Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

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Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

Postby Tony G on Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:06 pm

I'm considering virtualizing my current Windows partition, but have a few questions I need to answer to figure out whether I prefer virtualizing to my current triple-boot (Windows, Mint, & Mint KDE) setup: After creating the virtual machine, is it OK to delete my "real" Windows installation? How do I back-up and (if necessary) reinstall my "Virtual Windows"? Finally, how much harder (if at all) is implementing the above compared to implementing Gizmo's scheme for never having to reinstall Windows in the context of a multiple-boot system?

I suspect that the answers to the above would be obvious if I understood virtualization better. But I suppose that's what this forum's for. :)

Thanks in advance for your replies,

Anthony
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Re: Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

Postby rec9140 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:29 pm

If you want to be able to backup and reinstall winslop then you need to create a BACKUP IMAGE FIRST, as most is ONE WAY in the conversion PM to VM. So when you restore your back to your original state. Some of the options now can go both P2V and V2P.

THEN you can:

1) If you use compatible backup image software you can directly import this to some VM systems, I only use VMWare and I know it can import certain formats, you can use commercial software like Ghost V9.0 or later images

2) dd2vmdk http://www.bschatz.org/2006/p2v/ P2V
2a) http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/?page_id=174 P2v Software

3) Use PM2VM converter, again VMWare offers a free way to convert a PM to a VM with their VMWare Converter
http://vmware.com/download/converter/
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Re: Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

Postby Fred on Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:47 am

Tony G,

What I would add to that is when you virtualize Windows, use a separate partition for the virtual Windows system. Then if you upgrade the system you shouldn't have a problem keeping your virtual Windows machine as long as you install the same version of VMware, VirtualBox, or whatever you were using to the new install.

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Re: Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

Postby rec9140 on Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:24 am

The following may be helpful if you want to use a physical partition as a VM with out having to create a VMDK.

This should work well for either of VMWares free products Server and Player. Server may be your better choice here as it will have the VMWare tools which can allow for a better experience with some speed optimizations and seamless cursor.

IGNORE the lines about emerge ..... for installing VMWare Player....thats for gentoo, WONT WORK for LM. (I see VMWare Player come up in Adept but it won't install, won't even let you select, I have no clue why????? Someone maybe can resolve this and would make things alot easier.)

Once you get either Server or Player installed then follow:

http://oopsilon.com/Running-a-Windows-P ... -in-VMware

Some other good links and articles on this:

http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2007/01/ru ... physi.html
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Re: Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

Postby cmost on Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:32 am

I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but if you're using VMware's fine virtualization products, then I recommend you use the free tool 'VMware Converter' to convert your physical, real Windows installation into a VMware compatible virtual Windows installation (retaining all your programs and settings in the process.)

You can learn more about 'VMware Converter' and download it here:
http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/

Also, just some tips on virtual machines gleaned from my many years of using them (from way back to VMware 1.0)
1. Put your Virtual Machines on a separate Hard Disk or at the least, on a separate disk partition, so you can access them quickly in the event you re-install your primary Operating System.
2. Name your Virtual Machines with simple and consistent names so you can keep track of them (i.e., WinXP_Pro, Win98, SUSE10.3, etc.)
3. Store all elements of any single VM in its own folder (i.e., snapshots, disk images, etc...all in the same folder!) This make it easy to copy and past VM's to back them up or move them intact to other workstations!
4. Upgrade your system RAM! If you're going to run a Windows VM with any regularity, make sure your system has at least 1024 MB of RAM (2048 MB highly recommended!)
5. Whatever Microsoft recommends as a minimum amount of RAM, double it (or quadruple it in the case of Vista!)
6. If your processor supports hardware virtualization (known as VT on Intel processors and AMD-V (or Pacifica) for AMD processors) turn it on!! See the documentation for VMware (or whatever program you're planning to use) for instructions on how to enable it.
7. Once you have your VM's setup, you can safely delete any physical OS's unless you like dual booting.

Enjoy!
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Re: Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

Postby rec9140 on Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:06 am

cmost wrote:I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but if you're using VMware's fine virtualization products, then I recommend you use the free tool 'VMware Converter' to convert your physical, real Windows installation into a VMware compatible virtual Windows installation (retaining all your programs and settings in the process.)

You can learn more about 'VMware Converter' and download it here:
http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/



Ummm......

:arrow:
rec9140 wrote:3) Use PM2VM converter, again VMWare offers a free way to convert a PM to a VM with their VMWare Converter
http://vmware.com/download/converter/
:D :)

cmost wrote:Also, just some tips on virtual machines gleaned from my many years of using them (from way back to VMware 1.0)
4. Upgrade your system RAM! If you're going to run a Windows VM with any regularity, make sure your system has at least 1024 MB of RAM (2048 MB highly recommended!)
5. Whatever Microsoft recommends as a minimum amount of RAM, double it (or quadruple it in the case of Vista!)
6. If your processor supports hardware virtualization (known as VT on Intel processors and AMD-V (or Pacifica) for AMD processors) turn it on!! See the documentation for VMware (or whatever program you're planning to use) for instructions on how to enable it.


These are some excellent tips...

The memory applies to winslop hosts with Linux guests as as well as Linux hosts with winslop guests and most especially here.

The more memory the better, and the better underlying resources ie: CPU, bus speed, CPU speed the better the VM experience will and host experience will be.

Plan on a MIN 1GB RAM for the winslop VM alone. So a 2GB RAM system with 1GB for the winslop VM and 1GB for Linux would be a min. 4GB with 2/2 for each would be better. You also may wish to edit the VMX file to not allow for memory shrink.
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Re: Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

Postby Fred on Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:10 am

Yeah, that cmost is a pretty sharp cookie. :-)

Greetings sir,

Fred
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Re: Virtualization & Backing-up Windows

Postby Tony G on Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:57 am

Thanks all for a bunch of advice. It looks like virtualization is (potentially) a weekend-long project, to be undertake after I've finished my taxes. Will doubtless post follow-up questions before and as I muck around next weekend.

Thanks again for the collective wisdom.

Best,

Anthony
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