This seemed to be the best category for my query. Anyway:
I'd like to set up a small home network and install Windows Server 2008 as a virtual HD. I want to install it on my machine that's already running Windows 7 and I understand I can still do this without blowing away the current OS.
BUT - how do I do this? what are the steps, what else do I need (Virtual PC, perhaps?). What should I expect when installing it? I've been told that I need to copy the files from the disk to my C Drive. Is this true?
Please talk to me like I'm 5, I'd really like to get this on my machine and practice using it, as I am currently an IT student.
If you want to learn networking you need to start from the basics not Windows Server 2008. You can work with two computer either you bridge them (connect them together directly with a UTP) or you wire them with a router and from that you can share folders with them.
You can see more info by clicking Start then click on Help and Support and at the top (text box) Search Help you type in Networking, press Enter.
i've taken the networking classes, A+...the whole gammet. have the requisite certs. but, since may we've been in learning server roles, DNS, DHCP, AD, etc. we're working with virtual servers (2003 and 2008, Hyper V) right now. so, i'd get a hell of a lot more out of it at home then at school 2 times a week.
but, if you still don't want to help, i'll understand.
No. You will create a virtual hard disk (which will just be a big file as far as your OS is concerned) and install Server onto that. That's the only file that Server running in the Virtual Machine will access. You can also choose (and I think it's the default on all the programs I mentioned) to make the hard disk dynamically resizing which will mean that although you define it to be, say, 32GB in size it only occupies the space of the files actually on it. (So a "32GB" virtual hard disk might end up as an 8GB file.)
What you will need to run any of these virtual machines is a reasonable amount of RAM (what you assign to the guest OS is unavailable to the host OS whilst the VM is running) and a reasonable amount of free disk space. It's a great way of playing with other OSs and you can easily set up a virtual network so that the VMs can talk to each other and to the host.
Download one of the programs that I mentioned (I'd recommend VirtualBox), have a read of the help file, and it should all be fairly easy.