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Windows 7: VMWare Player (Free) - a couple of questions

01 Jul 2015   #1
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
VMWare Player (Free) - a couple of questions

Hello!

I'm pretty new to virtualization and have a couple of questions, I hope you'll be able to help me get started with VMWare Playe Free.

1. How much of a performance boost will I get if I enable the hardware virtualization support in BIOS of my laptop? Would that have any (negative) impact whatsoever on my system when I'm NOT running VMWare Player?

2. When dedicating RAM for a virtual OS - is that only per session or constant? I have a 6 GB RAM laptop, will I "lose" 1 GB only when I'm running Windows XP in VMWare Player (if I dedicate 1 GB to XP) or will I always have only 5 GB available to my base OS (Windows 7)? Will I regain back that 1 GB when I quit the VMWare player? What about other resources (CPU, GPU etc.)?

3. Is there any performance impact on my laptop WHATSOEVER when VMWare Player is NOT running? I use my laptop for audio production so I'd need ALL available resources when I'm not playing with VMWare Player.

4. Can I install Apple OS-es in the Player? I know I can install Linux distributions and Windows. What about phone OS-es (like iOS and Android), are those supported too?

5. Can I load a pre-made system image into the Player and run it just as I would normally run it on my base system? I use Macrium Reflet Free for system imaging and backup.

6. Security - how secure is VMWare Player Free? If I get infected or change some settings, can this in any way reflect in the base system? Even hardcore stuff like rootkits or whatever there is?

Thank you for taking your time and helping me out, I really appreciate it!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jul 2015   #2
wasnotwas

W10 Pro x64, W7 Pro x64 in VMware
 
 

I use Workstation 11, but Player is much the same -

1. You need HV set to run a x64 guest. Has no impact on system when not using VMware.
2. RAM is per session, so if you allocate 2GB for guest and your system normally uses 3GB, when you fire up VMware total RAM used goes up to 5GB. At end of session RAM goes back to 3GB.
3. No - there's a few VM process still there when not running using 0 % cpu and maybe 30MB RAM.
4. Apple - yes but it's not as easy as others. I downloaded a pre-built OSX image once and it ran OK. Phones - don't know.
5. don't know
6. AFAIK VMware runs like a sandbox, so any virus etc is contained. In fact I often try out potentially dodgy stuff in a W7 VMware.

BTW re W10 - although the tech prev runs ok in VMware, initial checks seem to point to the W7 > W10 upgrade not working on VMware due the VM gfx not being up to spec - I'm still looking at that one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2015   #3
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Yeah, I think VMWare Player is a simplified version fo VMWare Workstation.

1. Any OS that I will be running in VMWare Player I won't dedicate more than 2 GB of RAM to. So it would make sense to install a 32-bit version of any OS. So, if I understand you correctly, I would only benefit from enabling HV in BIOS if I would be running 64-bit OS in VMWare Player? Then I guess there's no point in enabling HV since I'll be only running 32-bit systems? Or did I misunderstood you?

2. Huh, OK, so in the host OS I'd see the (fake, made up) RAM actually increase? But in reality those 2 GB would be taken off my real RAM. And when I turn off VMWare Player I get all my RAM back to my host OS? That sounds good.

3. Interesting, why do those processes have to be active when the VMWare Player is not in use?

4. OK, I guess I'll have to try and see.

5. OK.

6. So there aren't any breakouts possible into the host system? It's absolutely separated? That sounds almost too great to be true.

Thank you for all the help and the tip on the Windows 10.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jul 2015   #4
wasnotwas

W10 Pro x64, W7 Pro x64 in VMware
 
 

1. correct
3. lots of progs leave small stuff running even when not in use

VMware is a load of fun - I also have old Windows versions in VM eg 3.11, 95, 98 etc. See snip of Reversi on Windows 1.0

VMWare Player (Free) - a couple of questions-reversi.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2015   #5
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

4. Running any Apple OS on non Apple hardware is a violation of Apple's EULA. Running the OS in a virtual environment is permissible only if the host is an Apple computer.
6. Operating systems running under VMWare run in a virtual environment and are cut off from the host. But if the host and client operating systems share a drive, such as with a network connection, there is a possibility that this could be exploited by malware. Malware has become VERY sophisticated in recent years so other attacks cannot be entirely ruled out. VMWare is a popular product and well known to malware authors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2015   #6
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Thank you both!

1. Correct - you mean correct as there is no sense enabling VT-x in BIOS if I'll only be running 32-bit guest systems? OK, I will keep it disabled then.

4. OK, I see.

6. I will keep that in mind. But if I practice safe use in the guest OS (like in the host OS) nothing bad will happen, right?

Again, thanx!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jul 2015   #7
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

1. Hardware virtualization was designed to optimize the performance of programs like VMWare. While not necessary it will benefit the performance of any virtualized OS, including 32 bit. If not enabled VMWare will have to perform it's functions in software and that will cause a performance hit. There really is no downside to enabling it and I am not certain why the option is even provided. Turning it off would be useful to developers writing software like VMWare that must accommodate CPUs that do not support it. I understand it is enabled by default on the Mac.

6. It is difficult for malware to cross the boundaries of a virtualized environment but no wise individual would assume it is impossible. Malware authors have no doubt looked into the possibility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2015   #8
Indianatone

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines
 
 

BTW re W10 - although the tech prev runs ok in VMware, initial checks seem to point to the W7 > W10 upgrade not working on VMware due the VM gfx not being up to spec - I'm still looking at that one.

That is a none issue. Simply remove the VMWare tools before upgrading to Windows 10 and reinstall the VMWare tools on the new Windows 10 upgrade
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2015   #9
Bellzemos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

VMWare tools enhance the experience of using VMWare Player, right? I should install that then. Thank you both.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2015   #10
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

VMWare tools should be a part of any normal VMWare installation. You should install them unless you have a compelling reason not to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 VMWare Player (Free) - a couple of questions




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