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 Post subject: Building a VirtualBox VM
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:30 pm 
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As mentioned toward the beginning of this topic, I have three very old programs that won't run on my 64-bit Win 7 computers. That's why I am using XP Mode. Unfortunately, the developers of these programs are no longer in business, so updates are impossible.

When my new Win 7 Pro computer arrives, I would like to once again use XP Mode for these three programs, as they remain invaluable to me.

So my question is this.......if I never go online or send/receive emails from my VPC, will my Win 7 computer still be at security risk? None of these programs require an internet connection, so I think I could literally turn off my router and DSL modem while I am using these programs (although this would be inconvenient).

BTW, these programs are all 16-bit. That's why they will run on my really-old Win 7 32-bit computer, but not on my 64-bit ones.

Thanks in advance.......

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:15 pm 
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As long as you don't go on-line with the programs you will probably be ok. I would also disable the NIC in the virtual machine.

That being said I'm not sure that you will be able to install XP Mode on your new machine. You may have to go with a 'straight' virtual machine such as Virtual Box or Virtual PC doing a normal XP install from an install disk. Or possibly, if you use Virtual PC, you may be able to port over the virtual hard drive... that would be my first attempt.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:56 am 
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Jay's one solution may be the only solution: install a real Virtual Machine on your system then install any OS that you want inside the VM, it would literally be like having two computers in one. I used XP inside of VirtualBox on a Win7 system for years, worked beautifully. Other than that, try to find replacements for those three programs but I understand that may not be possible, I have had to let go of some programs thru the years and in some cases it really hurt.
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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:26 am 
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jaylach wrote:
As long as you don't go on-line with the programs you will probably be ok. I would also disable the NIC in the virtual machine.

That being said I'm not sure that you will be able to install XP Mode on your new machine. You may have to go with a 'straight' virtual machine such as Virtual Box or Virtual PC doing a normal XP install from an install disk. Or possibly, if you use Virtual PC, you may be able to port over the virtual hard drive... that would be my first attempt.

Jay, I may be using the wrong terminology, as I though XP Mode and VPC (with an XP install) were the same. Back in the 2007 time frame, you published "A Guide to Virtual PC 2007". I used those instructions, along with some real-time advice from you, to install VPC. I used an XP Pro CD with SP2 slipstreamed to install XP Pro. At some later time I updated to SP3.

That's what I want to duplicate on my new Win 7 Pro computer. Do you think that can be done (I still have the CDs), or should I consider something like Virtual Box?

Also, I am not sure what you mean about porting over my virtual hard drive. How would I go about doing that?

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:55 am 
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Acadia wrote:
Jay's one solution may be the only solution: install a real Virtual Machine on your system then install any OS that you want inside the VM, it would literally be like having two computers in one. I used XP inside of VirtualBox on a Win7 system for years, worked beautifully. Other than that, try to find replacements for those three programs but I understand that may not be possible, I have had to let go of some programs thru the years and in some cases it really hurt.
Acadia

Acadia, sadly you are correct......it is not possible to find replacements for these programs, which I obtained and started using back in the mid-90s. The two most important ones are my address book (with all sorts of entries for each name) and my calendaring program (which goes back 20+ years and is almost like a diary).

Is VirtualBox a program like VMware? Do you think I could install my old 16-bit programs under either one?

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:08 am 
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bbarry wrote:
Is VirtualBox a program like VMware? Do you think I could install my old 16-bit programs under either one?

Yes, VB is like VMware, a true Virtual Machine, although they operate a tad differently because they are made by two different outfits, but you can do the exact same things "inside" of them, that is, installing any OS that you want. VirtualBox is open source and free. If I remember correctly, VMware also has a free version but it is limited in what it can do. Peter uses the paid VMware and swears by it. I used VirtualBox and liked it very much but again, that was several years ago.

If the 16-bit programs work in a certain OS, then I do not see why they would not work in the same OS installed in a VM. bbarry, if you get serious about installing a VM come back here, I've got a couple of tips for you, Peter may have some also.
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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:39 am 
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Acadia wrote:
bbarry wrote:
Is VirtualBox a program like VMware? Do you think I could install my old 16-bit programs under either one?

Yes, VB is like VMware, a true Virtual Machine, although they operate a tad differently because they are made by two different outfits, but you can do the exact same things "inside" of them, that is, installing any OS that you want. VirtualBox is open source and free. If I remember correctly, VMware also has a free version but it is limited in what it can do. Peter uses the paid VMware and swears by it. I used VirtualBox and liked it very much but again, that was several years ago.

If the 16-bit programs work in a certain OS, then I do not see why they would not work in the same OS installed in a VM. bbarry, if you get serious about installing a VM come back here, I've got a couple of tips for you, Peter may have some also.
Acadia

Thanks Acadia, I appreciate that. It may be weeks before I am ready, but I am sure I will be back. My new Velocity Micro computer was to have shipped today from Richmond, VA, but the storm Jonas closed them down for a couple of days.

