Multi-Boxing with VirtualBox Virtualization - Updated for new client

Started by WhisperWhite
1958eba9b3d68fc9c47484d7f596a5a6?s=128&d=mm

WhisperWhite

Steps to run Windows XP in Oracle VM VirtualBox. No license or warranty is given with these instructions.

Warning: If you use DisplayPort monitors and let them turn off while Realm is running (at least fullscreen), it will lock up the virtual machine and you will have to force close it. Log off Realm first if you are going to be away for an extended period of time.

Download Oracle VM VirtualBox from the VirtualBox site and install it to your machine. It is open source and free to use. Restart after installation has finished. You will need to make sure Intel or AMD Virtualization is enabled through the BIOS.

Launch VirtualBox and Create a New Virtual Machine.

Click the button to use Expert Mode. Give it a name to show in VirtualBox. Select Microsoft Windows, Windows XP (32-bit). I raised the memory to 1024 MB because my machine has enough RAM. If you have an existing virtual disk file, select Use an existing virtual hard disk file, else select Create a virtual hard disk now and run standard installation. I will be showing steps using an existing virtual disk file. Click Create.

To create additional virtual machines off a copy of the same virtual disk file, a command needs to be run on the copies first to change the UUID before creating a new virtual machine. Open a Command Prompt with Run as Administrator. Enter the following commands at the command prompt one at a time and hit enter at the end of the line. Repeat for each new copy of the virtual disk file.
cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"
VBOXMANAGE.EXE internalcommands sethduuid “C:\your\path\to\vhdfile”

While the virtual machine is selected, click Settings.

In System, uncheck Floppy from Boot Order and check Enable I/O APIC.

In Display, raise the Video Memory to 128 MB and check Enable 3D Acceleration and Enable 2D Video Acceleration.

In Shared Folders, Add Shared Folder and select the folder path where you have or you will download The Realm Online, .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, and Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable (x86) installer to. Check Read-only and Auto-mount. Click OK. All other settings can be left at defaults (Windows XP supports the Intel PRO/1000 T Server Network Adapter Type without additional drivers). Click OK to close Settings.

In VirtualBox, select to Start the new virtual machine. Run through the initial setup. I left the administrator password blank to make login easier for myself. The resolution will be small but we can correct it later. Use arrows, tab, space, and enter on your keyboard to navigate until after Virtual PC Integration Components are removed. Also note that you will need to select Machine menu, Reset after every reboot when it hangs on a black screen until after Virtual PC Integration Components are removed.

Once you get to the desktop, cancel any balloon message pop-ups and cancel any found new hardware wizard windows. Open Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs. Remove Virtual PC Integration Components then restart.

When back to the desktop, cancel any balloon message pop-ups and cancel found new hardware wizard windows again. Under the Devices drop-down menu, select Insert Guest Additions CD image and run through the installation. Restart after the installation has finished.

In the VirtualBox window, select the View drop-down menu, and click Auto-resize Guest Display to disable it.

Still in the View drop-down menu, under Virtual Screen 1 make sure Resize to 800x600 is selected. Also here you can set Scale Factor if you want the window to display larger. I set mine to 175% because I use a high DPI display with scaling. I am using Scale Factor and not Scaled Mode because I would prefer not to have a stretched out game window.

In Start menu, All Programs, Accessories, open Command Prompt. Type in the following then hit enter:
control userpasswords2

Uncheck Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer and click OK. Enter the password you created if necessary when prompted else just click OK. This enables auto login in Windows XP.

Open My Computer (may be slow to open). You will see Shared Folders under Network Drives. This will contain the folder on your machine that you shared with the virtual machine.

Install .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

Install Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable (x86).

Open Control Panel, Display and on the Appearance tab, click Effects then uncheck Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts and Show shadows under menus and click OK. Click OK to close Display settings.

In Security Center, under Virus Protection click Recommendations. Check I have an antivirus program that I'll monitor myself.

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See Virtualization Advanced Performance Tuning topic for tips to help the virtual machine run better
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At this point, turn on Automatic Updates if you turned it off during initial setup.

