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No More Multiboot Headaches
Much of what I wrote about VMWare in T61 VMWare applies to the T400. It is much easier than multibooting and works quite well for my purposes. Vista adds some wrinkles. Some of the notes below duplicate notes in Vista Ultimate and Vista Business 64.
64 Bit Virtual Machines with 32 Bit Host
It is possible to run a 64 bit virtual machine in a 32 bit host operating system on the T400 if the virtual CPU extensions are turned on in BIOS.
Boot -> F1 -> Config -> CPU
Intel Virtualization Technology (enable)
Intel VT-d Feature (enable)
Save and reboot
VMWare Server, Player, and Workstation 6 run. VMWare Server is free, and can both build and run virtual clients.
Vista Ultimate 32 Bit
Server (my preferred free tool) installs runs - sort of. The first time I launch a VM client in server it ties up the entire machine for several minutes! Eventually it sorts itself out and after that runs OK. I suspect some issue related to memory allocation or initialization in Vista.
I'm told Workstation works but it isn't free :( In both flavors of Vista I ended up using the free VMWare Player (which runs fine but can't build VMs) with the free VMX Builder (which can build VMs). It isn't as slick and integrated as Workstation or Player but it works.
Vista Business 64 Bit
VMWare Server (my favorite free tool) won't even install on VB 64. Vista has a hissy fit about signed drivers. There are ways around this, but given the (poor) way it works in Vista Ultimate 32, I didn't bother.
I'm told Workstation works, but it isn't free :( In both flavors of Vista I ended up using the free VMWare Player (which runs fine but can't build VMs) with the free VMX Builder (which can build VMs). It isn't as slick and integrated as Workstation or Player but it works.
There are a lot of pre-built virtual machines available for download. Some are available via the VMWare Appliances page.
The virtual machines - Linux, Solaris, WinXX - I built on my T61 and my white box deskside machine copy over and run OK on the T400. There were some issues wth Solaris, as described in T61 VMWare. Also activation issues with the XP client.
XP (and other Microsoft operating systems, presumably) present a bit of a challenge. Copying or moving an XP client may make XP think there have been sufficient hardware changes to require re-activation. In my simple situation, I found that removing the NIC from the client allowed my to migrate the XP client from laptop to deskside without requiring re-activation. Trying to add the NIC back into the moved client triggers the re-activation requirement.
I suspect (but haven't tested) that building the initial XP client with a virtual NIC using a fixed MAC address (instead of an automatically generated MAC address) might avoid this problem. Just an untested WAG...
Screen resolution (from T61 VMWare)
My T61 has what Lenovo calls a WXGA+ screen with 1440x900 resolution. They also offer a WXGA 1280x800 resolution. Either is probably just fine except when running virtual machine windows. IMHO, a comfortable resolution for the VM OS itself is 1024x768. When the VMware console is wrapped around this, the whole thing just barely (or not quite) fits in the T61's 900 vertical pixels.
The 1280x800 screen would require scrolling to see the entire VMware console/VM screen, or the VM OS would have to run in a reduced resolution. 800x600 or something. This isn't the end of the world, but may be a consideration purchasing a T61 or other widescreen laptop.
VMWare Player isn't set up to install VMWare tools like Workstation and Server are. There isn't a VM option to install tools, but it is possible with a little work. The tools are handy for improving graphics performance and enabling things like copy/paste and drag-and-drop (with some clients). Essentially it involves downloading Workstation or Server, installing or extracting somewhere, and copying the ISO files containing the tools. There is an ISO for each supported client OS variety. Using VMX Builder, set the virutal cdrom to point at the appropriate ISO, and access it from within the running client VM. Here is a link describing the process: Installing VMware Tools with VMware Player .
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