The Complete Guide to Speeding Up Your Virtual Machines

Posted on May 3, 2017. Filed under: Techniques, Utilities | Tags: , , , , |

HowToGeek posts: Virtual machines are demanding beasts, providing virtual hardware and running multiple operating systems on your computer at once. As a result, they can sometimes be a little slow. Here are some tips to help you squeeze every last drop of performance out of your virtual machine, whether you’re using VirtualBox, VMware, Parallels, or something else.

Source: The Complete Guide to Speeding Up Your Virtual Machines

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Dual boot Windows 10

Posted on June 23, 2015. Filed under: Microsoft Windows, Virtual systems, Windows 10 | Tags: , , , |

Infopackets has a post about Windows 10 Upgrade: Can I keep my Old Windows Install?.

This includes how to dual boot your old version of Windows OR have the option to boot Windows 10.  The method preferred is to convert your old Windows into a Virtual Machine.

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Portable VirtualBox Lets You Take Your Virtual Machines Anywhere

Posted on May 6, 2014. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware | Tags: , , , , |

Lifehacker recommends Portable VirtualBox Lets You Take Your Virtual Machines Anywhere.

Portable VirtualBox lets you install VirtualBox on a USB drive or external hard drive and run your virtual machines anywhere.

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Virtual computing

Posted on February 14, 2011. Filed under: Security, Virtual systems | Tags: , , , , |

Returnil is a “powerful virtualization technology that completely mirrors your actual computer setup and it can create a virtual storage disk within your PC where you can save documents, data, and files while using the System Protection feature.”

Returnil virtualization technology clones a computer’s System Partition and boots the PC into this system rather than native Windows, allowing you run your applications in a completely isolated environment. Hence the session and all activity, malicious or otherwise, will happen in the virtual environment, not in the real PC environment. If the PC is attacked or gets infected, all you need to do is to simply reboot the PC to erase all changes. After reboot, the system will be restored to its original state, as if nothing ever happened. All of this without sacrificing computer performance or usability while helping to reduce technical support intervention and the need for routine maintenance.”

Returnil is free for personal use on your own computer (business users must pay).

Chris Pirillo has Virtual Machine Speed Tips.

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VirtuaWin – Virtual Desktops for Windows

Posted on November 14, 2010. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Virtual systems | Tags: , , , , |

VirtuaWin is freeware to give you multiple Virtual Desktops for Windows, much like Linux.

Instead of having lots of icons on one desktop, group them by virtual desktops: all the icons you need for this type of work, another desktop for that type, and so on.

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Service-now.com VPN instructions

Posted on November 14, 2010. Filed under: networking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

UAFS Service-now.com has instructions on using the Virtual Private Network to access the campus network from off-campus.

For example, if you leave your computer on but logged out, you could connect and login from off-campus and operate as if you were sitting in front of your computer on campus.

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Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd

Posted on October 25, 2010. Filed under: Virtual systems, Windows 7, Windows XP | Tags: , , , , , |

ZDNet shows you how to Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd.

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Cameyo Creates a Portable Version of Just About Any Program

Posted on October 25, 2010. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware | Tags: , , , , |

Lifehacker recommends Cameyo which Creates a Portable Version of Just About Any Program.

Want to take a program (or several) with you, set up the way you like it?  Try using this to create a version that will run from your flash drive.

Note: this may or may not work for any given program, but it might be worth a try.

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VirtuaWin – Virtual Desktops for Windows

Posted on April 19, 2010. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Microsoft Windows | Tags: , , , , |

VirtuaWin is a freeware program to let you create Virtual Desktops for Windows.

“VirtuaWin is a virtual desktop manager for the Windows operating system (Win9x/ME/NT/Win2K/XP/Win2003/Vista). A virtual desktop manager lets you organize applications over several virtual desktops (also called ‘workspaces’). Virtual desktops are very common in Unix/Linux, and once you get accustomed to using them, they become an essential part of a productive workflow.”

For example: create a desktop with all the tools you normally use to handle your music (player, MP3 editor, etc.), and another for all the tools you use for art, and another for… you get the idea.  Gets all the tools for the specific job out there in front, and yet keeps the clutter down because you have a unique desktop arrangement for each purpose you have.

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Get the most out of Windows XP Mode with these tips

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Windows 7 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

TechRepublic has advice on how to Get the most out of Windows XP Mode with these tips.

When using XP mode inside Windows 7, this advice applies.

