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.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

The CPU must support virtualization

by melias In reply to Hardware virtualisation?

From the Microsoft Site:
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.
From the the sentence above, it is clear that if your chipset does not have virtualization built into it, XP Mode will not work.

Collapse -

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.

Related Discussions

Related Forums