Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th May 2009 18:01 UTC
Windows Windows XP Mode, the virtualisation tool currently in beta for Windows 7, only works on processors with virtualisation extensions, known as AMD-V and Intel VT-x. Microsoft made this clear from the get-go, but still various news websites regurgitated it as "news" yesterday that some Intel processors do not support XPM. Twenty-four hours down the road, and Intel had a few things to say about this.
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Fix please.
by gabrielwalker on Thu 7th May 2009 18:25 UTC
gabrielwalker
Member since:
2006-05-30

Your "Intel had a few things to say to this" link - isn't a link. I'd like to read the article. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fix please.
by mckill on Thu 7th May 2009 19:09 UTC in reply to "Fix please."
mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

if you check the html source of that broken link, i believe it is there and it's http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/Intel-AMD-Tout-Windows-7...

Reply Score: 1

So it doesn't work
by cyclops on Thu 7th May 2009 18:31 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

Unless you buy the more expensive copy of Windows i.e not starter;home or premium...or on a significant proportion of processors. Its not a storm in anything just a fact.

So as a form of backward compatibility for anyone not rolling out new high powered machines a waste of time.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 7th May 2009 18:34 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Reasons why XPM only supports VT-capable processors:

* ‘Thinner’ virtualisation. Faster.

* More secure. The VM cannot escape the sandbox

* Less code to write/support back-porting to non VT-capable CPUs

* Business customers only—less diversity to target

* Optional install—use another of the million solutions out there if XPM does not work for you.

In short, Microsoft are keeping things simple (for once). Having to enable VT in the BIOS is a blow though. Thank you BIOS/Mobo OEMs for your 25 year old system that’s been hindering us ever since.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by mckill on Thu 7th May 2009 19:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

I remember seeing a VMWare core dev speaking unofficially at a conference saying VT was actually slower and their software implementation was much faster.

Essentially this was just a quick way for MS to get virtualization in the OS pretty fast.

Edited 2009-05-07 19:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Drumhellar on Thu 7th May 2009 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Essentially this was just a quick way for MS to get virtualization in the OS pretty fast.


This is how it breaks down:

AMD-V/VT-x: Generally slowest, but very stable, especially when the guest uses wierd processor features.

Software: Faster, not as stable. Wierd processor stuff can crash the guest.

AMD-V/VT-x + nested page tables: Faster than software, as stable as hardware. The first chips with AMD-V/VT-x didn't support NPT, but later ones.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by darknexus on Thu 7th May 2009 19:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Thank you BIOS/Mobo OEMs for your 25 year old system that’s been hindering us ever since.

And thank Intel as well, for basically disabling EFI on most PC boards... thank Microsoft, too, for insisting on using the cludgy BIOS calls in win9x for years, and for not even beginning to support EFI until Vista. There's a lot of blame to go around when it comes to the bios, the whole thing should've been reworked from the ground-up once its limitations became apparent years and years ago, but instead we just got hack after hack...
</rant>

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by cyclops on Thu 7th May 2009 20:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Reasons why XPM only supports VT-capable processors:

* ‘Thinner’ virtualisation. Faster.

* More secure. The VM cannot escape the sandbox

* Less code to write/support back-porting to non VT-capable CPUs

* Business customers only—less diversity to target

* Optional install—use another of the million solutions out there if XPM does not work for you.

In short, Microsoft are keeping things simple (for once). Having to enable VT in the BIOS is a blow though. Thank you BIOS/Mobo OEMs for your 25 year old system that’s been hindering us ever since.


Wow. Hardware virtualisation under hardware is slower under some circumstances than Software. In fact a hybrid solution is considered optimal. I have seen little of its security benefits. As for writing code to backport its interesting that companies who's entire infrastructure like say Sun sorry Oracle can do this, when they do not have the same vested interest in backward *binary* compatibility that Microsoft. As for smaller target of end-users being a good thing...its bizarroworld.

I look forward to Microsoft getting slapped from a Monopolistic and User standpoint. Personally I hope they continue these business decisions.

