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What Virtual Machines to test install of Win XP Home Sp3?


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Hi uid0,

I created all the partitions in Disk Director, then I formated them all one by one again with DDirector in NTFS format... At one point after partitioning, before or after formatting, I selected the first partition (i.e. c:) to be active, which was not necessary since it is the only primary partition in my set, wasn't it?

I did not install XP. So you recommend that I format at XP install or before format install with a boot CD? (how?)

I tried to change the boot order, placing teh CDROM first and not to avail it would not boot and displayed the error message.

I have disconnected teh drive from my VM, deleted the raw file on the physical disct and added Hardware/Drive (to create a fresh virtual drive). I hope it is the right aproach. I could have started from scratch but I was curious if I delete and recreate a drive for a vm.

At the moment the drive is slowly being recreated. It takes time since I chose allocate all space now.



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I figured what happened. (I think I do).

At one point I changed CD rom o auto detect instead of d: (corresponding to the physical system I am trying to mimic).

Today, I deleted the raw files corresponding to my partitioned virtual HD and recreated a new HD hardware and tested my new partition using DDirector again. I only created teh 1st primary partition (C:) and automatically it was also set as active. I can reproduce this error by selected Use physical CD drive auto detect - and then the boot order in Bios is not resolving it.

Now I am ready to test my XP custom install. The question is it a better practice to use XP CD install to partition and format at a fresh install or Disk Director is equally suitable?


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I use a combo of command line arguments from diskpart (to partition, naturally) and sdelete (to offer formatting options). I would be suspect of anyone who said there was a preferred method of disk preparation.

I also throw my vote to SUN virtualbox. I have to build and test many different operating system configurations, and vbox routinely offers the most flexibility and a more responsive community - for $0.

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I am 2/3 of the way through the install and after the 2nd reboot (i.e. after drivers, win OS and component install) the VM froze up at the Windox XP screen.

Is it a bad sign and how do I trouble shot this?

Note that I did boot in the VM/XP Home in safe mode (no internet).

I just too a snapshot. I guess there is a fundamental issue I may not have considered. If the VM is a generic machine using hardware indirectly would teh OEM specific drivers be unsuitable for the VM then?

For instance there is an integrated ATI Radeon XPress 200m Series display adapter on my physical laptop, which drivers was provided by Toshiba and not ATI... It is one of the driver I integrated in the install can it fail the VM?

Conversely, I did not remove any hardware component with this first XP Install iso image, would this create an issue with the proper drivers to install (in this case OEM rather than Windows')?

Also, since windows XP is mounted from iso, does it to be disconnected (i.e. ejected) at some point during the install sequence (in between reboot)?

Thank you in advance for your help,


Edited by dpluigi
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You are right. I already used a version of my custom XP to do an install repair of my real Toshiba Laptop system which went well. I am learning how much VM are in a world of their own... :blushing:

Regarding multi-partitioning, it went well and as planned, but there is a clash with the cd drive assignment for the physical drive. It is normally d: but now thee is a partition d:, which make the cd to auto connect as a different drive letter (e.g. H:). I wonder if cd drive letter could be reassigned later or can it be down during install since the drive letter assignment of my partitions was done automatically by Windows? I am not sure this would behave teh same way on my physical machine.

If I follow you I should not integrate drivers in my XP custom CD or try multiple partitioning or anything with nLite for a first install on my VM.

Note also that my custom XP was rebuilt from OEM I386 folder install. Would the recommend that I use a regular/Vanilla XP Home?

It would defy the purpose of testing my OEM XP Home install with a test run on VM before applying to my pysical system.

I have an OEM license with my latop and do not own a license for Home XP retail, I just have a CD from an old computer. Would it be ok for the sake of testing my VM install XP Home retail copy without registering (with a grace period of 30days) to try my VM?

Ultimately, I would like to carry a fresh install XP Home on my Toshiba laptop using the original license/key as is supposed to but with control of the install without the bloatware and Toshiba factory default install.

There is two route I am investigating:

1) Execute a partial recovery cd install but preventing the bloatware install (e.g. edit of install.ini on CD image) and then moving program files and Profilepath folder location and update registry entries...

2) Installing OS alone from the custom XP I am made and integrate/re-install OEM specific drivers.

Maybe I am a little be ahead of my self here.


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