A few posts ago, I wrote about the importance of beta testing SolidWorks. For many of us the major obstacle is hardware. You’re nervous about installing beta software on your production machine. I think that is a very valid concern. Your production machine needs to be lean, fast and mean…she’s your money maker.
For all of you Windows 7 users out there, I think I have a nice solution for you. As long as you have Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate you are entitled to run Windows XP mode for free. Windows XP mode is really a specialized version of Windows Virtual PC that is really easy to set up. Once you have it, you have a little virtual XP machine running in a window. This little machine has no idea it isn’t a real machine -it works just like a stand alone computer thus changes you make have no affect on your production machine. It is a great little sandbox for experimenting.
I just created a virtual machine, installed SOLIDWORKS 2011 and SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM on it and all is good. The only tweak I made was to increase the amount if virtual memory up to a GB, it was too slow at the default size of 500MB.
When I am done, I can simply delete the virtual machine and make another.