Running PC SAS on a Mac with VMWare Fusion

New Contributor
Posts: 2

Running PC SAS on a Mac with VMWare Fusion

Hello all,

My configuration is as follows:

  • MacBook Pro running the Mac OS.
  • VMWare Fusion is installed, and Windows 7 Professional is installed there.  This is not a separate partition--I can run the MacOS and a virtual Windows OS simultaneously without rebooting.
  • A series of external hard drives formatted as NTFS using Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X software (this makes the drives accessible both from the Windows 7 virtual machine as mapped rives, and in the Finder window on the Mac OS).  These are connected to the Mac using Firewire.
  • SAS 9.3 TS1M2 installed on the Windows 7 virtual machine.

I set up this configuration because for various reasons I like to do my daily computing (browsing, email, MS Office, etc.) on a Mac, but my business is dedicated entirely to SAS processing.  Theoretically, it gives me the best of both worlds without having to bother with multiple hardware boxes.  In practice, it gives me the best of both worlds, EXCEPT....  when I process data sets that are moderately big (3-4GB), I get an error message from SAS that the data set encountered something unexpected and may be damaged.

I know that the data set is in fact not damaged, because I can access exactly the same data set from a native Windows machine, without error.  The problem only occurs when I'm running on the virtual Windows machine.

This is a pretty serious problem for me, since I need to process data sets that get up the 200GB--hitting a wall at 3-4 GB makes the configuration unworkable for me.

I would love to solve this problem.  I talked to some SAS folks at SGF2013, and they suggested that someone here in the SAS community might have some advice for me.  Has anyone here attempted this kind of Mac/Windows configuration for running SAS?  If so, do you process large data sets?  And if so have you ever encountered the problem I'm having?

Thanks for any advice or suggestions you can offer,


Super User
Posts: 23,776

Re: Running PC SAS on a Mac with VMWare Fusion

Posted in reply to Avellinese

I do, but generally don't process data that big, I think 1 GB is as far as I've gone.  I can try some big datasets on the weekend.

I also have a slightly different set up, I partitioned my drive into 2 and use one half via VMWare, but its a bootcamp install.

How did you partition the second disk on your Mac, is it FAT32 or NTFS? Or are you only running a VM machine?

There's also options to set in the VMWARE settings that can affect the performance. See how much RAM/Processing and other things you've established.  Also if you're working off the external disks it will be slow...

Ask a Question
Discussion stats
  • 1 reply
  • 2 in conversation