There will eventually be a notice in the notification area that updates are ready to install. Select Express Install.

Let Automatic Updates run for a couple hours to download and install everything. When finished installing, Automatic Updates will prompt to Restart Now.

Can check Don't show this message again at the Windows XP End of Support annoyance.

Open Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks. For both Microsoft Windows XP End of Service Notifications, right click and select properties, uncheck Enabled, and click OK.

In Internet Options, under Browsing History, click Delete. Uncheck Preserve Favorites website date, check all other options, and click Delete.

On the Security Tab, click Reset all zones to default level. Click OK to close Internet Options.

Go to Start, All Programs, Windows Update. Set up Internet Explorer how you like, I turned off everything. IE may need to be closed and relaunch Windows Update if it does not load the page. In the middle of the page will be a Go link for Get Microsoft Update. Click it. Follow the instructions to install.

When complete, click Check for Updates. Click Custom. Click Download and Install Now. Click Close once installation is complete. Click Continue. On the Genuine Windows Validation page, select Just show me updates for other products and click Continue.

Skip the three Software, Optional updates and just install the Intel PRO/1000 T Server Adapter under Hardware, Optional.

Install The Realm Online legacy exe to C:\Norseman Games\The Realm Online.

Rename the desktop shortcut to The Realm Online - Legacy.

Install The Realm Online live msi to C:\Rat Labs\The Realm Online.

Rename the desktop shortcut to The Realm Online - Live.

To multi-box, set up a few more virtual machines and start them all up. Launch The Realm Online and maximize the game window. The VirtualBox window will size to fit the game. Arrange them how you prefer. I experimented with Seamless Mode but the performance hit was so much that I almost could not play with 4 virtual machines running.

Shut down the virtual machines and exit Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager to release control on the configuration files. Open a Command Prompt with Run as Administrator. Enter the following commands at the command prompt one at a time and hit enter at the end of the line. This will prevent NumLock from toggling off on your desktop.
(command line is not posting correctly, see this site https://martinvanbeurden.nl/blog/virtualbox-numlock-weirdness/)

My machine was running 4 VMs at 35% 3.75 GHz CPU and 11.6 GB RAM (other things in the background also) with an 8 core/16 thread CPU and 32 GB RAM total. I was able to run through a fight ok, but I do feel the performance of VMware Workstation Player is a little better overall with video and mouse response. With a lot of the advanced features to make utilizing VMware Workstation Player easier locked behind the Pro licensing (and not having proper scaling support), I give my preference to Oracle VM VirtualBox because of scaling and mouse grab functionality.

**Update: After setting the advanced performance tuning, it feels like the VM works a bit smoother. Also, my computer idles at around 6 GB RAM, so 4 VMs only used an additional 6 GB RAM. 6 VMs had my computer up to 15 GB RAM used total. Each VM will use approximately 1.5 GB RAM on your computer with this configuration.

1958eba9b3d68fc9c47484d7f596a5a6?s=128&d=mm

WhisperWhite

Here is a way to auto launch The Realm Online at logon.

Create a file somewhere, can be in your TRO folder or wherever is easily located. I named mine "The Realm Online.bat", just make sure it has a bat extension on the file. Enter the following text:
@echo off
pushd "C:\your\path\to\The Realm Online"
%windir%\system32\ping.exe -n 10 127.0.0.1 >NUL
start /d "C:\your\path\to\The Realm Online" wlaunch.exe
popd

My virtual machines need 10 seconds before the network is online. Increase the number after the "-n" if yours are taking longer (will get a neterr message on startup if it is).

Open Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks. Launch Add Scheduled Task. Browse to where you where you saved the bat file and Open it.

Select Perform this task, When I log on.

On the last step in the Wizard check Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish. Click Finish.

Check Run only if logged on.

Only Stop this task if it runs for should be checked. Click OK.

1958eba9b3d68fc9c47484d7f596a5a6?s=128&d=mm

WhisperWhite

Updated for new client changes for July 5, 2018.