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x86 virtualization – Wikipedia

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Help, Microsoft Windows | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

x86 virtualization as explained by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Some of the links may help, along with explanations, of running “virtual machine” versions of other software, such as the XP mode of Windows 7 and what it can run on.

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Windows 7 XP Mode test — pass or fail?

Posted on June 22, 2009. Filed under: compatibility, Windows XP | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Ed Bott, blogging at ZDNet, wonders How many Intel CPUs will fail the XP Mode test in Windows 7?

Turns out that not all CPUs will support the “XP mode” in Windows 7 that allows programs to run as if in Windows XP.

Oops — found my new laptops CPU, and it fails.  Curses!

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Virtual network tutorials

Posted on June 8, 2008. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, networking, Utilities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Additional help on setting up virtual networks so you can move files, even remote control computers:

Lifehacker has a tutorial on how to control a computer remotely.

Lifehacker has a tutorial on how to access a home server behind a router/firewall.

Lifehacker has a tutorial on how to assign a domain name to your home web server using DynDNS.

[updated June 23, 2008]

Chris Pirillo (the famous “Lockergnome” guy) is a fan of the Virtual Private Network freeware Hamachi for accessing your computer from elsewhere securely.

“Hamachi allows you to create your own VPN basically… for free! You can add other users to it, and share files with them in a secure manner. Some of the features of Hamachi:

  • LAN over the Internet Arrange multiple computers into their own secure network, just as if they were connected by a physical cable.
  • Remote Access Remote control any machine on your network with Remote Desktop.
  • Files and Network Drives Access critical files and network drives.
  • Zero-configuration Works without having to adjust a firewall or router.
  • Security Industry leading encryption and authentication.
  • Cost Effective Basic version is free to use.”
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Ubuntu in Microsoft Virtual PC

Posted on May 27, 2008. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Linux, Microsoft Windows | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Attention Linux fans: The Sean Blog has instructions on how to install Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron in Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2007.

Recommended by ZDNet.

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Virtual CD/DVD drives

Posted on April 19, 2008. Filed under: CD, DVD, File conversion, Freeware/Shareware, Hardware, Utilities, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Does anybody really like fumbling with CD cases and DVD cases? Especially when traveling? But if you want to while away the evening with a game or a movie (or even a long, boring meeting — turn the sound off first!)…

Basically, you need to be able to load the contents of your CD/DVD onto the hard drive — which will also be likely to speed up response time — so you can run the files as if they were on the CD/DVD drive. You need a virtual CD/DVD drive. Of course, since you already paid for the CD/DVD, it would be nice if the virtual (or clone) drive software were free. Here are some examples.

MagicDisc is freeware. “MagicDisc Virtual CD/DVD-ROM is a utility designed for creating and managing virtual CD drives and CD/DVD discs. MagicDisc Virtual CD/DVD-ROM emulates audio, data, and game CDs and DVDs with ISO image, CD and DVD images. MagicDisc Virtual CD/DVD-ROM offers 200x speed and noiseless CD/DVD access without a physical drive. It supports creating up to 15 virtual drivers. You can run games, software, see movies (VCD, SVCD, DVD), and hear music directly from your hard disk without inserting and swapping CDs and DVDs. MagicDisc allows you to use almost all CD/DVD image without burning them onto CD or DVD in order to easily access your favorite games, music, or software programs. It works like a real CD/DVD-ROM: You can run programs, play games, or listen to music from your virtual CD-ROM. It can compress ISO CUE MDS NRG CCD image; can encrypt ISO CUE MDS NRG CCD image; can make ISO image from CD/DVD; It can mount UDF only CD/DVD image and multi-session MDS/MDF and CCD/IMG image. Version 2.6.93 can set DVD Region Code.” Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.
DAEMON Tools Lite is freeware.
” DAEMON Tools is an advanced application for Microsoft Windows which provides THE best optical media emulation in the industry. !! THIS VERSION SUPPORTS 32 AND 64 BIT OS (Microsoft Windows XP, Windows2003, Windows 2000, VISTA) !!”
Microsoft Virtual CD Control Panel (warning: direct download link) Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel is a free CD-ROM emulator that allows you to mount ISO images of CDROMs in a virtual drive. It is a rudimentary program that does not support copy-protected discs such as the game disks supported by commercial CD/DVD emulators. Note that the Virtual CD Control Panel link is a direct download link. It came from a Microsoft KnowledgeBase entry on an unrelated subject, which contains some instructions on how you can install the driver, add a virtual CD drive and mount your images. (If you are visiting that link for instructions about the Virtual CDROM Control Panel, simply ignore references to “Windows PE”.) You will also need to use a third party program to make your ISO images (if you don’t already have it). This is a Windows program. [this entry from http://www.thefreecountry.com]
Alcohol 52% Free Edition is freeware. “There are no limitations on this version, other than the ability to create only 6 virtual drives. Our retail version still supports 31 virtual drives. Remember you can not run Alcohol 52% if you have Alcohol 120% installed on the same drive. [Alcohol 120% is the pay version with more capabilities.] This version of Alcohol 52% is for private, non-commercial, single home computer use only.The license is provided personally to you and for that reason it does not allow you to make any duplicate (copy) to be sold, borrowed, assigned, leased or transferred. Emulation software allowing users to play CDs DVDs without the need for the physical disc. Notebook users and PC Game players would benifit the most from Alcohol 52% Supports 25 plus languages Can handle up to 6 virtual CD DVD-ROM drives, all at once. The reading speed of a virtual CD-ROM is 200X. This means you can play a CD from the virtual CD-ROM with 200X reading speed. Supports normal CD DVD and CD RAW sub-channel reading methods: RAW reading method enables to emulate all CDs. CD formats supported: CD-DA, CD+G, CD-ROM, CD-XA, Video CD, Photo CD, Mixed Mode, Multi-session CD DVD formats supported: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio Support for all current (ATAPI SCSI) drives: CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW Full support for IEEE-1394 (Firewire) and USB protocols. Winner of the 2006 Epsilon Award at the sixth annual European SharewareConference. Windows NT 3.x, Windows NT 4.x, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista.

SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive is freeware.

Features

  • Supports all common image formats such as ISO, BIN, CCD
  • Supports up to 8 virtual drives at the same time
  • Easy to use – just double-click an image file to mount as a drive
  • Virtual CloneDrive is freeware, you may use it at no cost.
  • Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000/XP
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Virtually disposable system with Returnil

Posted on April 15, 2008. Filed under: Freeware/Shareware, Security, Utilities | Tags: , , , , |

Returnil offers a free personal version of their virtual system software.

Basically, this sets up a virtual (or sort of simulated) copy of your operating system within your computer.  If you get a virus, trojan horse, locked up software, whatever — it’s only on the simulation of your system and should be much less likely to affect the rest of your computer.

For Windows XP/ Windows Server 2003/ Windows Vista 32-bit.

Returnil virtualization technology clones a computer’s System Partition and boots the PC into this system rather than native Windows, allowing you run your applications in a completely isolated environment. Hence the session and all activity, malicious or otherwise, will happen in the virtual environment, not in the real PC environment. If the PC is attacked or gets infected, all you need to do is to simply reboot the PC to erase all changes. After reboot, the system will be restored to its original state, as if nothing ever happened. All of this without sacrificing computer performance or usability while helping to reduce technical support intervention and the need for routine maintenance.”

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CD without a CD – putting a CD on your hard drive

Posted on December 4, 2007. Filed under: CD, Freeware/Shareware, Hardware | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Instead of shuffling through your CDs, looking for that particular one that will allow your program to work, you may be able to mount your ISO (CD) files virtually.

This tool for Windows XP allows image files to be mounted virtually as CD-ROM/DVD-ROM devices. This tool is provided … for your convenience and is unsupported by Microsoft Product Support Services.  Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel for Windows XP.

Recommended by Windows Secrets and other sources.

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CD or not CD? That is, with CloneDrive

Posted on November 9, 2007. Filed under: CD, Everything, Freeware/Shareware, Hardware | Tags: , , , , , |

SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive “works and behaves just like a physical CD/DVD drive, however it exists only virtually. Image files generated with CloneDVD or CloneCD can be mounted onto a virtual drive from your hard-disk or from a network drive and used in the same manner as inserting them into a normal CD/DVD drive.  Probably the best virtual drive software, Virtual CloneDrive allows you to enjoy the freedom of a virtual drive and is completely free.

Recommended by Coolsites newsletter.

  • Supports all common image formats such as ISO, BIN, CCD
  • Supports up to 8 virtual drives at the same time
  • Easy to use – just double-click an image file to mount as a drive
  • Virtual CloneDrive is freeware, you may use it at no cost.
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