Tag Archives: Virtual Machines

Replacing a hard disk

I have a Dell Optiplex 780, which I bought used from the Box Shop some years ago for about $250. The date of the BIOS is 2008, so it is quite ancient. However it is a 64 bit system, with 4GB RAM, and virtualization support. It must have been considered a fine machine in its day. It still works. I have installed Windows 10 on it, even that OS is not officially supported on it, and before that two varieties of Linux. It is no longer my primary system, but I am not yet ready to part with it. Hence How to Copy Your Windows Installation to an SSD caught my eye, since replacing a hard drive by an SSD is a good way to speed up an old system.

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A Note on Computer BIOS Settings

Enabling VM features on a computer is a BIOS feature, so do to it you have to interrupt the startup with the Escape or some other key, depending on the machine. My HP EliteDesk uses the Escape key, but the boot started so fast that my 70 year old fingers could not hit that key fast enough to prevent Windows from starting. A web search suggest that I use the Windows power settings to disable the “quick boot” and actually do a full shutdown and restart rather than a simple reboot. This worked and I could click Escape in time and get to the BIOS settings. After a little searching I found the VM setting (Every BIOS is different) and turned it on. I also added a 5-second delay to the boot settings to make the next time easier.