Which Win7-Pro VM comes closest to Steady State?

sorgum

Well-Known Member
#1
I've been reading some informative threads on Virtual PC etc, but still have not come to the conclusion as to which VM is best for my purposes. I have zero experience running a VM. My AMD64 bit APU is qualified. I installed Virtual PC and it appears that I must re-install from system DVD. Can you flush the V-PC image and restart clean without the time consuming re-install procedure? Can I somehow make an image file that will quickly reload? What I want is something akin to the old Win2K/XP Public Library Steady State which flushed accumulated file detritus on exit and refreshed for each login, like a system restore point. No network interaction is required. Yes I realize Steady State ran on a server as a client "cloud" image, and the licenses probably cost a small fortune.


My Roku croaked and until I get it replaced I want to experiment with Netflix HDMI out to TV. This works successfully with everything but Sliverlight. I used to run this way on XP years ago before I became security conscious. I no longer run a bare naked browser. DRM will not authenticate inside my SandboxIE "shadow" machine. I reject allowing Nflx tracking filth all over my system for the interim but I want to experiment with VMs in the meanwhile as well. If the VM is almost as permanent as the primary OS, its pretty useless to me. Any suggestions? Thanks.


BTW, be nice if Nflx simply ran on HTML5. Weren't they talking about that at some point so it would run cross platform? More RIAA/ MPAA paralysis?
 


Joe S

Excellent Member
#2
What VM are you using. How often would you want to flush the VM? I use VMware Workstation and keep a backup of my virtual machine. I can delete the one I was running and make a copy of the backup and use that again. What OS are you trying to use on the VM? You dodn't mention but you will need plenty of ram to run a VM and have it preform well.
Joe
 


strollin

Senior Member
#3
The OP stated several times that he is using MS VirtualPC as the VM.
 


sorgum

Well-Known Member
#4
What VM are you using. How often would you want to flush the VM? I use VMware Workstation and keep a backup of my virtual machine. I can delete the one I was running and make a copy of the backup and use that again. What OS are you trying to use on the VM? You dodn't mention but you will need plenty of ram to run a VM and have it preform well.
Joe

Win7-Pro, Virtual PC. As I understand it, you need Win-pro or greater to run V-PC. I'll want to flush the system about once a week. How many steps to erasing and recopying the VM image? How long does the entire recycle of your VMware take? What kind of backup do you use? Did you have to install a full licensed copy of the OS and go thru the authentication process or simply clone it in some fashion? I have 4GB RAM on that particular machine.


I generally run a kind of limited RAID-1. Not a real RAID, but I keep two drives in each case and periodically make an updated image and switch drives. That way I always have a fairly recent drive with OS and all applications ready to run and all my accumulated data in several backups separately. All I have to do is run update for the months between drive switches. I use clonezilla for an image utility.
 


Joe S

Excellent Member
#5
I don't really know much more. 4 gigs isn't much ram so it may run a bit sluggish depending on the guest OS and what you are doing. I don't really understand the flushing thing. VMware Player is free and VMware Workstation has a good forum https://communities.vmware.com/comm...atus[published]~objecttype~objecttype[thread] Player is a free stripped down version of Workstation. You might find more help there.
Joe
 


strollin

Senior Member
#6
You can run Virtual PC on Win 7 Home but you need Win 7 Pro or Ult. if you wish to run XP Mode. Virtual PC is the VM software while XP Mode is a ready-made guest VM containing a fully licensed version of XP that runs within VPC. There isn't any reason that XP Mode wouldn't run on Win 7 Home other than the fact that MS only ALLOWS it to be installed on Win 7 Pro & Ult.

You may want to look into VirtualBox which allows you to take "snapshots" of the guest VM. A snapshot saves the current state of the VM and allows you to restore it back to that state. It only takes a minute or so to restore a snapshot. A snapshot of an existing VM does not require a new license but you do need licensed OS for each VM.
 


