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Old 03-31-2012, 03:48 AM
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Question Using a Linux box with Win 7 VM for Bench Machine

Is anybody else doing this? I am going to implement a Dell Optiplex 755 with a Q9650 processor and 4 GB of RAM running Ubuntu 10.10 (Since I can't stand Unity) and run VMware on it with a Win 7 Pro VM which I will use for malware removal as well as file transfers and anything else requiring slaving a drive. My reasoning behind this is a Linux host will be much harder to infect and most of my tools are Windows based, such as D7. I can get my VM setup and take a snapshot of it with all my tools and if for some reason it gets infected it would take less than 30 seconds to restore the snapshot instead of 30 or so minutes to N&P a Windows box. Plus I can throw the client drive in my dock and attach it to the VM and work with it just like I slaved it to a Windows box. Does anybody see any drawbacks to this?
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:41 AM
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Not ever tried it yet but was having the same thought the other day and would be interested in seeing how well it would turn out.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:03 PM
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Im running a Fedora 15 box with a win7 VM. I set it up so that I could troubleshoot and scan drives for viruses and other repairs.

Fedora box consists of: AMD Phenom II 6 core running at 3.2 gig with 8 gig ram. Running Avast for scanning so far.

I have a single drive Bytecc T-101bk box for hooking the drive up. Works ok for me.

I have a seperate bench for repairs also that I tend to just hook the computer up to monitor/keyboard/mouse and run scans too.

No real drawbacks to this as I can see. The virus scanning does run a bit slower but this was only tested with avast. I will be installing mbam today and check that out. Most everything else like data recovery I do in linux.

Have a great day!
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:33 PM
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I have every current windows version including 8 on vbox. This allows me to walk a customer through something on the phone. I currently use mint 12 as unity does not work well for me. I also use xp to run quickbooks,wsus offline, sardu and many other win tools in vbox. All my iso's, win updates and data are on linux side.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:06 PM
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If you are going to use Windows in any as a bench OS, then this is the way to go. As you said, if Windows gets crapped up, all you have to do is go back to your snap shot.

I will say this, you are smarter then a lot of techs I know.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:59 PM
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I do the same... I have a dual boot machine. What doesn't work in a vm under linux; I do under straight Windows. My Windows partition is imaged so getting back to a fresh start is easy if need be. I also use Linux Mint as my host.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:04 PM
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This is how all of shop machines are setup. All of our business stuff is web based to avoid infections messing anything up. The windows VMs are rarely used on them.

Unity isn't too bad in the new 12.04 ubuntu,actually works quite well. I hated it until this release. Plus you can always switch it to classic gnome mode (at the login screen) and still have the latest packages. Mint 12 didn't play well with the SSDs in our new shop machines causing freezing, so I went back to good ol ubuntu.

Another thing we did is take all the large drives and older machines with lots of ram and turned them into a VM cluster running proxmox pve. These host our backup server, pxe to cut down on burning cds and usbs and easy HD cloning, trixbox for the phones,NFS shares to make up for the small SSDs, and several others including a media server to help the day go by,lol. But this cluster setup works well and allows us to span servers across multiple machines in case of failures, and all with parts we had laying around.

Hak5 has a 2 great videos on youtube about proxmox, 1 showing the install and setup and the other showing an awesome cluster setup they are working on.
Hope this helps someone, if not it helped my boredom for a few min.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacknscan View Post
Mint 12 didn't play well with the SSDs in our new shop machines causing freezing, so I went back to good ol ubuntu.
Good to know... Haven't ran into SSDs in the shop.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:44 PM
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The only problem I can see is when doing data recovery; if could work fine, but I suspect you'd have more luck on a plain old Windows system rather than one virtualised through linux.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iisjman07 View Post
The only problem I can see is when doing data recovery; if could work fine, but I suspect you'd have more luck on a plain old Windows system rather than one virtualised through linux.
or you could just use linux . . . .
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