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Have a Toshiba with a T4300 processor which doesn't support hardware assisted virtualisation. I need to run virtual images as part of my business. I have Windows 7 home premium but also have access to Win 7 Professional and Ultimate. What is my best course of action - have considered buying VmWare but would rather not.

Any input gratefully accepted.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Virtualbox doesn't necessarily require hardware virtualization support.

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That is - in theory. Try working with that ;) – TomTom Mar 9 '10 at 19:22

Get another computer. Point.

  • Whatever you do, it will suck speed wise due to the lack of hardware virtualization. Most modern systems wont even run at all. I love AMD for exactly their choice to NOT half half their processor not support virtualization. Support for pure software virtualization really dies.
  • Get Windows Server. You need that for your business, so very likely you can get it very cheap (bizspark, small web shop offer, msdn - pretty much in this order).

Alternatively -

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DO you work for Microsoft? There's also VMWare player (free) which doesn't require hardware assisted virtualiation and will run VMs that you have created elsewhere. – Jon Mar 9 '10 at 14:48
I worked once, some months. I just have very good experience with Hyper-V.. Oh, yeah - Vmware PLAYER. Note the PLAYER here ;) Problem is - you need the created ones first. Bad news for most. – TomTom Mar 9 '10 at 14:50
vmware SERVER, Note the SERVER here, is also free and runs on desktop versions of windows as well. Alternatively if you want to use the player, you can make machines here – JamesRyan Mar 9 '10 at 15:06
You can create new VMs with VMWare Player 3.0. – Carl C Mar 9 '10 at 18:41
And VMWware Guest machines are still slow as crap without hardware support. – Chris S Mar 9 '10 at 18:43

I would recommend Sun Virtualbox for all desktop virtualization needs.

Doesn't require CPU support, but not sure how the performance is.

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WMWare Server is free, and does not require the hardware virtualization support, as another commenter pointed out. It its most recent version, I've had problems that I could not solve regarding the administration console, but you may have better luck that me.


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Install vmware (there are free versions) which will run without hardware virtulization. It will be slightly slower, but not by a huge amount. You should not need to change the version of windows you have installed.

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I run multiple VMs on VMWare Player (free) using an Intel e4400 processor without hardware virtualization. Performance is fine.

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