Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Why is running your second OS in virtual so much easier th

  1. #1


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    Why is running your second OS in virtual so much easier th


    If you want to install a second Operating system on your system you have several options :

    Double boot
    Install in a virtual partition
    Install in a VHD
    And maybe some other options

    The intuitive move seems to be to install with double boot. But that can be extremely frustrating. If the second OS is a Linux distro, you get your bootmgr clobbered by the Grub which will give you a lot of trouble the day you want to get rid of it.

    If the second system is Windows 8, you may run into complications with the UEFI and have similar problems as with Linux.

    In any case, a double boot is not very fluent for concurrent operation because you have to take down OS #1 and boot OS #2 if you want to switch.

    None of those problems arise when you install in virtual. In fact there are a lot more advantages.

    1. The installation of the second OS is completely isolated from the host OS. No impact on the bootmgr or anything else. The virtual partition ends up to be a folder which you can move to any partition or disk drive if you want to change the location of the virtual partition.

    2. You can move that installation folder to an external drive attached via USB and run your system from there. That is how I run Windows 8 and Zorin (an Ubuntu based distro).

    3. If you want to 'image' your virtual system at any given point in time, you just copy the installation folder to another partition/disk and you save the status of your OS at that moment. That beats imaging in simplicity and execution time.

    4. You can run the virtual system and the host system side by side. That means you switch from one system to another with 1 click. No shutdown and reboot required.

    5. You can move data easily between both systems because the clipboard is shared. What you copy in one system you can paste in the other system. Compare that to moving data in a double booted setup.

    6. You can use facilities of the host system during the guest system session. E.g. I use a fancy snipping tool that I have in Windows 7 to make snips in my Windows 8 and Zorin windows. The same with my screen recorder which I start in Windows 7 but I record e.g. activities in Windows 8. No need to install such programs in the guest system - and in Linux they are not available anyhow.

    7. You can chose to run the guest system full screen and exclusively (then you have no access to the host), but you can get back to the dual mode with 1 click.

    8. You can run programs in one machine whilst you are working in the other machine. E.g. installing updates, or running your Webradio.

    9. And if you are really bold, you install your second (third, forth, etc.) OS on an external drive - like I did. Then you can carry those systems to any PC and run them there.

    10. And the day you want to get rid of that OS, you just delete the VMware folder. No bootmgr and MBR fixes or any other exotic operations.

    I am sure I forgot a few advantages. But that should give you an idea.

    The next question is usually performance. Here I see very little difference between running an OS 'native' or running it virtual. You judge for yourself when you watch my two demos linked below. And remember, I am even running from an external disk attached via USB. And here is the Windows scoring of this setup - for whatever it's worth.

    Click image for larger version


    Will I ever wrestle with a double/triple boot again - NO WAY. I have used Virtual Box in the past, but now I use the VMware Player which I find better suited. Here are the links:

    Demo running Windows 8 in VMware Player
    Demo running Zorin in VMware Player
    Tutorial by Shawn on how to install an OS (Win8 as example) in VMware Player
    My tutorial on how to install on the virtual system on an external disk
    Tutorial on how to share partitions between Host and Guest
    Last edited by whs; 12 Feb 2013 at 22:03.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Very useful post. Thanks. You might want to explicitly mention (certainly not necessary) running two systems--one via Remode Desktop Connection (RDC). I do that a lot here--run Win8 on an old laptop from my MacBook Pro via RDC. The old laptop is relatively unpleasant to use.

    And, you might bring in some of the disadvantages of virtual. I have not used virtual too much--only Win7 as installed on Boot Camp run virtually via MacBook Pro. But, I didn't like having to have dedicated memory and disk space for Win7 (as I recall). I don't have to do that using RDC. And, while I certainly haven't investigated the advantages you mention above in the context of RDC, some of them apply to RDC, e.g., running programs, etc., on both at the same time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    If the second system is Windows 8, you may run into complications with the UEFI and have similar problems as with Linux.
    Not sure what mean by that?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    Very useful post. Thanks. You might want to explicitly mention (certainly not necessary) running two systems--one via Remode Desktop Connection (RDC). I do that a lot here--run Win8 on an old laptop from my MacBook Pro via RDC. The old laptop is relatively unpleasant to use.

    And, you might bring in some of the disadvantages of virtual. I have not used virtual too much--only Win7 as installed on Boot Camp run virtually via MacBook Pro. But, I didn't like having to have dedicated memory and disk space for Win7 (as I recall). I don't have to do that using RDC. And, while I certainly haven't investigated the advantages you mention above in the context of RDC, some of them apply to RDC, e.g., running programs, etc., on both at the same time.
    I am not really familar with RDC except for Teamviewer that I have used a couple of times.

    As far as disk space usage goes, it is dynamic. You define a maximum and it is used as you go. For Win8 I defined 40GB and 23GBs are now used and allocated . For Zorin I defined 20GB and 8GB are currently used and allocated. I run both systems on a USB attached 60GB external disk which is nearly half empty at this moment.

    The real big advantage is that my Windows 8 is always up. But I work mostely on Windows 7.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    If the second system is Windows 8, you may run into complications with the UEFI and have similar problems as with Linux.
    Not sure what mean by that?
    I am not exactly sure either. I only read all these war stories where people wrestle with the UEFI. Example: The Win7 system partition is too small to accomodate the Win8 bootmgr. But if you think that this is not a problem, I change it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    If the second system is Windows 8, you may run into complications with the UEFI and have similar problems as with Linux.
    Not sure what mean by that?
    I am not exactly sure either. I only read all these war stories where people wrestle with the UEFI. Example: The Win7 system partition is too small to accomodate the Win8 bootmgr. But if you think that this is not a problem, I change it.
    As with all installs of Windows 7, the 100mb partition is to small.but Windows 8 will install with the 100mb partition. Linux use a 94mb partition.


    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    So you think double booting Windows 8 with Windows 7 is smooth sailing - or ??
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Not had a problem, yet. but like all dual booting, maintenance is the key word.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Fancy - but probably not easier to setup than a VMware Player.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    VMs are good as test environments, but I prefer multi-boot. Performance is the key word here.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Why is running your second OS in virtual so much easier th
Related Threads
Hello everyone, Young student working on my master's thesis, I have to run a few programs only available on linux. As seen on almost all the sources I visited, I installed VirtualBox and downloaded the last Ubuntu "iso" file. after having installed the new OS on virtualbox, I tried launching...
Hey all. I just recently purchased a laptop with Windows 8 and wanted to set up a VM of Windows 7 on it. I have never worked with VM's before and I'm ready to get it going. Could anyone provide any help as to how to do it. Thanks!!!
An easier way to see all apps in General Support
Many users like the Alt-Tab app-switcher better than the Logo-Tab, because the Alt-Tab shows both Desktop and Windows 8 apps. But you have to keep holding down the Alt key while tabbing. Here's a way to turn on the Alt-Tab popup so it will stay on without holding any key down. Then you can use the...
Hi there Since we are booting directly into a VHD this topic isn't really about Virtualisation per se -- so whether this post should be moved to Virtualisation --leave that for the Mods. Seems to me that running W8 from a VHD directly (I.E no HOST OS installed) would be really efficient and...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook