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Windows 7: Microsoft and Virtualisation -- GRH GRH - BAD

23 Apr 2009   #1

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
Microsoft and Virtualisation -- GRH GRH - BAD

Hi all

To anyone who uses Virtual Machines a lot the "Official" stance of Microsoft is rather disappointing.

Unless you have an "Enterprise" version which presumably means as far as Windows 7 is concerned the Enterprise, / Ultimate and maybe the Professional versions then you won't be able "Officially" to run the OS in a Virtual Machine.

Since the most popular version of Windows 7 is likely to be the "Home Premium" equivalent this could be a real setback -- even on this board a load of people use VM's.

However whilst they can presumably "Hobble" Virtual PC to check for the Guest OS being loaded and refuse to "power on" if it's not a permitted Guest OS I don't think there's much they can do to stop you running these versions of W7 as Guest OS'es using Vmware (workstation or the Server - which is free but a bit more fiddly to set up) or VBOX - but it just shows you that some of the top management must be "a few planks short in the Upstairs dept".

It's this sort of mentality -- we've seen the same from Music andd film execs that probably CAUSE piracy. After all using a VM is a perfectly good way of doing a lot of testing of an OS without a lot of the usual hassles and problems of running on a Real machine or having to buy a load more hardware.

With the rig I've got now as my main Desktop I can comfortably run 8 - 12 VM's -- maybe more and I'm not the only one with a decent rig these days.

Pretty well any Dual / Quad core machine with even only 4GB main memory will easily run 2 or 3 largish VM's without even noticing they've been powered on.

(OT but I'll post later how you CAN CREATE VMWARE type virtual machines s and run them for FREE using VMPLAYER - VMPLAYER has a restriction in that it can't create Virtual machines but I've got a little 100% LEGAL trick to show you how this can be done -- VBOX is OK-ish but IMO nothing like as stable as VMWARE products - Vmware workstation is good but rather expensive so I've got the get around).

So MS -- please at least come into the 20th cent if not in the 21st cent. Virtual machines are here to stay. Don't hobble the use of your OWN products for doing decent testing etc.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2009   #2

7600.20510 x86

Interesting info.

I never really got into Vms but just the other day I wanted to mess around. A simple question:

When using VMWare, recent or most recent build, do you have to install the secondary os through VM itself or can you simply ask VM to boot an already existant os?

I tried to get it to boot my XP from 7 but couldn't figure how. Am I guessing right that you can not?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2009   #3

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
You have to install the GUEST OS just like you install the original OS. But you have to do two preliminary steps --

So after starting vmware:

1) Define the extra hardware you want -- number of Discs, CD / DVD device,

2) Get into the "Virtual BIOS" of the Virtual machine you've defined to ensure it can boot from the DVD / CD device

3) Boot from CD/DVD and install OS like you would normally.

(you can connect USB devices after boot up of the guest OS).

Later builds of vmware have a "Wizard" for creating virtual machines.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Apr 2009   #4


Hm. Windows Server 2008 has Hyper-V support built into it. The better features of such are only supported on the Enterprise and DataCenter versions of Windows Server 2008. Maybe this is the "enterprise" you're hearing about?

Win7 should support virtualization just fine as it is. I know I used Virtual PC on Win7 and it worked okay. I would test Hyper-V on Win7, but I don't have a Hyper-V capable machine handy. Does 7 even support V?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2009   #5

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
It's not a Windows 7 problem per se. It's just that Microsoft has said that you won't be able to "Virtualize" anything other than the "Enterprise" type versions of Windows 7.

(For people unfamiliar with Virtual Machines the HOST machine is the Real machine you Boot with whilst GUEST OS'es are the actual Virtual Machines you are running under control of the Virtual Machine software you are running on the host such as VMWARE workstation or VBOX).

Now it's up to the Virtual Machine software to presumably sort this out so this could be enforced for Microsoft's Virtual PC -- it knows what "Guest" OS is being installed so will presumably enforce the ruling.

Note that current W7 builds count as "Enterprise versions - they are all Ultimate" which is allowed of course.

Other software will probably work such as VBOX and VMWARE. Still it seems in any case a stupid ruling.

Be careful however when running VM's -- get the "Virtual Hardware" correct before "Activating" it -- I know activation isn't a problem at the moment but will of course be "At Retail".

An interesting sideline with VM's is that using the "Virtualisation" in the Intel Chip (this either needs to be enabled in the BIOS or be enabled by default) you get the interesting scenario of being able to run a 64 Bit "Virtual OS" on a 32 Bit OS.

I've had a 64 bit version of Windows 7 running as a VM on the 32 bit Windows XP Pro system.

There's a utility from vmware which checks whether your machine is capable of running a 64 Bit guest OS. (Note not all 64 bit CPU's are capable of using the Intel Virtualisation) so if you use VMWARE you need to check it out.

You don't need the Intel Virtualisation to be able to run a 32 bit Guest OS BTW.

Note also if you run a 64 bit GUEST on a 32 BIT HOST you'll be able to have all the advantages of a 64 bit OS - but you'll still have the limitation that the Host OS can see a max of approx 3.8GB (unless you are running something like Server 2003) so your VM can't be much bigger than 2.7GB RAM)

I've made several other posts about why with even on relativelysmall amounts of RAM installed it's worth using 64 bit OS'es rather than 32 bit one's where possible - but that's a whole other issue.

I've uploaded the program as an attachment.
(Mods -- it's public domain so no "legal hassles here").


Attached Files
File Type: zip (2.4 KB, 4 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Microsoft and Virtualisation -- GRH GRH - BAD

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