bobcumbers
Contributor
Contributor

Newbie has a few installation question before journey - W7 & W10

Hi and thanks for looking in.

PC Ugrade. Originally installed and running Windows 7 Home Edition on HP Pavillion Elite 140f.  8GB RAM.

Upgraded HD to SAMSUNG 850 EVO 1TB SSD and using Magician Software completed transferrance of OS without indicdent.

Over the years, have installed much and used as office work machine.  I have tax return preparation packages installed from 2009 forward and a number of different year versions of QuickBooks all still used in support of clients.  While applicablity of these annual packages diminishes every day, I wish to keep all of the Windows 7 installation and environment "as is" in the event I have to go back and do something.

Desired installation environment is a VMWARE WORKSTATION PRO 15 world where I can simultaneously run both Windows 10 and Windows 7 as stand alone instances.

My data drive is not contained on the same drive now running Windows 7.  I intend to allow Windows 10 & 7 access to the data drive so files are accessible when using either instance in a shared fashion.

Windows 7 is now contained in a 400 MB primary partition to which I boot.

I intend Windows 10 to be installed in a new 550 MB partition on the same SSD.

My question is this.

Is the existing Windows 7 installation 'mounted' so to speak in the VMWARE world as a separate instance running on its own partition or,

is the original installation actually moved onto the Windows 10 partition as a separate instance to be run there?

Do I create a dual boot environment?

cj

The issue is regarding the installation and use of VMWARE, W10 & W7.

First I suspect is a clean installation of W10 in the new partition.  Then VMWARE.

Then what?  What happens next?

Your info, configuring suggestions and advice appreciated.  thanks.

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7 Replies
wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

You are talking about a dual boot environment where you run both Windows operating systems at the physical hardware level.

This is not the way we normally install and run a virtualized OS and it is not recommended unless you have very specific demands.

You first install VMware Workstation and then you install a guest OS within VMware workstation.

Your guest OS only sees virtual hardware and is contained within a number of files within the host OS.

Eg. say you want to install Windows 10 as a guest OS.

When you install it under VMware, it is installed on a virtual disk. This virtual disk shows up in your host OS as .vmdk files.

From within the Windows 10 guest OS, that .vmdk file shows up as if it is a real disk.

The hardware configuration of that virtual machine is stored in a .vmx file.

and so on..

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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dennis9999
Contributor
Contributor

My environment is similar to yours. Win10 home running workstation pro version 10, vista and xp guests. The XP guest is used for legacy software including many versions of turbo tax going back to the 1990's. I now use Drake and the Vista client has that software going back to 2013. Every thing runs very smoothly and client performance is quite good even when running both clients at the same time. I use a simple backup strategy, suspend the client and copy the entire directory structure to an external backup drive.

I once tried backing up the XP client while it was running and then doing a restore. It did work but I would not recommend it, in a busy environment your file structure would likely be inconsistent and produce unpredictable results.

Be sure to check the hardware and O/S requirements for the version of workstation pro you select I have read the latest version has stricter requirements.

I am quite satisfied with this environment and am amazed you can create a new guest VM from another computer while it is running and the results are an exact duplicate.

Dennis

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

Just a few remarks.

I use a simple backup strategy, suspend the client and copy the entire directory structure to an external backup drive.

If you just copy the directory structure then my recommendation would be not suspend, but completely shut down the VM and close VMware Workstation before starting the copy.

It's just a bit more safe to do.

I once tried backing up the XP client while it was running and then doing a restore. It did work but I would not recommend it, in a busy environment your file structure would likely be inconsistent and produce unpredictable results.

That is correct, it is not recommended to make a complete copy of the VM while it is running.

The file system is likely to be inconsistent and dataloss can happen, it isn't a reliable way to make a backup.

There is one way that I am aware on doing this with VMware Workstation and that would be using my Vimalin Backup software.

Vimalin depends on VMware snapshot technology in order to be able to make a safe copy of your running VM.

For more info see the link in my forum signature.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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dennis9999
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you Wil. I looked at Vimalin Backup software and noticed in the FAQ it mentions workstation pro version 12 and higher. I am running version 10 so am I to assume it will not work with that version?

Dennis

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hello Dennis,

Personally I would expect it to work as not that much has changed in the automation that Vimalin depends on over the past years.

It just means that I haven't tested against Workstation version 10.

If you try Vimalin with Workstation 10 and it doesn't work or if you bump into issues then let me know and I will try to reproduce it and look into it.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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bobcumbers
Contributor
Contributor

Dennis & Will,

thanks for your posts.  Every bit of info helps.

I 've been doing more research too.  I now understand the virtual disk concept and virtualization but I'm still stuck on the original steps.

In my case ...

First, I install Windows 10 in a new partiation.  I make this my boot partition and initial start-up OS.

Second, I install VMware Workstation on that same W10 partition

Third, I RUN VMware Workstation

Forth, in VMware Workstation I install another instance of Windows 10 as the guest os. 

To make a long story short, this is the windows 10 installation I will run as my standard W10 PC work environment in a VMWORLD.

Fifth, I use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone to take my already existing (now on its own separate partition) Windows 7 PC installation and create a virtual disk file (.vmdk).

I can then run this .vmdk as the second PC instance running side by side with the Window 10 .vmdk of step #3 above.

The original Windows 7 installation on its own partition is frozen in time and just stays there.

So in the morning ...

I boot to W10.

I run VMware Workstation.

I mount and run the W10.vmdk to work in my W10 World all day long and shut it down when done at the end of the day.

I mount and run the W7.vmdk to work in my W7 World all day long and shut it down when done at the end of the day.

I quit VMmware Workstation at the end of the day.

Can somebody confirm this as a correct set-up, configuration and deployment of the VMmware Workstation environment as intended?

thanks.

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

That could work.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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