Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

What VM resources can be freed up when not in use?

  1. #1

    What VM resources can be freed up when not in use?

    i have never setup a virtual machine before. I got a parity error and rather than diagnose, I bought a new mobo, CPU and RAM only to learn the problem was the PSU so I got a new one of those also. My old Win 7 Ult would not install and since I was going to have to install all my programs anyway, I decided to also upgrade to Win 8.1.

    Some programs will not install on Win 8.1 54bit, especially my HAVA Platinum "HD" software.

    Windows 8 began development in 2009 and was released in 2011, but Vulkano had not yet updated its software to Windows 8. LOL

    So I'm thinking of putting my old Win 7 in a virtual machine on my Win 8.1, but I will only need this occasionally (mornings on the weekends in the summer).

    I realize that hard drive space will have to be permanently dedicated and that's no problem, nor is a network adapter.

    The problem is that I only have 8 GB of RAM. My question is if I do not start the VM, will I still have my 8 GB? I assume yes, but I do not know if when Hyper V is installed whether it grabs whatever I initially assign it regardless of whether I open it up and run it, or not.

    Also, my Win 8.1 is 64 bit. Can I set up the Win 7 virtual machine as 32 bit so as to reduce the memory needed as 32 bit needs less than 64bit.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    Hyper V will use no RAM at all if the machine is not running. Furthermore if you set it to use Dynamic RAM it will only use what the guest needs. I have 8.1 running in Hyper-V with minimum 512MB, maximum 6GB dynamic RAM assigned. If it is started and logged on but just idling it takes just over 600mb from the host.

    Setting up 7 as 32 bit will not save RAM - you can assign as much or as little as you want if you use 64 bit also. Using 32 bit windows will only limit the maximum you can use.

    If you decide to keep your existing 7 set up you can convert your current set-up to VM using Disk2vhd so no need to re-install everything.

    Hope this helps
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  3. #3

    Thanks! You info was the good news for which I was hoping and in fact better than expected.

    No matter what I did I couldn't get Windows 7 to repair or repair install as I am embarassed to admit I was coming from a 7+ year old LGA 775, DDR2 and a Q6600 to a 1150, DDR3 and an i5-4690. Fortunately I did not loose any data as I never store any data on my boot partition. While the only programs installed on the boot partition are ones that insist on it and don't allow installation elsewhere, I will still loose some programs as some were free shareware subject to activation only on the day it was downloaded which is long past.

    So, I will have reinstall Win 7. At least I know where all my installation CDs and keys are now :-)
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  4. #4

    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Hi there

    If a VM is not running with VMWARE it will simply sit in the background doing SFA !!!

    Unless your machine is totally over committed don't worry about VM resources. If you've configured the VM's properly you shouldn't be "Wasting" machine resources.

    In fact it's better to run VM's on a HOST LINUX system as inactive VM's will be simply "swapped out" to the Swap areas.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    My kids who are software engineers keep telling me to switch to Linux and if I had I would not be having the problems I'm having (but I think I might be having others).

    Anyway, you gave a reason not to run VMWare. Briefly why would I want to be running VMWare, rather than just Hyper V
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    VMWare exists on Windows not just linux in free and paid versions. There is also another free alternative called VirtualBox.

    Personally I prefer Hyper-V although I use VirtualBox on one of my PCs as the processor (an old Core 2 Duo from 2006) doesn't have SLAT and so is incompatible with Hyper-V.

    Apart from this (incompatible hardware) the only reason I can think of to use VMWare (or VirtualBox) over Hyper-V is if you want to run a OS X VM.

    You can try them and see which you prefer.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    I guess I dodged a bullet on needing to use VMWare rather than Hyper V. I would have also wanted to run a VM on my laptop (Lenovo x220). Fortunately that has an i7 and as I understand it, all i3, i5, and i7s support SLAT.

    If the host machine and its VM were to run the same OS, do they run at about the same speed?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    I have X201 i7 and it works fine so yours will also

    As for speed they all work absolutely fine - I can't tell the difference. If you make a VHD as the VM file type when you create the VM then you can boot from and it accesses all the hardware directly. Windows (your Windows 7 in your case) will nag you about activation if you sometimes run it as a VM and sometimes boot the VHD directly.

    This might be an interesting read... Windows 8 VHD - Create at Boot to Dual Boot with
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    I had originally set up the desktop that died to dual boot Win XP and Win 7 back in 2007. I don't think I ever again dual booted into until just before support for XP was to go dark. I wanted to get it all up to snuff. I haven't tried but I am sure it will not boot due to the new hardware unless I reinstall. I guess it's long past time to retire XP.

    I can use that partitiion to put Win 7 on for my VM HD.

    I use BootIt Bare Metal for dual boot, partitioning, and imaging so I could have more than 4 partitions if need be.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    For me running VMs is fine - the performance is not noticeably slower. I only set up the boot VHD out of interest - the performance under Hyper V is fine for me.

    You can set up as many VMs as you want up until the limit of your disk space. You should define the disks as dynamic.

    For example assuming a Windows 7 installation uses 50GB and you have 5 instances using 300GB dynamic disks the actual space used would only be 5 * 50GB=250GB. All you need is to make sure is that if you boot from the VHD you have room to expand it to full 300GB size. It will shrink back when you boot back into your host OS. Note that only applies to booting - running in the VM it will only use 50GB until you make it bigger by downloading something.

    Personally I find VMs easier to use than dual boot. You can back them up by just zipping them and copying them somewhere, you can use more disk space than you have, you can set checkpoints and recover to them which is far faster than an other sort of recovery if you want to try out a program or a change and then back it out.

    You could (if you wanted) covert your XP into a VM and not define it any external networking - it would then be safe and keep on working with no risk of infection. That would only really be worth it if there was some program you liked that only ran on XP though I guess.

    What I have on my X201 is 8.1 Pro host, another demo 8.1 VM and one CentOS VM (which runs all the time) on the internal drive. I then have another half dozen VMs on the drive in my docking station which I don't need with me all the time.

    Anyway good luck with it - let us know if you have any problems.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

What VM resources can be freed up when not in use?
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