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Windows 7: New to VM's would like some advice

11 Jan 2010   #1
craney5

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
New to VM's would like some advice

Hi everyone this is my 1st post so go easy on me lol, im currently studying for my A+ and would like to play around with a VM so i dont mess up my system, im running windows 7 and i was looking at using either virtualbox or vmware cant decide which one is better, also im going to install XP on the VM and was not sure how much HD space i should allocate for it? I have 4gb of ram also and planned on allowing the VM to use 512mb which should be enough wont it?

thanks for reading hope you can help

Craney


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Jan 2010   #2
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by craney5 View Post
Hi everyone this is my 1st post so go easy on me lol, im currently studying for my A+ and would like to play around with a VM so i dont mess up my system, im running windows 7 and i was looking at using either virtualbox or vmware cant decide which one is better, also im going to install XP on the VM and was not sure how much HD space i should allocate for it? I have 4gb of ram also and planned on allowing the VM to use 512mb which should be enough wont it?

thanks for reading hope you can help

Craney

I've used both VMWare Player 3.0 and Sun VirtualBox and have had very good luck with both of them. The biggest advantage to VirtualBox is the ability to do snapshots...so if you want to take snapshots and come back to them...that product has a few more bells and whistles. However, VMWare Player 3.0 allows for the AERO interface on the VM and the VMWare Unity mode which allows you to run software installed on the VM as if it were a native application on the host machine.

Good news is that both are free to download and use and and you can install both of them and try them both out and see which you prefer.

As far as allocating disk space, both products create a small virtual file that can simply grow to a specified limit. So, you can allocate 80GB for the VM...and it will start the file small and grow if needed. So, most of my VM's are usually 5-8GB in size..even though they could grow to 80 if I wanted to install enough.

512MB RAM is enough for an XP virtual. You can adjust the RAM up and down as you need to. So, you can try it with 256MB and see how it works. If you need more, just shut down the VM, increase the ram to 512 and then fire it up and try again. If you notice that you don't really need 512, you can simply shut it back down and change it back to 256.

I think you will be surprised how easy and wonderful virtual machines are.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #3
craney5

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Thankyou very much for the reply mate, VM are a fab way of learning for me cos i can play around with settings and if i muck something up i dont matter!!! I was going to allow 10gb for XP, i was going to install service pack 2 on it and not alot else maybe antivirus etc.

I might sound dum here but could you use a VM as you main OS so to speak, wat i mean is i run windows 7 if i run a VM with XP could i use it as a main OS does it run like a normall version of XP so to speak?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Jan 2010   #4
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by craney5 View Post
I might sound dum here but could you use a VM as you main OS so to speak, wat i mean is i run windows 7 if i run a VM with XP could i use it as a main OS does it run like a normall version of XP so to speak?
Not a dumb question at all.

Think of a virtual machine as a physical machine, so pretty much just about anything you can do on a physical machine you can do on a virtual machine....with the exception of high end graphics stuff like games. And even that is coming along.

So, yes...you could have Windows 7 (or even Linux) on your machine host machine and do almost everything from within a virtual XP box that you install.

The great part about doing VM's, like you said, is that you don't screw anything up. For learning IT stuff, the ability to just create additional hard drives and play and test with things like software RAID, and simulating a hard drive failure and replacement within a virtual machine is fantastic.

Plus, if you get a machine where you want it, you can also back up the virtual hard drive file to a backup folder, and then do anything you want to the VM. Then, just copy your backup file back and you are right back in business. it's great for developing documentation or learning a procedure for something that is a bit tricky.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #5
craney5

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Thanks so much mate, the only little prob i have is my xp oem is already installed on my other HD as a dual boot so dont think i will be able to use it in my VM not got much experience with linux but might give it a look
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #6
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by craney5 View Post
Thanks so much mate, the only little prob i have is my xp oem is already installed on my other HD as a dual boot so dont think i will be able to use it in my VM not got much experience with linux but might give it a look
No, you won't be able to use that XP again. An OEM copy is tied to the machine it was originally installed on. The virtual machine will present all new hardware, thus it won't be seen as the same machine.

If you are serious about getting into IT and such, you might want to look into a technet subscription. With a discount code typically found online, for around $250 you get your hands on all of the Windows desktop OS's, server OS's and office applications. You can use these licenses and copies to install and activate over and over again without having any license issues. It's the way a lot of us on this board get our Microsoft software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I while ago I had made a little tutorial about.

Option 1: Sun xVM Virtual Box
Option 2: Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

You can download the PDF from here. I recommend Virtual Box. It was originally intended for Windows7 Beta, but you can run any OS on it. I used it also for Ubuntu. Allocate 1GB of RAM and 25GB of dynamic disk space. If you have any questions, let me know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2010   #8
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by craney5 View Post
Thankyou very much for the reply mate, VM are a fab way of learning for me cos i can play around with settings and if i muck something up i dont matter!!! I was going to allow 10gb for XP, i was going to install service pack 2 on it and not alot else maybe antivirus etc.

I might sound dum here but could you use a VM as you main OS so to speak, wat i mean is i run windows 7 if i run a VM with XP could i use it as a main OS does it run like a normall version of XP so to speak?
Hi there
Absolutely -- I have a Windows 2003 Server running as a Virtual machine. I use this "Virtual Server" every day.

In fact I'm logged on to the Internet through the Virtual server and typing this post from it. I like UK football so I'm logged on to a virtual server 2003 located in the UK so I can bypass the "Rights restrictions" that the BBC often has in transmitting live Premier League football and some other live sports to people located oustide the UK.

The only things you can't do with a VM are running things like playing DVD movies and playing some games -- audio streaming is fine BTW.

Actually its quite fun to get an older W2003 server Virtual machine to look a bit like W7

Here's my effort.




Cheers
jimbo


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