Random thoughts from an unusual company

Dipping my toe in Windows 7 as a VM - 2nd Time Lucky

Gabriella Davis  21 October 2009 21:07:17
Trying to do as little as possible in Windows, I run a Mac for everything I possibly can which means I have a small 10GB VM running Windows XP under VMware Fusion.  On Windows I run what I have to which is  
  • Domino Administrator and Designer 8.5.1, 8.0.2 and 6.5.6 (don't ask)
  • IE for those sites that demand it
  • Customer VPN and Remote Control software not available on the Mac
  • Vsphere for the ESXi servers
Sadly 10GB isn't quite enough with XP and the Pagefile taking up 6GB alone and stupidly since I created the disk as 10GB originally, I couldn't increase its size easily without creating a new VM so I decided this week to build a shiny new 20GB VM and since Windows 7 arrived at the office last week it seemed a good idea to go that route instead of back to XP (I'm Vista allergic)

So some lessons learned
1.        VMWare Fusion won't officially support Windows 7 until they release v3 next week
2.        When installing under Fusion you are asked which OS you want to install, I originally chose 'Vista' but the VM was unbearably slow when it finished building, grinding my Mac to a halt and taking nearly 10 mins to start up.  I deleted and reinstalled this time choosing "Windows 2008 Server" (which VMware recommend for Windows 7 installs) and that worked much better.  I don't know if those things are connected but they happened to me
3.        Loving the new icons, background and text.  When installed under Fusion Aero is automatically disabled but I can happily live without the swooping
4.        Most of the things that drove me insane about Vista are gone.  I can see my C drive and move thing around in it.  I can search very easily by just typing in a search bar.  I can drop to a command prompt or bring up a program by doing Start and typing in the command line there.  
5.        Joining to the network domain was a bit of a nightmare as I kept getting the error that my workstation didn't trust the domain.  I eventually fixed it by joining in stages, first the computer then reboot then my account then reboot then granting my account Admin rights
6.        Not impressed by the network discovery so far - I'd expect to see a list of computers on the network and it's not doing that although I can access any computer by typing \\computername
7.        It's fast right now with a single processor assigned and 2GB RAM.  Then again it's a new install with hardly anything on it
8.        The Trendmicro Officescan virus protection software we use won't install until IE8 so whilst I sort that out I'm going with AVG Free.  I don't even read mail under Windows and I only browse to customer Citrix sites or our own development servers so I'm comfortable with that
9.        Now it's installed and up and running I'm happy enough that I'm going to try sticking with it and upgrading to Fusion 3 when it comes out.  Definitely a better option right now than rebuilding a new VM with a 9 year old OS

1Carl Tyler  21/10/2009 23:22:55  Dipping my toe in Windows 7 as a VM - 2nd Time Lucky

Gab you may appreciate this blog post I did a few years ago...

{ Link }

2Gab Davis  22/10/2009 11:02:21  Dipping my toe in Windows 7 as a VM - 2nd Time Lucky

Thanks Carl - good to know it can be done without PartitionMagic although it seems a bit of a faff (all that getting a Knoppix CD, booting into Knoppix blah blah blah) I'm sure partition magic is quite cheap in comparison to time spent :-)

3Carl Tyler  22/10/2009 12:57:29  Dipping my toe in Windows 7 as a VM - 2nd Time Lucky

Getting a Knoppix CD, or a GPARTED CD is dead easy, with your high speed connection would take a few measly minutes.

4JV  22/10/2009 13:39:29  Dipping my toe in Windows 7 as a VM - 2nd Time Lucky

I continue to live in the Windows world. However, VMware has software called VMware Converter that will let me resize an existing virtual machine.

I'm not sure if there is a version for Mac.

5Gab Davis  22/10/2009 15:54:47  Dipping my toe in Windows 7 as a VM - 2nd Time Lucky

@JV yes you can expand the VM but Windows won't recognise the increased partition size for the drive it already has .. so all you can do is create another drive with it. If you want to increase your C drive so that Windows recognises it you need Partition Magic or Carl's CRAZY Knoppix idea :-)