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Running on Windows Home Server in VM?

May 25, 2016 at 8:43 PM
OK, quick question that I haven't seen addressed elsewhere. I run Windows Home Server (WHS 2011) in a virtual machine (Hyper-V), running under a Windows 8.1 host. Right now, the host OS is where I run MCEBuddy, but what if I installed it on the WHS 2011 OS? Any issues running MCEBuddy in a virtual machine? Advantages or disadvantages? Thought about trying it but thought I'd see if anyone else has experience first. Thanks!
May 25, 2016 at 8:49 PM
No issues that I'm aware of. If your "source" files or "temp" files or "destination" files are on the virtual machine it'll kill performance due to hard disk thrashing.
Should work fine as long your temp/source/destination folders aren't on the virtual machine (i.e. keep hard disk activity low). Again the temp folder is used a lot so it should be on the host machine using a shared folder and avoid network connections (again it'll slow it down).

Marked as answer by ktide1 on 5/26/2016 at 8:44 AM
May 25, 2016 at 9:29 PM
Hmmm, OK. Let me expand on my setup, because I want to make sure I understand what you mean by "on the virtual machine".
  1. The host machine "box" is setup with a total of 5 physical drives. 2 of the physical drives (let's call them C & D) belong to the host machine OS.
  2. C drive (which is an SSD) is the system/OS drive. The VM config files (including the virtual hard drive file) live on the C drive.
  3. D drive (which is a "hybrid" SSHD drive) is a dedicated drive for live TV recordings and live TV buffer (I use WMC).
  4. The remaining 3 hard drives (standard) are "passed through" to the server and pooled using FlexRaid, which runs on the server OS in the VM. The drive pool is used ONLY for media storage - movies, archived videos/TV shows, music, etc. So from the server OS perspective, these drives are simply attached storage presented as 1 pool.
  5. D drive (on the host) "usually" contains the source material. Temp folder is on the C drive (on the host). Destination folders are usually on the FlexRaid drive pool (attached storage for the server). This is the way it is setup today, with MCEBuddy run on the host OS on the C drive.
So now let's say I install MCEBuddy on the server OS inside the VM instead. Here are my interpretations of your recommendations (and associated questions):
  1. Temp folder should be setup on host OS drive as shared folder and avoid network connections per above. But how do I avoid a network connection (albeit virtual) in this situation? Would it be better/faster or worse/slower if the temp folder was on the drive pool (directly attached storage from server perspective)?
  2. D drive on host should be shared to access source files. But again, won't this mean they must be accessed via network connection (virtual) by the server? This may not matter as I usually don't copy original files anyway during conversion, but please comment.
  3. I assume destination files should be written directly to the storage pool, thereby avoiding a network connection.
Sorry to pepper you with so many questions, just trying to optimize this thing as much as possible. I use the host machine as my HTPC, so if I can offload conversion tasks to the VM, it will keep the host OS resources sort of "reserved" and not affect other things we're doing on the machine. Thanks again for all the help!!!
May 25, 2016 at 10:25 PM
I'll keep it simple, using the guest OS installation drive will be slow because of the two levels, host OS accessing disk and then guest OS accessing disk via Host OS.
Use Drive C or D using the shared folder mechanism and you should be okay or use any of the 3 pass through drives. Just avoid layering while accessing the drives.

Marked as answer by ktide1 on 5/26/2016 at 8:44 AM
May 25, 2016 at 10:38 PM
Got it, thanks!
May 26, 2016 at 1:45 PM
Just wanted to report that I got this set up and running last night. Put the temp folder on the drive pool and all is working very well. Thanks again for the help!
May 26, 2016 at 9:50 PM
One more quick question. Let's assume the setup I outlined here (MCEBuddy on server in VM, temp folder on drive pool, source on host machine, destination on drive pool). I have my VM set to save state on shutdown of the host. Now let's say there is an active conversion happening when the host machine is shutdown or restarted. Will MCEBuddy successfully pick back up where it left off or error out? I'm willing to test but thought perhaps someone already knows the answer. Thanks!
May 26, 2016 at 10:51 PM
If the file is available when you restore the machine it will pick it up from where it left off.

Marked as answer by ktide1 on 5/26/2016 at 3:35 PM
May 26, 2016 at 11:35 PM
Awesome, thanks!