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Windows 2003 move to multicore

Posted on 2009-07-12
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I have a complex Windows 2003 Enterprise build (virtual with ESX) that was installed on a single CPU virtual machine.  I want to assign more CPU's to it, however I don't know how to replace the single processor kernel with a multi processor kernel.  Researching this on Google is not working for me - if anyone could point me to a KB article or something similar (preferably something that's been tested) it would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:Paradox_123
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
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This is fairly simple.  You need to change the processor driver in Device Manager.  That's pretty much it.  You can add the CPUs in VMWare and the single processor HAL shouldn't have a problem with that.  Then go to Device Manager, Processor (If I remember correctly), and change driver, selecting the multiprocessor version of the currently installed CPU.

ANYTIME YOU MAKE A MAJOR CHANGE, MAKE A BACKUP FIRST!!!

Considering this is a VM, I'd make a copy of the Virtual Hard Disk, or a snapshot if that were possible.
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by:Paradox_123
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I couldn't find a multi-processor driver, but I took a snapshot of my test VM, shut it down and added another processor to it and it booted up nicely.  I haven't done this since the NT4 days where there were 2 separate kernels... i guess this is a thing of the past (thankfully).
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by:Lee W, MVP
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NT 4 was more more of a pain in the a**.

2003 still has two kernels.  I don't know if VMWare translates cores or hyperthreading - if it does, then you were already using the SMP HAL.  2008 has dropped the uniprocessor HAL because the performance difference was very minor AND because nowadays, most systems have multiple cores and/or hyperthreading.
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