POST'ing in a virtual machine

POST'ing in a virtual machine

  • Comments 8

A long, long time ago - Virtual PC was originally developed on the Macintosh.  For this market the team at Connectix did a lot of work to reduce the time for the virtual machine to 'POST' (this stands for Power On Self Test - and is the black and whit text screen you see when you first boot a computer).  The reality is that the vast majority of time spent in POST is waiting for hardware to initialize and respond.  Given that virtual hardware initializes almost instantaneously, Virtual PC for Macintosh's POST time was reduced to under a second where just a black screen was displayed.

This was very useful for the Macintosh market where users were not used to seeing the POST screen on a computer.  However - when we first released Virtual PC for Windows we were constantly hearing feedback from users that we 'were not emulating a complete computer / real computer'.  This confused us to say the least - and after lots of investigation we found out the real problem.  People could not see a POST - and to PC users this made the whole virtual machine seem less authentic.  So in Virtual PC 5.0 we decided to not speed through the POST - but to take our time and let the world see it - and users have been happy ever since :-)

Cheers,
Ben

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  • Please add 5 and 7 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • So how do I turn this 'feature' off?
  • Can you put back the "speedy POST" option? While seeing the POST screen does inspire some credibility, it gets old really fast.
  • Ben,
    Oops, now you've let the cat out of the bag :)

    This is reminiscent of the rumor that MS had added 'do nothing' loops during Windows 95 boot to make it look like some fancy processing was going on. Win 98/ME boot optimizations? Comment out those loops.
  • Hi, Ben,
    Nice post to cheer up my day. And thank you for answering my question on Triplefault event.

    Here is another question: How do I query the Virtual Server COM interface for a virtual machine's IP address? Virtual machine's IP address seems get no coverage by COM API. Not from IVMGuestOS, neither IVMVirtualNetworks.
    Ying
  • Martin / Jonathan -

    There is no way to do this - however if you go into the virtual machines BIOS you can enable 'Quiet Boot' which will suppress any of the text.

    Phylyp -

    Actually, there are now three versions of our BIOS. The one in VPC (Win) that has the normal delays, the one in VPC (Mac) which has many of the delays removed, and the one in Virtual Server which has extra delays because users found that they could not get from the master status page to the VMRC page fast enough to hit DEL and get into the BIOS.

    Ying -

    We do not expose anyway for doing this.

    Cheers,
    Ben
  • Ben,
    Thank you very much for quick reply. Any idea how I can get IP programmatically?

    Ying
  • I think that you could put a logo on the POST, much like newer motherboards allow to.

    It works like this, at least in my ASUS motherboard:

    - You create a picture (must be 640x480x256 and BMP)
    - Use a program from ASUS to dump your BIOS to a file
    - use the same program to put the picture within this BIOS file
    - flash the motherboard BIOS with the new file
    - enable a feature in the setup

    Looks really good if you get the colors right in your BMP file.
  • Its a big pity that this feature can't be set by user... :(
    (sorry to say this, but it's another proof that Microsoft treats people like morons. on the other hand - can't blame you. I often do things related to support/helpdesk, so I know how "moronic" users can be..) :/
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