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Windows 7: MOVE a Virtual XP Machine in Windows 7

04 Nov 2010   #1
agunslinger

Windows 7
 
 
MOVE a Virtual XP Machine in Windows 7

I read the great walkthough on "Copying" a VM and at end realized it was just to COPY to use on same system simultaneously:

Virtual XP Machine - Copy


I would like to COPY a base VM I have setup on test machine and copy it to other machines. But Im guessing more XML changes need made to the VM options files.

Any ideas or did I miss this other MOVE tutorial somewhere?

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2010   #2
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

The tutorial you mentioned was written when we were still using early beta versions of Virtual PC. With the current version, this is already much easier.

If you are using XP Mode defaults, it consists of two vhd-files, the file Windows XP Mode base.vhd is located in folder C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode, and the Windows XP mode.vhd, which is located in %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines.

The base vhd is the core of XP, the part that all users share. The individual vhd is the part a user can modify i.e. it's here where user specific installed apps and personal files are located.

To move XP Mode to another computer is easy. First, if you are going to use the default XP Mode base, just copy the personal XP Mode.vhd to a new computer, where you have Virtual PC and XP Mode already installed.

Now simply create a new virtual machine choosing Use an existing virtual hard disk. Browse to the XP Mode.vhd you just moved, and click create.

Name:  XPMode_move_3.png
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Size:  51.8 KB

That's it. The setup recognizes the vhd is XP Mode, and attach the needed base vhd (parent disk) from the new computers XP Mode installation

Name:  XPMode_move_4.png
Views: 75
Size:  68.5 KB

If you have created your own XP Mode base vhd, simply copy it to new computer and replace original.

More about base and individual vhd's etc.:
- http://www.sevenforums.com/virtualiz...tml#post711304
- http://www.sevenforums.com/virtualiz...tml#post751417
- In XP Mode, where does the Hard Disk come from?

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #3
agunslinger

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks Kari. Will give it a try. To start I dont see a .vhd file with name "base" in it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2010   #4
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Strange. It should be there, if you have installed XP Mode and Virtual PC, and used default settings.

-xpmode_base.png

Or have you merged the base and normal vhd already?

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #5
agunslinger

Windows 7
 
 

Nevermind, I found it. Sorry.
Question. On the main machine I have launched the soon-to-be master VM and updated XP to its fullest, added current JAVA and Acrobat Reader, and installed desktop shortcuts to websites I want on all the desktops when I copy over this "master" VM. I noticed that after applying all these MANY updates and some new apps that the base vhd under C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode is still the exact same file size and date modified as the target systems one. Woudlnt it have grown in file size and date change with all these updates or are updates to XP stored under the %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines vhd file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #6
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

The base, parent vhd, is the core of XP. If you don't replace it with your own base vhd, it's always "untouched" and the same size than when it was created.

Everything a user adds to personalize the XP Mode is stored on that second, personal vhd. This includes customization, user specific files and folders, installed apps and so on. This makes it possible to every user of a Windows computer to use an individual, "tailor made" XP Mode; every user account has XP Mode when it's installed, consisting of the core XP in XP Mode base.vhd, and the user specific part of XP, located in every users own AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines folder.

When XP Mode is booted, it reads first the base vhd to start XP and its services, moves then to this secondary vhd to load current users own apps, settings and customizations. This system is called a differencing disk: XP Mode (default settings) uses a differenicing disk which consists of two vhd's, a fixed size, non-editable base disk and a user specific, dynamically expanding (or shrinking) personal vhd. Everything you install, all modifications, are then stored to this personal vhd.

Kari

EDIT: Forgot to mention, that if you check the properties of this base vhd, you'll notice it's "Read only". This is precisely because of this differencing system: to guarantee that XP Mode works, base vhd needs to be unedited, unmodified.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #7
agunslinger

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks Kari - a lot! Read you Backup piece to and merging now ;^)

Only issue I had was when I opened copied over base vhd's on new system, at first it opened right up - no login. Second time I accessed it it asked for login - XPUser (default) as username (which I wanted) but the password I had set on main machine where it was copied from was not recognized. Id like the same username (XPUser and password to work and be set to no login needed whenever I copy this base VM over to target PCs. Did that make sense? Its confusing trying to relay anythng about VM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #8
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Let's try to find out why. So, did you copy the base vhd to a new computer, or the personal vhd?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #9
agunslinger

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Let's try to find out why. So, did you copy the base vhd to a new computer, or the personal vhd?
On the master PC, where I had the VM set as I wanted it, I copied the base (from C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode) and the personal from %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines.

I renamed the base vhd on the target PC and replaced with the one from the master PC. Then I copied the personal vhd to use userprofile path for intended person.

Of note, both the master and target PC were connected to a domain - part of issue? I didnt think it mattered since on the master personal vhd I set it for XPUser with a password set to be remembered.

Even though there was some login issues I was able to bypass it in the XP Mode VM by going to user accounts (Run, control userpasswords2) and UNCHECKING "User must enter a username and password to use this computer." But would rather eliminate this step.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2010   #10
skyhigh

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Thank you, is it possible if we can have a Linux or Panther OS in Windows VM?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 MOVE a Virtual XP Machine in Windows 7




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