Build your own SQL 2012 Demo Machine – Part 2 – Setting up your Virtual Machine

Step 3: Build your base VM

First thing is to set up the Virtual Machine itself. If you haven’t, go install Oracle VM VirtualBox now, and start it up.

1: Set your Default Machine location Folder. From the File menu, select Preferences and enter the correct path in the Default Machine Folder dialog:

Fig 3.1: Set your default machine location folders
Fig 3.1: Set your default machine location folders

This will help prevent the mistake I’ve made a few times of accidentally building a VM where there is no room :)

2: Create a new VM by clicking on the “New” button on the control ribbon:

Fig 3.2: Create a new VM
Fig 3.2: Create a new VM

3: Click next on the wizard page that appears.

4: Name your VM, Choose the Operating System “Microsoft Windows” and version “Windows 2008 (64 Bit)”, and click next.

Fig 3.3: Choose the VM Guest Operating System
Fig 3.3: Choose the VM Guest Operating System

5: Give it plenty of memory – at least 4GB, then click Next.

Anything less that 4GB probably won’t work. Below I’ve allocated about 6GB, leaving 2GB for the host OS, which should be enough. Just don’t expect to be able to do much multitasking while using this demo machine.

Fig 3.4: Configure the VM's RAM allocation
Fig 3.4: Configure the VM's RAM allocation

6: Create a new Virtual Hard Disk for your VM to live on. Leave the default options of Start-Up Disk checked, and the Create New Hard Disk radio button selected.

Fig 3.5: Create a Virtual Hard Disk
Fig 3.5: Create a Virtual Hard Disk

7: Select the format of the Virtual Disk as VHD, then click Next.

I’ve selected VHD as it makes it more portable. You can use the default VDI if you never plan on using any other virtualisation software.

Fig 3.6: Select the Virtual Hard Disk Format
Fig 3.6: Select the Virtual Hard Disk Format

8: Select the storage type “Fixed Size” then click next. I’ve selected Fixed size for performance reasons, however how much difference this will really make I’m not sure.

Fig 3.7: Select Disk Storage Details
Fig 3.7: Select Disk Storage Details

9: Set the disk size to 80GB & check that your VM is being created on your secondary / external drive, then click Next.

For those stretched for space, you may scrape through with 40GB – but if you run out of space during the installs you are stuffed and will have to start again as resisizing VHD’s seems to be a difficult task. 60GB is adequate – 80GB is comfortable, and as I have a 1TB external drive, I can spare the space! As you cannot easily go back and resize the disk, so if you choose the default 20GB by mistake now, you will likely end up having to start over when you run out of space. Yes, I have made this mistake. Twice.

Fig 3.8: Set the Disks size and confirm its Location
Fig 3.8: Set the Disks size and confirm its Location

10: Create the disk.

Review the summary and if you’ve done everything correctly, click Create to create the disk.

Fig 3.9: Review the Summary then Create the Disk
Fig 3.9: Review the Summary then Create the Disk

11: Watch the progress bar as the disk creates. Note this can take quite a long time – mine took about 2.5 hours to build.

Fig 3.10: The Disk Creation Progress Bar
Fig 3.10: The Disk Creation Progress Bar

12: Once this is complete another summary screen will appear with a Create button. Click that and your VM is created, and now we need to configure it with all the right software.

13: So, from the VirtualBox main screen, select the VM you have created and click settings:

Fig 3.11: Configure the VM
Fig 3.11: Configure the VM

14: This launches the settings dialog, and under storage we want to add the drives we need to load the software. If you are using physical media, map the CD drive. If you are using .iso files, map them all here now.

Fig 3.12 Add Installation Media
Fig 3.12 Add Installation Media

Clicking the Add CD/ DVD Device button brings up this dialog, in which we click Choose Disk:

Fig 3.13: Choose Disk
Fig 3.13: Choose Disk

This opens up the file browser dialog, so map all your iso or DVD drives and you should end up looking like this:

Fig 3.14: All Drives Mapped
Fig 3.14: All Drives Mapped

15: You’ll want to up the number of CPU’s allocated to the VM if you have a multi core machine, so under the System / Processor tab, set it within the green

Note: Steps 16 & 17 are host dependent so my choices here may not apply to you.

16: Click the Enable PAE/NX checkbox:

Fig 3.15: CPU Configuration
Fig 3.15: CPU Configuration

17: Under the System / Acceleration tab cehck “Enable VT-x / AMD-V”, and uncheck “Enable Nested Paging”.

Fig 3.16: CPU Configuration
Fig 3.16: CPU Configuration

18: Click OK to apply the changes, then start the VM. Windows Server 2008R2 should start installing.

19: Move on to Part 3 – Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2008R2

3 thoughts on “Build your own SQL 2012 Demo Machine – Part 2 – Setting up your Virtual Machine

  1. If your media isnt on DVD in .ISO format but downloaded in .IMG format, how do you get VirtualBox to recognise it?

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