As for the bios switch comments well I never, as defending Microsoft, After Netscape; Wordperfect; IE6 etc etc them buggers have held back progress for years. Thank goodness we have other OS's with real virtualisation Support

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 7th May 2009 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Hardware VT being slower; that's news to me. Always good to learn something new.

I'm not defending Microsoft though, but seeing it from a software development perspective. They probably cobbled this together relatively quickly so the shortest code-path was the best option for them. There's many better ways to run XP in a VM, certainly; I just feel the hoo-ha over XPM's limited support is overblown.

Edited 2009-05-07 20:19 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by 7q2z3lp02@sneakemail on Thu 7th May 2009 20:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
7q2z3lp02@sneakemail Member since:
2009-05-07

Yes, the BIOS disables the processor virtualization feature on most Intel and AMD platforms that could support the processor virtualization. The desk visit is for the IT person to change the setting in the BIOS setup program.

Remember the Blue Pill attack? The good people over at Invisible Things Lab published a virtualization hack that can take over a machine at a level where anything running in an OS would have a difficult task of detecting the attack.

In a quick reaction, the processor, BIOS, and system vendors decided to disable the feature by default. To enable it, the person holding the system has to hit DEL, F2, ESC, or whatever BIOS Setup key is defined and turn the feature on. Sorry.

If those pesky virus writers would go away, the vendors could ship systems that have all of the security features disabled.

This setting is done in legacy BIOSs, EFI BIOSs, and should be done in boot loaders / linux BIOSs. Don't forget the major purpose of the pre-OS firmware is to get the hardware ready for the OS. All of the pre-OS firmware has to support some of the older interfaces if you want to boot anything other than an Apple OS.

Reply Score: 2

Intel needs a better marketing dept
by phoenix on Thu 7th May 2009 21:20 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Or, at least, a better naming scheme for their processors. It's virtually impossible to determine what a CPU supports based solely on the Intel model number. It's also virtually impossible to figure out which of two model numbers is "better" as the numbers don't compare directly to each other (ie a higher model number doesn't always mean it supports more features).

They also need to stop "differentiating" or segmenting their markets so much. Yes, having a mobile-optimised, a desktop-optimised, and server-optimised line of CPUs is good. But do we really need so many variations within each line? Some have VT, some don't. Some have vPro, some don't. Some support feature X, some don't. Some have HT, some don't. And on and on and on.

You'd have better luck figuring out what each Intel CPU supports by throwing darts at a random spec sheet. It's beyond redonculous!!

Reply Score: 4

CrazyDude1 Member since:
2007-09-17

http://www.intel.com/products/processor_number/chart/core2quad.htm

On this chart you can find out which processor number support which features. The link like "Intel Core (TM) processor Family" is a menu where you can select various core family porocessors. Similarly you can select pentium family processors to see the details.

I got bitten by this once as I both a VT capable processor but that only was 32-bit. And then once I was about to buy a high number quad core processor but the high number one did not support VT where as lower number one did.

Yes I agree, this level of feature differentiation is confusing and totally unnecessary IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

As I said...
by deathshadow on Fri 8th May 2009 02:23 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

... in the previous Windows 7 Thread, I'm just annoyed at it being overhyped when it is absolutely NOTHING NEW. It's just Virtual PC and a pre-built disk image... In which case legacy versions of Virtual PC didn't even need HT and were FASTER than this new version, so what gives?

I did FINALLY get the desktop integration to work, turns out for some reason the XP application directory for the start menu items was created as hidden... Once I opened the actual folder the links were there (bug report filed)

... and the implementation needs some real polish. Takes two or three times longer to start XP than it does under Sun Virtual Box, you cannot have the full screen VM running the same time as the virtual desktop meaning you have to close your XP applications that are desktop integrated to install a new one.

Did I mention how slow it is? We're talking agonizing starts, saving the state takes longer for a 256 meg VM than it does for VPC or VMWare to even boot a clean XP install.

