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Solved: Pre-set up advice wanted for using Win 7 with a VM ware XP installation

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by ozegirl, Jan 25, 2013.

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  1. ozegirl

    ozegirl Thread Starter

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    I am planning to get a new computer with Windows 7 pre-installed on it. I am also going to ask the guys to install VM Ware player and within that install a Win XP operating system as I have some legacy programs that won’t run in Win 7.

    Never having used Win 7 (other than a brief play on someone else’s laptop) nor VM Ware before, but having read much on both I have the following questions which I would like clarified so that I get the set up right from the start & don’t come back here with problems.

    (1a) Is it possible to install Win 7 on either one drive or one partition of one drive and VM on another drive or another partition of the same drive as Win 7 or do they both have to be on the same drive and/or same partition of the one drive? I am asking this because as I understand it a system recovery/system repair/ system image replacement will only replace the Win 7 installation and the VM installation and everything on it will be lost.

    (1a) Further to (1a), even if it is able to be installed on another drive or another partition, will this still get around the problem of any or all of the recovery situations?

    (1c) If the answer to both of the above is yes, will VM still function in the normal way ie be able to drag & drop files between the two installations, both be able to access the LAN workgroup and “see” and be “seen” by other computers?

    (2) Regardless of the answer to (1), what would be the best recommended method of disaster prevention and recovery in using VM ware? It is the stuff on the VM ware installation that is going to be important to me so I would want to know that whatever happens to either the host Win 7 or the guest VM I will be able to get my data back. Should I make System images of both? Can I make system images of both? I imagine this is step one in case the whole thing becomes inoperable – I would want the simplest way of disaster recovery & getting the computer up & running again with everything on it. However I gather that I can use system image to put Win 7 back but then would need to reinstall VM ware and the XP operating system – I can’t simply use a system image of that part to put it back, right? This is also why I was asking the questions in (1) above – whether by having the guest on a different drive I could just put the system image of Win 7 back, but I’m sure it couldn’t be that easy. Please note again, I have little technical idea how this whole thing works, so bear with me!

    Obviously I would do regular backups from within the VM guest system of the data for day-to-day back up needs, but my main concern is the worst case scenario where everything could get lost.

    (3) I read another post here about a user having trouble getting a Win 7 and a Win XP host to see each other on a home network. In the end he reinstalled everything and it worked, but just so I get off to the right start, once I bring the computer home from the shop what are the best steps to take to get both the Win 7 and the VM host Win XP seeing each other and all the other computers on my network?

    Sorry this is quite a few questions but I figure it will save you kind people and myself time if I get it right from the start. Many thanks.
     
  2. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    ozegirl:
    Interesting project.

    Please provide your computer's brand, model & model # or that if its motherboard. Which HDD / HDDs are you going to use?

    Please provide links to the pages you mentioned, such as
    I use Acronis True Image [ ATI ] to clone my W7 & other Microsoft Windows Oss hard disk drivers.
    A different product is offered by Acronis for VM Ware.
    http://www.fileguru.com/apps/vm_ware

    As far as I know W7 has to go onto the C: drive.

    I don't run 2 OSs simultaneously.

    I built a desktop computer that has KingWin brand trays and racks. With the computer off [ reportedly the devices are hot swappable, but I choose to shut the computer down ], I insert the HDD onto which my [ at that moment ] OS of choice has been installed. If I want to switch, I turn off the desktop computer, switch HDDs & boot. :)
    I have at least 1 clone of each HDD, which I made with ATI.

    Have you read this, "Best Way to Run Windows XP" at http://www.vmware.com/products/player/?

    Best of success.
    RF123

    Again, you have an interesting project.
     
  3. ozegirl

    ozegirl Thread Starter

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    Computer's brand name etc unknown because I haven't even bought it yet! Have a quote thus far for a custom system built on a Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H uATX motherboard. Intel Core I5 Processor I5-3550-3.30 GHz with Kingston 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz memory and Seagate 500GB Serial ATA Hard Drive, nVidia GeForce GT620 - 1024MB PCIe card.

