How to Access Local and USB Hard Drives In Your Hyper-V Virtual Machine

There are dozens of scenarios where you would want to access a physical hard drive from inside your Hyper-V virtual machine ranging from accessing and importing data, dumping data from the virtual machine into the external drive, and importing or exporting disc images.

Whatever reason you have for wanting to access an existing local hard drive in your Hyper-V machine it’s, unfortunately, a bit complicated giving the drives access to the virtual machine. Unlike other virtualization solutions (VMware and VirtualBox) there is no easy way to just share resources between the host machine and the Hyper-V virtual machine.

To use a drive within a Hyper-V machine you need to take the drive, while physically attached and mounted to the host machine, offline and then reroute the offline-to-the-host disk into the virtual machine. Let’s take a look at how to do that now.

A quick note before we proceed: this trick only works with hard drives (magnetic hard drives, solid-state hard drives, and removable USB hard drives) but does not work, alas, with removable media like flash drives.

Drive Preparation and Mounting In Hyper-V

There are two primary steps to the procedure. First we need to manage the disk from within Windows on the host machine to bring it offline (but still powered and attached to the host computer) and then we need to tell Hyper-V to take control of the now-offline disk.

Preparing the Drive

The first step is to bring the disk offline. To do so open up the Disk Management application by searching for the application name or typing “diskmgmt.msc” in the search box and running the app. Within Disk Management look for the drive you wish to pass through to the virtual machine.

Although it’s probably safe to assume, since you’re playing around with Hyper-V and concerned with matters like physical-disk-pass-through, that you’re already familiar with Disk Management it would be remiss of us not to issue a standard warning: Disk Management is a powerful tool and you can do terrible things to your system by mucking about within the management system. Double check each step and make sure you’re working with the right disk(s).


In our case we want to pass Disk 10, a USB backup HDD, through to the virtual machine so we can dump some backup files from our virtual machine onto the disk. To prepare the disk we must first locate it in the list of drives within Disk Management, right click on it, and select “Offline” from the right-click context menu as seen in the screenshot above.


Confirm the disk is offline. If you wish to bring the disk back online, after you’re done using it within the virtual machine, simply return to this menu, right click on the disk, and select “Online” to bring the disk back online for the host operating system.

Adding the Drive to the Virtual Machine

Once the disk is offline to the host operating system it’s time to add the disk to the virtual machine within Hyper-V. Launch Hyper-V and, from your Virtual Machines list, select the machine you wish to pass the hard disk through to.


Right click on the machine and select “Settings…”


From within the Settings menu for that specific virtual machine, select “SCSI Controller” from the left hand navigation pane. Select “Hard Drive” and click the “Add” button.

Note: We’ve presumed you wish to pass the hard drive through to the virtualized operating system which means you already have a SCSI controller and virtual disk for the OS. If you do not yet have a SCSI controller you will need to first select “Add Hardware” at the top of the navigation pane and add a “SCSI Controller” to your virtual machine.


Select “Physical hard disk” and then, from the drop down menu, select the disk you brought offline in the previous section of the tutorial. Don’t worry there’s no chance you’ll accidentally select a disk from the host machine that you didn’t intend to use. The only disks you can select in the physical hard disk menu are disks that are powered and attached to the host machine but in an offline state. If you didn’t put it offline it isn’t even an option.

Confirm the disk selected is the disk you want. Press the “Apply” button and then “OK”. Boot up your virtual machine.

Accessing Your Pass-through Hard Disk

In the vast majority of cases the disk should be automatically detected by the host operating system as if it was simply a physical disk attached to the real machine the virtual machine is emulating.

If the disk isn’t immediately accessible to the virtual machine operating system you may need to open up, in the case of Windows, Disk Management and bring the disk online. When using other operating systems you’ll need to perform an equivalent action to access the disk through the virtual OS.

A very important word of caution here. The OS in the virtual machine has no idea that this disk actually belongs to your host machine and it will act upon the disk however you tell it to act upon the disk. If the disk does not automatically mount in your virtual machine OS you need to use a mounting procedure (refer to documentation for the particular OS in question) to mount the disk in the non-destructive way so that it can be returned to the host operating system later on.

