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Testing Win7 on a Virtual Machine


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#1 Eric RBA

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 03:58 PM

I wanted to get some collective thoughts from the masses, so I am asking this around. I wanted to "test" Windows 7 on a couple of laptops before actually installing the OS, so I am using a virtual environment. Call me skeptical, but I don't trust that the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor tool will give me a 100% answer as to whether or not I will be able to jump OS's seamlessly and with only minor issues, so I'm trying it this way.

I installed the free program that Sun offers, Sun VirtualBox, and loaded the Windows 7 Pro. I highly recommend this program over others. It's quite simple and very reliable, you'll just need to have the media and a license of course. In any case, I ran this on one laptop that I suspected would have major issues, only to find out that so far it's only minor. (Needs audio driver updates, hopefully I'll be able to get them.)

So my question would be is testing the laptop from a virtual machine a viable source of information for what I will get if I step into loading Windows 7 as the OS for the laptops?
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#2 JohnWho

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 05:14 PM

Simple answer -

in my opinion, "No".

The "virtual" environment is somewhat isolating the Win 7 OS from the actual hardware environment of the laptop.


You should still run the Win 7 upgrade advisor, and even if you don't trust it, it will give you something to build on.

If you can, and these laptops are identical, you could partiton one of the HDs and install Win 7 in the new partition, thereby preserving the original OS while testing Win 7. This would give you the information you need on whether Win 7 will work on them.

If each laptop is different, you'll need to consider each one separately while running the Upgrade Advisor or installing the OS in a test partition.


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#3 Eric RBA

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:22 AM

Thanks for the input John. Each laptop is different (Gateway MT6452 & HP 6715b) and I'm considering the install for both. I have noticed though that I'm still getting response from the virtual OS as far as some of the hardware needing drivers and updates, so I have a feeling it will suffice enough to let me know where I'll stand.

I'm curious about one of the things you mentioned though, the piece about partitioning the OS to install Win7. How can the HD be partitioned on either laptop at this point, seeing as they're both already running an OS? (Gateway w/ Vista, HP w/ XP Pro)
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#4 groovicus

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:49 AM

I agree with John here. The virtual system isolates the OS from the hardware and provides a layer of abstraction. the operating system does not interact directly with the hardware. It interacts with the virtual OS, which in turn interacts with the hardware. This extra layer of interaction is going to degrade performance of the operating system that you are running within the OS. You have only determined that there is an issue running Windows 7 in a single Virtual system. You can not really make any decisions about Windows 7 based on a single test. You need to try either multiple operating systems within that environment (such as Vista), or run Windows 7 within multiple virtualization software. Virtual PC is free, and you can get a trial of VMWare.

How can the HD be partitioned on either laptop at this point, seeing as they're both already running an OS?

I think what John was referring to is that if you had free space, you could repartition the disk to make a new partition, and on that partition, install Windows 7.

#5 JohnWho

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 03:02 PM

How can the HD be partitioned on either laptop at this point, seeing as they're both already running an OS?

I think what John was referring to is that if you had free space, you could repartition the disk to make a new partition, and on that partition, install Windows 7.



Yes.

On my notebook PC, with a 320G HD, I kept the Vista OS, re-sized the primary partition to 150G, and created a second partition with the remaining 150G (or thereabouts).

Then I installed Win 7 in the second partition and now dual-boot to either Vista or Win 7 on the notebook.

But first, I ran the Win 7 advisor to insure that the hardware would be acceptable to Win 7 - it is.

If you can do this, you'll get the ultimate test regarding running Win 7 on both notebooks.

Running Win 7 in a virtual PC environment can not do this.


I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


#6 Eric RBA

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 04:26 PM

Okay, okay, I'll give up on my bid for testing in the virtual world. I planned to install Windows 7 on the Gateway at some point anyway, I was just prolonging it because that's my wife's laptop. Yikes!!

So John, could you fill me in a little more as far as how I can re-size my primary partition? I tried to do this, using Windows XP Pro on my HP laptop, but wasn't able to determine how to change anything from Disk Management. I would like to attempt this, so if you could give me a little more info that would be great, or point me in the direction of any KB articles you know of.

Thanks!!
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#7 JohnWho

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 04:37 PM

Hey Eric -

While there are a number of ways to get an HD partitioned that would enable you to do what you want to do,

I recommend EASEUS Partition Manager (renamed as EASEUS Partition Master)

to handle the re-sizing of your current, active partition and creation of the new, second partition, since it is what I used.


Well, I recommend it at the "free" level, but otherwise, I'm partial to the Acronis products.


Check the EASEUS link and I think you'll get an understanding regarding the proceedure.

Hope that helps.


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#8 AdamV

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:13 AM

Also note that on Vista you can re-partition the drive without third party tools
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