    The link to the other post is http://forums.techguy.org/networking/930563-solved-adding-xp-home-vmware.html

    Yes I realise W7 has to go on the C drive, it's whether the VM Ware has to also reside with it or not. I think it probably does, but just asking as I couldn't easily find the answer on the website.

    Switching between the OS by shutting down the computer sort of defeats the purpose of what I am trying to do. I could just easily have a dual boot system or just use my old XP computer in tandem if I wanted to do that.

    Yes I read the article you mentioned at the end as well.

    Thanks for your input. I've figured that I can keep my data on the Win 7 section and just install the program I need on the Win XP part. At least that way my data will be included in any system image. I ran a test running my Win XP program from my XP computer and accessed the data file over the LAN and opened the data file residing on a Win 7 computer and it was able to do that. Whether or not that also works with the XP running in VM ware I don't know, but I'm hoping it will.

    Still welcome any helpful advice on how having the 2 systems on one computer can best be backed up for disaster recovery.

    Thanks
     
  4. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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  5. lunarlander

    lunarlander

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    Use Virutal Box by Oracle instead, it is free. Just like any program, it can be installed on any partition. And the guest OS is contained in a big data file, inside "VirtualBox VMs" under your home folder. For disaster recovery, you need a copy 2 folders ".VirtualBox" and "VirtualBox VMs". You dont need to perform backup inside the XP guest OS.
     
  6. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    L L:
    Cool.

    RF123
     
  7. ozegirl

    ozegirl Thread Starter

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    I haven't had a chance to reply until now as I've been chasing a hardware problem all day that just seemed to get progressively worse.

    Anyway, @ Rainforest:

    I watched the youtube, it was very fast & I had to keep pausing it and I'm not sure if I followed it in the end. I could see that a smaller hard drive C existed, a new 13Gb Drive E was created, then the contents of "C" were cloned onto "E" which at some stage was renamed C, and old C was named back to E, then the new "E" aka old C was formatted and wiped, leaving the data from the original C on the new larger C Drive. However I couldn't follow at what stage the video was dealing with the physical machine, and at what stage it was a virtual machine and which of those drives were real or virtual....sorry this is all getting a bit complex for me!

    So I'm not sure if you understand what I mean or if I am misunderstanding your response, but my goal is not to copy the contents of the virtual machine back to the virtual machine, but to some other "safe" place, and that not being the physical hard drive C either, probably an external drive. However if I only put programs on there my data would be safe, though it would be nice to be able to copy the Win XP installation so it didn't have to be reinstalled....or is this being naive to think this is possible? I just have a feeling that if the main hard drive had to be reinstated, that the virtual drive on it would somehow "disappear" Please enlighten me!

    I'm wondering now in fact whether the virtual XP drive is going to work for me. I am going to go to the shop in a few days where they have one set up & hopefully I can try it out to understand how it works a bit more.

    If there is anyone who has this exact set up ie a Win 7 desktop with Win XP installed using VM ware ie it is an XP shell residing within Win 7....perhaps these are the main things I need to know:

    I understand that whilst running Win 7 I can open the Virtual Machine and have the 2 running simultaneously....correct? A bit like if I had my own computer running and launched VNC to remotely operate another computer - I can have 2 desktops on my screen at once and tab between them - though I cannot copy anything from one screen to the other as they do not share a common clipboard but each operate with that of the individual physical computer.

    I am assuming that the 2 can run simultaneously because the shop guy showed me on his computer a screen of the 2 together. He also did a drag and drop of a file from the Win XP screen into the Win 7 screen...so I assume this is also possible.

