MacInTouch Reader Reports

Reader Reports: Boot Camp

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May. 9, 2016
May. 10, 2016
May. 11, 2016
May. 13, 2016
May. 16, 2016

Individual and Archived Topics

May. 9, 2016



Matt Schultz

I had read Barry Levine's dancing mule review of Boot Camp with glee, as I am in the process of voraciously researching running Windows on my MacBook Pro 11,1 on 10.9.5. I keep 10.9.5 on this machine in order to benefit from a fully functional Disk Utility.

The object is to run QuickBooks Pro 2013 Win 8.1 on the MacBook Pro, so I can travel with this data and upon return to the office, easily move the data file to my bookkeeper's Win desktop.

I chose running Windows over virtualization after having tried VMWare and Parallels. QB Pro doesn't want to function properly in a virtualized environment; there are simply too many glitches and gotchas to use effectively.

I'm going to run Windows 8.1 from a high performance USB 3.0 stick, probably the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD 120GB.

Creating a bootable Windows partition that Boot Camp recognizes on an external thumb drive apparently is a complicated task. It's also a bit wonky on the Windows side, cloning an existing 8.1 partition + files & applications to the portable drive & making it all bootable by using cmd DiskPart.

Has anybody out in MacInTouch Land done this successfully? Warnings & advice? Thanks so much!

[Amazon reviews for the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD raise some questions about reliability, but I noted several compact USB3 SSD systems last week in MacInTouch product news, including a little Vantec enclosure I've been using successfully with a Crucial mSATA SSD. -Ric Ford]

May. 10, 2016



MacInTouch Reader

Matt Schultz in 227887 asks about Windows on a USB Drive connected to a MacBook on the road in order to run QuickBooks?

Consider the tiny Kangaroo PC. An acquaintance uses her iPad to drive it. Could probably also drive from MacBook by remote. Sounds a lot easier than kludging Windows onto a USB drive, and not a lot more expensive.


Gene L

For those of you deciding to take the plunge and "upgrade" from Windows 7 to 10 while it's still free, here are a few tips from what I just went through.

The first hurdle was actually getting the update. I had turned off the "Get Win 10 now" nagging, so I had to enable it. So then, after all the nagging, I said "OK, let's get it!" Then MS comes back with "Thanks for the interest, we'll get back to you [whenever]" >:(   I'm sure they'll "get back" to me August 1.

A web search showed several ways purported to force the update. Apparently MS has plugged that hole.

The solution that worked was to use the Windows 10 media creation tool. Ostensibly, it can be used to create installation media. *But* it also can perform the upgrade directly on "This PC", i.e. Boot Camp - now! It successfully upgraded my Win7 and activated for free. Happy dance.

Of course, I backed up my Win 7 with Winclone before starting. I also renamed one of my wifi networks to add the "_optout" nonsense to preempt the wifi password-sharing obscenity. I also had Win7 forget all my other networks and only let Win 10 see that one network.

I highly recommend that, if you have installed an NTFS format option and usually boot to Windows by holding the option key at restart, you use one of the following to set Boot Camp as the default startup. There are many restarts during the upgrade and some seem to not like the "option select" approach.

Three ways I know to set Boot Camp to startup disk (ignore if you still have FAT format):

1. Before you blow away Win 7, while in Windows, use the Boot Camp control panel to set startup to Boot Camp.
2. Your third-party software may have an option. I use Paragon NTFS and used theirs.
3. Boot into the recovery partition. That startup allows selecting Boot Camp.

There is a huge laundry list of at least 10-15 items I chose to "de-fang" Win 10. Turning off all the snooping, automatic corruption (sorry "updates"), flashy cat toys, and bloaty crapware.

Sometimes on boot, it throws a bad restart screen with a very annoying buzz. Most times it clears on its own with a restart or, better yet, a full power down. I haven't figured out a pattern. Perhaps it's correlated to new software. Perhaps not followed by a full shutdown? Not just restart.

My overall impression after several days is mixed. It seems to be much snappier on my MacBook Pro 13" retina late 2013. The apps I'm truly interested in look and perform better. It has the MS bi-polar "am I a tablet or am I a desktop", but most of that can at least be minimized. Most of the settings have been dummied down, with the now familiar feature that, if you dig deep enough, you get to the old dialogs. A lot of the Ives anorexia, monochromatic, no-menu-bars look.

One thing to note: The upgrade keeps a windows.old directory, presumably to revert should you wish. A good idea, I guess. But it was over 13 GB of my 65GB partition and ran me out of space. It can be removed with the "disk cleanup" function to recover the space.

Bottom line, I think I have tamed the objectionable parts enough to grudgingly stay with the current blessed versions from Apple and Microsoft. It went remarkably well for a Windows operation, and I have to admit it does run better than Win 7.


Richard Brock

You stated that you tried VMware and Parallels for virtualization which did you no good but have you tried VirtualBox? Might make a difference, *and*, unlike the other two, it is free.


Scott Elliott

Matt Schultz comments about "glitches and gotchas" with regard to using QuickBooks Pro in VMWare and Parallels.

Matt, could you please provide specific details about your experiences? Are they repeatable and consistent? Have you contacted QB or VMWare or Parallels support? Any chance your hardware is part of the issue?


