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A Light Look At Returnil Virtualization


MANEMAN
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Two years ago a friend of mine, a lecturer at a local Technical College wanted a way to stop the students messing up the computers in his department. The computers were, and still are running XP. The problem was selling the idea to the college administration, who on the advice of the I.T. department saw this as an expense beyond the budget allowed for my friends dept.

"John". "Can you knock me up a simple guide to show how the system you are using (Returnil) works please."

I done a small explanatory video, - Admin watched it, - My friend was allowed to implement the Returnil software along with some other freeware which enables him to monitor the screens of 16 student computer screens. The system has saved the I.T dept constantly being called upon to either fault-find or re-install operating systems messed up by students. Two years later it is still working well.

A free version is available for Windows 7 ( It now also contains Anti-Virus. I Dont know if the free version works for 64bit - You'll have to search around)

You can download it here:

**Returnil System Safe Free **

If you want "Free" - Do make sure you click on the "Free" version for download.

You can view a draft of the original video below.

It is simplistic, it contains analogies and pictures relating to "Little Cars" for which I make no apology.

(C'mon give me a break. I was trying to explain virtualization to middle-management here folks. :lol: )

It may just give a "Newbie" to computing just a small glimpse into the world of virtualization here at Windows Forum.org - So I thought I would slot it in.

Give the draft version of the video below a watch. You may just learn something. Who knows ? It's worth less than 10 minutes of your time to find out maybe ?

"Everyday is a learning day"

John.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URfkfQphTNk

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I'm sold. Especially when the package comes complete with video. I do loves my movies. I'll have to play it on a machine with sound later. I like my movies silent. :DI can only deduce from no audio that the guy taking the car for a joyride does't have to worry about mundane things such as tickets for drunken/wreckless driving, maintenence, spare tires, or (god forbid I say it), even operating the vehicle without a valid drivers licence. His car is still in the garage. I shall christian the driver, "Sir Good Time Charlie.":lol:

And virtual machines? That my friend is the daily double! You know daddy likes!+1 fore sure.:good:

:drinks:

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That's a splendid illustration. I for one have never understood what you guys who mention virtual systems are talking about. I do now.

I have a question. When you boot your machine and windows is loaded to a virtual partition - does this take longer than a normal boot. I have visions of it adding several minutes to the boot time.

NB :- The Support Notes on the site accessed by your link confirm that :-

The free version will run on Windows 7 64 bit systems

The licence fees quoted on the site for the paid for versions are annual fees. If you don't cough up more monies after 12 months your system will automatically be downgraded to the free version.

The notes seem to state that with the free version you can only save files to a virtual drive - you need a paid for version to save data files elsewhere

You cannot run a background defragger like Diskeeper whilst Returnil is active. You need to deactivate it to do a defrag

Auto Microsoft updates will not download and instal whilst Returnil is active - you need to deactivate it to perform program updates.

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Hi Alan.

"When you boot your machine and windows is loaded to a virtual partition - does this take longer than a normal boot".

I've never found this to be the case. I usually boot up as normal and then enable Returnil once it has fully booted.

"The free version will run on Windows 7 64 bit systems"

Thanks for that info Alan. Websites I'm sure are designed deliberately like a maze. Just to find the correct download button on some of them is a small miracle !

Not to download stuff - that is going to make my muscles or some other part of my anatomy thicker, longer, or stronger takes pure website-geographical knowledge and skill to a whole new level. :lol:

"You cannot run a background defragger like Diskeeper whilst Returnil is active. You need to deactivate it to do a defrag."

Yep. That makes sense because the Operating System "Real" will suffer no fragmentation because it is not in use. There will be no point in wasting energy defragging a virtual system that basically is going to be "Thrown away" once you reboot or restart the computer.

"Auto Microsoft updates will not download and install whilst Returnil is active - you need to deactivate it to perform program updates."

Same thing applies here Alan. No point in downloading updates when the virtual system is used because once you reboot, those downloads will simply disappear. ( You need those updates loaded onto the little car in the garage, not the virtual one you are running around in)

It takes a bit of getting used too, and getting your head around, the only way you can get used to it is to take it for a drive. :) The Returnil System offers "Operating System" virtualization in a different, but very similar manner to a "Virtual Machine". With both, once you've "got it" the light bulb in your head glows up, and you think to yourself "Why the heck did I find that so difficult" ?

Very useful for trying out new software. You turn on (Enable) Returnil. Install the software, - try it out, - if you decide that you dont want it, you simply reboot, and it's not there anymore.

If you like the software, you turn off (Disable) Returnil, and install it on the "Real" operating system.

Like most other software, once you know the right buttons to push you seem to others like a technical genius.

Few of us are of a genius level. We've just spent a bit of time learning how to push the right buttons, and in which order that should be done.

"The notes seem to state that with the free version you can only save files to a virtual drive - you need a paid for version to save data files elsewhere."

Can you point me towards that bit of info? Darned if I can find it.

"The licence fees quoted on the site for the paid for versions are annual fees. If you don't cough up more monies after 12 months your system will automatically be downgraded to the free version."

I've never found the extras in the paid versions attractive or neccessary personally.

I even think they overbloated it with the inclusion of anti-malware and anti-spyware to be honest.

What they regard as a downgrade, I regard as an upgrade ('Cos it's free !)

That is a story I will tell you about Returnil another day. :)

Where the heck did you find all of this information ? I cant see it for looking. :(

Dont go using it yet until I've had a chance to see what cock-ups they have made in the latest releases. :rolleyes:

3.35am - Nighty-night or in this case Morny-morn. I'm off to bed.

John.

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Maneman

I looked through the following info on their site.

At the bottom of the comparison chart your link opens there is a a Download button. Under this there is a "Learn More" link - click on it.

On the page that opens click on the "Support" tab

1) On the page that opens click on the F.A.Questions link - Now plunge into the questions and answers.

2) Once you have absorbed all the info presented try the official forum. This is accessed from the support tab page near the FAQ link.

You will find a thread on the forum which states clearly that only the paid for versions can save files to your system - rather than to a virtual drive. This contradicts the FAQ info. Likewaise, you will also find a thread that states that a certain version is not compatible with Win 7 64 bit. I am now a bit confused.

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After doing some preliminaty research, I find that to "share" files and or folders one would have to upgrade to possibly a paid version. No matter what route I tried to create a "shared" folder, I came up with the results depicted below.

I noticed something peculiar when viewing disk usage via Resource Monitor, there was absolutely no activity on Windows C: drive while in Virtual Mode. I took a clipping of the screen but the image was gone on reboot.

I will play with it a while longer. I'm actually running the Returnil virtual system on a Windows 7 x64 Pro VirtualBox "disk" on a USB HD.

I'll be back with a few other observations later.

Oh, yeah. There is the option of it starting the Returnil process at Windows boot. I found that one could easily disable this within msconfig.exe without causing loss of function. There is also a service that starts at boot which can be configured from Services. If the service is set to manual, one would of course have to start it before launching the Returnil program.

I'll be back in a while....

post-17666-0-19953300-1301500523_thumb.j

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Thanks for the feedback and trying it out Jobe.

Alan I have found the pages you were talking about. - Maze, or what ? :blink::blink:

I think if we start a new thread in "Essential Software" and keep this one going with some "cross linking" between the two it may be a little less confusing ?

This would remain then as an on-going review purely for Returnil Virtualization only.

Carry on Jobe, we are grateful for you testing it, and we are still listening to you. :)

You are doing a grand job fella. I knew all the time what your neighbours said about you wasn't true. :P

John.

More virtual software discussion over: -

*** HERE ***

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