Installing Windows on VirtualBox: P6 VM Scheduling Tutorial Part 3

This article is the second part in a Windows P6 VirtualBox Install series. The purpose of this series is help P6 schedulers setup P6 on a Virtual Machine. In previous articles I discussed why Virtual Machines and Primavera P6 are an Ideal combination, how to install a Virtual Machine on you Windows System, and creating a virtual disk to host your P6 client system. Here are the links to those articles:

The Situation Thus Far

If you are reading this tutorial, you should have completed the 2 previous tutorials VirtualBox Installation: P6 VM Scheduling Tutorial Part 1, and P6 VirtualBox Virtual Disk: P6 VM Scheduling Tutorial Part 2. You should have VirtualBox installed and have created a virtual disk. Now you are ready to install Microsoft Windows in a VirtualBox VM.

Requirements for a P6 VirtualBox Install

For this tutorial I am going to be using VirtualBox, because it’s freely available allowing us to get started up quicker. For this tutorial you’re going to need the following:

  • 3 hours minimum: 1.5 hours for the installation and set-up of VirtualBox. 1.5 hours for the installation of the Microsoft Windows client system. This does not include the installation of Primavera P6 and the P6 database
  • A basic understanding of how to navigate Microsoft Windows you will need this to download and install the program.
  • A PC with the Windows Operating System. This isn’t a hard requirement, but the directions I’ll be supplying will be for Windows.
  • 128 gigabytes of free hard drive space. This will be used to hold the entire virtual machine. This includes P6, Microsoft SQL Server, or Oracle’s SQL Server.
  • 8GB of RAM: The more RAM the better, but 8GB of system memory is enough.
  • VirtualBox Installed: This was done in the previous tutorial.
  • A Virtual Hard Disk: This was done in the previous tutorial.
  • VirtualBox 5.1.8 Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Installed: This was done in the previous tutorial.
  • An Unused Microsoft Windows Licence and Install Media: You will need this to create a Windows Virtual Machine.
  • Know How to Install Primavera P6: This is not needed for this tutorial, but you will need to do this to get Primavera P6 up and running within the VM. If you need help doing this I will post a tutorial on how to do so.

Warning:

This tutorial requires you download software off of the internet and install it. While this is a common everyday occurrence the process is not without risk. You should always make sure to completely and verifiable back-up your system before downloading and installing anything from the internet, and this tutorial is no the exception. Before actually perform Step 1 you should have read through all the steps in this tutorial first and have decided if this is for you. Once you are ready to start the installation process please close down all open programs. As a rule you should not be installing this on a production system if this is you first attempt.

Disclaimer:

You are following this tutorial at your own risk. I have no idea if this will work without issue. All I can say is that these are the steps that I took and it worked fine for me. That is no guarantee that this will work for you. Proceed at your own risk. As with the installation of any software you should be prepared for things to go wrong, and should have a full system back ready to go if any issues arise.


Adding the Windows Install Disk

We will be adding the Windows install media to the virtual disk we created previously. Your first step is to open VirtualBox (fig. 1), once it’s opened select the virtual machine you created in part 2 and click settings.

Windows P6 VirtualBox Install Main Screen
fig. 1 – VirtualBox’s starting window lists all the virtual machines connected to it.

 

In the VirtualBox settings window click “Storage” tab in the menu to the left. This will bring up the storage options, here you should click the CD icon: VirtualBox-Disk-icon. More than likely it will be labeled “Empty” (fig. 2).

220-New-VM-Setup-Step-10
fig. 2 – This is how we will add our Windows Install Media.

 

In the storage tab click CD icon: VirtualBox-Disk-icon to the right of the “Optical Drive:” menu in the “Attributes” section (fig. 3).

229-New-VM-Setup-Step-11
fig. 3 – The Storage tab allows us to tell VirtualBox where our Windows install media is. We will also be able to specify the type of install media, whether it’s a CD or a Virtual Optical Disk File (.iso, .dmg, or .cdr).

 

As you can see from the image above there are two options available to you:

  1. Choose Virtual Optical Disk File: Choose this option if you have an .iso, .dmg, or .cdr file. If you are installing Windows from a disk file click the “Choose Virtual Optical Disk File” skip to the step titled “Windows P6 VirtualBox Install: .iso, .dmg, .cdr file“.
  2. Host Drive ‘x:’ : Choose this option if you have a physical windows install disk. You can see on my system the CD drive is the ‘E’ drive, yours may be different. If you are using a Windows CD to install your client system skip to the step titled “Windows P6 VirtualBox Install: Optical Disk“.


Installing Windows on VirtualBox: .iso, .dmg, .cdr file

DropBox allows you to install an OS from an optical disk. It creates a virtual DVD Drive using an .iso, .dmg. or /cdr file. Installing from an .iso, .dmg, or .cdr files is easy. Just browse to where the file is located select it and click open. Figure 4 below is the window you will need to use to choose the virtual optical disk file (fig. 4).

240-New-VM-Setup-Step-12
fig. 4 – This window will allow you to choose a virtual disk.

Once you’ve opened the optical disk file go to the section titled “VirtualBox Networking Setup“.

