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Virtual Double

Author:  Matt Androski
Date:  2008.10.01
Topic:  Editorials
Provider:  VMware
Manufacturer:  VMware

Virtual Double

Virtual pc


A virtual machine is essentially a computer inside of a computer. It uses your hardware and your operating system to create another operating environment on top of your current system. Let me clarify that a bit, it allows you to install another operating system using a fake hard drive that you set up, and sharing a portion of the host computers RAM to emulate another computer. This process is not perfect, but it does do an amazing job in handling test environments or older programs or games. This allows you to run older programs on say Windows Vista, by emulating a Windows 2000 operating system. There are extensive possibilities for this to make your life easier and perhaps more productive. These possibilities come at a cost though, your machine should have a dual core processor and at least 2-3 gigabytes of RAM, you should also have available 20 -30 gigabytes of hard drive space that you can dedicate to this virtual machine.


Setup of your virtual double.

First and foremost you must download a virtual PC client, there are several programs you can use such as VMware which will cost 189.00 to purchase but is available for a trial. The other main program is Virtual PC 2007 available in both 32 bit and 64 bit flavors free of charge from Microsoft. This is the program we will be using today to show you how to set up your virtual machine. Head on over and download it and then install it. First off you need to have the install disks for whatever operating system you're going to use, for the purpose of this tutorial I will use Windows XP.

Virtual machine\

Click next

. Create

You can at a later date reuse the virtual hard drives that Virtual PC creates. The extension for a virtual hard drive it typically ".VHD" this is useful to know because you can take this virtual machine mount it on another computer. The hardware used to create a virtual machine is the same regardless of what the host computer was when you began creating this machine. The .VHD file that this create can be taken and transferred to any other machine using Virtual PC 2007, so you could take this image and give it to a friend and they could load it and continue work right where you left off. In order to load an existing .VHD drive you would need to choose the last option "Add an existing virtual machine to the virtual PC console..." For the purpose of this tutorial we will be using the first option "Create a virtual machine" and then click next, and name your machine so you know what it is. When you click next you will be able to choose what operating system this virtual machine will be running. You will notice that you can choose Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, OS/2. You can also choose several Windows Server flavors and last but not least "other". Other would be your linux operating systems which come in hundreds of different flavors such as Ubuntu and Red Hat.

Operating system


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