Joe S

Excellent Member
#7
VMware Player also has a snapshot feature I think but I've never used that part. I only use VMs occasionally to run old software that wouldn't install on Windows 7 and to test software before actually installing it on my actual PC.
Joe
 


sorgum

Well-Known Member
#8
Well, I'm beginning to regret having installed Virtual-PC on my system. I looked for in in "remove programs" and didn't find it. It's beginning to sound like the VM concept has been regulated and licensed out of existence for any useful purpose. I think I'll just clone a spare HDD and then wipe it once a week. Thanks for all your input.
 


#9
A critical point is what you want to use it for. If you want a "permanent" VM for ongoing use, you will have to deal with the licensing issues. If your requirement is temporary and occasional, like wanting to test software before installing it, you get 30 days of unregistered use from a generic Windows installation disk created from a downloaded iso.

Sorgum, I don't know about compatibility issues or the availability of equivalent software, but one avenue to explore would be running Linux in a VM or dual boot (free and no licensing problems). If what you want to do requires Windows-only software, you might be able to get it to run in Wine (a Windows compatibility shell that runs in Linux). If you've never dabbled in Linux, there would be a learning curve. But if you can get it to work, you could tell Microsoft where to go.

BTW, if you started out in the pre-Windows days and aren't intimidated by the need to do some occasional "DOS" commands, the Linux environment may not seem all that alien. You can use a light-weight version of Linux just as a shell to run your software (won't tax a small Windows VM), or a medium weight one that's comparable to XP that will run in a VM and still give you a chance to dabble with Linux.
 


sorgum

Well-Known Member
#10
Hey Fixer, what a great idea. An unlicensed Temp install of WinOS. Maybe I could use something like Win7 starter. Would that support Silverlight? That could be it. I know there are pirated WinOS out there but they are often malware vectors. Where do I find the legit Win7 ISO pkg? I'll do some research on this option.

My intended use is to have a frequently refreshed platform for running various DRM content HDMI to TV. To eliminate any build-up of tracking history LSO cookie detritus. Clean out the cling-ons.

I do use Linux daily but it will not support Silverlight for Netflix, unless WINE has made a special support case for that incredibly sticky brand of DRM Windows is pushing. I was hoping that NFlx would eventually get over the silverlight dependency and support HTML5 cross platform.

My front room "entertainment" PC is an old C2Duo w/Ubu12.04 LTS. I use it to play back MP3 radio talk show recordings (Fastforward thru brain cell killing AM radio commercials) and audio-CDs through Rythmbox. Asus optical drive in Ubuntu/rythmbox will usually read CD too old and scratched for DVD player. [VLC cannot read an audiobook CD in the correct file sequence] I put in a "silent" (heat sink only -no buzzing hornet fan) nVidia 210 HDMI card and I run with the case open and hang a very large very slow speed house fan in the back. It is invisible and QUIET. All this from "flea mkt" cast offs and Amazon for a total expenditure less than $200. I watch hours of YouTube, international news and other video sources to supplement Roku offerings - I cut cable years ago. Linux UI is very sensible and easy to use. Only rarely do I need the command line. WINE Support for Silverlight is unlikely, but I'll look at it again.
 


#11
Digital River is the official distributor of the Windows iso's for Microsoft. Here's a link to the list and download URLs for the various versions and languages: http://www.w7forums.com/threads/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-image-downloads.12325/page-2

Page 1 has an older listing. The middle of page 2 has the media refresh (most current versions), and I've used those successfully. They include SP-1, but recognize that they are generic--no system-specific hardware drivers, but generic drivers for pretty much everything. I didn't see the starter version, but Home Premium is there. They don't provide hash numbers to check, but if you get a clean download and no message when you go to burn the DVD that the sizes don't match, you should be good.

BTW, you can eliminate LSOs without the need to wipe and reinstall. Check the available browser add-ons. There is one called Better Privacy that I use for Firefox (there are plenty of others and the add-ons may vary by browser). You can set it to delete all LSOs and regular cookies each time you close the browser. Other blockers, like Ghostery and AdBlock Plus can also be set to block or delete much of this.

