Hello, I really don't know where to start. I have read extensively on virtualization but the more I read the more confused I get. Please bear with me as I'm sure you will think my questions are quite stupid & I'm sorry but I have a lot of them.
I have 2 PC's both running dual boot setups. Specifications as follows:
PC1-dual boot Windows XP and Windows 7 Pro (64bit) with 6 gb ram. XP(32 bit) on 200 gb partition Window 7 on 300 gb partition
PC2 -dual boot Windows 7 HP (64 bit) and Windows 8 Pro (64 bit) with 6 gb ram.Win7 on 600 gb partition, Win 8 on 400 gb partition. PC2 is my main computer which I use most of the time.
I have all the applications I use installed in each OS (ie: MS OFC 2010,burning program, cleanup tools, etc) When I set these up I contemplated going virtual but was as confused then as I am now so just went ahead with dual boot which I could understand. Now I would like to attempt a virtual setup using VMPlayer. Would someone please try to clarify some issues for me. Before I start know that I have my dual boot setups backed up with Acronis TI 2013.
My objective is to establish VMs on both these PCs without having to reinstall the OS so I want to convert the existing OS to a VM.
Question 1. Is the following correct & in the right order & do any other steps need to be added?
A: Install VMWare Converter into Windows 8, convert that OS to a virtual file & save it
to a folder.
B: Copy the folder I created into Window 7 (the host). Install VMPlayer into Win7 and
go open the folder
Question 2. At this point it is my understanding the VM works off the drivers installed within the host. Will I have to do anything from within the VM regarding drivers since I converted the installation rather than did a new install? Will the VM recognize my internal DVD drives or if I use a flash drive will the VM recognize it?
Question 3. Since I will be using a converted VM file as opposed to one made using Virtual Machine Wizard where I could specify amount of ram or disk size to use with the VM how do I change these allotments?
C: Edit boot loader to remove Win8
Question 4. At this point if I can use Win 8 as VM can I safely remove the partition Win8 resides on and reclaim disk space. Since I installed Win7 before I installed Win8 disk space should be consecutive so should be ok.
Question 5 & 6. If all this proved successful would I do exactly the same thing in PC1 except convert XP and run it as VM in Win7? Since I installed Windows 7 after I installed XP disk space would not be consecutive so I would have to backup once I got VM set up, reformat the hard drive and reinstall from backup to recover disk space. After successful conversion to VM, am I correct in assuming that if I make a full system backup using Acronis from within the host that everything within the guest will be backed up as well?
Question 7. In VM does Windows Update automatically update the guest even if the guest is not actively running?
Question 8. I have ordered additional ram for these machines. After I install it how do I reallocate ram being used within the VM or should I have additional ram installed prior to converting to VM? PC1 will be boosted up to 8 gb and PC2 will have 8. Is that enough and what is your allocation recommendation? I can add more if necessary.
Question 9. If I successfully am able to convert to VMs I will no longer need to have all my applications duplicated will I? For example, if I run CCleaner from within the host it will perform cleanup on the Win8 VM as well won't it or if I run Disk Defrag or Malwarebytes?
Question 10. I have read about other people who converted active installations into VMs who seemed to have recurring issues with Windows activation. What do I need to do from the get go to make sure I don't have these issues?
Question 11. After successful conversion to VM, am I correct in assuming that if I make a full system backup using Acronis from within the host that everything within the guest will be backed up as well?
Question 12. I read that a copy of the VM folder can be put on a flash drive,carried to another PC, and the VM be run from the flash drive. I am assuming that is IF VM player is also installed on that machine as well. Is this correct? Again, my problem understanding the drivers issue bumfuzzles me regarding doing this.
Question 13. I may be asking for trouble going the conversion route. Would I be better off completely removing the OS I want to convert to VM from each of these PCs and doing a new install as VM within VMPlayer? I've got lots of stuff installed in each of them so a new install would take a very long time.
I really do apologize that I am so dense that I have to ask so many questions & Iím sure this will turn some of you off from answering my post. Iím usually able to understand most computer issues but this all is confusing as hell to me for some reason. I think I have developed a mental block because I have read too much. Any input to help me get a better grip on this or anything you might want to make me aware of is much appreciated. I know it will take up a lot of your time to field this many questions.