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Fast XP on a VPC

I use Virtual PCs a lot. In general, I create a single slimmed down base image of an operating system, mark it read only and create differencing disks off that image to test software. There are a lot of partial guides out there to creating a speedy slimmed down base image and several more for simply speeding up XP but nothing all together. Thus I present, a near-as-dammit guide to really slimming down and speeding up your VPC.

Full credit to the following sites and people who originally wrote  helped me write pieces of this.

A couple of notes also in the guide but worth mentioning explicitly here for 64bit users.

One other note on using differencing disks off a base image. Always remember what’s on the base image. Or rather what isn’t. Case in point, the MbUnit [http://www.mbunit.com] team is preparing to release v2.4.1 so I’m testing the installer, uninstaller and the new start menu entries. And the GUI just crashes whenever I try to run it with a not very helpful error. It takes two hours to realize its because I haven’t installed .NET onto the test virtual PC yet. Doh! Am muppet, but not quite as literally as this [].

Posted on August 22, 2007   #Geek Stuff  

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