Easy Insider's builds testing via VMs

johngalt

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Hi, all,

I have gobs of RAM, gobs of HD Space (NVMe - planning on dedicating one of my 3 drives to VMs). I plan to create the VMs from base WinX installs, via Win 7 upgrade using my legitimate TechNet keys, and then creating snapshots of the base install and enabling Insider builds - 3 VMs, one for each flight type.

It's been a couple of years since I played with Insiders builds, and back then I was running them live on my system, not in VMs. Anything I should look out for? In particular, I know that reverting to snapshot and upgrading to the latest Dev builds will be particularly crazy sometimes, but I don't really see the need to create a snapshot of the current build, upgrade, create a new snapshot, then revert to base and upgrade again - unless it will help for troubleshooting purposes (a clean WinX stable install upgraded to latest dev build versus a consecutively updated Dev build, which can (and has in the past) caused issues.

If I do decide to keep both SxS, y'all think it would be easier to create 2 installs for each flight type, one that keeps rolling forward with updates, and one that I revert to base and update to latest directly? Or should I just make well labelled snapshots and only use 3 VMs, one for each flight type? (keys are not an issue - I have at least 20 previously unused Win 7 Pro / Ultimate keys I can upgrade with, and 5 or 6 more that I've used previously in VMs to upgrade but have been disassociated with my Microsoft account so are free to be used again).

I'm leaning towards 6 VMs, so I can keep them clearly separated. But if more snapshots and fewer VMs is a better way to go, let me know.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    The Beast Model A (homebrew)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * Corsair Vengeance 32 GB 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0 (04G-P4-3979-KB)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA Widescreeen @ 1920*1080
    Hard Drives
    3x Sabrent Rocket PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 1 TB SSD (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB)
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB SATA III SSD
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 256GB SATA III SSD
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM (Old storage)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    NZXT KRAKEN Z73 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler + Air (3 * 140mm fans from case)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Laser Mouse(shared)
    Internet Speed
    AT&T Lightspeed Gigabit duplex
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    Nightly|Chrome|Canary|Edge+ (Chromium) (in all 4 flavors)
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philc43

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I am currently testing insider builds with VMs. It works well and I have about 4 on the go for the different channels and I include one 32bit installation as well. I started some with Win 7 and others with W10. I keep rolling forward with WU and have not needed to do any clean installs. I usually do automatic checkpoints and don't keep a history of checkpoints because I would soon run out of space - that may not be a problem for you though. I would struggle with more than about 4 VMs and find this a good balance between the time it takes to keep them all updated and evaluated and the storage space needed. They run really well on SSDs but I don't have loads of memory or loads of CPU cores so I am limited on how many I can run simultaneously.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self-Build
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS P8Z77-V LX
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVidia Geforce GTX 750Ti
    Sound Card
    On-board Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 226BW
    Hard Drives
    1TB SSD + 1TB HDD
    PSU
    Corsair TX550
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    Gigabyte IF233
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johngalt

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Thanks for the info. I suspect that if I made an initial (fixed) checkpoint of the clean OS initial install, if I had problems with a particular build not installing over a previous build, repeatedly, I could simply revert to clean and install the latest build over that (provided it didn't also go south during install).

I think that makes up my mind - I'll just go with the 3, one for each channel, and keep only 3 checkpoints per install - 1, the main backup of the default base install prior to enabling Insiders builds for each VM, one of the current build and one of the previous build (in case I need to revert to previous for whatever reason).

I think with keeping them at the bare minimum HD space that I need for test, say 50-60 GB (or even less, perhaps), I can have a lot on the 1 TB drive, though I've already used up about 250 GB for the CompTIA VMs. I've already assigned the CompTIA VMs to their own group (although Hyper-V doesn't show groups - pity) and my currently only non-COmpTIA VM it's own group named personal - I'll drop in 3 more VMs into the personal group and start playing with some of these newer builds.

If anyone else has any comments / suggestions, please, feel free to chime in here - Good thing about VMs is that they can be removed and new ones can be created with barely any effort. If I actually spent a bit of time and learned how to duplicate them then it's be even easier lol - that's a topic for the weekend, I think.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    The Beast Model A (homebrew)
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * Corsair Vengeance 32 GB 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0 (04G-P4-3979-KB)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA Widescreeen @ 1920*1080
    Hard Drives
    3x Sabrent Rocket PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 1 TB SSD (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB)
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB SATA III SSD
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 256GB SATA III SSD
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM (Old storage)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    NZXT KRAKEN Z73 73.11 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler + Air (3 * 140mm fans from case)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Laser Mouse(shared)
    Internet Speed
    AT&T Lightspeed Gigabit duplex
    Browser
    Nightly|Chrome|Canary|Edge+ (Chromium) (in all 4 flavors)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender + MB 4
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