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Windows 7: Virtulization newbie.

12 Nov 2011   #1

Genuine windows 7X64
Virtulization newbie.

Hello Everyone, i have read some of the post here but i am still a little confused on the virtual stuff, i would like to know if it is possible to run a copy of Windows Server 2008 on a virtual partition on my laptop.

since i just started my Microsoft MCITP course, i would like to follow the course on a virtual machine and get some hands on, without crashing my windows 7 installation,

I believe / think i can get this done on my laptop, but i am a little wary of trying it out, but at some point i am going to have to bit the bullet if i need to get some hands on.

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, Genuine Product
3 Gigs Memory, 160Gig HD (55Gigs Available)
Dual core processor,
No DVD burner.

my laptop is my primary machine at the moment, and i don't have another machine to install server 2008 on,what would be the best way to go about doing it without loosing my present setup.

is there a step by step video / instruction that would help me.

Thanks in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #2

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
Running a Server as a Virtual Machine is a good idea -- in fact running servers as Virtual Machines IMO is the ONLY sensible way to run servers so you are off to a good start.

What you need is some Virtual Machine Software -- you can either use Virtual BOX (Free) or vmwareplayer rel 4 (free) or VMware workstation (paid).

I would NOT recommend using MS's Virtual PC -- too restrictive.

If your course can run to it I would pay for VMware workstation but to get started download vmplayer VERSION 4 for free and install.

Download an ISO copy of the W8 server that you want to install as a VM -- if you get this as a DVD from MS copy / burn it to an ISO image since the Virtual Machine can mount an ISO image as a CD / DVD without needing any 3rd party apps etc.

Open up VMware player and run the Wizard Create new Virtual Machine -- and select the ISO as the source for the VM.

Once the Virtual Machine has been installed (installing the Guest OS is just the same as if you installed it on a real machine) power it on and log on using the user name and password you created when installing the OS.

FIRST POINT - ENSURE VMWARE TOOLS are installed otherwise you'll get funny screen resolutions and not very nice mouse function. You install that from the vm menu (running your VM INSIDE a window (not full screen).

reboot the virtual machine, press CTRL-ALT-ENTER to get into full screen mode - and have fun.

Ensure you have set your HOST drives to shared or you won't be able to access your W7 drives from the W2008 server VM.

If NAT networking doesn't work try Bridged -- NAT on the whole is preferable since the actual IP is shared with the host --if you use Bridged it means using another REAL IP address on the router -- if you are in a place like a college there might not be enough IP addresses so start with NAT.

It's fairly easy to install the GUEST OS -- just google a bit and download documentation from the VMware site for more details.

Treat the Guest VM just as you would a PHYSICAL REAL machine.

Just be aware that Virtual Machines EAT RAM for breakfast -- your Laptop will probably have enough CPU power -- I ran W2003 Server as a VM on a small ACER aspire Netbook!! -- but I did have to increase the RAM in the netbook to 4GB.

The performance cpu wise these days is nearly as good as Native. Provided your Laptop has enough RAM CPU is unlikely to be a problem --especially on a server type OS .

Slow disks could also cause a bit of a performance lag on a laptop -- if you've got the cash an SSD would solve that problem nicely.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

To run it properly you will need to enable virtual machine support in your PC BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Nov 2011   #4

Genuine windows 7X64

Hello and thanks for the replies, that's a lot to chew on for a newbie, lol i think i may have left a few l details out?
1, the classes i am taking are at a school, but i want to duplicate the lessons at home
i have a network connection at home, so i don't think the IP address will be an issue ?

2 dont i have to create a partition on my drive to install the Virtual BOX or vwareplayer rel 4 ? or will i be able to create the partition when i am installing the Virtual box ?

3 i am not sure my BIOS supports Virtual machines, i will have to check and see.

4 i am also running a 32bit system W8 server says its for a 64bit ?

i think i will start with the VMware player and see what happens.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

There should be no problem with either VBox or VMPlayer you don't need a separate partition any virtual disks that are needed just appear as files to the Host OS. The VM appears to the host much as any other running program. There is also no problem of running a 32bit guest on a 64bit machine and vice versa. I think that you do need to set the BIOS options to run a 64bit VM. I don't think they will be set by default, at least they weren't on my HP laptop. One thing to note is that however much RAM you assign to a running VM will not be available to the any host programs that you might be running. With only 4GB of RAM I would not assign more than 1GB to a VM, otherwise your system will slow appreciably, and not run more than one VM at a time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #6

Genuine windows 7X64

hello again, well i checked my BIOS and its the latest and last BIOS for my Dell 1520 laptop, i went into the BIOS and i did not see anything there for the Virtual Machine, i did see something that said CPU XD support enabled, i guess my CPU is not up to the task ?.
Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 processor - LF80537GF0282MT
will W8 server still run in a Virtual Machine or am i SOL ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #7

Windows: 7 Professional x64

Hardware supported virtualization is no longer necessary to run virtual machines, any CPU is capable of running virtual machines now, you should have no problem. My laptop's CPU doesn't "support" virtualization and all my virtual machines run fine, so you shouldn't have any trouble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #8

Genuine windows 7X64

Hello again, that is great news, well i have the WM ware player, i also have ISO MS W8 server, i am ready to give it a shot, but i will read the documentation on the VM ware site first, from what i understand it should not take that long to install ?, since i don't have that much hard drive space left, 40GIG, i don't want to use all that up to install VM and W8 server, will 20 Gigs be sufficient ?
once again thanks for all the helpful posts,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

I don't know about W8 server but VMPlayer recommends 40GB for a Win7 Disk. It runs easily with 20 however. If you have an external disk, even a USB attached one, that will do for the virtual disk. I have all my virtual disks on an external USB attached drive and while the performance is not great it is acceptable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2011   #10

Genuine windows 7X64

Hello again, well i just watched a few videos on the installation process and i believe i can install both VM and W8 in my external drive ? ( i think i will go with that option if i can ) which will remove any HD space issues,
also i learn't that i can either use my NAT connection or a local host or bridge connection to access the internet, from the server?, i am a little fuzzy on that, since i will be using W8 sever for duplicating my school lesson, is it better to have the internet on the server or not?
i figure i should use my admin account to install the VM an W8S and not my regular local login account ? and i think i was mentioned in an earlier post that i should "share" my C:/ ? whats the pros an cons of sharing that drive?, and do i need to share it, if i am only duplicating my school lessons on the server? .

thanks again
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Virtulization newbie.

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