I suspect that Microsoft doesn't make it easy to run Silverlight in Linux. If people could run Microsoft's proprietary software in Linux, nobody would buy Windows.
 


#12
Something I just noticed in that iso list -- Win 7 Professional without IE and some other MS add-ins. There is another current thread on this forum about getting rid of IE by trying to uninstall it, which isn't easy because it has tentacles everywhere. Maybe the answer is to do a fresh install of the version that excludes it.
 


#13
Sorgum, if you just need to run Silverlight and are looking for the smallest Windows package to run in a VM, you can do that with XP or Vista. Here are some iso links:

XP SP-3: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=25129
Vista: http://www.mydigitallife.info/64-bit-x64-windows-vista-official-direct-download-links/ (also has 32 bit version)
 


sorgum

Well-Known Member
#14
OK - You've listed plenty of info I can investigate. Much thanks for that and especially the safe WinOS ISO source. There are various rumors they are off line. I'll put that away for later when they announce end of life for Win7.


The reason I was looking at streaming Netflix again, but on an isolated "flushable" VM platform, was the "half death" of my Roku2XS. I have to chill it and hook it up and hope it starts. Hilarious. I just received a D-Link 310 "Movie Nite" Roku clone ($26 Walmart) as a temporary substitute for a year or so or until I can get a Roku3 with Ethernet down the road used or refurb half price or less. Pathetic D-link device will not HDMI pass through my AV system and give me 5.1/7.1 audio. Must plug directly into TV w/ rude stereo. But I digress.


I looked at my old C2D 4400 running Ubu12.04 in the front room. If it worked with VMware I could run XP on it. It has a legit XP-Pro key and I have the install chipset CDs but unfortunately does NOT support virtualization, so I would have to upgrade to one of the other 775 processors that do, and that may be more costly than its worth. The C2D-DG33FB-775 is such an ubiquitous box that I'm pretty sure a fresh XP install in the VM or bare metal would pull all the needed drivers off the Web.


I did grab a copy of the XPSP3 ISO 9660 CD image for possible later use if I upgrade that 775 processor or decide to use VMware on another machine. Very excellent tip - thanks. I have extra keys for that. 558MB


Here is the Ed Bott virtualization list for Intel on all (or most?) of the recent processors.
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/how-many-intel-cpus-will-fail-the-xp-mode-test-in-windows-7/946


Here is Pacific Geek recyclers with various pulled CPUs available at about 60% price of new w/30 day warranty for testing. Their listings are sometimes inconsistent and some model variants remain a mystery.
http://www.pacificgeek.com/ [search on "cpu"]

http://virt-tools.org/learning/check-hardware-virt/
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=592


Virt On Linux: http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-xen-vmware-kvm-intel-vt-amd-v-support/
Type the following command as root to verify that host cpu has support for Intel VT technology, enter:
# grep --color vmx /proc/cpuinfo


Yes I use Better Privacy, Ghostery, NoScript, AdBlock, GoogleDisconnect inside SandboxIE w/ Private browsing. Belt and suspenders. I rarely use google search and zero google products or e-mail if I can avoid it. But Silverlight will not run inside the protective sandbox in XP or Win7. It forces raw exposure to I-net on MS OS. I refuse to do it and thus my investigation of a VM. That's contrary to my strict policy to never run a raw browser (PaleMoon) in a Microsoft OS. I do it in Linux because is is NOT on a network and is totally expendable with zero personal info. Linux Ubuntu is a great casual browsing platform. You can watch windows vectored malware attacks from images or scripts, ransom-ware pop-ups, etc., try to write HDD and laugh and reboot. "They" tell me there are Linux malware attacks out there but I haven't experienced any.
 


#15
Bummer. Looks like this link is for just the service pack, not the OS.

BTW, check out ixquick (https://ixquick.com/). It's an anonymous front end for Google. You get the power of the Google search engine but never have to touch it with human hands. At their web site, you can add it to the search engine list and set it as your default.
 


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