When you no longer need the disk in the virtual machine simply boot down the virtual machine. Do not attempt to make changes to the drive state via the host machine until you’ve turned off the virtual machine the drive is connected to.

You can outright remove the hard drive from the virtual SCSI controller in your virtual machine if you aren’t going to use it again or you can leave the entry. Any time the physical drive is disconnected from the host machine or you’ve made it online for the host operating system the drive will simply appear as unavailable to the virtual machine.

Installing SQL Server 2008R2 to Windows 7 VM

While installing an instance of SQL2008R2 to a Windows 7 Workstation VM (used by my programmers) on my VMWare vSphere cluster I ran into a problem.

While the SQL installation seemed to go OK, it hung up toward the end during ‘Windows Installation Final Tasks – Clean up processes…” or something at “Install_sqlncli_Cpu64_Action”
The install just hung forever – let it actually try to run over night and it never completed.

The solution is simple, and kind of a ‘duh’.
SQL2008R2 needs 4GB RAM and minimum of 4 cores/processors.
My Production SQL VM’s easily met this criteria but not so with the workstations.
So simply cancelled the installation. Shut down the VM. Edited the VM – upped RAM to 6GB and processors to 4.
Restart VM then let it boot and let Win7 reconfigure itself. It will require another reboot.
I then completely uninstalled the failed installation. Then rebooted.
Also remember that this is REALLY IMPORTANT!! – Open the ports on the Windows Firewall for SQL2008

This can be done by copying the following (everything in between the break lines including the last ‘return’ at the end) into a text file and renaming it with a .bat extension. something like ‘opensqlfirewallports.bat’ or what ever and running it with administrative permissions.
@echo =========  SQL Server Ports  ===================
@echo Enabling SQLServer default instance port 1433
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 1433 “SQLServer”
@echo Enabling Dedicated Admin Connection port 1434
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 1434 “SQL Admin Connection”
@echo Enabling conventional SQL Server Service Broker port 4022
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 4022 “SQL Service Broker”
@echo Enabling Transact-SQL Debugger/RPC port 135
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 135 “SQL Debugger/RPC”
@echo =========  Analysis Services Ports  ==============
@echo Enabling SSAS Default Instance port 2383
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 2383 “Analysis Services”
@echo Enabling SQL Server Browser Service port 2382
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 2382 “SQL Browser”
@echo =========  Misc Applications  ==============
@echo Enabling HTTP port 80
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 80 “HTTP”
@echo Enabling SSL port 443
netsh firewall set portopening TCP 443 “SSL”
@echo Enabling port for SQL Server Browser Service’s ‘Browse’ Button
netsh firewall set portopening UDP 1434 “SQL Browser”
@echo Allowing multicast broadcast response on UDP (Browser Service Enumerations OK)
netsh firewall set multicastbroadcastresponse ENABLE


I also added this registry key below. You can copy everything between the breaks and save as a .reg file if you’d like and run that ‘as administrator’ as well.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


After that I was able to very quickly install SQL2008R2.
During server configuration, under Account Name I selected “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM”, leaving password blank. In addition I also changed its startup type from Automatic to Manual.

Once installation was complete, I opened SQL Server Configuration Manager. The current setting was that I was logging on as built-in account “Local System”. I started the service without making any changes and this time it started without any error messages.

Just thought I’d put this up for any of those who’ve had the same issue and as a reference for myself.

To connect to the Server make sure you specify the machine name AND the server instance name: Windows7PC1\SQL2008dev or whatever

Well, until I hear differently from my Devs 😛

Virtualization 101 – Getting started

It’s no secret I like Virtualization technologies a lot. I have written several other articles on some of my tips and tricks mostly involving creating Virtual Machines of OS X. You can read some of those here, here, here or simply just search my blog.

For those who support multiple operating systems or simply have a desire to learn about them, Virtualization is a fantastic way to just that. Virtualization, in computing, is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as a hardware platform, operating system, a storage device or network resources. Here is a good description tailored to the IT professional or CEO but you can get a good grasp of the concepts.

At my organization I have installed and manage a VMware ESXi clustered installation on a SAN (Storage Area Network) with hardware and software that starts in the six figures. This is obviously way out of reach of the home user or enthusiast. But Virtualization can be inexpensive and or downright free for the taking. Microsoft, VMware and Virtual Box all have freeware solutions!

