Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fun With Windows 8 - Not

Windows 8 recently became available through our MSDN subscription at work. I'm not normally an early adopter when it comes to work-I've been burned too many times- but since I switched to virtual machines for my development it's easy to test a new operating system. With an automated install that usually takes around 10-15 minutes for most versions of Windows, it's fast too.

So, I decided to fire up a copy of Windows 8 Pro (x64) and throw Visual Studio 2012 Premium and SQL Server 2012 Development on there just for giggles. Under VMWare Workstation 9, the install went perfectly. It took me a few minutes to learn my way around the new "don't-call-it-Metro" user interface, and in no time I had my two development tools installed. Everything seemed to function properly but the system was periodically freezing.

The periodic freezing was barely noticeable when I first installed Windows. But after a couple big applications installed, the system isn't even really usable. It's something to do with the virtual disk because it shows the disk latency under task manager and >1 second.

The next 8 hours or so were spent trying everything under the sun, including a whole new install from scratch. I tried all the VMWare settings I could find, and tried literally everything under the sun (and google) including making sure the virtual machine directory was excluded from the virus scanner. Nothing. It hitches from the minute it's installed.

At this point I'm just going to let it sit for a month or so and then run it to see if it picks up an update that will fix the problem. I have at least one VM for just about every version of Windows and none of them hitch, so I do not believe the problem is on my end.

As a side note, Visual Studio 2012 looks really cool. And I even got the Ankh for Subversion plugin to mostly work with it.

Windows 8 isn't even out retail yet, so I hope they do some more bug fixes before prime time. I'll try back in a month or two. I can boot the VM, let it pick up the latest patches and then see if it's fixed. That's the beauty of a virtual machine - it's not tying up an actual machine while I wait for Microsoft to refine Windows 8. So far it's just (ironically) 8 gigabytes on my hard drive.


  1. Sounds like a weird interaction with VMWare. It's nice on my desktop.

  2. Could be. VMWare 9 just came out as well. I figure in about a month I'll try it again and it'll all start working on its own. In the mean time I might put Windows 8 on my little netbook.