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Hardware virtualisation?

By darpoke ·
In a forum on Windows 7 I encountered a post where someone queried whether an older machine would be able to support 'XP mode', as the hardware pre-dated virtualisation and thus wouldn't support it.

I have a couple of VMs but don't know much about the technical side of it - does anyone know if any specific hardware compatibility is required to run virtual machines, and if so, in what this consists? Many thanks, all.

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The CPU must support virtualization

by melias In reply to Hardware virtualisation?

From the Microsoft Site:
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Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7
Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, or Windows 7 Enterprise.
Note: Windows XP Mode RC is supported only on Windows 7 RC build


Hard disk requirement: 2GB for installing Windows XP Mode. Additional 15GB of hard disk space for the virtual Windows environment.
Note: You can use Windows Virtual PC to run Windows XP Mode on your computer. Windows Virtual PC requires processor capable of hardware virtualization, with AMD-V? or Intel? VT turned on in the BIOS.
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From the the sentence above, it is clear that if your chipset does not have virtualization built into it, XP Mode will not work.

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Ah, thanks for that.

by darpoke In reply to The CPU must support virt ...

I suppose there must be some specific instruction set that facilitates virtualisation, of which the CPU must be capable.

Perhaps the operations needed to sustain a VM are too low-level to be emulated entirely in a software space. After all, I remember playing with a NES emulator on a Win95 framework - well before the concept of VMs had taken off I believe.

The CPU must behave differently when it's processing operations for a virtual machine, all of whose resources are stored in memory. I still don't understand the difference though - a virtual partition is little different, if at all, from a disk image. And the RAM allocated is real. What else is there? It has a real kernel, it accesses real peripherals such as graphics controllers and data buses.

I still think there must be something different about a VM that necessitates specific CPU functionality.

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