PC for my kids update

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I’ll start off with the bad news. After the two win10 vms were running perfectly for over a year now, I was running updates on my other linux servers… some how i did pay attention and upgraded the distro of my kvm box. It pretty much ruined everything, now I get stuck at the windows logo during boot. I even tried simply reinstalling the vm guest, but when the kvm booted from the win10 iso, it would freeze at… you guessed it, the windows logo.

I spent a little time trying to work through this, but nothing really helped. Eventually, I decided to do a full rebuild which brings us to this post.

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PC for my kids

A little background. I have a 7 and 4 year old who like playing on the computer. Typically they play things like animaljam or nickjr games, very simple requirements, minimal hardware needs. One day, the horror that is minecraft crept its way into my home and suddenly, graphics (seriously? in minecraft, it’s a bunch of blocks…) mattered.

At this time there was my old pc with a GTX 460, an SSD, 16G ram, and a nice CPU running windows 10. Beside this system was a Dell Latitude e6510 with a regular 5400 rpm hdd, 4G ram, and a trash cpu running Linux Mint. On minimal graphics settings and fullscreen, minecraft was just almost playable on the laptop, but there was always a fight for the big computer.

Being tired of tracking who was on it last, I tried to think up an idea to resolve this issue while creating a fun project for the kids and I. I came up with a plan to build one system, stick ESXi on it and use pci passthrough to make 2 “thin clients.” The 7 year old would assist in building the PC and the 4 year old would affix the typical stickers that come with systems as she wished. ┬áHere begins the story.

So I began doing some research, obviously there are some requirements such as VT-d and VT-x to properly support pci passthrough. After thorough research on anandtech, toms hardware, and various sites about doing similar projects, I decided that I knew better than all these people and went rogue.

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