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Author Topic: Tweaking virtualbox for better windows xp performance?  (Read 6691 times)
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« on: May 07, 2010, 06:39:24 pm »

Does anyone have any tips for tweaking either virtualbox, or windows xp or both for better performance?

Its usable, but a bit slow for many things, and I'm worndering how I can increase the performance just a bit to make it more usable.

I have already disabled visual fx in xp and set it for best performance. I have it using 512 megs ram, should I increase that?
I have also removed the windows logon and splash screens with regedit, so it boots a bit faster, or seems to anyhow.

Any ideas would be much appreciated...

Steven
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newt
Vectorian
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Posts: 1132



« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 07:03:01 pm »

How much ram does your physical system have? XP would likely to better with close to 1gb if you can spare it, but you HAVE to make sure your host system has plenty to use as well.

Also, installing the virtual machine Guest Additions for Windows would likely be the single greatest increase in performance if they're not already installed.
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010, 08:29:48 pm »

I have 2 gigs of ram in the host machine running vectorlinux 6.0 standard.
I think I can do 1 gig for the virtual win xp install, leaving 1gig for the host
system should be enough, but I can get another 2 gigs of ram if necessary.

How do I know if the virtual machine guest additions are already installed?
If not, how do I install the virtual machine guest additions? What is that exactly
and why does it increase performance?

Steven

« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 08:35:50 pm by haywire » Logged
tomh38
Vectorian
****
Posts: 912



« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 09:30:10 pm »

Steven,

To install VirtualBox guest additions, first you have to find the file "VBoxGuestAdditions.iso."  On my system it's in /opt/VirtualBox-X.XX.  If it's not somewhere in opt, use Catfish, find or slocate to find it.  Then open VirtualBox.  You should be able to mount the file as a CD, possibly under "Settings --> Storage" (the way to mount CDs has changed across versions of VirtualBox, but wherever you mounted your Windows XP CD or ISO image, mount it there).  Then ... start WinXP, and the guest additions iso should be in your "D:" drive.  Double click that, and the installer should start.  Make sure to agree to the soul-stealing EULA  Grin, and from there it should install, giving you higher screen resolution, etc.

N.B.  This information may be somewhat out-of-date, since it's been a while since I installed/used VirtualBox.

Hope this helps,
Tom
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
MikeCindi
Tester
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1071


« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 06:19:40 am »

With the last several releases of VBox once an OS is loaded/running you can select "Device/Install Guest Additions..." from the VBox menu at the top of the screen (unless your are running XP full screen) or just use the Host+D key combination. It will find and load the guest additions iso for you and start the installer. I am currently using v3.1.6. BTW 2Gb of RAM on your host machine with 1Gb for VL std and 1Gb for XP should be sufficient if all the other machine specs are sufficient too. (On this box I have a P4 3.2 GHz and get very good performance from XP.)
HTH,
Mike
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The plans of the diligent lead to profit...Pro. 21:5
VL64 7.1b3                                     RLU 486143
Andy Price
Packager
Vectorite
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Posts: 237


« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 07:56:33 pm »

What programs are you running in XP? I run XP inside VBox with just 256 MB RAM and it's fine for most things such as web surfing and document creation using Office 2007. I really can't see the need to increase RAM past 512 unless you are editing videos or something very demanding.

There are a few things you can do to increase both the real speed and the perceived speed. I usually turn off services that I don't use such as wireless configuration and system restore. There are lots of services running that you don't need and there are some good guides around as to which you can disable.

I don't install any third party firewall software and if I do install antivirus then I use something very light such as Panda Cloud or Microsoft's own Security Essentials. Most anti-malware programs really kill performance and should be avoided. Windows is not really that insecure unless you go visiting dangerous sites - file sharing, crack sites etc.

I find that all the fade-in and fade-out type features in XP make it feel slow, even when it's not. So go to the System Properties > Advanced > Performance and deselect any options which say "animate", "fade" or "slide". You should also install TweakUI and set the menu speed to Fast - it's in the Mouse section for some reason. These few things will make the GUI feel a lot snappier.

One final thought, the file system is always horribly fragmented after you install XP, so it's worth defragmenting it a couple of times.
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2010, 11:54:51 pm »

I was running mostly older paint programs, like paint shop pro that wine does not like. I also tried to run some audio/video apps but that really dosn't work well. I guess I just meant in general, it ran kinda slow as far as launch times and the general responsiveness when you click or do something (drag windows etc)

I did what everyone suggested and installed the guest additions. I'm really not sure what that does but it sure worked to speed things up a great deal. In fact, I'm writing this from IE within my xp install and it feels like its on its own computer I'd say. I also increased ram from 512megs to 1gig. Also, I was considering raising the video ram from 32 megs to 128 or 256 megs because I have 512 in the actual phystical video card, but I'm not sure that would help much, its good as it is now.

