parallels Desktop you could use CCC to backup the entire computer - Mac and Windows virtual drive. CCC is a very good program, one that has been part of my arsenal at work for quite a few years. But I don't use a clone as my sole backup solution for the simple fact that the resulting clone and the source are mirror images. But what if I deleted a file I later wanted? The clone won't have it. TimeMachine has a much better chance of letting me find files I accidentally deleted because it performs incremental backups'.
Thanks for the help and clarification.
I'm beginning to see/decide which I think would be the best backup methods for me.
I have a 1TB external hard drive, I think I would use this with CCC to do a perhaps once a week clone of my entire computer (Mac and Windows virtual machine/Parrellels Desktop)
Alternatively, I would simple just copy the VM/PVM file to the 1TB external hard drive, then if I had an issue/problem with the virtual Windows machine, I could simple copy the VM/PVM file back over, thus overwriting the current VM/PVM which would contain the issue/problem, after I had overwritten the VM/PVM this would then solve the issue/problem that I would have previously had, I assume this is correct/possible?
Either way, I plan on getting probably a 3TB external hard drive, which I plan to solely use for Time Machine backups. I would exclude the virtual machine/Windows/Parellels Desktop from the Time Machine backups. Getting a 3TB external hard drive would ensure that I could have a large collection of Time Machine backups, which would provide me with the option of going back quite a way if I needed to.
A week ago I ordered the 27 inch iMac. Its showing dispatched January, so its just a case of waiting now
Really looking forward to the move to Mac and I'll update this thread again once I've used the iMac for long enough to have gained a bit of knowledge and also for long enough to give my opinion/experience of using a Mac.
Thanks for all the help I've received, it was a big help and was much appreciated
By default TimeMachine does not back up your Parallels virtual machine and if you think about it that's a good thing. Since the Virtual Machine is in effect a hard drive, just booting up Windows or launching a program changes the VM file as temporary files are created. My VM is 25GB so not only would TimeMachine be making a copy of the VM every hour that Parallels is running, it would be copying 25GB! Not good.
That is Completely false. Time Machine DOES backup every file on the hard drive. As a Virtual Machine is just a bunch of Files Emulating a hard drive only to the operating system installed through the virtual machine software program. OS X and TM sees those files for what they really are, FILES. It has no knowledge they are being used as a Emulated Hard Drive for some program and or opperating system.
I don't use Parallels but I do use VMware Fusion and when I use TM to backup and then restore my Mac my VMs of both Windows and Linux are Backed Up and Restored.
You are right today. I was right until late 2010 and I'd forgotten version 5 of Parallels made a big change to the virtual machine's construction. Up until version 5 of Parallels a virtual machine was more like a monolithic file than a folder so all you had to do was change a single file inside the machine (booting up was enough) and TimeMachine backed up the entire machine. The first update to Parallels included code that automatically excluded it from TM backups. I don't remember when VMWare started doing it.
This is how the situation remainded with TM and Parallels until version 5 - again I don't know when VMWare made the switch. Today a TM sees a virtual machine as a folder so only the changed files are updated.
After using PD from v1 to v4 I forgot that v5 made that change. I'm human...what are you?