Friday, February 24, 2012

Goodbye VirtualBox, Hello VmWare Workstation 8

I’ve been using VirtualBox on my Dell Vostro laptop having moved over from a Dell Precision M6400. It was fine on the Precision, but the host OS is totally killed on the Vostro, which is odd as it’s a much beefier laptop. VMWare Workstation 8 has opened the VirtualBox vmdk file and the guest OS is cruising along – and I can still use the host too!

I installed the trial version, which gives you 30 days free. Entering in the full version code unlock a few extras without requiring a reinstall.

Snapshots and rollback have worked as expected, whereas a VM in VirtualBox after a snapshot kept scrubbing half its files off after a reboot (chkdsk).

You can convert VirtualBox VDI files to VMDK format using a utility that comes with VirtualBox via a PowerShell command such as:

& "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\vboxmanage.exe" clonehd ".\OpenFields35Dev.vdi" ".\OpenFields35Dev.vmdk" --format vmdk --variant standard

Be warned that this will take a while (depending on the size of the file) and will max out the drive, so your system may be sluggish while it’s happening.