Virtual Success!

First post on this topic here.

Quick Update: I have successfully cloned my daily driver Windows7 machine into a virtual format.  The system has passed the first test, which is being run as a virtual machine, hosted on its proper machine source.  To whit; my HP laptop runs Windows7, on that system I run an app called VirtualBox, which creates a virtual computer all in software.  That “computer” then runs the virtual Windows7 sitting on a USB drive.  So I have a window of one computer sitting on the desktop of another computer.  When I save a text file on the desktop of the virtual computer, it does not appear on the host computer.

I am seeing a performance hit of about a 20% reduction, that is the virtual machine runs at 80% of the original, but that is using a limited linear test of my own devising.  I notice informally a much greater slowdown *intermittently*.  This shows up in stuttering mouse and delayed window actions.  I have not run any application more complex than notepad.exe within the guest (virtual).  I’ll save that for when I run the guest on my newer system, the MS Surface Pro(5).  My ultimate hope is that the performance increase between the 2013 HP laptop and the 2018 MS Surface Pro is enough to make good the performance hit from running on bare metal to running in a hosted environment.  I once had a copy of SoftWindows98 running on my 1998 G3 PowerBook (WallStreet).  Windows 98 ran exceedingly slowly.  I later ran the whole get-up on a G4 iMac (the dome with the monitor waving about, GREAT computer), and it screamed.

So here’s to virtualizing.  Why?  Because my beloved HP laptop will die soon.  I’ll trim the virtual one by getting rid of heavyweight apps, and trim the physical volume by getting rid of thing like photos and music, which after all, I now have elsewhere.  The physical machine will be limited to things like running World of Tanks, and other online things, so that when it finally bites the dust — the impact will be — nothing.

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5 thoughts on “Virtual Success!”

  1. Consider experimenting with disk and video driver options within the VM — there can be substantial performance differences.  Also, USB devices are a known bottleneck — avoid putting your virtual machine there.

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  2. Phil Turmel:
    Consider experimenting with disk and video driver options within the VM — there can be substantial performance differences.  Also, USB devices are a known bottleneck — avoid putting your virtual machine there.

    This is stuff I have largely relegated to “later”.  I agree with all counts here, however my current goal set is to get things running as vanilla as possible, and to be able to run the VM from USB (for now) as this is the mid-term use case.  I do not want to load down my Surface Pro HDD with image files.  Eventually, I’ll host a bunch of these from a local drive on a proper desktop machine, dedicated to storage and servage.  Just for now, I’m exploring the ability to operate VMs from portable, flexible storage.

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