How to Run VMware Virtual Machines at a Specific Date and Time

Sometimes you may need to let VMware start a guest operating system on a fixed date, instead of letting it duplicate the date of your physical machine. Doing this way has many advantages, for example, you can run an unregistered “15 day trial” software for free forever, or run an unactivated versions of Windows 7 for unlimited time without having to crack it or execute the “slmgr -rearm” command every 30 days.

You can disable time synchronization between host os and guest os by adding the following lines to your .vmx configuration file:
tools.syncTime = “FALSE”
time.synchronize.continue =”FALSE”
time.synchronize.restore = “FALSE”
time.synchronize.resume.disk = “FALSE”
time.synchronize.resume.memory = “FALSE”
time.synchronize.shrink = “FALSE”
time.synchronize.tools.startup = “FALSE”

However it does not work on my computer, but setting rtc.startTime to a specific value to force the CMOS TOD clock to begin at a fixed time whenever the guest os is powered on works! To do this just add another line to the .vmx configuration file:
rtc.startTime = “1305849600″

The big value “1305849600″ is in seconds from Jan 1, 1970 00:00 UTC, you can use the online Unix Timestamp Converter to generate the appropriate value from your specified date and time, for example, the human time Jun 20, 2011 01:22:10 GMT will be converted to the Epoch timestamp 1308532930. Replacing 1305849600 with 1308532930 will cause your virtual machine reset its time to Jun 20, 2011 01:22:10 GMT each time it’s started.

Another benefit you can get from installing and running applications inside a virtual machine is that the host operating system will be kept clean and safe, your main os will not be affected by viruses and rootkits even if guest os is full of malware, because the guest os is isolated from the host os.

Optionally, if you want to run a trial software for free forever without bothering VMware, Virtual box or Microsoft virtual pc, you can give this portable and light utility a try: RunAsDate, it can run an application at the fixed date and time your specified, you can let it create “time breezed” shortcuts for your favorite programs on the desktop, each one will run at a separate date and time, if you do not want to pay bucks for a commercial software, and hate the risk to get infected by viruses when run a crack patch or serial key generator, it’s a perfect gift for you.


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