Steve Brecher

Gene L said,
There is a huge laundry list of at least 10-15 items I chose to "de-fang" Win 10. Turning off all the snooping, automatic corruption (sorry "updates"), flashy cat toys, and bloaty crapware.

Is this laundry list available somewhere?


Jeff Bailey

This is just the Windows7-to-Windows10-on-Boot Camp review I was looking for. Thanks a ton. I've had such a hard time finding concise reviews and tips like this in the Windows world. With a deep bow and hat in hand, my thanks to the MacInTouch community.

May. 11, 2016



Gene L

Re Windows 10, Steve Brecher asked for my laundry list.

Please note, I use Windows as little as possible, not as a daily task. Many of these options may turn off certain functions you want. I leave it to you to decide what choices you make.

In general, I just went through all the settings, submenus, other options, etc. digging for all the well hidden skullduggery. I've probably missed some and cut off some unnecessarily.

Do not use express settings
Do not create MS account
Turn off auto update
Windows update
Advanced options
Choose how updates are installed
Notify to schedule restart
Wi-Fi metered connection ON
(this stops auto update; re-enable when you do manual updates)
Auto repair
From a command window with admin
bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No

Turn off everything in privacy
Turn off Cortina
Don't start "get to know me "

Update and security:
Windows defender
Turn off cloud based protection
Off - Automatic submission
Exclude all Mac volumes
No backups

Delete Skype
Turn off all notifications
Turn off tablet mode
Off metered connection
Off map updates

Auto play off

Network & internet:
share Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi sense)
turn off all options in Wi-Fi
rename router network to add "_optout"
Advanced options
Off - make pc discoverable
On - set as metered connection [this stops auto update; re-enable when you do manual updates]

Manage Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi sense
Do not sign into account
Turn off all

Change advanced sharing options
Most off

Off - show more tiles
Off - occasionally show suggestions
Off - start full screen
You can delete (unpin) tiles with right click

No guarantees, use at your own risk


Steve Brecher

Gene L: I thought I was requesting a link or two. Thanks very much for your detailed report!

May. 13, 2016



Bo Clawson

OK, I know Office 365 on OS X tries and tries to send data out after you get an account. Little Snitch allows me to deny those connections forever.

I am getting paranoid about Microsoft attempting to send data out of my system that I have no control over.

With Win 10 in Boot Camp, is there a program like Little Snitch for Win 10?


Darren Redman

Bo Clawson asks if there is a Little Snitch for Windows 10. I don't know about what is available on the Windows side, but if you were to run it in a Virtual Machine (we use VMWare Fusion here) instead of via Boot Camp, Little Snitch should pick up the outgoing connections on the Mac end.


MacInTouch Reader

I can't recommend a particular Windows app like Little Snitch is for Mac. But this TechNet article may be of interest to you:

Configure Windows 10 devices to stop data flow to Microsoft


Robert Imhoff

To Bo Clawson, asking about an equivalent to Little Snitch for Windows: I have been using "Windows 10 Firewall Control" from Sphinx Soft (there is another one with a similar name from Bini, which I don't use):

The free version does fine - it asks about any new application trying to connect to the internet, but it doesn't have an equivalent menu icon with the network monitor. It is also does not give an equally fine control, because (as far as I can tell) it's all or nothing for any one application: either it is allowed to make connections, or it is, one cannot allow or block selected destinations.


Gene L

Thanks to the MacInTouch reader in 228186 for the link on curbing Microsoft.

It looks like I was extremely conservative in my "de-fang" list. 39 pages! Yikes!

May. 16, 2016



MacInTouch Reader

In Item 228165, Bo Clawson asks,
With Win 10 in Boot Camp, is there a program like Little Snitch for Win 10?

Bookmarked WFN (Windows Firewall Notifier) a few months ago, but haven't tried it.


Brian Quan

Be careful in what you block...

Microsoft Office 2016 (Win version) has a repeating authenticating schedule to a license server. If you work off-line for over a month, your Office 2016 apps will go into a read-only mode. There's a procedure in a Technet document on re-authenticating the license should this occur.

In other words, some Microsoft apps talk back to the mothership for a reason...


Matt Schultz

Scott Elliott requested specific details about QuickBooks Pro in VMWare & Parallels. Our experiences trying to use QB Pro 2013 in Windows 8.1 in the most recent VMWare & Parallels virtual engines are very similar.

The following features do not work for us: conversion to PDF; export to Excel; physical printing of some financial reports (but oddly, not all, so it may be a "data export" related issue); and, all payroll functions.

There were also issues in the Items inventory system centered around inventory / non-inventory classifications that have led to data corruption.

VMWare told us to contact Intuit, as did Parallels. Intuit told us that they do not support QuickBooks Pro on Mac OS X.

It doesn't matter if these are hardware-related issues, because this needed to work on a MacBook Pro, otherwise there was no value to us.

After unsuccessfully mucking around constructing a bootable USB3.0 microdrive that Windows and Boot Camp would recognize (not a simple procedure), I came to the realization that it's cost effective and much less of a time sink to simply purchase a Windows laptop.

QuickBooks Pro for Mac OS X is a sickly, weak cousin to the Windows version & that's why we selected the latter. We "grew up" on AccountEdge for Mac but after our data files were locked by the successor to MYOB, once we refused to capitulate to their upgrade purchase demands, we decided to move on.

Thanks to all who responded and thanks for MacInTouch, Ric!

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