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Windows 7: Newbe questions on VM

04 Jan 2010   #1
brucemc777

 
 
Newbe questions on VM

I recently upgraded a WXP Pro machine to W7 Ultimate 64 bit, and courtesy of a series of unfortunate events, upgraded everything except the video card. It is now an Intel Quad socket 775 presently running at something like 2.8GHz (I might sooner or later fiddle with O/Cing it) with 8GB RAM.

Unfortunately my printer mfr chose not to create a driver for Vista/W7. It has been suggested I run WXP in a VM to drive the printer, which, if no other problems arise, would be a great interim solution. My questions deal with collateral effects - what kind of resource/performance hit will I likely see if I run the VM, what kind of pain will it be every time I reboot the computer to reload the VM and anything else your experience has taught you that my inexperience has left me blind to.

I notice many pros run VMs, so I suspect it can't be too painful, but I just don't know if y'all run the VM on your primary usage machines or if this is a function relegated to a secondary test machine.

Advice?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jan 2010   #2
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

The effect would depend on which VM product you are installing on/connecting to, assuming on the host machine. I would say CPU usage would increase to some extend. You just need to decide if you want to install XP Mode or a VMWare product. If VMware, Whether you want an ESX box to host the VM and connect via a client (from your primary machine) or just Install the host/client ie. VMware Server 2.0 on the primary machine.

If you are going to just want to install software that needs to be run on Xp, then go XP Mode. It's good for that reason.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #3
ccatlett1984

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by brucemc777 View Post
I recently upgraded a WXP Pro machine to W7 Ultimate 64 bit, and courtesy of a series of unfortunate events, upgraded everything except the video card. It is now an Intel Quad socket 775 presently running at something like 2.8GHz (I might sooner or later fiddle with O/Cing it) with 8GB RAM.

Unfortunately my printer mfr chose not to create a driver for Vista/W7. It has been suggested I run WXP in a VM to drive the printer, which, if no other problems arise, would be a great interim solution. My questions deal with collateral effects - what kind of resource/performance hit will I likely see if I run the VM, what kind of pain will it be every time I reboot the computer to reload the VM and anything else your experience has taught you that my inexperience has left me blind to.

I notice many pros run VMs, so I suspect it can't be too painful, but I just don't know if y'all run the VM on your primary usage machines or if this is a function relegated to a secondary test machine.

Advice?
what make and model printer do you have? In some cases you can use an xp driver and have it work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 Jan 2010   #4
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by aem View Post
The effect would depend on which VM product you are installing on/connecting to, assuming on the host machine. I would say CPU usage would increase to some extend. You just need to decide if you want to install XP Mode or a VMWare product. If VMware, Whether you want an ESX box to host the VM and connect via a client (from your primary machine) or just Install the host/client ie. VMware Server 2.0 on the primary machine.

If you are going to just want to install software that needs to be run on Xp, then go XP Mode. It's good for that reason.

Hi AEM

Please CHECK before replying to this type of question as giving INCORRECT info can lead to a lot of frustration to the OP.

The OP said he had a Printer for which there isn't a VISTA / W7 driver.

In this case XP MODE IS NO GOOD AS YOU CAN'T INSTALL USB DRIVERS DIRECTLY ON THE XP MACHINE IN XP MODE -- Please try and do this and if you succeed then Bonus points for you.

You will need to install your printer in a "Classical VM" running on vmware / vbox or possibly even Virtual PC although vmware and vbox solutions are much more flexible.

You share drives between host and vm in this case by using "Virtual Networking" - set your virtual machine to use "Bridged" or NAT networking.

You probably won't be able to use the printer on the Host w7 system directly but you WILL be able to print files -- for example say you need to print a Word document --save the document on the W7 host and then print it on the XP virtual machine.

You might also be able to find a way of "networking" the printer - but if you are running x-64 W7 you won't be able to load an x-86 driver on to it so I should go the "easy" route -- just print locally from the Virtual Machine.

You don't need to install much on the VM -- in this case just allocate it say 384MB RAM -- should be MORE than enough for just printing jobs.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #5
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by brucemc777 View Post
My questions deal with collateral effects - what kind of resource/performance hit will I likely see if I run the VM, what kind of pain will it be every time I reboot the computer to reload the VM and anything else your experience has taught you that my inexperience has left me blind to.

Advice?
Hi Jimbo, I am replying to this part of OP's post.

He knows that he has a problem with the printer driver not able to be installed on w7, so he' now entering the realm of XPM to try and rectify this issue, but not sure how XPM would effect this host machine when it is used. This then leads to his main question, i believe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #6
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi AEM -- not having a go at you of course as we are all trying to help people.

The limitations of XP mode are VERY disappointing and IMO (although others might disagree here) it isn't ready for Prime Time yet and I don't think it ever will be.

Also it won't run in the Home Premium version of W7.

I'd suggest that anybody NEW to virtualisation learns the "Old Fashioned" way by creating full virtual machines from scratch and using vmware or vbox for running them as these WILL run on much more limited hardware and with light years of better performance too.

I just wish I could have been in the Microsoft XP mode development lab for just 30 mins at the start of development and been able to ask a few questions -- at least then the product would have been "fit for purpose".

As far as I can see it's Printers / scanners / other hardware that most people keep VM's for -- I've still got some MINIDISC recorders around and these will ONLY work on XP as well as some other quite old but perfectly serviceable hardware.

There is NO way this stuff will work on XP mode. You need to install the hardware drivers directly on the XP system. W7 will provide a "generic USB / COM / LPT " device which your Virtual machine can use when you install the legacy hardware drivers - but XP mode won't allow you to install these sorts of hardware drivers directly.

You also can't plug a USB device directly into the VM running in XP mode --or any "hot pluggable USB device". A "Native" VM will allow you to attach the device EITHER to the HOST or the VM.

I can't think of many cases where you only have a legacy applicatiion WITHOUT HARDWARE and that seems to be the only types of apps that XP mode will be useful for.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #7
ccatlett1984

 

another simple way, depending on the type of printer (OP Please post with the model) would be a simple network based print server, or IP-based usb hub.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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