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Increasing CPUs on a Server 2003 guest.

Posted on 2008-06-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi Experts,

I have a Server 2003 Ent guest that I need to increase the number of CPUs on from 1 to 2.  I know how to do this in my VC, but what steps to I need to take on my guest OS?  I understand I need to use UpdateHAL in SysPrep, but I am unsure of how to do this.  Any help would be great.

Dredd
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Question by:dredd0606
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by:CynepMeH
ID: 21764543
Windows will automaticly upgrade from a Uniprocessor to a Multiprocessor HAL. You'll need to re-install if you need to go back from 2 to 1 (AFAIK)
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pbeirne earned 500 total points
ID: 21764554
Going from Uni to multiprocessor, add the following to your unattended sysprep file:

[Unattended]
UpdateHAL = "ACPIAPIC_MP,%WINDIR%\Inf\Hal.inf"

I'd recommend snapshotting/backing up your guest as adding procs can cause system instability even with the sysprep.  
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by:CynepMeH
ID: 21764570
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by:dredd0606
ID: 21764592
Well, we made the change in the CPUs two days ago, and Windows didn't automatically change from uni to multi after two restarts.  It sees both processors in the device manager, but it didn't change the ACPI.  No instability so far though, which is nice, but I did snapshot the guest before I made the change.

pbeirne: that much I know, I guess what I was asking was more basic usage of sysprep for modifying the server (not for duplication).
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by:dredd0606
ID: 21764604
Thanks CynepMeH, I will check that out tonight.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 21767086
When I read the question, the answer is simple.  Update the processor driver.  Open Device Manager and update the driver.  Then select the multiprocessor HAL.  I've done this before (though admittedly not in VMs) and it's never been a problem - or difficult.  I've NEVER seen 2000 or 2003 automatically detect the second CPU UNLESS the processor seen my the OS was a dual core OR Hyper Threaded (as those are seen as multiprocessor processors by windows and the SMP kernel loads at install).
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by:dredd0606
ID: 21773070
leew:

Sorry, but this isn't a case of replacing an old CPU with a new one.  This is a virtual server that I simply increased the number of CPUs on in my VMware VirtualCentre.  The guest OS (Server 2003) recognizes both CPUs, but the ACPI is still UP (Uniprocessor).  I am currently waiting until I get some downtime to use SysPrep to do an UpdateHAL, but since I have only ever used SysPrep to prepare machines for duplication, I am looking for some guidance to avoid nasty things like generating new SID and such.

Dredd
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