Friday, October 31, 2008

Lost in the virtual time....

No, this isn't a sci-fi blog. It's about windows time in a virtual environment. Some applications depend on the computers having the same time. And this is no problem if all virtual machines are running on the same host. But in my case, I have a one server running virtual servers, and one or more computers running virtualPC images to access the VM's on the server.
Now, in a perfect scenario, all computers should have the same time scource (At least within the same campus). But as in my case, the lab is totally isolated. Time servers are not available to the hostserver or the vm's (who always, unless told otherwise sync with host-time).
I have recently discovered a way to stop the virtual pc from syncing the hostoperating system. There is no gui for this, and you have to turn your VM off first. Then edit the .vmc file:
Find the section of the .VMC file that looks like this:
<integration>
<microsoft>
<mouse>
<allow type="boolean">true</allow>
</mouse>
</microsoft>
</integration>
Change it to look like this:
<integration>
<microsoft>
<mouse>
<allow type="boolean">true</allow>
</mouse>
<components>
<host_time_sync>false
</enabled>
</host_time_sync>
</components>

Restart the virtual machine, and set any time you like. Very handy, also when testing betas that have expired ;)