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Re: Virtual Machines: Newbie / novice questions



On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 12:57:57PM -0400, RavenLX wrote:
> On 05/17/2017 12:42 PM, craigswin wrote:
> >
> >
> >On 05/17/2017 06:03 AM, RavenLX wrote:
> 
> But booting into a Windows VM is hard. You can't back up/export without
> losing your license and having to call MS (which is why I don't even bother)
> to have them 'fix' it. And updates take forever. My laptop is kinda old so
> it also bogs down the machine sometimes. In addition, the internet part
> doesn't always work. Sometimes it stalls and you have to reboot the windows
> VM to get it working again (maybe something not set right, who knows).
> 
> My normal workflow includes doing updates on the base VM (which take a long
> time), then doing a disk cleanup, then sdelete to zero out the unused areas.
> Next I would clone (at the command line) the VM disk file so that it is
> fully compressed. Then I export. Not doing this to compress it as much as
> possible results in a huge exported backup file.
> 
> I rather back up the exported machine, and then clone it if I need to use a
> Windows VM. This saves "messing up" windows and having to take half a day or
> more to reinstall everything, including programs, etc. and updates, etc.
> etc.
> 
> Windows 10, at least, is very slow with updates on a virtual machine.
> 

This is the most unbelievable overkill. Windows VMs work just fine in 
VirtualBox. When it comes to backup, I have my backup scripts check the 
machines are down and if they are, include the virtual disks in the main 
system backup, and if not, skip them for that night. There is no 
Windows-level backup, it's all done at the host level.

For this to work it has to be OK to down the Windows machines in order 
to back them up,otherwise you risk Windows deciding to do a pointless 
disk write in the middle of your backup and invalidate it. That isn't a 
problem for me; if it were, I would either schedule a maintenance window 
and back them up then, or look into Windows-level backup solutions 
(which _still_ have no need for the nuclear-warhead-to-slice-a-banana 
approach described above).

Restore is smooth, and no license issues -- the Windows machine never 
knows anything happened.

Mark


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