Converting a Parallels Desktop Image to run on VirtualBox

imageIf you’ve seen my other post on running VirtualBox, you know that I’ve been running Parallels desktop for some time.   I converted off BootCamp to VirtualBox a few months ago so I could update my older iMac to Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).  Over this past weekend, I decided to try and convert my main Windows/XP image (under Parallels Desktop) on my newer iMac to VirtualBox to prepare for Mavericks on that machine.    There were a number of things I learned that I wanted to share.

For me, this was a must work scenario because of the almost daily updates being made to the Windows XP image by my kids as they navigate classes on SOS (Switched On Schoolhouse).   Because of this, I did some pre-conversion research, documented those steps and then performed the full conversion on a Friday evening of a 3 day weekend.   That way I had plenty of time test and back out (if necessary) before classes resumed on Tuesday. Continue reading

What To Do With A Failing iMac Display

imageEarlier this year, the four year old 24″ iMac in my office starting getting horizontal lines on the display.  It started with one line near the bottom of the screen, worsened with another line appearing and then expanded to the entire screen having problems with wide horizontal bands.

Google searches led me to believe it was the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) overheating due to the internal fans not running fast enough.   Apparently Apple had chosen to set the fans speeds lower to make the unit run quieter at the risk of damaging hardware due to overheating. Continue reading

A Cheaper Way to Emulate Windows on a Mac Desktop

imageI’m been using Mac desktops for a number of years.   Back in 2006, my wife and I decided to purchase some computer based learning software for homeschooling our kids that only ran on Windows.   I wasn’t crazy about buying another computer ‘just for school’ so I looked into options emulating Windows.

At the time there were a couple of options:  Parallels Desktop, Virtual PC and a fairly new product from Apple called BootCamp, a way to dual boot a desktop in either Mac OS or Windows.   I ended up buying Parallels Desktop for the learning software database server and leveraging BootCamp for the kid’s iMac.    That configuration served us well for a number of years.  There were some challenges getting the family used to the two server setup (e.g. both computers had to be running to use the learning software) and attaching devices (printers, CDs) to Parallels. Continue reading