While I am populating my new computer, I will still have access to my old programs via my existing computer, which is still running XP mode. So installing a new VM will have low priority on my 'to do' list.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:27 pm 
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While XP Mode was a virtual machine it was different than most as it was fully integrated in to Win 7.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:39 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
While XP Mode was a virtual machine it was different than most as it was fully integrated in to Win 7.

OK, but I am still not sure what you mean about porting over my virtual hard drive. How would I go about doing that?

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:57 pm 
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Just drag and drop the virtual hard drive from its location on the old machine to the new machine. You can find the location in the settings for the VM.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:31 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
Just drag and drop the virtual hard drive from its location on the old machine to the new machine. You can find the location in the settings for the VM.

Good grief, I did not know that you could do that. bbarry, I mentioned that I and Peter might be able to offer you tips, I forgot to include Jay in that, sorry Jay. Anyway, get your new system completely together before attempting something like this and back it up. VM for me was pure fun but very major stuff.
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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:25 pm 
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Don't know if you can do this with a virtual drive set up with XP Mode and then use with Virtual PC but it can't hurt anything. I seriously doubt that it would work going from XP Mode to VirtualBox.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:19 am 
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jaylach wrote:
Just drag and drop the virtual hard drive from its location on the old machine to the new machine. You can find the location in the settings for the VM.

Jay and Acadia - Before I consider programs like VMware and Virtual Box, I first want to try and port my current VPC to my new computer as you suggested . But I guess I don't know exactly where to find my virtual hard drive so I can drag and drop it. So I was hoping you could tell me where it is located.

On my current old Win 7 computer, under My Documents I have a folder entitled My Virtual Machine. This folder contains four other folders:
- Virtual Machine XP-Pro (contains a .vmc file of same name)
- VPC Shared (contains my four applications)
- XP-Pro (contains a .vmc file of same name)
- XP-Pro Virtual Machine (contains a .vmc file of same name)

I also have the file \system32\vmwindows.exe

So can you tell me where my virtual hard drive is located in the above folders? Or should I drag and drop all these folders? Thanks......

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:33 am 
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Sorry about this bbarry, but it was too long ago, I don't remember. Definitely a folder on my c:drive, but I don't remember where. :dunno:
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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:59 am 
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Well first you will need to check to make sure that you still have, or can get, the installer for the Virtual PC side of the thing. The virtual hard drive is useless without the Virtual PC.

Drive location... as best as I can remember.
1) Under Start/All Programs look for Virtual PC and expand the folder by clicking.

2) Open Virtual PC, Not XP Mode.

3) Select XP Mode and right click, select Settings.

On the right you should see your virtual drives.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:21 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
Well first you will need to check to make sure that you still have, or can get, the installer for the Virtual PC side of the thing. The virtual hard drive is useless without the Virtual PC.

Drive location... as best as I can remember.
1) Under Start/All Programs look for Virtual PC and expand the folder by clicking.

2) Open Virtual PC, Not XP Mode.

3) Select XP Mode and right click, select Settings.

On the right you should see your virtual drives.

OK, your memory was spot-on. I found what I think is my virtual drive (Windows XP Mode.vhd on Hard Disk 1).

But now I am confused about this installer for Virtual PC, which I don't know whether I have or not. I thought you said previously that I could just drag/drop my virtual drive to my new computer?

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:29 pm 
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You MAY be able to drag and drop the virtual drive to have your XP install but you still need Virtual PC to use the drive.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:40 pm 
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Acadia wrote:
bbarry wrote:
Is VirtualBox a program like VMware? Do you think I could install my old 16-bit programs under either one?

Yes, VB is like VMware, a true Virtual Machine, although they operate a tad differently because they are made by two different outfits, but you can do the exact same things "inside" of them, that is, installing any OS that you want. VirtualBox is open source and free. If I remember correctly, VMware also has a free version but it is limited in what it can do. Peter uses the paid VMware and swears by it. I used VirtualBox and liked it very much but again, that was several years ago.

If the 16-bit programs work in a certain OS, then I do not see why they would not work in the same OS installed in a VM. bbarry, if you get serious about installing a VM come back here, I've got a couple of tips for you, Peter may have some also.
Acadia

OK, I'm back, as I am definitely serious about installing a VM to run a couple of old XP programs. I did find where Microsoft will still let me download Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode, so that may be the way I try to go on my new computer since I'm familiar with it.

However, I did explore VMware and VirtualBox just in case. VMware Workstation 11 sounds like an expensive overkill for my intended purpose. VirtualBox would probably be better if it's not to difficult to learn and install.

Do you not use either of these anymore? If not, what do you now use?

And you mentioned you might have a couple of VM tips for me. I'm ready when you (and Peter) have the time. Just remember that my knowledge of VMs is limited, my needs are simple, and I would like to keep my ultimate solution that way, lol.

Thanks in advance........

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:36 pm 
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The most important thing to remember about a virtual machine is that it needs to be treated just like you would a physical machine. You need to install anti virus and all that. You must also remember that you will not get any updates as XP is no longer supported. Due to this I recommend that you turn off the virtual network adapter in the virtual machine.

