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1.1 Setup for VM Use

The first steps are preparing for VM use. First you need to know if your computer can run a VM.
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INDENTIFY SYSTEM VERSION
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You need to identify what you have before you can go forward. You need to be running XP Pro ,Vista or Windows 7 to use VM’s in this class. These images of actual computer system properties settings should help you in identification of your computer type:
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(image 1-111)

The above image is a XP Pro system running in 32 bit mode. If the yellow area contained the text “Windows XP Professional x64 Edition” you would have a 64 bit copy.
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(image 1-12)
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The above image is a Windows 7 system running in 32 bit mode. If the yellow area indicated 64 bit mode you would have a 64 bit install.
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(image 1-1)
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The above image is a Windows Vista sytem running in 64 bit mode. If the yellow area indicated 32 bit mode you would have a 64 bit install.
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If you need a more in depth description go to this Microsoft article : Microsoft Support Knowledge Base Article 827218
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MEMEMORY ISSUES
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The next step is relating your computer memory to what limitations that may cause. Referring to the above  three images let’s see what you can do. The first image (1-111) shows a XP Pro 32 bit system with 1.28GB (gigabytes) of memory. This is cutting it very close if you want to run a VM and expect any kind of performance. The problem is you need memory for your main computer and your VM. You do not want to use virtual memory to run a VM. My rule of thumb is if want to run two computers with the same applications and one is a real computer and one is a VM you need 2 times  the real computer plus 25%.  So having only 1.28GB leaves about 500Mb (megabytes) per computer plus overhead. My recommendation is if you are in 32 bit mode make sure you have 2GB (gigabytes) of memory if you are at 64 bit you should have 4GB (gigabytes). More Information…
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VMWARE
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VMWare is one of the leaders (if not they leader in VM). Go to the VMWARE site to download or read about there offerings. They produce products that you need to pay for (or register for as a consultant to use) while Virtual PC is free. VMWare Worksation and Server are excellent products with a more robust feature set then Virtual PC however,  it is a more envolved  product to learn. Microsoft’s Virtual PC is a good entry level product for first time users. 
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EXTERNAL DRIVE

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You wil need an external USB drive on your computer with over 100GB available. This will be used for storing all your VM information instead of having it on your computer. This way if you make a mistake you do not damage your primary computer.   You will also keep a backup of the working VM on this drive making it easy get back up and running if you make mistakes on the VM. This will also allow you to easily move your VM. More on that later.

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VIRTUAL MACHINE SOFTWARE

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We will be using Microsoft’s Virtual PC for the lessons. There are other companies that produce VM software such as VMWare’s Workstation as noted above.

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If you are using Windows 7 you can download the new Virtual PC  called Windows XP Mode software at this location: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx  follow the prompts and download what is require and install you are prompted to.  One nice feature of Windows XP Mode is it installs a complete running version of XP.

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Users that are new to Virtual PC should download and review the second PDF file at this location before continuing:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/default.aspx 
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Download Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1 here..

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Basically you will have the choice of installing a 64 bit or 32 bit version of Virtual PC when using XP or Vista the main difference is Virtual PC for Windows 7 includes a complete running version of XP Pro while this release does not. Follow the on screen prompts until you get to the following screen. 

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Respond by pressing enter on the “Cancel” choice. That is it for this part 1.1  in the final part 1.2 we will configure and reviw four different types of VM to give you an idea of what can be done with this powerful program. One of these types is what we will use in class or online depending on how you are taking the class.

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Use this Microsoft site for more  information on Virtual PC: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc
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Lets go to Page 1.2

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