I think this is to be expected - both the time where it's running in real mode and just the fact that it's loading drivers, reading heavily from the disk, etc. I think if you could monitor the CPU usage on a physical machine while XP is booting you'd see exactly the same behavior. I've seen this in VMware Server and also see it in ESX, ESXi, and Xen.
If if would be just a short 100% spike it wouldnt be a problem, windows gets throu this point in 1-3 sec tops even on older (much older) machines, but the VM's needs a minute or so thats much to long.
On VMWare workstation this step takes only 1 second or so.
What are the specs on the VM?
512MB ram, 1 CPU, 80 GB IDE HDD the rest left by default, OS: win XP sp2
its the same for booth machines the runed in the server and on the workstation
When you run it on Workstation, are you running it on exactly the same physical machine, same host O/S, etc.? If not, what are the differences?
The workstation is installed ofcause on a different Machine (afaik you cant instal server and workstation on the same) but the machine also runs Svr 2k3.
The server host have an AMD x64 CPU with a single core and 4 GB ram (32 bit os)
The workstation host have an Intel quad core CPU and 8 GB ram (also 32 bit os)
Try to use SCSI disk in VM instead of IDE. I also used IDE first and it was boot disaster. After change disk type to SCSI (LSI controller) all becomes much better.
Can I convert the IDE HDD to SCSI? or do I need to reinstall the OS and everything else?
Hmm, there are methods in the web to convert IDE to SCSI, but I used straight forward approach:
1. Add to the VM SCSI disk of the same size. Preallocate it.
2. Boot VM to get SCSI controller recognized. Reboot it one more time.
3. Add CDROM with ISO image of BartPE+Ghost (you can use your favorite backup application, there even some free available). Anyway something that can make a copy of disk to another disk.
4. Boot VM from CDROM and duplicate the IDE disk content to the SCSI one.
5. Shutdown machine.
6. Delete both disks from the VM configuration (make sure not to delete files itself! ). Add to the VM only SCSI disk (it became Disk1). Delete CDROM.
7. Boot. If succeeded - delete old IDE image.
If it looks complex for you... well, then it's better to recreate whole VM.
Also, if you have enough memory on host, add the following strings to the VMX files:
MemTrimRate = "0"
sched.mem.pshare.enable = "FALSE"
MemAllowAutoScaleDown = "FALSE"
mainMem.useNamedFile = "FALSE"
Ok, thats the approche I thought at first though I'd use TrueImage for cloning,
but I hoped for a way that does not require that amount of HDD space and time for copying lots of GB's around.
Isn't it possible to redefine the IDE disc as a SCSI one?
ofcause the steps of getting the scsi controler recognised are neded anyway but jut for skipping the cloning part, any tricks?
I've not tried this, so don't know if it would work, and I would back up your vmdk before trying it.
Could you create a new VM using a scsi disk and attach the disk to the existing vmdk? I'm not sure if the device drivers would be set up or even if it would boot, but it would be quick to try.