Even though XP Mode is still up for download do not be surprised if it fails when go through the setup process. It may or may not fail but the odds are that it will. This is why I suggested the possibility of copying your XP virtual drive over from your old system. I cannot say as to if this will actually work or not.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:52 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
The most important thing to remember about a virtual machine is that it needs to be treated just like you would a physical machine. You need to install anti virus and all that. You must also remember that you will not get any updates as XP is no longer supported. Due to this I recommend that you turn off the virtual network adapter in the virtual machine.

Even though XP Mode is still up for download do not be surprised if it fails when go through the setup process. It may or may not fail but the odds are that it will. This is why I suggested the possibility of copying your XP virtual drive over from your old system. I cannot say as to if this will actually work or not.

Thanks. OK, what I hear you saying is to download just Virtual PC (and not XP Mode) and then copy my XP virtual drive over to my new computer. Is that correct? If so, I will try that tonight and keep you posted.

FYI, I have been running XP Mode successfully since 2007; I do use an anti virus and I never connect to the internet. If I can find it I will turn off the virtual network adapter.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:03 pm 
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Please keep in mind that there may be minor errors in my postings here. While I think that I still have XP Mode active on the Windows 7 side of my laptop I have not used any virtual machines in quite a while. Assuming that you DO get XP up and running I will duplicate however you get it going as best as I can to help you get things finished off.

You will find the virtual network adapter on the same settings page that you found the virtual drive.

Yes, my first attempt would be to install just Virtual PC and copy the XP Mode drive over. Make sure that you copy, don't move.

Then you would open Virtual PC and go through the process of setting up a virtual machine. When it gets to the part about setting up a drive select to use an existing drive and point to where you copied the XP Mode drive.

Try launching the virtual machine and see what happens. If it loads up, fine. If it starts to go through the setup process it will most likely fail.

If the above does fail you have the option of using Virtual PC and an XP install disk to start fresh with an XP install but it will be different than XP Mode as it will not be fully integrated with Windows 7. Also, unless things have changed, you will not have USB. You will have your mouse and keyboard even if USB but you probably will not be able to access your printer and/or thumb drives/external drives. Still all is not lost as to somewhat communicating between XP and Windows 7. If the programs that need XP put out files that you want to use in Windows 7 you can attach a physical drive to the virtual PC. In this case I would have to recommend that you make a small partition on your system specifically for this purpose. Then you could save files from XP to that partition. If you wanted to import a flie from Windows 7 to XP you would save that file to the same drive/partition. Since both OSs would have access to the same physical drive files can be passed back and forth. I recommend that a partition be created for this for safety and security reasons. First, you won't be able to do any updates in XP. Second, you do not want XP to have access to your Windows 7 drive. You would want to set up the partition as NTFS. If it does come down to a clean install of XP on the virtual machine I MIGHT be able to steer you in the direction of a legit download of XP with Service Pack 3. Of course you would need a legit retail key code.

Then there is VirtualBox... Everything above still applies but you would have USB. In some cases the USB can be difficult to set up but it is there.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:28 am 
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Jay, thanks again for all the info. Unfortunately, I didn't get anything accomplished last night....had to help Manning win the Super Bowl. What's the phrase....."a good defense is better than a good offense", which I think is a direct quote from Cam Newton.

Now it may be several days before I can try your suggestions, as I'll be gone most of today and I've got doctor appointments tomorrow. Plus, I need to do some 'housekeeping' on my new computer, including setting up a couple of partitions on one of my hard drives. Like on my old computer, I will set up a partition just for the Virtual PC-XP Mode install. Someplace I think I have XP w/Service Pack 3. All of my software is legit, so I understand what you are saying.

My ONLY reason for needing XP Mode is for the running of three very-old 8-bit programs (Calendar, Address Book, Trip Mapping).....nothing fancy. The only interfacing with Win 7 will be to print to my USB printer(s) and to save/backup revised data files.

If all this fails, I will definitely be looking into Virtual Box, as VMware appears to be too complicated (and expensive) for my needs.

Once I get back to this project, I will take notes and post my steps/findings. And again I thank you....

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:14 am 
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bbarry wrote:
....had to help Manning win the Super Bowl. What's the phrase....."a good defense is better than a good offense", which I think is a direct quote from Cam Newton.

The way I've always heard that quote has been "Offense wins games, defense wins championships". That makes seven times the number one offense has faced the number one defense in the Super Bowl. The defense has won six of them. Overall, when the number one defense has been in the Super Bowl, they have won ten out of twelve.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:47 pm 
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Yup, and that being said, a STRONG pc computer defense will 9 out of 10 times beat a strong hacker offense. Let's start teaching beginners about the awesome defenses that exist out there and save them blood, sweat, and tears !!

(By the way, how the heck did this thread get from VMs to the Super Bowl ??)

"Security is always excessive until it's not enough." - Robbie Sinclair, Country Energy, NSW Australia

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Acadia wrote:
(By the way, how the heck did this thread get from VMs to the Super Bowl ??)

Because bbarry said his attempts would have to wait due to the Super Bowl... and we all know how tightly we stay on topic... :mrgreen:

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