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How to convert a physical machine into a virtual one


Today we are going all virtual!!  We shall have a look at converting a physical machine into a virtual one by using VMware Converter.  For this tutorial our test system is an Acer Aspire One running Windows 7 Home Premium. First thing we need to do is download and install the VMWare converter software onto our test system. Once installed you should get the screenshot below. Next we have to click on Convert machine (top left corner) to get the following screen. Make sure you set the source type as Powered-on machine and specify the powered-on machine as This local machine (shown above).  Click next. We now have to specify where to save the virtual machine.  Set destination type as VMWare Workstation or other VMWare virtual machine.  Set VMWare product as “Whatever VMWare product you are using” and then browse for a location to save your image to.  Don’t forget to name your image. We now come to the options screen shown below.  Browse the options and edit if needed. When you are happy click next. We finally reach the Summary screen.  Again browse your configuration choices and when happy click Finish. Your physical machine will now be converted in a virtual one which can be imported into virtual software of your choice.  Depending on how big your hard drive is the conversion may take some time.

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

Virtualbox Wireless Networking

We have previously discussed how to set up networking within virtualbox but we never covered wireless networking specifically.  Today we shall.

Open up virtualbox highlight your virtual machine and then go to settings.  Navigate to network.  You should have a screen with 4 adapters available.  You need to set adapter 1 to NAT and then adapter 2 to Bridged Adapter (for networking purposes).  While on adapter 2 choose wlan as the name from the drop down menu.

Save your settings and start up your virtual machine.  You will now be able to connect to the internet using the wireless adapter of the host machine.


About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

 

 

 

Virtualbox

Today we are going to talk about virtual software and in particular Virtualbox. Virtualbox is open source and allows you to run multiple operating systems at the same time. So if you have a mission critical piece of software that runs on Windows XP but doesn’t run on Windows 7 then just install XP inside a virtual machine and run the software that way instead.

For the basis of this tutorial I will be running Virtualbox on Linux Mint 10 and installing Windows Server 2008 R2 inside a virtual machine.

Ok lets go. First thing to do is to download Virtualbox. Go to www.virtualbox.org and download and install the package.  You can run virtualbox on Windows, Mac and Linux.


Once installed open up Virtualbox and click on New (top left corner).  This will open up the Create New Virtual Machine wizard.  Click next and choose the operating system you want to install.

On the next page you will be asked how much of your memory on the host system you want to allocate to the virtual system.  Word of warning here, if you allocate too much memory then the host system will not have enough to operate and will crash in the background every time you start up your virtual machine.  As a rule of thumb I tend to leave 1 Gb of memory for the host system.

Next page is the Virtual Hard Disk page.  You will be asked if you want to use an existing disk image or create a new one.  If this is your first set up then create a new one.  Creating a new disk image will take you onto the Create New Virtual Disk Wizard.

You will be given two choices, either dynamically expanding storage (disk size starts small but will increase over time to a maximum amount) or fixed size storage.  I always use dynamically expanding storage as this takes up less space at the start.

Once you have decided what type of storage you want you then have to decide where you want to keep it and what size the virtual hard disk will be.

Try and save the virtual disk image on a different hard drive to the host operating system.  This way if the hard drive with the host system on it fails you do not lose the virtual system by default.

Once saved then press finish.  This will take you back to the virtualbox default page and your virtual machine will be located in the left panel ready for activation.  Before you activate and install your system there are a couple of things we need to do.

Highlight your virtual machine and go into settings.  Here you can adjust the settings to suit your own personal needs.  The display settings for example should always be set to maximum for best performance.  If you go into USB you can attach USB devices to your virtual machine (for example printers).  I will discuss networking and storage next time as that is a topic unto itself.  Play around with the settings and see what suits you.

Now it is time to install your operating system and this is done exactly the same as if you where installing it onto a normal system.  Insert the CD and let it run.  You will notice that when installing your mouse will be ‘captured’ by the virtual machine.  You need to press down arrow, right arrow, CTRL to uncapture it which will allow you to use the host system again.  This is a temporary thing as when the operating system is installed you can install a piece of software called Guest Additions which will allow you to use the mouse across both the host system and virtual system at the same time.  Go try out this tutorial and next time we shall delve into how to make virtualbox play nicely with networking and storage.

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

 

 

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