Windows 10: My Virtualization Dilemna

Discus and support My Virtualization Dilemna in Windows 10 Virtualization to solve the problem; I have been using VMWare Workstation for ages, and for the most part, I don't have a lot to complain about. Lately, with a lot of the new features in... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Virtualization' started by johnnyZ, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. johnnyZ Win User

    My Virtualization Dilemna


    I have been using VMWare Workstation for ages, and for the most part, I don't have a lot to complain about. Lately, with a lot of the new features in Windows 10, I really want to enable Hyper-V to take advantage of these new features, like WSL2 and Docker for Windows. But as everybody reading this already probably knows, you can't run any Type 2 hypervisor software like VMWare Workstation in Windows 10 if Hyper-V is enabled.

    I have an Intel NUC not currently being used, so I thought I'd look into running a standalone virtualization server. I work as a S/W contractor, and I create VMs to segregate the work I do for different clients. While I'm usually only working with a single VM at a time, I do like to keep the other VMs up to date, so I tend to run these on occasion in the background. This is where a standalone server for virtualization would be nice. Running multiple VMs on my work machine can really affect performance. I like that with VMWare I can carry a VM or two with me on removable storage for when I visit the customer onsite. That means that being able to carry a VM with me is major factor in my end decision. The following is the result of my investigations and I thought this might interest some others. Perhaps you even have a suggestion or two that I didn't think of.

    Right off, I tossed out using KVM since there is no Type 2 hypervisor S/W that would allow me to run a KVM guest on my Windows 10 work laptop.

    I looked at ESXi, or vSphere from VMWare. The free version was more than capable of doing what I required.

    One problem with the ESXi server is that it requires you to store your VMs in storage pools which are formatted in their own VMFS format. Using external drives is not officially supported, but I could work around that, and I could use an NFS share on my NAS as a storage pool. The NFS share was the only type of storage pool that I could use to copy my VMs between the server and my Windows 10 machine.

    The second and biggest problem was, ESXi and Workstation/Player VMs are not compatible. You had to convert the VMs to move them between the two. So ESXi was not going to work.

    Next, I looked into running a Windows Hyper-V Server which is also free to use.

    The first problem is the Hyper-V server prefers to work in a domain and not workgroup environment. This meant there were some limitations in storage solutions and some setup issues. I could use local and external storage for the VMs, but not the SMB shares on my NAS. Both ESXi and Hyper-V servers would support iSCSI drives on my NAS, but data from an iSCSI drive is not easily accessed by other machines.

    Another problem with Hyper-V is that support for Linux VMs is just downright terrible. Compared to VMware, the performance is terrible, especially the graphics performance, and sound and access to USB devices is difficult if not impossible. Using VMware Linux VMs I routinely format and create bootable SD cards for ARM devices like RPI. You can't do that with a Hyper-V Linux VM. I thought about using VirtualBox for my Linux VMs since they say it can run on Windows with Hyper-V enabled, but I found out that was false. Don't waste your time for now. Maybe one day they'll have it working reliably.

    While the VM formats are the same between Windows 10 and the Hyper-V server, at least for now, Hyper-V requires you to import/export VMs in order to move them. There is NO GOOD reason for this and MS really screwed the pooch here. You should be able to carry a VM on a USB drive from machine to machine just like you can with VMWare Workstation/Player/Fusion. Moving VMs is a hassle, and sometimes you even had to recreate the VMs if the import/export function failed, and it did quite often. So, I abandoned the idea of moving my virtual machines to Hyper-V.

    What I found out after spending a lot of time looking at this is there is no good solution. I'm sticking with VMWare workstation. I may just load a Linux distro on that unused NUC and install VMWare Workstation on that machine to run a few VMs in the background. If I want to take advantage of WSL2 or Docker for Windows, I'll simply have to reboot with Hyper-V enabled or disabled, or I can run those utilities in a Windows 10 VM using VMWare Workstation since this nested virtualization does work.
    I

    :)
     
    johnnyZ, Nov 12, 2019
    #1
  2. S_and_S Win User

    Installing a Virtual Machine in Windows 10

    Step #1 is to decide which virtual machine software you wish to install.

