Many of my students ask me how to create a virtual machine(s) so they can practice at home or to test software and applications before they deploy them into live environment.
In this article I will describe how to create one small virtual environment for testing purposes. Our environment will have 2 servers (Windows Server 2003) and 2 clients (Windows XP). Host operating system is Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit (but you can use Windows XP or Vista 32 bit version).
All operating systems that will be used as guests on Windows Vista are 32 bit versions, since 64 bit versions of virtual guests can only be installed on 64 bit version of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V server.
Software that we will need for this:
- Windows Server 2003 installation media (trial version here)
- Windows XP Pro installation media (no trial version available for download)
- Virtual PC 2007 SP1 (free download from MS site)
- NewSID (free download from MS site)?
First part of this lecture will be how to create base virtual disks that will serve as a starting point for creating and setting up entire environment. So lets start.
We will create base disks for our Windows Server 2003 virtual machines (same procedure applies to Windows XP)
- Install Virtual PC 2007 SP1 (please download appropriate version for your OS)
- Start Virtual PC 2007 SP1
- New virtual machine wizard will start, click Next
- Leave “Create new virtual machine” option selected and click Next
- Browse to location where you want to save your virtual machine and enter its name (I recommend you name it Win2k3BASE), click Next
- Select “Windows Server 2003” from drop down menu and click Next
- At Memory pane you can leave default value (256 MB) or increase it (I recommend 512 MB at least), click Next
- Select “New Virtual hard disk” option and click Next
- Now you can change the location and size?of your VHD file (I recommend to leave it as it is) and rename VHD file (I recommend to rename it to win2k3base.vhd), click Next
- Review ?summary screen and click Finish
In the Virtual PC console you should see your newly created Virtual machine. We will not configure any extra options at this time, so lets proceed to installing Windows Server 2003 into our virtual machine.
- Insert Windows 2003 CD into host CD?ROM?(or use ISO image)
- Select your virtual machine in VPC console and click Start
- When VPC machine starts from the menu select CD and select option “Use physical drive …” or “Capture ISO image” if using ISO image
- TIP: If you mouse gets stuck within virtual machine windows pres Right Alt and your mouse will be released from VPC window
- Proceed with installation of Windows Server 2003
- After installation finishes log in as administrator
- In VPC windows select “Action” and then select “Install or update virtual machine additions”
- Follow on screen instructions
- Log on as administrator and use “drag and drop” to copy NewSID from host computer to guest computer
- Extract NewSID to a folder in a virtual machine (name folder NewSID)
- We will be using NewSID application later on
- Click Start – Shutdown
Go to folder where your VHD file is saved, right click on it, select properties and check option “Read only”.
I also recommend that you create a folder named BASE and move you VHD to that folder. Using the same procedure above you can create base VHD for Windows XP.
And thats it. Now we have starting point for our test infrastructure. Next time I will explain how to create differential disk using Virtual PC and base disks that we created here.