For this article I am going to concentrate on the hardware required and the simplest to use application for the novice or even intermediate user – VirtualBox a freeware application by Oracle. So on to the hardware:

Virtualization product or solution such as VMWare Workstation (and the ‘industrial ESXi), VirtualBox and Windows Virtual PC often require Hardware Assisted Virtualization (HAV) CPU feature in order to function properly as it allows a virtual machine hypervisor to run an unmodified operating system without incurring significant emulation performance penalties. The largest chip makers, Intel and AMD implement hardware assisted virtualization in their processors as Intel VT (VT-x) and AMD-V respectively. However, not all modern CPU has hardware-assisted virtualization capability built-in though; you will want to make sure. The VT capability in the processor on the computer is built onto the tiny piece of chip, and cannot be added or removed using any manual process. And even if the CPU features VT, it must be enabled in BIOS.

Most newer CPUs include VT operation by default. However, some older or even current processors available for purchase for DIY or operating on OEM computers may not support VT. When there is no VT support, Virtual Machine Technologies based on VT may fail to install or cannot be powered up and started.

If you are going to create or use virtual machines you should verify, check, determine or get to know whether his or her PC computer supports hardware-assisted virtualization. There are a few software utilities you can use to quickly determine whether there is hardware virtualization system on the system CPU. One is name named SecurAble which is able to display hardware virtualization support status as Yes, No, Locked On and Locked Off. The other is Microsoft’s HAV Detection tool.

SecurAble Detects CPU Processor Security Features (Bit Length, DEP and Virtualization)

Most users who buy computer are just paying notice to the speed (how fast) and size of RAM memory (how big) of the PC. In fact, most modern CPU microprocessors have great lots of features and capabilities other than constantly higher clock rate. With the evolving of software development, some of these features are now required. With SecurAble, user can easily check and determine if the system is x86 or x64 architecture, support hardware DEP and/or hardware virtualization.
SecurAble probes the system’s processor, determine the presence, absence and operational status and displays the status of the three most significant security-related processor features:

  • 64-bit instruction extensions
  • Hardware support for detecting and preventing the execution of code in program data areas
  • Hardware support for system resource “virtualization”


All these features are deemed to be security-important by developer of SecurAble, GRC. 64-bit capable CPUs have the ability to run the 64-bit versions of Microsoft’s substantially more secure Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 operating systems, which has the operating system kernel locked down. Hardware-enforced DEP can stop exploitation of buffer overflow attacks, while virtualization technology (VT) can be used to create fully contained environments that can be used to insulate the real hosting operating system from any actions taken by software running within the “virtual” environment.

SecurAble is free to use, and no installation require.

I use SecurAble the most for checking for Hardware-Assisted Virtualization.

Download SecurAble.

Microsoft has also released a application tool that able to detect status of Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) support on the computer system’s CPU microprocessor. Aptly named as Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool or simply as HAV Detection Tool, the utility can detect and check if the computer meets the processor requirements to run Windows Virtual PC, i.e. hardware-assisted virtualization.


Download HAV Detection Tool: havdetectiontool.exe

Using HAV Detection Tool is easy, just run the executable, and the results of whether hardware virtualization support is existed on the system or not (together with ability to install Windows Virtual PC) will be displayed on result dialog. It’s standalone program, thus no installation or un-installation required

So after you’ve determined you can run virtual machines with HAV you’ll want to try some VM’s out.

As I mentioned for home use I’ve found Virtual Box to be the easiest to use and configure. You can get it here and get the ‘Extension Pack’ here. Install the application first (get the right one for you platform – Windows, Mac, Linux) Then install the Extension pack; it will install automatically IF you’ve already installed the base application first.

Once installed you are ready to start working with just about any operating system you want to within your current system!

Here is a fantastic walk through of how to simply create a VM from a downloaded Linux installation disk (ISO)

This method can be used for installing Windows VMs too! If you have a Windows installation CD/DVD and you wish to install it as a VM you can. [For OS X you will have to follow some of the very specific tutorials I have put together – Apple does not like you to install OS X on non Apple hardware] has a very detailed description and walkthroughs too, you can find that here.

The easiest way to get started with VirtualBox is to import an already made image/appliance. has many already made Linux installations you can get them here. And with a little diligent searching you can find LOADS of them.

I hope this helps some to get started and have a better understanding of these technologies. More knowledge and experience can only be good.

Here is an image of some of the VM’s on one of my home machines in Virtual box.


As I noted if you are interested in OS X VMs you can go here and read the second half on using Virtual Box. Here are two walkthroughs from other tech sites worth checking out too.

and here:

Windows 7 Demo and Trials

If you haven’t yet tried or missed the initial public beta of Windows 7 you can still try this fantastic new Operating System in two distinct ways. One is an ‘online demo’ the other is and actual installation of a time limited trial.

I you are still using XP I highly recommend getting familiar with Windows 7 – your next computer WILL have it [or maybe OS X ;)] installed. If you have been using XP for the nearly entire decade that it has been out there are some adjustments to make; though most things are still very easy to find. If you are already using Vista you will see a lot of similarities and a great deal of improvements.

The online demo route:
Microsoft has Virtual Labs that are great for tech students, or those of you who want to get a first-hand trial of the new features with out having to actually install the OS. Also, if you’re not sure on how to deploy something and want to practice in a virtual environment, these labs are quite valuable.While these labs are geared toward IT professionals, it’s a good way for anyone to try out Windows 7 features from the comfort of your current computer.
[Please note that the online version is not nearly as responsive as a full standard install of Windows 7. It also does not run the full Aero interface or desktop effects, and may refresh slowly depending on your Internet connection. So don’t judge Windows 7’s performance based on this virtual lab, but use it as a way to learn more about Windows 7 without installing it.]

Visit this page and click on the TestDrive to ‘Try It Now’.
Microsoft has some very good tutorials there on getting accuainted with the function and features of the operating system.
The folks over at the How To Geek site have a superb walkthrough too.

Install route:
If you wish to actually install a full working 90 day trial/evaluation copy of Windows 7 Enterprise you can.
Visit the MS Technet site here.
From here you can choose the version 64 or 32 bit and download the ISO. Then burn it to a DVD for installation.

Alternatively you could ‘mount’ the ISO and do an install that way but that is not recommended.
See my posts on freeware that I use to mount and/or burn ISO images.

If you are going to use the trial version (installing to hard drive) I would HIGHLY suggest you back up your current system completely – see my posts on imaging.

If things don’t work out it is always nice to have a complete system image to return to!
Also make sure that your hardware meets the minium requirements (preferable much more) for an optimum experience.
I hope this helps some take the proverbial ‘look’ before the leap.

Android on Windows Mobile Touch Pro 2

For the techies here is something I found kinda cool. You can actually run the newer Adroid Phone OS from within Windows Mobile:
Below, a video demonstrates Android running successfully on the HTC Touch Pro2.;=player_embedded

This android version is on Micro SD not on the ROM which means that you will have some lags here and there.
It doesnt replace the WnMo Operating system. In fact you have to run Haret.exe from within WinMobile.

Android runs from HARET, it is just an exe file, no modifications or flashes are needed for the OS to run. So your warranty is just fine!!! Also there is really zero possibilities to brick your phone as a single soft-reset (power off and on) will reset back to Windows mobile. [HaRET = Handheld Reverse Engineering Tool; It is a Linux bootloader which works from Windows CE environment (a-la loadlin for DOS or older Linexec tool for Windows CE). It is a tool for accessing the hardware internals of a Windows CE handheld to help get Linux up and running on it.]

It’s fun to mess around with Android, but it has some lag. Also not all of the phone features are functioning – but most do. And, it cuts your battery life beyond belief for now.

This is just something to mess around with if you have a TouchPro2 (Verizon or Sprint) and I don’t make any gaurantees as to how well it will work for you. My usual ‘don’t call me’ if you mess something up warnings apply. 🙂

Instructions, FAQ and Tips:
Here at the PPC Geeks Forum

Download the files and more info:;=69

It is really simple thanks to these guys.
1. Grab the actual download Here It contains all the files in zip format. Then just extract the folder contents on the root of the SD card.

2. Run Haret.exe, and wait about five to ten minutes. Takes time to load.

3. Make sure to watch the video to learn about the functioning of the phone keys if you have never used an Android phone before!

To exit and return to your Windows Mobile OS simply ‘soft reset’ the phone – restart/power off and on.
Have fun, I will.

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7

Ok so here is the reason for this post.
After nearly a year of trying to get a legacy application to work in Windows 7 I had just about given up.
The application in question may be a purpose built company application (proprietary) that is absolutely necessary for your business or simply something you would rather not do without. I am sure many enterprise and even home users have applications they need to, or would like to, continue using but that simply will not work in Windows 7 (or even Vista for most).
I have such an application. It was built with an old version of Visual Studio. The application utilizes Microsoft IIS (6) web services, MS SQL 2000 databases, and an old version of Crystal Reports for report generation.
It is our business application! I have no option to not run it.
It is in the process of being prepared to be upgraded, but that will take a considerable amount of time and capitol.
To attempt to get this application to run natively under Windows 7 I have done the following and probably more.
I have spent nearly a year trying to get our application to work on Windows 7. I have read hundreds if not thousands of pages on blogs, support sites, news groups and other reference sites and materials.
I have adjusted permissions on dozens of directories to allow for certain machine service accounts, users and read/write access.
I have edited config and ini files.
I have applied patches and fixes to the underlying applications, operating system and services.
I have tried installing other legacy applications in the hope they might contain components needed to run this application (access runtimes, older .Net versions, old Crystal Reports apps, etc.)
I have registered and unregistered dlls.
I have changed permissions on Component services.
I have gone so far as to fire up one of my old machines (with Visual Studio) and do some dll work (mergemodule type stuff) on my local dll files. [note here: I suck at programming and have not done any in a long long time!].
After all this I still could not get this application to work right – Crystal Reporting would not work.
As some of you know I absolutely hate to give up on a problem. I may put stuff on the ‘back burner’ for a while to let my mind work on it. But I just don’t give up. Character flaw maybe.
So what is one to do?
One solution that sometimes works on ‘simple’ applications is to you the ‘compatibility mode’ to run said application.
Compatibility mode has been available since the release of Windows Vista and Windows 2003 Server
To use the ‘compatibility mode’. simply right click on the executable of that application and go to the ‘Compatibility Tab’
Click on the Compatibility mode check box and choose the operating system you wish to run that application in then click apply and try and running the application.
I do use this on many applications that ‘say’ they won’t run on a particular version of Windows fairly often. And many times it works.
However there are applications that are ‘built’ around many other applications and components. Many of which will simply not run this way.
But what happens when just about everything else fails? How can you get that application to run fully and correctly?

The solution is Windows XP Mode for Windows 7. I have written on creating Virtual Machines before and I have been using them for years; as test beds and to run wholly cloned machines that had since died. But I didn’t think there would be such a seamless VM solution that nearly anyone could implement to just run a few applications!

I was wrong. Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 is freaking awesome!! The process is dead simple and fast! I am surprised this has not gotten much more attention and that the articles are scarce and outdated. Had it got more press I would certainly have tried it long ago and saved a few white hairs. The only caveat is that running XP Mode requires Windows 7 Professional or higher (Ultimate or Enterprise).

Following is a simple explanation and how to I cobbled together from various sources. Most of which were very incomplete or out of date so I had to add/edit the information.

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 makes it easy to install and run many Windows XP productivity applications directly from your Windows 7-based PC. It utilizes virtualization technology, such as Windows Virtual PC, to provide a virtual Windows XP environment for Windows 7.
Users can access USB devices attached to the host directly from virtual Windows XP.
These devices include printers and scanners, flash memory/sticks and external hard disks, digital cameras, and more.
Once you installed applications in the virtual XP you can ‘Publish it’ and launch applications installed on virtual Windows XP directly from the Windows 7 desktop, as if they were installed on the Windows 7 host itself.
You can access your Windows 7 Known Folders: My Documents, Pictures, Desktop, Music, and Video, from inside the virtual Windows environment, such as Windows XP Mode.
You can cut and paste between your Windows 7 host and any virtual machine.
You can print directly to your attached printer from your seamless application or virtual machine.
OK, let’s get started.
1st. Check that your PC hardware works with Windows XP Mode by downloading and running this tool 1st:

Then go to:
Under Download and install Windows XP Mode, click Windows XP Mode.
Select the Operating System you have and download BOTH files – Windows XP Mode AND Windows Virtual PC.
I recommend clicking Save and keeping the file on your computer in case you ever need to reinstall Windows XP Mode. Note: Name each individual file so you will know which is which XP Mode and VirtualPC (the Virtual PC app will be named something like ‘Windows6.1-KB958559-x…)
Install XP Mode 1st
Then install Windows Virtual PC.
After installation is complete, click Restart Now to restart your computer.
Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP will now be in the list of programs.

To set up Windows XP Mode for first use.
Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, click Windows Virtual PC, and then click Windows XP Mode to start/run the Virtual XP.
Accept the license terms, and then click Next.
Accept the default location where Windows XP Mode files will be stored.
Type a password, type it again to confirm it,
AND make sure to choose to remember the credentials if you want the integration features to work smoothly and then click Next.
Protect your computer by turning on automatic updates, and then click Next.
Click Start Setup.
After setup is complete, Windows XP Mode opens in a separate window.
At this point you will need to install your applications in Windows XP.
You can install applications in Windows XP Mode just as you normally would on a physical PC. For example, you can install applications via web, from storage devices, or from physical media such as CD/DVD.
Inside Windows XP Mode, insert the program’s installation disc into your computer’s CD/DVD drive; or browse to the program’s installation file, open the file, and follow the instructions to install the program.
Make sure to choose “All Users” anytime you are asked who to install the software for—the integration features won’t work with software that installs just for your user account.
If you can’t install for everybody, you can simply choose “Open All Users” on the start menu, and copy a shortcut to the application into the start menu’s programs folder.
Once your applications are installed and shortcuts are in the All Users start menu, they will magically show up in the Windows 7 start menu under the Windows Virtual PC andWindows XP Applications folder!

Windows XP Mode works in two ways—both as a virtual operating system and as a way to open programs within Windows 7. Windows XP Mode runs in a separate window on the Windows 7 desktop, much like a program, except it’s a fully functional version of Windows XP. In Windows XP Mode, you can access your physical computer’s CD/DVD drive, install programs, save files, and perform other tasks as if you were using a computer running Windows XP.
When you install a program in Windows XP Mode, the program appears in both the Windows XP Mode list of programs and in the Windows 7 list of programs, so you can open the program directly from Windows 7.
Programs installed in Windows XP in the Windows 7 Start menu
You can now launch these applications from Windows 7!
Simply launch the application you need and you are good to go.
If you go here you can find some very good videos on the installation and configuration toward the bottom left hand of the page. I highly recommend checking them out.
Well that’s it. A years worth of aggrevation solved in about an hour!

Hackintosh x86 News

For another simple solution to building a ‘Hackintosh’ has just posted this updated article on how you can build your own out of a retail Snow Leopard CD and a Dell Mini 10v. It is a super article.
[Again as mentioned by me and in this article. Even though you’re using a standard retail-purchased copy of OS X, the disclaimer: Apple does not like Hackintoshing. It violates the OS X EULA, and probably won’t make the Dell folks too happy either, should you need to return your hacked Mini 9 for service. So, as always, proceed at your own risk.]

There has been a lot of neat stuff happening in the OSX86 world as of late.
As some of you know I have been using Apple’s for over two decades.
And MS Windows (DOS originally) for just as long. I am most certainly not an Apple OR Microsoft fanboy.
I do feel that both have done a good job for their prospective target markets.
What I like about OS X is the ‘under the hood’ stuff that can be done with a little terminal knowledge. The *nix kernal makes configuring and tweaking sooo much easier.
OS X is also easy for some of the ‘less tech savy’ users to learn, and harder to kill. Which makes OS X great for grandma and uncle Argyle.
What aggravates a geek like me is to listen people bash MS and lap up anything Apple. The facts are MS is a software/OS vendor and Apple is an hardware vendor. It was MS software that actually ‘made’ Apple a usable personal computer (PC) don’t forget.
What really sucks though, is to have to shell out 2k for new hardware just to run the new Apple OS every 3 years. It’s true that because Apple controls the ‘whole pie’ their systems tend to ‘just work’, But if you build or buy a high quality PC you can get the same reliability and ease of use at a much lower total cost of ownership.
I have newer Intel Mac and a few older models I use. I just recently upgraded a couple to Snow Leopard and so I now have a couple of retail full install disks and a few upgrade disks sitting here.
I also have a bunch of Virtual Machines on my server I use for testing and support purposes.
Well now to the point.
I think this guys page –
probably the best site/page I’ve found in a while for building a ‘hackintosh’ from a legit copy of OS X.
The information provided is superb and I look forward to maybe trying some of the tips and tools. It might make your quest for a hackintosh complete. Take a look.
I am also huge fan of the OSx86 project and all the guys who continually work and contribute.
Likewise here are some other great resources:
PCwiz Computer
OSX Freesite