    What I don't know, and what I would like to know if unlike VNC, the clipboard can be shared....so for example I am in Win 7 and highlight and copy some text off a website, I launch VM ware and my XP starts up and I can open a document on there and paste it in directly? Or will this not work? I have today been experimenting with copying and pasting the information from one computer to a Word doc on my network drive, then opening that word doc from the other (real) machine to paste it elsewhere,. but this is a real long walk around the block!

    Unfortunately my family tree program just won't operate in Win 7 as it is a very old program and yes there is a newer Win 7 compatible version but I REALLY HATE this version and it would make a huge mess up of my family tree which has literally thousands of entries. It is possible to import a GEDCOM file from an older program but I have tried this practice before and the results are very unpredictable and some information gets truncated ie lost if it doesn't fit into the mapped field in the new version. I just want to stick to my old version, so I am stuck with Windows XP.

    The problem is that I merge a lot of data from emails, web, and other sources back and forth and the program churns out reports. OK so I could do all that within XP but then what's the use of having a Win 7 computer as I would use it for little else. I just thought perhaps I could load the program on to the XP part and leave all my files and data on the Win 7 part. This means I would have to copy some information back and forth.....I did test opening these docs from within XP by browsing to the location on the Win 7 computer (a laptop that we currently have, not my as yet unpurchased new one). Yes that worked but it is very slow having to go through the network especially when half the time Win 7 and Win XP computers don't want to see each other and have to search and manually add them to network places each time & sometimes supply a password as well DESPITE the fact I turned off password protect....

    However I'm wondering/hoping if rather than 2 physical computers on a network trying to communicate, that if instead it is Win 7 and Win XP as a VM on the Win 7 computer whether this will be any faster, and as I explained before if the clipboard can be shared....I'm really thinking that's going to be a no :(

    But if I put a USB stick in, can I copy the info from physical computer to virtual and vice versa from there? That wouldn't be so bad as I back up all my family tree onto the USB stick each day anyhow.

    @ Lunarlander: Thanks I had seen references to that program also. I was looking at VM ware as it was the one suggested at the shop and I am able to go and have a look at it there....but will keep options open of course as I proceed in my decision-making.
     
  8. ozegirl

    ozegirl Thread Starter

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    Update: Whilst it might be of some academic interest to continue this discussion, I've now decided that the simplest solution is for me to just have Win 7 as a new computer with everything on it bar my family tree program. I am going to run my family tree program on my old Win XP laptop which I can have beside the desktop. In some ways that is actually an advantage as I can have the tree open in one screen and see it whilst researching the internet on my desktop screen. I can keep all the family tree data files together on the Win 7 computer so they get backed up with everything else and just copy across the family tree database to the laptop to run it and then copy it back to the main computer. I used to import photos and word docs and all sorts of things into the FT program but these days I tend to keep those in separate files anyway as the family tree database just gets too big and slouchy to run with all the multimedia in it. Since I usually now just generate a genealogy report from the program of the actual family structure itself and add all my media into the word doc manually I can generate the report on my laptop, copy it across and finish off manually doing the report on the Win 7 computer. If I can't get networking to work directly between the laptop and the desktop I can go via my USB stick which I have as an added backup, or my network drive which both can access independently. So I think for now I can say solved.....I am on the last leg of my paternal family tree. Perhaps when I start my maternal side I can consider doing a free trial of the newer software, but for now I'd rather stick with what I know .....hope I haven't used up too much of anyone's valuable time. I'll still have a look when I go to the shop (tomorrow hopefully, today being a Public Holiday), but I've seen quite a few people on the boards having issues with getting the host and guest to connect over a LAN and other issues so I figure the best way to avoid that is not to go there. The other consideration is that I already have Win XP, Office etc installed on my laptop but if I used a VM I would have to get more licences as what I have is OEM.
     
  9. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    oze:
    Good for you to have developed a solution with which you are comfortable.

    Using ATI, the OS does not matter. The entire HDD will be copied. Each partition. However, some OEM recovery partitions on the destination drive bedome unbootable after data transfer [ cloning ] with ATI. I don't understand the cause.

