VMLite - an alternative Windows XP Mode impl

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  1. Posts : 262
    windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #51

    Great. I will post the virtual disk driver once I think stable. Basically, you can manually convert to a vm. This are the steps on Windows 98:

    (1) mount a .vhd or .vmdk file using our VxD driver, this will add extra hard disk to the PC
    (2) run FDISK to partition the 2nd disk
    (3) xcopy all files from C: drive to the virtual disk

    That's about it, the virtual disk can be moved to another pc to run as a vm
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  2. Posts : 8,370
    W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
       #52

    First off you have to be able to run fdisk from a floppy drive due to how the old dos files worked through an ide controller. I doubt fdisk would even see any vhd. That's where a big problem comes up. You would need to mount a floppy image most likely.
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  3. Posts : 262
    windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #53

    Very good points, will add supports to mount floppy images.

    On Windows 98, seems to be working well, after mounting a vhd, fdisk can recognize it.

    On Windows 95, need to manaully enable "Int 13 unit" to the disk by right clicking properties inside device manager. After this extra steps, fdisk recognize it, and you can partition/format the virtual disk.
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  4. Posts : 8,370
    W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
       #54

    You will likely need to prepare a step by step guide on how to get fdisk running along with a few other proceedures once you have something ready to try out. Gee? I guess I now have to relearn all those dos commands again after all these years!
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  5. Posts : 262
    windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #55

    I also hate to work on old stuff, especially backporting XP code to Windows 95/98 is not most exciting work. However, there seems to be no support at all for live physical to virtual machine conversation on 95/98/Me/NT. We want our VMLite converter to be complete in the spectrum, so we take efforts to support these old systems.

    We will provide an automatic tool that does everything. Only if you want to try manual steps, you will need to go through those old DOS commands.
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  6. Posts : 8,370
    W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
       #56

    You would need to included some form of gui managed rather then dos command to see fdisk mounted and run with an options list with precode instructions to avoid using something on the idea of DOSBox for that. A command line interface similar to the Run in Windows would be a thought since the setup.exe file would be started for the old Windows installer there once the vhd was all set to go.
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  7. Posts : 262
    windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #57

    Yes, a GUI wizard will be provided for the conversion. It will have options to generate VMLite/VirtualBox/VMWare/Virtual PC format.

    For a Vista PC with 250G hard disk, it takes about 5 hrs to convert the physical machine to a virtual machine.

    For old PCs with smaller disks, should be faster. For example, a Dell XP machine with 40G takes about 30 mins, not too bad.
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  8. Posts : 8,370
    W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
       #58

    It would take about 10hrs. for a Vista installation here if I end up seeing that back on one of the 500gb drives used here according to that. For something like 3.1 or 9x that would be only 2gb tops seen there.
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  9. Posts : 262
    windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #59

    yes, that's about the right estimate. We are using USB 2.0 external hard disks. Firewire and eSATA shoud be faster.

    The disk size refers to the used space, not the total capacity. Our program will only clone the used sectors. Free space doesn't matter.

    We are also trying to recognize Linux file systems, Ext2/3 and ReiserFS, in case the machine contains multiple boots.
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  10. Posts : 8,370
    W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
       #60

    The one problem I see with the pre 98 stuff of course is usb. 98 needed separate support there for USB 1.0, 1.1 where XP saw 2.0 support included.

    When you are working with old 3.5" floppies and old 9x cds you still need some type of direcct access means for optical and floppy drives until the OS is installed on the vhd itself unless you are simply trying to convert an existing installation into a vhd environment as you were mentioning before.

    Most of all that required access to ide controllers at first since that's how the fdisk and setup.exe files were written. You need to trick the old installers for this like you see when custom installing the 32bit 7 for example like I did here seeing that go onto the former Vista vhd right when as the VPC was starting which detected and autoloaded the 7 installer or booted the live cd for Linux.
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