One of the best features of Virtual PC is now gone - drag and drop between desktops... Making moving data between the two a pain in the ass of actual navigation of the piss slow networked drives they auto-mount. (It literally makes links to all the local hard drives in the guest OS with full access rights - WTF? So much for security)

It's also relatively useless for one of the biggest target audiences since much like previous incarnations of Microsofts Virtual PC, the tredosoft standalone versions of IE are non functional - Typically one upgrades to 7, then runs the tredosoft IE's for testing 5.5 and 6 (7 under XP does have some rendering differences from 8's IE7 'mode' and from 7 under vista)... The standalones crash outright for god knows what reason - just like many other legacy applications I tried... and it certainly had nothing to do with the version of XP since, well...

The only good thing I found from it was that if you copy the .vhd out of "/program files" and into /Users/username/.virtualBox/HardDisks, remove it's read only status, you can use it under Sun Virtual Box so you have a USEFUL 'seamless' mode. Just boot up, cancel when it bitches about unknown hardware, configure XP as normal. Anyone who needs access to XP applications in Windows 7 that's my advice - download the virtualWindowsXP.msi, run "msiexec /a virtualWindowsXP.msi TARGETDIR=C:\temp /qb", then take the VHD file and run it with Sun Virtal Box instead. No crashes using the tredosoft standalones either.

Of course that VHD file could be a hackers dream. Just make a program that writes the VHD out as a partition, resize the partition, throw in a MBR on the drive and boom - free pirate XP with a key they are unlikely to invalidate.

It's really sad how with each new version of Virtual PC we have functionality DOWNGRADES from previous incarnations... I'd still rather run the old Connectix 5.2 than the current VPC - it's actually FASTER and it's not like the hardware support is any different... Not that we have to anymore since Sun VirtualBox is free, as robust as any of the VM's, fast, has 3d accelleration you can turn on by clicking one checkbox - It's like a parallels fusion that works on all major platforms (lin/win/osx/solaris). (Speaking of companies that have let the windows version of their products rot on the vine - when did Parallels last update thier windows version, four years ago give or take?)

Edited 2009-05-08 02:39 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: As I said...
by deathshadow on Fri 8th May 2009 02:49 UTC in reply to "As I said..."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

My Bad, it doesn't activate under VirtualBox - so it working was deceptive - and it won't accept any legitimate keys either so it must be somehow locked to Virtual PC for it's activation rules.

Ah well, not like I don't now have plenty of legitimate unused copies of XP floating around.

Edited 2009-05-08 02:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Unbelievable!
by grat on Fri 8th May 2009 17:15 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

I cannot believe Microsoft would have the unmitigated nerve to release a modern operating system that won't run on my beloved NEC V20* based PC!

How can they expect to be taken seriously in the operating system arena if they can't provide such a basic level of support?!?

... ok, ok, I'm kidding. Still though, people who complain that Vista (or Windows 7) runs poorly on their 5 year old computer with half a gig of memory annoy me, especially when you can build/buy a Vista-capable machine for under $500.

* Yes, I have a laptop with an NEC V20 chip in it-- I don't actually do anything with it other than haul it out every few years and see if it still boots.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Unbelievable!
by darknexus on Fri 8th May 2009 22:22 UTC in reply to "Unbelievable!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I think what most people get upset about isn't the fact that they need to upgrade their computer per se, but the fact that for all that extra hogging of resources Vista brings very little benefit on top of XP or even other alternative oses when you come right down to it. It hogs more resources, requires more power... and yet doesn't really do much more with it. Win 7 might be different, I'm of the wait and see mindset. I've seen it perform well on some systems, and worse than Vista on others, but as it's still in the RC stages I'm willing to give it more leeway than Vista when judging it.
Also, keep a watch on your mentality. Yes, many of us in the more developed--for lack of a better word and I'm sorry how that sounds--nations can go and buy or build a new computer for pretty cheap... but not everyone everywhere can do that for any number of reasons. When a hardware upgrade is required, there really should be a reason for it other than that the hardware comes cheap in some areas. That's a very lazy mentality, imho.

Reply Score: 2