    I have only used ATI with Windows OSs, but it will work with Linux & Apple OSs, as well as OS/2.

    Backup your data to 2 destinations. I can tell that your family tree software is important to you.

    You might become sufficiently proficient & comfortable to run W7's XP mode.

    Best of success.

    unsubscribed

    RF123
     
  10. ozegirl

    ozegirl Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your help. I just don't think it's worth doing if I can't be assured that I can readily replace the stuff on the virtual drive. Yes my family tree is precious to me. I have it on my main hard drive, which is backed up automatically with proprietary software (Memeo, which I don't entirely trust), it's also manually backed up to my USB stick so it is portable, and it is also manually backed up to my home network drive which has all our important stuff on it. As well as that I have a copy (though not always updated) on my laptop so you can see it goes everywhere with me. It's 9.2 Gb of hard work so you can see why it's important - that's just the data and collected files (photos, copies of emails, downloaded information from ancestry etc etc), not the program itself which doesn't matter because it is easily reinstalled from the CD. Just not on Windows 7 :(

    Thanks again :)
     
  11. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    Have you considered W7's XP Compatibility Mode?
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/install-and-use-windows-xp-mode-in-windows-7

    Good backup plan. Please keep in mind that no platter drive is more reliable than any other platter drive of similar size. HDD failure occurs more commonly on HDDs > 80GB vs HDDs < 80 GB.

    I have no data to support the following: Because SSDs have no moving parts, they are more reliable [ fail less frequently ] vs platter drives.

    Keep up the good work with data backup. I hope it carries forward to your currentl project.

    RF123
     
  12. ozegirl

    ozegirl Thread Starter

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    Thanks. I did know about Win 7 compatibility mode but apparently it doesn't work as well as some of the other 3rd party applications. Anyway leaving the virtual machine path for now I am concentrating on selecting a decent backup software solution for creating a system image. I might be better off starting a new thread on that.
     
  13. rainforest123

    rainforest123

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    I've read of some suggested freeware imaging programs at forums.techguy.org. I have no experience with them.

    I prefer Acronis True Image.

    I don't install it because I don't want to risk file corruption [ can happen with any program ]. I've seen XP blown up by a mouse driver, for example.

    ATI comes in 2 forms; well it did previously. I don't know if the possibility of creating a bootable disk to which one can boot, and clone outside of W7 is still available.

    I think a separate thread, either here, or in the http://forums.techguy.org/18-all-other-software/ forum would attract the most attention for your particular needs.

    Regarding ATI 2013
    http://kb.acronis.com/content/34881

    In my desktop computer, I use Kingwin brand racks & trays. If my HDD fails, or if W7 has blown up, I can put in the destination [ cloned to ] HDD & be up & running within 2 minutes. The only data I've lost is the data created since my last clone, or data backup to a flash drive or optical disk.

    The downside of my system is expense. A 2nd drive upfront & the costs of racks & trays [ approx $25 for a rack & tray; about $20 for a 2nd tray.

    The downside of RAID disk mirroring is that any file corruption caused by malware or drivers or a program intentionally installed will be present on both drives. Fire or other physical damage to the computer that damages 1 drive will likely affect the other drive.

    Cloning time depends upon the drive type & capacity. It takes a lot less time to clone an 80 GB platter drive to an 80 GB platter drive vs cloning a 1 TG platter drive to a 1 TG platter drive.

    It takes less time to clone a 120 GB SSD to another 120 GB SSD than it takes to clone an 80 GB platter drive to another 80 GB platter drive.

    I prefer smaller HDDs because 80 GB seems to be the cut off for HDD reliability. Platter HDDs > 80 GB are more likely to fail than platter HDDs < 80 GB.
    http://kb.acronis.com/content/34881

    Best of success.

    unsubscribed

    RF123
     
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