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Win7 As A XP Replacement

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 5 years and 98 days ago. Viewed 1,133 times. #1
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(2013-09-12)

So with April starting to stare us down the barrel, it is time to seriously deal with Windows XP installations that are still in service. In practice for me, that means my VM environments.

For the past few years I have been VM-crazy to some extent, creating a new VM instance of XP every time I needed to do something customer-specific. The most frequent application was for VPN applications. The Cisco, Juniper, FortiNet, and Sonicwall things that need to be installed occasionally won't play nice with each other, and usually have the restriction that you can only run one instance of a given one at a time. So I would be able to do customer-focused tasks in one VM, and if another customer emergency came up I could spark up another VM for them and deal with them without having to disassemble what I had going for the first one.

I also occasionally mess with CentOS VMs, but very rarely as it happens.

So yesterday I created a prototype Win7 VM as a candidate replacement for the XP VM template.

And… man is it slow. I have it set to the same resources as the XP VM, that being 1 core and 2GB of memory. It took over 90 minutes to run basic updates after the OS installed. Running three updates today took in excess of 60 minutes. I don't know why it is so slow, but it is something which I have to get a handle on before XP becomes permanently unsupported.

I've contemplated throwing another core in the VM, but that will impair my ability to run multiple instances, as will boosting the RAM in the VM. As it is, I can't really run more than two VMs on my 8GB laptop.

One could consider that these laptops are due for replacement this year and if we get the next step up of RAM to 16GB, then running more than one large VM will be more of a possibility. We might even get a decent sized SSD so that more than one VM can live on the SSD at a time, which should also improve matters.

I don't really want to have to solve this problem with a faster computer, but I might not have much of a choice in this matter.

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