We recently have been “playing” with virtual machines, looking to use these devices to further our interests. We have looked at the Microsoft free offerings as well as the VMware free products. From a user perspective I think the VMware software is impressive. But do have an issue with the way VMware seems to reserve memory on my Windows XP box even if the virtual machines are not running. This was most noticeable when I took the software and virtual machines home and ran them on my older less capable computer (a P2.4 with 1GB of RAM).
By default VMware services are started automatically when the PC starts up. (There are 5 of these services) This is fine if the virtual machine(s) are in use, but if we only want the virtual clients to be run manually on demand, then we would of course like to have all the host pc RAM available for normal use when the virtual machines aren’t running!
My answer to this situation is in two parts:
Change the way the VMware services are started by using the Management Console to change them from Automatic to a Manual startup. This means the services are present but not running.
I then run a very short Powershell script to start the services and once they are started open the VMware server application. Yes it takes about 20 seconds longer to start the VMware application this way but it works! I have a second script that will shut the VMware services down again if you want to reclaim RAM after using the virtual machines…