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Installing Windows in VirtualBox (for the Notes Client)

Michael Brown   March 23 2009 03:56:46 AM
Part 3 of Setting up a home test environment for Notes/Domino 8.5

To install Windows in VirtualBox you will need a physical Windows install CD and a valid licence key.  Betas aside, ISO images for Windows installations are not generally available for download over the internet; not legal ones, anyway.

Otherwise the install instructions are largely the same as the instructions for Fedora, so I'm not going to type the whole lot out again; I will simply point out what to do differently where the procedures vary.

Create the virtual machine.

When creating the new virtual machine, you should set the OS Type to "Windows" and then the version to whichever version of Windows you are installing.

Associate a boot ISO

For Windows installations, you'll more likely be dealing with a physical install CD than an ISO image.  Tick the Mount CD/DVD Drive checkbox, as before, but this time click the Host CD/DVD radio button.  In the drop-down box, select the CD/DVD drive that holds your Windows installation disk.

Installing Windows virtual machine

When you start up your new Windows virtual machine, the physical install CD or DVD that you mounted in the previous step should automatically kick off the Windows install process.

Update Manager

Once you have Windows installed and running, you should let the Microsoft Update tool do its thing.  This may take a long time, depending on how up to date your Windows install disk is.  If you're installing XP from Service Pack 2 CD, you will save a lot of time by installing Service Pack 3 manually before running Microsoft Update.  You can download Service Pack 3 from various web sites, including Microsoft.  Service Pack 3 is often included on computer magazine disks.

Authentication With Microsoft (extra step in Windows)

You won't miss this; you'll be prompted to do it immediately, in fact.  Microsoft gives you three days leeway to with XP, after which the OS will shut down on you until you authenticate it.  (You will still be able to use it to do that.)


My advice to backup your initial VirtualBox image goes triple, quadruple to the power of infinity if you've set up a Windows virtual machine. Just make sure that you go through the Windows Activation process before you make the back up.  That way, you can create a "clean" Windows virtual machine without having to go through the activation process ever again.  See Backing up VirtualBox images for more information.

For extra security in Windows, you may even want to also consider doing the entire install with the internet disconnected, and then do the activation process over the phone rather than over the internet. This will drastically reduce the risk of your "clean" Windows virtual machine image being contaminated by any viruses before you've backed it up.

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