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The The Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe, previously known as The Water Cooler, is a place to post stuff that has absolutely nothing at all to do with computers, broadband, Scot's Newsletter, or anything that's "supposed" to be here.
Okay, think I'm done "hacking" Win XP to work in VMM/qemu.
Solved my "new hardware found, looking for drivers" issues by following along here:
Was relatively straightforward and painless, and notifications went away, and system seemed to run better. But I couldn't leave "well enough" alone. Avast was severely outdated, tried to update itself, failed & crashed. So I ripped it off and installed AVG. I still had IE8 as a web browser and decided to add a more modern XP-compatible browser. You know what a challenge it is to find a reasonably modern 32-bit XP-compatible web browser? What a rabbit hole that was!!! Ended up installing Slimjet 10 and all is good on the internet side.
Noticed several unnecessary services were autostarting, so disabled them. WinXP was running pretty lean & mean in a qemu VM! Then I decided to uninstall "unnecessary software" like Adobe Flash, an old version of Quickbooks, and VirtualBox Guest Additions, and clean up the registry, etc... with CCleaner. Long story short, removing VB Guest Addition drivers was a BIG MISTAKE and the BSOD re-appeared. After several more Safe-Mode boots and registry hacks, I've got it working again, but my brain is JELLO! I hope I don't ever have to duplicate this process, or help anyone else with it, as I'm not sure I'll remember all the steps. It sure wasn't as simple and clean as all the online tutorials...
Learnings from this exercise:
- converting an existing Win VM to qemu is way more convoluted than converting the disk image to a native qemu format
- getting WinXP running in a VM format is ridiculously challenging, IMO. I only pressed on for the learnings, and to keep really old legacy software functioning and viable.
- if Win7 and Win10 migrations are this challenging, it's probably more time-efficient to do a fresh install and load the VM with desired software; that wasn't an option with my WinXP software, but I still have the disks, licenses/registrations for Win7 & Win10 software, so I have no qualms performing a virgin install and building them backup.
- I hate proprietary software; it was a true PITA to import/convert proprietary *vdi and *vmdk formats into the open source *qcow2 format and I don't know for certain, but I'm willing to bet that the open-source format converts into the proprietary format with no issues whatsoever. Flashbacks of converting *.doc reports into *odt files and the nightmare of formatting/pagination/table issues; but odt pulls into doc format just fine.
And now that I know this about vdi and vmdk formats, I will do whatever it takes to eradicate that on MY systems.
I stripped DRM off my entire music collection (over 7,000 songs) once I learned it was there, and put everything into a universally compatible mp3 format (would've preferred ogg, but ogg wasn't universal for me). I converted my entire library of appraisal reports & spreadsheets (over 20 years' worth) to open document formats. And now I'm on the warpath against vdi and vmdk. You 2 jokers are next for termination...
This might be helpful to someone: For my most recent Stable installation, I used firmware-10.1.0-amd64-netinst.iso. They have the current "Unofficial non-free images including firmware packages" here: http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/
When I got my Thinkpad and blew off Windows, the first thing I did was install Debian stable. I have since upgraded when Buster became the new stable. No reinstall needed.
I added a few tweaks like Dash to Dock to make it easy for my wife (we take the Thinkpad on holiday.)
Debian required a wire for installation because the Intel wifi wouldn't work without the non-free firmware. It does as soon as you install the needed packages.
I suppose I could have gone with Mint to avoid all the hassle but after a while Mint is B-O-R-I-N-G. I like Debian with GNOME and a few tweaks.