New computers – Windows 7 – compatibility – XP Mode – crash (2)

Well, further observations on XP Mode.

It may be necessary, but it’s touchy as all get out.  Also, so far I have not found anything that seems to be willing to do a restore.  There is a function called “Undo Disks,” but that possibly makes the system less stable when it is enabled.  More on that later.

After the crash on Gloria’s account, I found where the files were, particularly the disk file.  Since I had my account working, and since I had already applied all the Windows Updates to it, I copied my disk file to her directory.

It fired up just fine,and I made the necessary changes, setting it to her preferences and installing and testing some programs she wanted.  I tested the program setup, and everything seemed to be fine.  So I shut the program down.

It came up again demanding a username and password.  No matter what I tried, nothing worked.

So, I tried copying my disk file over top of hers again.

(Let me say, at this point, that all this is taking much longer than would be evident.  The disk files are enormous, multiple gigabyte files.  Just copying them takes about a quarter of an hour at times.  Also, each time you shut down, and start up, the virtual machine, it takes at least five minutes just to start.)

I got the same kind of crash as before, a missing file.  Different file, but same result.  No possible way to get it to start.  By this time I had found the setting that allows me, when closing the system, to shut it down, rather than just hibernating it.  (If you allow it to hibernate, it is, as far as Windows is concerned, still running, and therefore cannot be messed with.  Or fixed.)

By this time I had found the original, plain jane, basic, vanilla XP Mode virtual disk file.  It is stored elsewhere on the computer.  So I tried getting rid of some of the (obviously corrupted) working files, and tried to start from scratch.

Somehow this has created two virtual XP Mode “machines.”  Well, if one of them will keep working, it may be worth the wasted disk space.

Ah, yes.  I promised more on “Undo Disks.”  Given the name, you would think that this would allow for a sort of restore point type situation.  Well, it does, but it does it in a fairly kludgy manner.  If you enable Undo, the virtual machine, when you make a change to the disk (write a file, modify settings, whatever), the change isn’t actually made on the virtual disk.  It’s held in a separate file.  You can see that this might create problems, since the system has to read the basic virtual disk file, and then has to read the diff file, as it were, and apply the changes as a kind of journalling.