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TOPIC: ComicRack in a Hackintosh-Windows dual-boot

ComicRack in a Hackintosh-Windows dual-boot 3 years 9 months ago #38438

  • 600WPMPO
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This tutorial is meant for users who would like to run ComicRack in a virtual machine in a Hackintosh-Windows dual-boot system. :)

Running ComicRack on a Mac has already been covered in a separate tutorial, & I would not go into those details again. I would instead focus on how to use a single ComicRack database seamlessly between your Hackintosh & Windows installations. With minor alterations, this tutorial will also hold good for users who have both a Mac & a Windows PC, and who would share their comics on both the operating systems via a networked drive/NAS.



Why dual-boot?

Short answer: Performance.

Here is the comparison of my self-assembled Windows PC with the latest Mac desktops.


While my Windows PC just blows the Mac Mini away, it fares well, if not better, against even the latest Mac Pro. It also gives me the advantage of having the OS of my choice. I was running Windows 8.1 dual-booting with Ubuntu. I distanced myself from Ubuntu when they switched over to the horrible Unity interface. Ever since I had my Mac Mini, I also found myself switching on my Windows less & less frequently. I just needed Windows to run ComicRack & some Adobe apps (InDesign, Illustrator) that I didn’t wish to repurchase for the Mac.

The Mac Mini is a decent device for everyday computing. But, at times, I find it lagging while multi-tasking, or resource-consuming work. I am, thus, reluctant to install a VM on it. Moreover, as I (still) do not have a NAS, I cannot access my 1TB of comics from the Mini until I turn on my PC & access them over the network. I thus decided to replace my Ubuntu with a Hackintosh install & dual boot it with my existing Windows.




Requirements:
  • A PC running dual-boot Hackintosh & Windows.
  • ComicRack software
  • Parallels 9 for Mac ($49.99)
  • Paragon NTFS for Mac ($19.99)
  • Hazel / WinAutomation (optional)



1. Setup ComicRack on a Windows PC
  • Install ComicRack on your Windows drive (C:)
  • Keep your comics on a separate partition/drive (In my case, the E: drive)
  • Install all the scripts you need

2. Install Hackintosh on a separate hard drive
  • Details on installing & configuring Hackintoshes are available on sites like tonymacx86.com & macbreaker.com
  • Enable NTFS writing on the Mac: In order to create, delete or modify any files on Windows NTFS drives you would need to install a software like Paragon NTFS for Mac

3. Install Parallels & ComicRack on the Hackintosh
  • You can use the Parallels trial for 14 days. Try before you buy!
  • Create a Windows virtual machine (VM) in Parallels.
  • The Windows VM OS choice is subjective. I choose Windows 7 (SP1), as this makes for the most hassle-free & super-stable environment.
  • Configure 2 custom folders:
  • * cYo folder on C:\ drive
    * Your entire E:\ drive with all your comics in it

Make sure that you give the permissions as 'read & write'.


  • Mount these folders as network drives. Select the 'reconnect at startup' option. Assign to them a drive letter which is same as that of your original Windows install. This would be essential to sharing a common database.*
    I suggest restarting your VM to make sure that it is pulling the correct drive letters.


  • Install ComicRack in the Windows VM
  • During the install, do allow the dot net installation from within ComicRack.
  • Don't run ComicRack after the install till you've setup the shared database (see next step).

4. Setup a shared database
  • Copy the entire cYo folder from the original Windows install & paste it into the VM, replacing the VM's cYo folder. This provides the VM with access to all the scripts, list layouts, workspaces & ratings.
  • Edit ComicRack.ini & enter DatabasePath as that of the Windows drive (C:), so that the VM's ComicRack & the original Windows' ComicRack work with the same database. For error-free database sharing, the two ComicRack installs should never be running at the same time. Since we are dual-booting, it is obvious that we would run only one ComicRack at a time. However, if you are sharing the database with a Mac (or a Hackintosh on another system), you should be careful not to run multiple ComicRacks simultaneously.
  • So, whether you run ComicRack from the Hackintosh VM, or your Windows install, it will always reflect the changes from its last run.
  • It is also a good practice to keep a ^common^ zero-day folder. That way, whether you get your new comics from the Hackintosh VM, or your Windows install, they'll end up in the same folder.



5. Sync with CRiOS
  • In most likelihood, CRiOS will sync just fine, even without the need of re-pairing.
  • But, if your VM ComicRack doesn't see your iPad, you may need to enter the IP address in the preferences dialog & re-pair it.
  • Since you have a single database, you can, say, sync your Hackintosh VM ComicRack with your iPad, read your comics on your iPad, and then sync back with the ComicRack on your original Windows install seamlessly.

6. Sharing
  • If the need to preserve a copy of your zero-day comics (with their original hashes) is there, you need a software like either Hazel (OSX) or WinAutomation (Windows). Just setup a workflow to automatically copy the zero days to another folder (outside the ComicRack library), which would serve as an upload destination.

7. Enjoy! :)


* If the drive letters of the comics are changed, the ComicRack database gives an error.
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Last Edit: 3 years 9 months ago by 600WPMPO.
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ComicRack in a Hackintosh-Windows dual-boot 3 years 9 months ago #38440

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Nice work man!!
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!
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ComicRack in a Hackintosh-Windows dual-boot 3 years 9 months ago #38446

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You've made my day!
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