 

Installing Windows on VirtualBox: Optical Disk

DropBox allows you to install an OS from an optical disk. It creates a virtual DVD Drive using an .iso, .dmg. or /cdr file. Installing from an .iso, .dmg, or .cdr files is easy. Just browse to where the file is located select it and click open. Figure 4 below is the window you will need to use to choose the virtual optical disk file (fig. 5).

240-New-VM-Setup-Step-12
fig. 5 – This window will allow you to choose a virtual disk.


VirtualBox Networking Setup

To setup networking on your new system you will need to go to the Network tab (fig. 5). Then you should select the Adapter 1 tab and attach it to the Bridged Adapter. In the Name section you should select the network adapter that you will be using regularly. You can add information for other adapters, this may be helpful if you will use a WiFi connection sometimes and a wired connection others (fig. 6).

255-New-VM-Setup-Step-13
fig. 6 – This is the network adapter settings windows.

Once you have completed the network adapter setup click OK. We will then proceed with the starting up your new virtual machine.


Windows P6 VirtualBox Install: Opening Your Virtual Machine

Now that the Virtual Machine is set-up go ahead and select it from the list and click the Start button.(fig. 7).

260-New-VM-Setup-Step-14
fig. 7 – This is the main VirtualBox window. To start the Virtual Machine, select it from the list and click the Start button.

 

As expected this will start the Virtual Machine, the first screen you will see is the VirtualBox BIOS screen (fig. 8)

269-New-VM-Setup-Step-15-1
fig. 8 – This is the first screen you will see after starting your Virtual Machine.

 

If everything is set-up correctly you should be taken to the Windows installation screen. I’m using Windows 7 so it looks like Figure 8 below (fig. 9).

290-New-VM-Setup-Step-17
fig. 9 – If everything is setup correctly you should be brought to Windows setup.

 

Windows P6 VirtualBox Install: Installing Microsoft Windows

Installing Windows is outside the scope of this article, but there are numerous resources online that go over this in great detail below are some I found with a quick Google:

I’m not sure how well these are made, and my linking to them is not an endorsement, so proceed at your own risk. This almost goes without saying, but please be careful and ensure that you are installing Windows on the Virtual Machine and not your main system. This would be difficult to do, but I’ve done IT helpdesk and for some users difficult is nothing.

 

Windows P6 VirtualBox Install: Installing VirtualBox “Guest Additions” After Installing Windows

The VirtualBox Guest Additions are a set of tools and drivers that get installed on the client system which makes working within the system smoother. To install the Guest Additions on you Windows P6 VirtualBox system open the Devices menu and select “Insert Guest Additions CD image“. This will insert the virtual CD to your system (fig. 10).

320-New-VM-Setup-Step-20-1
fig. 10 – To complete the setup you need to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions.

 

Inserting the Guest Additions CD image behaves as if you inserted a CD into a CD-ROM drive. You can open the CD by opening the CD drive like you normally would in Windows. Open the Virtual Machine’s CD drive (fig. 11).

fig. 11 – Open the CD drive in your virtual machine. The CD drive should look similar to the image above.

 

Once you’ve opened the CD drive on the guest system one of two things will happen:

1. If Windows opens the AutoPlay dialogue select the “Run VBoxWindowsAssitions.exe” option (fig. 12):

fig. 12 – If the AutoPlay window appears choose the “Run VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe” option.

 

2. If Windows will opens the CD ROM in Windows Explorer, open the “VBoxWindowsAssitions” file (fig. 13):

fig. 13 – If the CD ROM is opened in Windows Explorer choose the “VBoxWindowsAdditions” file.

 

This will start the Oracle VirtualBox Guest Additions installation, click the “Next” button to continue (fig. 14).

fig. 14 – At the “Welcome to the Oracle VM VirtualBox Guest Additions window, click “Next” to continue.

 

The next dialogue to appear is the “Choose Components” dialogue. It is important that the Direct 3D Support option is unchecked. As you can see it’s labeled “Experimental”, therefore we are not interested in using it (fig. 15).

fig. 15 – At the “Choose Components” dialogue make sure that the Direct3D Support option is unchecked.

 

At this point the installer will start installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions to the client system the window will look like the one below. This process will take a while and eventually (fig. 16).

fig. 16 – The installer will start installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions to the client system. This process will take a while.

 

There will be a number of Windows Security dialogues that pop up during the installation asking if you want to install individual various device drivers. You should install all of them (fig. 17).

fig. 17 – There will be a number of Windows Security windows that pop up, you should install them.

 

After a couple of minutes and a number of hardware installation dialogues the installer will ask you if you want to reboot the system now. You should do so (fig. 18).

fig. 18 – Once the VirtualBox Guest Additions installer has completed the installation you should reboot the guest operating system.


A Good Place to Stop

Here is a good place to stop, at this moment we have installed VirtualBox, installed Windows on VirtualBox, and installed the VirtualBox Guest Additions. Your virtual machine is now ready to install P6 on it. At this point the machine will behave like any regular Windows installation. You can go ahead and use it as you would use any other computer. Go ahead and leave comments below if you have any questions and happy scheduling!

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