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Windows 7: Virtual Machine vs Dual Booting

13 Mar 2016   #1
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 
Virtual Machine vs Dual Booting

I've been dual booting W7 and Linux for awhile now. Recently I've been wondering about doing a VM instead. What I'm wondering is, is one to be preferred over the other? What are the pros and cons of each? Both would allow me to keep W7, but use Linux for most internet work. This avoids the EOL problem lurking ahead in 2020. Both also let you stop fooling with the increasingly frustrating monthly updates, as you can keep your W7 install offline except for occasional software updates. For myself, I could use W7 as the base OS, and install Linux (Zorin or Mint) as the VM, and use that for the internet. One advantage I can see is that I can do both without having to reboot. Currently, if I'm on Linux and I want to use Windows to say, work on my music, I have to reboot, either to start the other OS on the same computer, or to wake-up my other computer, where I do most of my music. I use the older computer to test or play with music software. So I use them both. But maybe a VM makes more sense for both?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Mar 2016   #2
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Both have advantages and disadvantages you have pointed out the disadvantage of a dual boot but the advantage is the two OS's both run with access to the full resources of the system. The need for not having to reboot is an advantage of the virtual route but the fact that the virtual OS will run with limited resources is a disadvantage

I think the choice is down to what resources you have available when the have loaded the host If you have enough to run the Virtual OS than the option is valid if not you're probably better off sticking to a dual boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

For your requirememts I would prefer the virtual setup. Rebooting the system each time you want to acces the internet would be the dual boot scenario. That does not sound very user friendly to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Mar 2016   #4
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Both have advantages and disadvantages you have pointed out the disadvantage of a dual boot but the advantage is the two OS's both run with access to the full resources of the system. The need for not having to reboot is an advantage of the virtual route but the fact that the virtual OS will run with limited resources is a disadvantage

I think the choice is down to what resources you have available when the have loaded the host If you have enough to run the Virtual OS than the option is valid if not you're probably better off sticking to a dual boot
My internet rig is an AMD quad core, 3 GHz CPU, 6 GB Ram, 2-3 HDD, 500 GB, 7200. I keep only 2 drives connected most of the time as there are only 2 slots available.

My music rig is newer and much more powerful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #5
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
For your requirememts I would prefer the virtual setup. Rebooting the system each time you want to acces the internet would be the dual boot scenario. That does not sound very user friendly to me.
Also, I have the problem of Windows displaying the wrong time. Off by 5 hours. I've fixed it in the past but for some reason I can't fix it now. Would this be a problem in a VM also?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Nah, the time is irrelevant for a VM setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #7
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Nah, the time is irrelevant for a VM setup.
+1 for the VM. I think I'll give it a try on my older rig. If I like it, I may try it on my good one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Mar 2016   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Just make sure you set it up in an optimal fashion. Ideal are SSDs - internel or external. Next best is a fast internal spinner. A 5400RPM spinner in an external enclosure is no fun.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2016   #9
michael diemer

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

After trying a VM of Zorin inside W7, I have concluded I am a dual-boot guy. But it's better to have every OS on its own drive. So I have rearranged things. Two W7's, both solo on own drive. (One I don't use except as storage). Then Zorin and Mint on a third. (Two Linux OS's on the same drive play well).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2016   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

What is the reason you prefer the dual boot. I find that awkward when I want to switch between the different systems all the time.

My VMware player systems are always on stand-by and can easily start when needed. I run several Linux distros and Windows 10 that way. My base system is Windows 7.

When there is e.g. a Windows 10 question, I need not take my running system down for investigation. I just fire up the VMware Player.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Virtual Machine vs Dual Booting




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