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Virtual PC hard drive (lock parent hard drive)

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by drc1, Jun 25, 2013.

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  1. drc1

    drc1 Thread Starter

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    Hello --

    I have installed Win7 Virtual PC and Windows XP mode. The resulting default virtual hard drive is a differencing drive set up on the host (parent) drive C:.

    The help file states, "Important - We recommend that you write-protect or lock the parent disk before using the differencing disk. Otherwise, if the parent disk is modified by some other process, any differencing disk related to it becomes invalid, and all data written to the differencing disk is lost."

    What modifications to the parent disk does this refer to? For example, should I be concerned about
    - Installing new software?
    - Defragmenting?
    - Changing the partition size?
    - What other modifications?

    Thanks.
     
  2. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    The safest thing to do is use a FIXED size virtual drive especially on the host C drive.
    ANYTHING writing to the host could corrupt a differencing disk. I've seen cases where even a very careful user got hit when an email arrived.
    I always partition the drive and put all virtual drives on the separate partition.
     
  3. drc1

    drc1 Thread Starter

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    Is there a way to convert the differencing drive into a fixed drive? (I don't yet have anything on this drive.)

    If not, can I just delete the differencing drive and then create the fixed drive?
     
  4. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    Yes to both, but do the second one. Also I suggest you de-fragment the C drive before you do it so that the Virtual disk stands a better chance of getting contiguous space which vastly improves performance.
     
  5. drc1

    drc1 Thread Starter

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    How can I get a fixed drive that is bootable?
    I tried creating the fixed drive as follows:
    - Right click on the virtual machine, then click Settings.
    - Click on Hard Disk 1, then Create.
    - Create the fixed hard drive in an unused partition (F) on the host drive.
    - The previous differencing virtual drive then disappears (apparently replaced by the new fixed drive on F). Windows Explorer shows "X220 XP mode (1).vhd" (29 GB) on F.

    Then when I try to start XP mode I get a message: "Cannot start Windows XP mode. One or more required files are either missing or not valid. Do you want to create a new Windows XP environment?"
    When I click Create I get a message: "Could not enable integration features."
    When I click Continue the XP mode window appears but its screen is black (like a cmd window) with a DOS-like message, "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device".

    So it appears that the fixed drive that I created is not bootable.

    How should I proceed?
    Thanks.
     
  6. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    I don't know XP mode from Win7. I only know about Virtualbox and VMware so I hope someone else will butt in.
     
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