I also installed tweak ui and dumped anything I didn't want or need. Next I will google some tutorials for disabling every service you don't need. I sure don't need wireless and a ton of other crap thats probably running...

One bad thing, after installing the guest additions I'm only able to get 1152x864 where before I set it to 1280x1024, which is what my main system was at. Set the same, the windows integrated with compiz better as one side of the cube.
Now it works okay but its kind of annoying switching back and forth from full screen to windowed mode when I want to switch to the linux or amiga side of the cube.

All in all, its now working how I wanted when I started messing with this, and I'm pretty sure I can say goodbye to one windows machine sitting in my basement of doom now. I will keep one windows machine just for sound/video work. Haven't tried sound and video stuff now thats its faster now, but I still think it would be best to do that on its own machine... My vector box is officially my favorite computer for quite awhile now, but this just makes it even better.

I have dos, amiga, windows and linux progs all going at once. I love it... Smiley

My sincerest thanks for everyone's kind assistance. Any other tips, I'm all ears since I'm still tweaking.


Steven





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stolpiller
Member
*
Posts: 23


« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2010, 02:49:50 am »

How do I install virtualbox? Only found rpm /deb packages on the website Sad
No official vector package?
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MikeCindi
Tester
Vectorian
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Posts: 1071


« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2010, 09:46:15 am »

http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/3.1.6/VirtualBox-3.1.6-59338-Linux_x86.run
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VL64 7.1b3                                     RLU 486143
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2010, 12:10:45 pm »

Be very careful about disabling services in XP. Some of them depend on others and while you may think you don't need it, something else that you do need may get messed up. I did have a go at disabling stuff I thought I didn't need and was sorry I did it. It wasn't too difficult to undo the damage, but if I had disabled something that could have made Windows nonfunctional I might have had to go through the nightmare of reinstalling Windows. And yes, I had checked with Web sites that are supposedly reliable before I stopped services.

You don't actually gain that much from disabling services, especially if you have enough RAM (1 gig should be okay). So now I leave well enough alone and things work like they should.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
stolpiller
Member
*
Posts: 23


« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2010, 02:45:19 pm »

Thanks. Didn't know *.run would work Smiley Is it like an generic executable (program) for all linux?
I will try it Smiley
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2010, 04:14:13 pm »

Granny,

Your right I checked a few things out and its running fine enough, in my view its best not to mess with it to get what would amount to an inperceptable performance increase. I will be re-installing anyway to a different hard drive, I want to put an extra hard drive in this machine that can be dedicated totally to windows.

OR can anyone tell me how I can create a fake D drive that can be accessed by the virtual xp install as drive d?

Interestingly, since installing the guest additions windows is crashing linux once in a while when I go from full screen to windowed mode. Thats about what I expect, my computer never crashes, but put windows in the mix and it crashes to the nvidia boot screen and I'm back at a logon screen, so not a total crash I guess, but still annoying.

Leave it to windows to crash my beautiful linux box. Smiley

Steven

Steven
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MikeCindi
Tester
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1071


« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2010, 06:15:36 pm »

You don't happen to have gkrellm running to do you?
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The plans of the diligent lead to profit...Pro. 21:5
VL64 7.1b3                                     RLU 486143
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2010, 06:39:36 pm »

Yes I usually have that running, but I exited it, rebooted and same problems when switching from full screen to windowed mode it crashes to the nvidia screen then back to logon screen.

This is strange, because if I catch it right when it starts then switch it to windowed mode, AND THEN switch it to full screen mode it works okay, but then will occasionally dump out/crash as described when switching again. Didn't do that before the guest addition install.

Like I said, leave it to windows to crash my beautiful linux pc. Smiley

If I just run it in windowed mode all the time, thats no problems, I am hiding it on one of my compiz desktops, so I just switch over there when I want to use it, then switch back to my proper desktop... Thats probably the better way to use it because the apps I run will be maximized, so its like windows is just a windows program launcher for the few things I need... I don't really need a full screen windows desktop for my needs on this box.

Steven

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MikeCindi
Tester
Vectorian
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Posts: 1071


« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2010, 07:39:25 pm »

Steven,
When I have gkrellm running then I get the same thing so I don't run it for the time being. I don't know if this is a nvidia, xorg, or gkrellm issue but the three together have not been kind to me. What trips it up the most is vbox starting and I almost never get into XP before the crash. I have no problems though with the nv driver (vs. nvidia's proprietary) but that leaves a lot to be desired.
Mike
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The plans of the diligent lead to profit...Pro. 21:5
VL64 7.1b3                                     RLU 486143
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