It is currently Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:57 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Virtual PC's, your experiences
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:22 pm 
Offline
Patron of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 3300
Location: Essex, England
I have recently been playing around with "Microsoft Virtual PC 2007" and was dismayed to find that I could not install any drivers leaving the Virtual PC (XP Pro in this case) as an impotent and largely pointless enterprise. Many had said that drivers could be installed if you did this and that, once I had done this and that I was left in the same situation as before, reliant on the "generic" drivers that included no 3D support and no networking, but I did have sound from the outset.

I thought to myself, this is really not a "Virtual PC" at all this is nothing more than emulation - quite pathetic to have a modern PC with no 3D graphics or networking, after all the point of this for me is to play old PC games that refuse to run on W7 x64, and to play around with "Domain's" and "Active Directories" without cocking around with my home network - a "Virtual Network" within a network would be perfect to hone my skills to get a better job (working knowledge of Active Directory is a must, but how do you get that knowledge at no-cost and without a job doing it.? At home, virtually is the answer I came up with.)

I have since moved onto "Oracle's Virtual Box", but due to my broadband going a little weak at the knees today I have been unable to download the XP drivers for the installation on Virtual Box. This does look far more promising than Microsoft's lame attempt - it has far more features and control, and most importantly to me has been nagging me to install Graphics, Networking and Sound drivers - this looks like it should do the trick - but I will have to wait until tomorrow - a few social beers are calling me.

If this does not work the next step is "VMware", although I did want to stick to something that is free to use and ideally "Host OS" portable like "Virtual Box" is.

Has anyone else used any "Virtual PC" or "Virtual Server" software that actually works as you would hope it would (a fully functioning OS running within another "Host" OS).? I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences.


Andy

_________________
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Virtual PC's, your experiences
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 467
Location: Ottawa
While I have never used Microsoft Virtual PC outside of XP mode in Win 7, I have used quite a few virtual machine products and most of them come with XP drivers already. I would be really surprised if Virtual PC did not have XP drivers.

Specifically in the case of Virtaulbox there is nothing else you need to download. Just install XP and then go to Devices->Install Guest Additions. Let the installer complete and your XP VM will have all the drivers it needs.

VMWare is very similar, but I don't remember the exact process.

Another option if you have Win 7 Pro or Ultimate is to download the free XP mode. This is a pre-configured XP virtual machine from MS that has all the drivers installed already.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Virtual PC's, your experiences
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Switzerland
andyb wrote:
Has anyone else used any "Virtual PC" or "Virtual Server" software that actually works as you would hope it would (a fully functioning OS running within another "Host" OS).? I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences.

I've used qemu, VirtualBox and VMWare among other things. They work fine with networking. I don't know about 3D but I'd expect getting near-native 3D performance to be troublesome at best.
In my experience it's pretty straightforward (the web is full of HOWTOs and the like) if you understand networking basics, don't mind doing a bit of troubleshooting and don't try to do something unsupported.

If this stuff is giving you too much trouble, you could also get a few old computers for free. Check freecycle or something.

My opinion doesn't count for nothing but something which would matter more for me than having played with Active Directory in a sandbox is the ability to learn about stuff like this without asking anyone as well as the ability to find more appropriate places to ask such questions than SPCR.

And I wouldn't consider having used Active Directory in a sandbox at home (virtual or not) a replacement for hands-on experience with a live network. Obviously I'm not a checkbox-ticking suit so, again, my opinion doesn't count for nothing.
Maybe you can volunteer at some kind of non-profit or something. I wouldn't expect most organizations to be looking for volunteers to do that kind of work but a few might be using Active Directory and have some overworked guy badly needing an assistant. Organizations which can't afford to hire anyone or to outsource are of necessity open-minded about who they'll allow to work on their networks.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Virtual PC's, your experiences
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:47 am 
Offline
Patron of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 3300
Location: Essex, England
Thanks for the answers guys.

After reading your posts telling me that all of the drivers hould have been automatically installed for "Virtual Box" I looked through the settings and noticed the important and seemingly un-fixable mistake. During the setup process before starting the OS installation it asks you to name the Virtual OS and chose the OS that will be installed.

This is where the mistake was made. I retraced my steps (by starting a new installation) I noticed that if you type "W7" into the name it automatically chooses that as the OS in the box below - that box is NOT for the "host OS", but for the "guest OS" (the one that you are creating), I must have mis-read this part because it was quite obvious on the second attempt that I should have had "Windows XP 32-bit" in the boxt and NOT "W7 x64".

Basically I created a new "Virtual PC" with that vital setting changed to "Windows XP 32-bit" and it works perfectly. The LAN works, the sound works and it lists all drivers as being installed, I installed the "additions" including the 3D support - although this has not been tested yet - and is far less important than the LAN support.

So far - so good. The next step is to install another "Guest OS", the second one will be "2K3 server", then I will install yet another "Guest OS" "W7 x64", and then I can get on with playing with a server and 2 different OS's all virtually from my main PC and get back on track with "Active Directory" having not used it for a few years.

I will give more details when I have them - such as whether or not the performance sucks balls with 3x "Virtual OS's" - fine so far with just 1.

FYI, I ran ATTO on the XP Pro Guest OS and hit over 100 MB/s read speed on my SSD which is OK all considering its a virtual PC - whether it gets worse with more OS's running will be determined at a later date.


Andy

_________________
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Virtual PC's, your experiences
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 467
Location: Ottawa
andyb wrote:
Thanks for the answers guys.
I will give more details when I have them - such as whether or not the performance sucks balls with 3x "Virtual OS's" - fine so far with just 1.


Performance will probably be fine, especially if you are running them off of an SSD. RAM will be the biggest limitation followed by disk I/O. CPU is pretty much irrelevant as long as you don't run something CPU intensive in all your VMs.

We run on average of 20 VMs per host on 8 core machines and CPU is a non issue. We are looking at doubling the RAM so we can run more.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group