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Windows 7: regarding running a portable OS


26 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 
regarding running a portable OS

I am in the initial stages of creating a network inside of a virtual machine (VirtualBox, if it makes any difference) to run from an external drive. I ran into some conflicting information for initial configuration of Windows Server 2008R2. In an attempt to cause myself the least work, I am asking questions here before proceeding.

Here are the basics as things stand now. After the initial install of the OS, certain default configurations were not available until after the first round of updates. (These are configurations necessary for establishing an deafult IP addressing, etc.) I copied the vdi file with only the initial round of updates to my external drive and renamed it before proceeding. I began implementing the default configurations and discovered that this was not the ideal order for doing things. I can launch the OS (with some configurations applied) from within VirtualBox or from the external drive (with only the initial round of updates installed) successfully.

I think I can delete the vdi file on the host computer. (the one with some configurations applied) Then copy the vid file on the external drive to the proper path on the host machine. Then I think the file without any configurations can be launched by VirtualBox to begin configuration again. I am not sure whether or not I need to rename the file to the original name for VirtualBox to recognize it.

Do I need to rename the file? Will this work the way I think it will?

Thanks for your replies.

drpepper

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Apr 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I'm not sure what the solution is but you may have a problem. The virtual disks are identified by GUID (or UUID to be precise) not name within VBox.

Thinking about it you may be able to remove the original disk within settings and add the new one in. Not sure what having two disks in the network with the same UUID will do though. There is a utility called CloneVDI which can copy a VDI and give it a new UUID. There is a link to it on the VirtualBox forums. https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22422
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

Thanks for replying.

I merely want to move backward a little on my configuration and do things a little differently. The deal about the vdi file is the VirtualBox version of this tutorial: Portable OS - Carry your OS on an External Drive The tutorial uses VMWare.

I am not experiencing a problem. I believe the GUID is part of the file or some other part of the VirtualBox installation and configuration. I have two copies of the OS in vdi files. One is on an external drive and has only the first round of updates. The on the is on the host machine and contains some configurations. Either of the vdi files can be launched to run the OS at the state represented by the individual file. I don't think I would be able to launch and run each of the states represented by the different files if that were a problem. Additionally one of my teachers says he saves vdi files to another location rather than creating snapshots to save a state. He won't go into detail. He says play with it, and see how it works.

In the absence of someone who has done this and can give input, I will experiment to see how it works. I was just looking for an easy way to do it on the first attempt. --- I could be wrong. We'll see.

drpepper
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


28 Apr 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

No problem drpepper. I'm in favor of experimentation myself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Excellent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

just a little feedback ... it works ... here are a few details ...

With caution in mind, I employed some redundancy. I transferred data as follows:
  • copied entire VirtualBox VMs folder on host machine to external drive (>12GB)
  • moved vdi file from within VirtualBox VMs folder on host machine to external drive (>12GB)
  • copied vdi file from external drive to VirtualBox VMs folder on host machine (>7GB)
I can launch the VM state with only the first round of updates from the VirtualBox program on the host machine as well as all the vdi files on the external drive independently. I can now proceed with the better method of server configuration. I have enough saved states to fall back to a state of my choice. (Gee, a 1TB external allows me plenty of room for doing this.)

The only inconvenience was data transfer speed because of hardware restrictions. My laptop provides only USB2.0 ports. The external drive's USB 3.0 capability could not be used to my advantage. Also the external drive only spins at 5400RPM. Data transfer rate averaged a little over 30MBps with a couple of peaks around 36MBps. I guess that is the best I can hope for with the hardware bottleneck.

drpepper
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

That's good news. I actually run my VMs on a USB2 attached drive. They are a bit slow but work fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

I just saw your network configuration found here: vbox 4.2.10 crashing

This the default established by either VirtualBox or Windows Server 2008R2. I don't know which. I suspect it is the server. I'll have to consult the user manual to verify. I could not help noticing that you have Bridged, and I have NAT.

drpepper


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2013   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

If I remember correctly with NAT you have internet access, with Bridged you have access to the Host Network. The help file explains the difference.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 regarding running a portable OS




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