Auto logon to virtual machine

  1. Posts : 18
    Windows 10

    Auto logon to virtual machine

    I have three people using the same PC, each with their own logon. Two of those people are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier and are likely to click on any link anywhere. They only use the PC for browsing and browser-based emails so don't need to keep anything between sessions. OK, maybe their iTunes music library. I know this isn't strictly speaking a W10 question, but is there any way I can get the two of them to access a virtual machine version of Windows and the third person (me) a live version of Windows? One of them has already managed to install some ransomware that's locked him out of his account
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 11,247
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi there

    Easy peasy -- -there are several ways to do this but IMO if you have enough HDD storage and RAM is to create TWO or THREE VM's (one for each users) - start them up and then suspend to background - that way the VM's will still be there and your user's can logon to their own VM.

    You'll need to be careful of what to share - and also by doing it this way the user doesn't even need to have an account on the HOST machine either.

    The easiest way to create a set of VM's is to use the free conversion tool from VMware - you can use from your RUNNING system.

    The main problem you might have is when it comes to windows licences -- in theory each VM will need its own licence - but if you were to do this procedure you could at least not have to pay ANYTHING until the expiry of the preview.

    1) BACKUP your existing OS.

    2) Now UPGRADE to W10 enterprise technical preview -- it's stable enough for about 99% of functionality - especially for net browsing / simple office tasks, email, and a slew of other stuff including complex functions like Photoshop, complex spread sheeting (EXCEL), Presentations and even some multi-media (video playing) although three or 4 concurrent users playing video's at the same time on their own VM's might tax the HOST a bit.

    3) Use the conversion tool to convert your running machine to a VM (this is known as a P2V or a Physical to Virtual conversion).

    4) Boot up the VM and install VMWARE tools. Activate Office if it requires re-activation -- probably won't.

    IMPORTANT -- Keep this copy as the REFERENCE VM so if any of your users hose up their VM you just "Wipe it" and restore this copy. !!!

    5) Clone this VM for as many users as you need -- don't forget to give each VM a different HOST (computer) name.

    6) Start each VM and create the user accounts.

    7) suspend to background

    Now let your users loose on their VM's.

    The main problem with this type of approach is that you usually need to be logged on to the HOST to start the VM's - it's better to use a SERVER for this type of process.

    This is probably way over the top but another idea is to use a LINUX Host with a XEN server or HYPER-V server then you can just start the machine and the VM's will start without you needing to be logged on.

    The Linux host has the advantage is that it's FREE (for ever) but a lot more complex to set up. The process is the same though - create the VM's and user accounts.

    Essentially you need to get the VM's to run in the background so they don't close down when you log off.

    (After you've created the User VM's you can restore your original OS so the VM's will be on W10 and you can run your existing system as before !!).

    Your biggest problem though is if they actually have to use the physical PC to LOGON. You really need to find some way where they can logon remotely (even if on a Home Lan) via RDC (Remote desktop connection) or something. If you have an old PC around then you could use this as a "Dumb Terminal" for your users to logon to their VM's. This way YOU don't have to logoff when they want to use (Your) PC which is hosting the the VM's.

    A really simple way of doing this is again via a simple LINUX machine with VNC installed (the equivalent of RDC for windows) and all they would have to do is enter their logon name and password and they'd be logged on to their Windows VM - desktop would then look 100% Windows. !! Any old PC would work as "The logon Terminal". Linux requires MINIMAL resources for this type of stuff !!!

    Last edited by jimbo45; 16 Oct 2014 at 03:04.
      My Computer


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