Sunday 4 October 2015

Virtualization Guest Debugging - Windows Boot, Kernel And User-Mode

How did I end up in this mess? good question!
Friend of mine got a new laptop from the company he works for. The laptop is really good: SSD, quad core i5.. much better than any computer he own and its with him all them time. The logical thing to do is use it as a personal computer as well, but he can't as he doesn't have any permissions on the Windows 7 installed and he does not want to accidently crash to death the company Windows 7 with his personal computer uses. The solution?  Installing windows on portable USB disk. Actually not that easy because windows requires driver to the disk controller, a problematic thing with usb storage. There is a Microsoft solution to the problem called Windows To Go and with it I installed windows 8.1 portable on USB disk, which in the laptop can be boot using the bios boot menu and choosing the windows usb drive.

First problem solved, not that difficult because of Microsoft solution. Second problem came as my friend is working with his portable windows, but someone called from work and want something checked, that can only be checked using the company windows 7. The only way he can switch to the company windows 7 is by resetting the entire computer, not a convenient thing to do. My solution to the problem was to boot the company windows 7 using Vmware, telling Vmware to boot from physical disk. Shortly after boot, blue screen