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How do I make an immutable drive in VirtualBox for Windows 7 x64?

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August 19, 2010 6:25:30 AM

I have a windows computer (host) running VirtualBox. I am trying to create an immutable drive for a Windows XP Pro Virtual Machine (guest) so that I can surf the internet without having to worry so much about viruses etc. I am NOT talking about saving the system state.
a b $ Windows 7
August 19, 2010 7:00:35 AM

I don't think that you can get Windows to work without some sort of write access to the drive it is installed on. If you want that you need to go for a Linux Live CD or something similar.

If you just want to be able to restore the disk quickly to a known, virus-free status that's easy, and I would have thought suited your purposes, but you explicitly rule out that possibility for some reason.
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August 19, 2010 1:58:26 PM

With immutable drives, you can have write access while the VM is on. However, once the system shuts down and rebooted, the system restores just as it was.

The problem with saving system states is that they you are limited to a single saved state, and that VM is very difficult to transfer to another system without loosing saved state information.

I don't want a liveCD because they take too long to load and are not driver independent like VM's are.

I know it is possible to set up an immutable drive. I have seen it done, with a Linux host. I am willing to switch to a Linux host if necessary, but I don't see why it would be.

I may have found an answer. I will have to try this.
http://virtuatopia.com/index.php/Understanding_and_Conf...
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a b $ Windows 7
August 19, 2010 3:01:40 PM

I see. But that only gives you the single saved state, which you say is not what you want. I'd go for snapshots if I were you. You can take a series of them, and there's no problem transferring to another machine if necessary.

When I suggested a Live CD I was talking about running it in a VM. Then it's just like running from a hard disk, and should load as quickly.
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August 19, 2010 6:06:37 PM

That is a good idea, regarding the Live CD in VM... I hadn't considered that. Depending on how long load times are on a SSD, that could be a very cool compromise.

As far as the saved states, I just want those states to be independent of the computer I am saving the states on. By making a drive immutable at different states, per my needs, by copying the .vmi file, I can make different VM's for different purposes that all maintain their usefulness regardless of system, or corruption (beyond basic file corruption).

Thanks for the really cool idea.
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