Well folks, after a recent week of performance issues running a SharePoint 2010 VM
image (40GB) on Virtual Box (v3.0.14 & v3.2.8) Olaf (a fellow Breezer) and I sat down
and put our thinking caps on as how to improve things.

– Hyper-V wasn’t an option due to classroom setups and portability issues.

After scouring the forums, posts, blogs and other to see how to squeeze every last
bit of performance from Virtual Box – I’ve come to the conclusion that current
versions just don’t take full advantage of Core i7 architectures
, hence they
run dog slow (1 virtual cpu seems to run better than multiple).

Enter VMWare – I’m relatively new to the world of VMWare, although
others on my team swear by it.

So I downloaded VMWare Player (free)

And configured a Virtual Machine (or two)

So the issue is (as I’m sure you’re well aware if you’re reading this), is that booting
up Windows 2008 R2 (in my case), the native disks are SCSI and we
get the dreaded Inaccessible Boot Device error (stop 0x7B).

(Back in WinXP, Win2000 & Win2003 (I think) there *used* to be a recovery option that
you could repair my boot environment and it would ’rediscover’ all
the disks etc and you’d be on your way)

The aim is boot into Windows, allow it to discover, load and install the VMWare SCSI
drivers (from LSI) and then in theory you’re good to go.

After drilling down through the VMWare forums (a foreign place for me), there’s a
few articles on ’injecting drivers’ into the system, startup etc – none of these techniques
worked for me (I booted to Repair window and ran regedit to ’tweak’ some startup registry

Still stuck and after many hours we noticed that CD/DVD (IDE) was
an available device on the system as follows:

I thought “I wonder if I can attach the VHD as an IDE??”

After locating the VMWare VM config file – a *.VMX file I saw a couple
of entries

ide1:0.present = “TRUE”
ide1:0.filename = “MicksBootIso.iso”

So I thought, let me try

ide1:0.present = “TRUE”
ide1:0.filename= “D:\VHDs\VHDs\SharePoint2010_v2_Child.vhd”

Saved and booted up like a bought one!

So for nowthis works fantastically AND THE PERFORMANCE is at least 3-4 times
faster than Virtual Box for this image
. Just really snappy!

Here’s a sample file attached – enjoy.

Server 2008 R2 x64.zip (1.12 KB)