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Old 03-13-2013, 09:39 PM   #1
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Default Virtual Machine

I want to use a virtual machine to play around with Windows XP and 2K. I want to be able to run them both at the same time so I can toggle between the two. Any recommendations on what machine to download and where to download the OS's? Thank you.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Virtual Machine

Oracle Virtualbox is free and a very capable hypervisor.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Virtual Machine

As OhSnapWord said, VirtualBox is pretty good, another to try is VMWare Player. Both are free for private use.

There is no place that you can legally download Win XP or Win 2000 that I am aware of. I have had good luck finding older OSes on Ebay for a reasonable price. Make sure the seller specifies that the OS comes with a License Key and that you buy from a reputable seller.

In order to run both OSes at the same time in VMs, you'll need to make sure you have sufficient RAM. How much RAM depends on how much RAM you allocate to each VM as well as what RAM your host is using. You'll also need to have a CPU with enough horsepower to run 3 OSes (your host OS plus the 2 VMs).

If you have Win 7 Pro or Ultimate, you can download XP Mode from MS which is a VM complete with a licensed copy of XP.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Virtual Machine

Well there is VMware player, virtualbox, QEMU, Microsofts virtual machine and probably a load more.

Don't get too hung up on RAM requirements, most good virtual machine hyper visors will be able to manage ram effectively, (so a 1GB allocation of ram to your VM doesn't necessarily mean a 1GB chuck of ram unavailable to your OS running the virtual machine.

You will have the problem of where to get windows XP and windows 2000 from, (try ebay?) I believe that you have downgrade rights with licenses, but that doesn't extend to running multiple OS distributions.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Virtual Machine

Regarding RAM requirements, here's an excerpt from the VirtualBox website:

Memory. Depending on what guest operating systems you want to run, you will need at least 512 MB of RAM (but probably more, and the more the better). Basically, you will need whatever your host operating system needs to run comfortably, plus the amount that the guest operating system needs. So, if you want to run Windows XP on Windows XP, you probably won't enjoy the experience much with less than 1 GB of RAM. If you want to try out Windows Vista in a guest, it will refuse to install if it is given less than 512 MB RAM, so you'll need that for the guest alone, plus the memory your operating system normally needs.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Virtual Machine

If you don't have product keys it will usually let you run the OS for 30 days before you have to activate. If you need it long term you will have to find a product key. But there's so many copies of XP that you can probably find someone you know that has an unused key they don't need.

Oracle VirtualBox is what I've always used for home virtualization. Only ran into one instance where it didn't work on one my friend's computers.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Virtual Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by strollin View Post
Regarding RAM requirements, here's an excerpt from the VirtualBox website:

Memory. Depending on what guest operating systems you want to run, you will need at least 512 MB of RAM (but probably more, and the more the better). Basically, you will need whatever your host operating system needs to run comfortably, plus the amount that the guest operating system needs. So, if you want to run Windows XP on Windows XP, you probably won't enjoy the experience much with less than 1 GB of RAM. If you want to try out Windows Vista in a guest, it will refuse to install if it is given less than 512 MB RAM, so you'll need that for the guest alone, plus the memory your operating system normally needs.
if virtual box doesn't support disk swapping, memory ballooning etc then I'd recommend finding a hyper visor that does!!
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