VirtualBox setup on win7 Ult (64bit)


I have a couple of questions regarding the use of VirtualBox on win7 ultimate (64bit). I want to run WindowsXP (32 bit) as a guest so in regards to the installation/setup of the OS the following questions arise:

1a) Does VirtualBox "look" at the actual motherboard and peripherals, ie my gtx660 and asus p8z77-pro, or will it create generic video/mobo/audio/lan/wireless "hardware" for windowsXP to detect. If its "created" where/how do i get the drivers for this?

1b) Will running updates for WinXP (ie patches/hotfixes) or any of the other programs installs "mess" with how the virtualbox operates?

2a) In terms of creating the "storage" for the virtual OS. Should i have made a seperate partition exclusively for this virtual box? I have a 2TB HD which i have split into 1TB partitions when I installed win7.

2b) What happens when I end my guest session in virtualbox, after I install the OS and games? where does that data get saved?

3) I understand that when I run winXP through virtualbox, the ram I set aside in the setup will be unavail for my win7 to use (while i run virtualbox of course). I currently have 16 gigs or ram, should I just set the ram amt for winXP to the 4 gig max and leave 12 for Win7? or should i do some other amt?

4) Last, but most important, if i mess-up with the install of winXP or settings for the guest client, how much will it affect win7?

Thanks all
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  1. Best answer
    It will use generic drivers for your Virtual machines.

    Updates on the guest OS will not affect the Host OS.

    Having a separate partition is not needed.

    When you end the guest session you will be able to set the Guest OS to shutdown or hibernate. All the data gets saved in the Virtualbox and in the Virtual hard drive of the Guest OS.

    If you have enough RAM to max out your Guest OS, then use it.

    If you mess up the Guest OS, it will have no effect on the Host.
  2. rearendhat said:

    When you end the guest session you will be able to set the Guest OS to shutdown or hibernate. All the data gets saved in the Virtualbox and in the Virtual hard drive of the Guest OS.


    So, can i say save this "virtual HD" to a specific partition or will VirtualBox do it for me? Also, say if i allocate 200gigs to this virtual partition, will that mean i loose the whole 200 gigs or will 200 gigs be set aside and i loose x number of gigs depending on what programs i add?

    Also, is there a difference between hibernate and shutdown when it comes to VirtualBox?

    Thanks again
  3. Do a test-run and try it. That's the beauty of VMs: you can destroy and recreate them with very little pain.

    EDIT: Just don't activate the guest Windows XP O/S until you're happy with your configuration.

    The Virtual HDD is typically a file as far as your host system is concerned. If you use backup tools, be careful about trying to backup that file while the guest is running, because you can run into problems. Best to back it up manually when the guest is shut-down, or back up the guest itself using your backup software.

    The size of the file can be static (avoids fragmentation and thus is faster, but reserves all of the space) or dynamic (grows as space requirements increase). I don't remember about VBox, but there may be an option to split the file into smaller e.g. 1 GB files so that moving them is easier.

    VBox also allows you to reserve a physical device that is not already in use by your host O/S (or any other guest O/Ses, for that matter), but I've had mixed results with this. In either VMware or VBox (forget which), the approach was causing crashes when used with a USB-connected HDD. Using a partition from a drive might be better - or worse. Use at your own risk. The virtual disk approach is nearly as fast, and much easier to maintain.

    If you are looking to game in XP with DirectX 3D, be aware that you probably won't get great performance regardless of what kind of GPU you have installed. You might be better off installing the game directly in the host and running it there, if that's an option.
  4. You are asking very specific questions about using VirtualBox but have not said what you intend to use a virtual machine for. I use mine to run old 16bit software while running a 64bit host OS and to try out other OS's like Ubuntu.

    I get the impression form your comment "after I install the OS and games" that you want to use it for gaming. If that's the case I wouldn't bother as you won't have access to the main GPU in your system, RAM will be limited to what you assign and you would have the overheads of running 2x OS. That would give you weaker performance than running it in Win7 64bit. If however you're planning to run older 16bit DOS based games you could have some fun there without to much trouble.
  5. Hi All,

    I appreciate all the feed back. Yes i plan on running some old 16 bit games, Sim City 3k, Civ 4, ect (you know good games that are really good and dont have stupid DRM crap) :kaola:
  6. Best answer selected by mox141.
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