Saturday, 19 February 2011

VMWare Workstation on Windows

Having abandoned CentOs as the host for my VMWare VMs, I went back to running Windows XP as the host.

A bit of a pain (two sets of virus detectors, and all the other bloatedness of Windows). That would have been OK, except that most times I started the client, it decided it had only 1 monitor, and rearranged my desktop accordingly. So every morning, the first few minutes would be spent putting things back on the correct monitor. Would you believe that moving a quick launch toolbar from one monitor to another reorders all the icons?

At least my USB 3 drive worked (and aren't they _fast_ !). And my headset.

However, performance was not good, and too many things caused screen updating to stop working. And VM clients had a tendency to jump from one (ATI Hydravision) virtual desktop to another (on the server).

The NTFS filesystem going corrupt, so that one of the 2GB files that made up my hard disk suddenly thought it was 2TB was the last straw.

I finally gave in, and decided to "de-virtualise" my desktop. I took loads of backups, made a BartPE CD, booted it, and repartitioned my disk. Then I restored the backup of my VM client desktop, and rebooted.

Then I was stuck in a boot loop - as soon as the Windows logo appeared, the machine rebooted. Safe mode (even safe mode with command line) did not help. The only way out was a repair install with the latest CD I had (XP64 SP1), followed by a whole day downloading updates and service packs and copies of Internet Explorer.

So I can now advise that virtualisation is not ready to host your desktop on the one machine, and that changing the hardware of your Windows working environment is still a horrible nightmare.

No comments: