Ed Bott on running Windows Home Server in a virtual machine

A few people have mentioned to me about the possibility of running Windows Home Server on a virtual machine and I did try it with Virtual PC back when Home Server was in beta but while it worked I found the performance was not very good and it didn’t make a lot of sense running a server on Vista. However Ed Bott has a much better scenario and that is to run WHS on Windows Server 2008 using Hyper V. For most people I would not recommend it but I can see where it would have some potential, how about virtualizing Vista and having Media Center and Home Server on the same box (shame the tuner would not work) all working with extenders?

Interestingly, Windows Home Server recognizes that the drives are virtual and thinks each one is 400GB in size. In reality, they’re dynamic virtual disks on a physical drive that is 500GB in size. And right now, the actual physical space in use on that drive is only about 100GB or so. Eventually I’ll have to replace that drive with one that can actually hold 800GB, but I won’t come close to using that much storage space anytime soon, so I can afford to wait. Meanwhile, I have breathing room to replace the existing drive later without having to go through the hassle of re-creating the server.

Running Windows Home Server in a virtual machine

About the author Ian Dixon:
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.
  • Anonymous

    Network tuners (like the HDHomeRun) would work just fine. Too bad there aren’t any network-based digital cable tuners. Ah, but even those would work just fine (as they’re USB), if CableLabs would just loosen the grip a little.

  • Anonymous

    VMWare 2.0 (currently in RC stage) supports passing through USB 2.0 devices at a reasonable speed, so should in theory be able to support DVB-T tuners and the like.

    I haven’t tried running Vista under it, but I have checked and it lists my Hauppauge Nova-T 500 in the list of USB devices available to be passed through to the client OS.

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking about trying this. I’ve been playing with Sun’s VirtualBox lately and it is pretty cool. Has support for USB as well. http://www.virtualbox.org/

  • Anonymous

    Back again with this week in Media Center world, there is the Media Center university part 5 (how may…

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