Windows 7 To virtualize or not- What would you do?

Discussion in 'Virtualization' started by amajamar, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. amajamar

    amajamar New Member

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    My intent over the next couple of months is to build a new computer. It will be relatively fast, have plenty of memory and storage space. My original plan was to migrate my existing XP Pro 32 Bit installation (what I intend to continue using in general) to the new hardware and then eventually dual boot with Win 7 64 Bit.

    As I read a little more about virtualizing, I am wondering whether I should set the new machine up initially as Win 7, and virtualize my existing XP install. I then could run both systems at the same time.

    My questions to all you experts are; What would you do in this situation and what would be the pros and cons of each setup?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

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    Remember XP virtual does not have or support 3d acceleration also with out a registry hack it color resolution is only 16 bit in full screen mode. I have found a hack that allows for 24 bit in full screen but that is it for full screen mode. I would keep the one you have and set up a dual boot configuration with Windows 7
     
  3. amajamar

    amajamar New Member

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    I actually intended to use a different virtual software such as VMware. Does that have the same restrictions?
     
  4. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

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    I am not sure about that, I used the Windows Virtual XP, I ran it for a month or so and never really used it so I uninstalled it.
     
  5. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    The VMware is better XP Mode. The only problem will be the licensing. You can use Paragon Go Virtual Free Virtualization Software - Download Go Virtual that will make a a virtual pc of your system to work in VMware and also virtualbox. If you run this in the virtual pc the first time windows update phones home your copy of windows will be changed to non genuine. So unless you have a retail copy and transfer it you'll have to buy a new liscence to be legit.
    Joe
     
  6. amajamar

    amajamar New Member

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    I have purchased a new retail license for the transfer, as the original install was OEM.
     
  7. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    Then all you should have to do is activate it then. I would also recommend the VMware Player it's free VMware Player 3.0 . Now if you wish a clean install it will now create the VM just like going a regular install. I had good luck with the Go Virtual. VMware is easier to network then Virtual Box too.
    Joe
     
  8. amajamar

    amajamar New Member

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    Would there be any advantages to using the VMware Workstation over the VMware Player? Are you happy with the virtual enviroment? Are there many sacrifices in the virtual enviroment over hardware based? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to learn and weigh my options.
     
  9. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    Well the Player is free. For a home user I think the Player would be fine. There are more options but I've never got that involved with it. I use it to here to run XP, Vista and Windows 7. I use mainly to run old software on XP that doesn't work in 64 bit Windows 7. And I use it to test out software before I load it on the actual PC. I also slipstream Windows and use it to test it out. At the time I bought Workstation Player would not let you create the VM. They changed that last year. Most things run well enough for me I think the main place you would notice is something memory intensive like games or CAD type apps. You can try the player and if you want the other features you can buy Workstation and access the VM's you already have. They also have a good forum with really competent people involved. If they get a problem they get a software engineer from VMware to come on and help.
    Joe
     
  10. amajamar

    amajamar New Member

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    If I tried a virtual install and didn't like it, could I then do a hardware migration and use the same activation key? Would I need to reactivate it anyway? Is there a difference in the way the guest operating system "sees" the install, either virtual or actual?
     
  11. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    Those questions are mostly beyond me. When you install you have 30 days to activate. Yes it can tell the difference on activation at MS. Go over and join the VMware Workstation group VMware Communities: VMware Workstation there are people there that can answer anything you come up with.
    Joe
     
  12. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    VMWare Workstation is a great option for reliability and performance. The cost issue is always mentioned as a factor, but cost does not have much to do with quality. In terms of virtualization on your PC or workstation, for peripheral and DirectX support, this is going to be your best option. Performance is still limited to the host machine's capabilities. Those with an additional internal HD, eSATA drives, or RAID configurations will see the best disk I/O performance in this type of environment. Free options may work for you, for professional use, Workstation really becomes worth its weight in gold once you have been using it for a long time.

    I might add that you could be best served by giving the product a try with the free trial that is offered. I had just recommended this last night to someone else who is thinking about consolidating systems.
     
  13. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Extraordinary Member

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    The free VMWare Player (downloadable from File Hippo w/o registration) is far better than Windows Virtual PC, and a bit better than VBox. It's so much easier to configure. Plus it allows for you to use 2 cores w/o the hassle that goes with VBox. Windows Virtual PC doesn't even allow you to multicore. Stay away from alternatives such as VMLite, that claims that XP Mode can be run in Vista, it's a piece of crap, and it's use is against MS's intended use for XP Mode. However, if one doesn't have a valid install (license) of XP, then Windows Virtual PC will do. The color (16bit) is terrible, but that can be fixed with a simple registry hack, giving one 24bit color. It's probably been already covered on the forum, if not, someone PM me, & I'll give the simple instructions. After restarting XP Mode, one can see the difference right then. As far as the choice of whether or not to virtualize depends on the user, the machine it'll run on (newer computers have fewer options for XP installs, but it's not impossible). I use virtual machines to try things out, if I like what I see, usually I install the OS. The lower powered the computer, the more practical this is (lending RAM slows down the main install). To really get the most out of running VM's, I suggest a computer that has a minimum of 4GB RAM, preferably 6GB, and a decent dual core CPU (no less than 2GHz). I've been running VM's since 2009, and although not a guru by any means, these basics can steer a user in the right direction. There's no such thing as "one size fits all", it's entirely up to the user as to the best solution. Play with all options, even try dual booting, in time each user will find the solution that's right for him/herself. As with a regular install, the user must install & maintain an AV/IS solution, and do routine maintaining, such as defragging. And be sure to back up the system often when using the VM. Treat it as a regular install, you can get a lot done with 1 PC that would in the past take 2PC's, saving the user a ton of cash. Currently, I'm running a total of 14 VM's spread across 8 installs. Most are Windows XP/2000, some are various versions of Linux. Needless to say, I have my work cut out on Update Tuesday.

    Cat
     
    #13 catilley1092, Jan 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  14. Drew

    Drew Banned

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    Suggest:

    1. IF, using Win7 Pro or higher, go w/ Windows VPC & XP Mode.
    OR
    2. Dual-boot XP / Windows 7
    3. IF, Win7 Home Premium, then, dual-boot

    I have 1st hand experience w/ these configs & works well.

    Cheers,
    Drew
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Extraordinary Member

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    It's hard to go wrong with Drew's recommendations here, that's the way that I have 1 of my computers setup. If that PC had more "under the hood", I'd go with VMWare Workstation. But that PC (HP214 AIO) has only a 1.5GHz dual core CPU & 4GB RAM (it's max, it shipped with only 2GB).

    I run Windows Virtual PC w/XP Mode & dual boot the rest. Since I have 3 HDD's for that PC, I have plenty of room for everything.

    On my higher powered notebook (the one listed in my specs), I use a combination of Windows Virtual PC w/XP Mode (being that's it a benefit of having 7 Pro), and use VMWare Player & VBox for the rest. More than likely, when I'll be soon purchasing a SSD for it, I'll probably step up to VMWare Workstation. I'll download it & evaluate it first, then decide. If the difference isn't worth the money, I'll stick with the free VMWare Player.

    Being that I'm going to have a 128GB SSD, rather than the 500GB regular drive that I have, I'm going to have to get rid of some of what's on there. Also being that I have an abundance of XP installs, I'm not going to waste what space that I will have with another install of it. I'll probably play with Windows 8 Beta & RC until the evaluation time runs out, and decide after then what I'll run.

    Cat
     

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