You can google/bing your way to TONS more ‘hackintosh’ stuff if you wish.

Well that’s it just thought I’d pass on some info for those of you that might have been lost in their quest to test a Mac 1st hand with out shelling out $1-2k
The information provide here is for information purposes only. Since the OSX’ EULA clearly states that you aren’t allowed to install OSX on non-Apple hardware, you aren’t allowed to Install OSX Tiger or Leopard on your regular Windows machine (Intel or AMD, doesn’t matter). This site is in no way liable or responsible for the actions of its visitors. This site takes no responsibility for the information you obtain or use from links provided. You are free to do as you wish but we are not liable for any actions you take.

Latest Virtual Machine tools and tips

As some of you know I have been using VMware for years to create and manage virtual machines. It is one of the best ways I know to evaluate operating systems and configurations with out messing up a ‘live’ system. Using VMware (and the VMWare converter) I can also convert Acronis images to Virtual machines, enabling me to test service pack updates and application upgrades. I even have several OS X VM’s I use too. Look here and here.

I also use Virtual Server 2005R2 on my server/home workdation (for XP it’s called MS virtual PC 2005) and now Hyper V for 2008 server. Using MS Virtual server I have been able to download and evaluate various full blown MS products extremely easily by just downloading a pre-made VHDs from MS and adding them to the virtual server. Things like, Win2008R2, Exchange 2007 and 2010, SQL2008 and many more operating systems applications and configurations.

There is now an updated tool available from Sysinternals (who where swallowed up by MS) to actually create complete VHD’s (virtual hard drives) from your existing running systems!
These can be used as backups, for fail over safety, or testing purposes too. The vhd’s can be added to Virtual server, Virtual PC and Hyper V VERY easily. And they will not require another activation as is nearly always necessary when using VMware.

Here is very good article from LifeHacker with a quick rundown of it:

This article prompted me to revisit this, so I decided to see how well it would work with my office machine, which I just happened to have sitting on my desk here at home.
I downloaded and copied the new Disk2vhd app to the laptop, ran the application to create the vhd and saved the vhd to a share on my home server. After the vhd was created I launched the MS Virtual Server Administration console on my server (a localmachine website), ‘created’ a new vm and added the vhd, set up the network options and started it.
And bam, it works like a champ! I was even able to connect from the VM to my office via VPN and run my ‘Cisco SoftPhone’!

Now, if you have no desire to try this just take off now, sorry for wasting your time.
But for any of you fellow techies that want to learn or experience something new, here is more info.
Latest version of Disk2vhd:

MS VirtualPC 2007:

or:Virtual Server 2005 R2:Info:

More info:


Or if you are already using Windows 2008 Server you can use Hyper V:

As always if you do not understand something, take the time to read about it and learn it. If you still don’t get it, read some more. Maybe a lot more. If you try something and is doesn’t work. Try this and type in your question. But don’t type it to me 🙂

Other notes:If you don’t have a modern machine with modern processor (Intel core2duo, Athlon multi-core or better) and plenty of RAM, don’t even think about trying to create a virtual machines. It will be slower than a 1995 Packard Bell.


From Giz Windows 7 tips

Gizmodo has a huge collection of tips, tricks and how to’s for the up coming version of Windows – Windows 7.
I highly recomend reading if you are interested in the future of Windows.
I have had a running VM (virtual machine) of Windows 7 for months now and I am quite excited about the performance; much better that Vista (for me anyways)
I will post some more info on my VM experiences in another log.
For those that are already using Vista the ‘jump’ will be minimal. And for those on Windows XP it will be an easier transition than going from XP to Vista.;=t