    The three most popular choices are:

    • VirtualBox (from Oracle)
    • VMWare Workstation Player (from VMWare); and
    • Hyper-V (from Microsoft)

    Once you've made your choice you can find detailed, illustrated instructions for installing each one on the internet.

    As a personal suggestion: You might find it easier to use either VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation Player. Hyper-V is more complicated to setup.

    Between VirtualBox and VMWare, I think you'll find VirtualBox more user-friendly, and it has the advantage of allowing you to create checkpoints - backups of your virtual machine - whereas to do that in VMWare you'll need to upgrade to their (expensive!)
    paid version.
     
    S_and_S, Nov 12, 2019
    #2
  3. Nikhar_K Win User
    BSOD when launching Virtual Machine

    Hi,



    Thank you for writing to Microsoft Community Forums.



    I appreciate your effort on this. I understand how difficult it could be when the computer doesn’t work as it is supposed to, we will look into this for you. Please reply with the following details to assist you with the appropriate troubleshooting
    steps:



    • Which application are you using to create Virtual Machine?
    • Does the issue occur only when launching a Virtual Machine?
    • Have you reinstalled Windows on the computer?
    • What is the make and model of the computer?


    I have analyzed the dump files shared by you. Since the issue occurs when you launch Virtual Machine, I suggest you to try disabling the VMWare USB Arbitration Service and check if that helps. Please follow the steps mentioned below:



    1. Press Windows key + R, to open
      Run
      dialog box.
    2. Type services.msc and click on
      OK
      .
    3. Look for the VMWare USB Arbitration Service and double click on it to open
      Properties.
    4. Select Disabled from the drop down for
      Startup and Stop the service.
    5. Click on Apply and OK.


    Please reply with the status of the issue, we will be glad to help you further.



    Regards,

    Nikhar Khare

    Microsoft Community - Moderator
     
    Nikhar_K, Nov 12, 2019
    #3
  4. Kari Win User

    My Virtualization Dilemna

    Clean install of W10 not possible in Virtual Machine.


    Please get a cup of coffee, lean back and think an answer for these two questions. Take your time, then check the answers below the questions:

    Questions:
    1. If you do a clean install of let's say Windows 10 Insider Build 10525 on a totally new computer which has never had an activated Windows 10 on it, does it activate?
    2. If you do a clean install of Windows 10 Insider Build on a computer where the underlying Windows 10, upgraded from a qualifying old operating system has already been activated, does it activate?

    Answers:
    1. No, of course not.
    2. Yes, of course.

    Why do you think that a virtual machine would make any difference? You have tried to install Windows 10 on a totally new machine which has never had an activated Windows 10 installed, therefore the Microsoft activation servers block the activation due invalid machine ID. In the highlighted part in below quote you admit your mistake yourself, plain and simple, yet you when doing this wrong draw conclusion that even if done correctly it would not work:

    What you have tried is essentially the same as if you took a brand new real physical PC without any operating system, which has never had any operating system, and then installed Windows 10 Insider Preview wondering why it does not activate! Virtual Machines behave exactly the same way; if you want to clean install Windows 10 Insider Preview and get it activated you must do it on an existing virtual machine, one which has already had an upgraded Windows 10 activated. This "computer", the virtual machine, its machine ID is marked on activation servers as valid and activated and it will of course activate.

    Be it a virtual machine or a physical computer, you cannot activate a clean installed Windows 10 Insider Preview on a totally new machine. How difficult can this be to understand?

    When clean installing Windows 10 Insider Preview on a computer which has already had a previous Windows 10 Insider activated, you do not use the product key! It will be asked twice, once before the installation starts and once after the last reboot to OOBE phase. In both cases you skip the product key and your Windows will be automatically activated.
     
Thema:

My Virtualization Dilemna

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