Have you ever had the feeling where you wish you had another computer, perhaps just to test things on or install viruses for the fun of it? I sure know as hell that it would be useful to have. Perhaps you might have wanted to download Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview, you were so close to hitting that download button until you read the fine print, something along the lines of having to reinstall windows at a later date?
But… perhaps if you had known that there was a way you could run that without even having to touch your windows installation itself, well that could of have been worth your while. Even if your a Windows fan, but want to test out Mavericks (Apple’s 10.9 update) but don’t want to fork out the money to buy a $2000 Macintosh….
But as always there must be a catch. You might be wondering what person in their right mind wouldn’t have this software on their computer. Well, there is a slight catch, actually…. but it’s not really that bad. The thing is because your running this in a window whilst running your normally Operating System – normally called a Host – your computer has to share the resources. For this reason alone it turns many people away… but not if you know what your doing, of course.
For running one of the major OS’s, it would be relatively safe to run it with the following minimum requirements:
- 2.4GHz Dual Core Processor
- 3 GB RAM
- 64MB Graphics Card
Note: For some installations for the Guest OS to run properly you may need to have virtualisation enabled in your BIOS. Most BIOS’s have this feature built in by default but may not have it enabled.
There are several Virtual Machine Clients readily available on the internet, many of them available without even dropping a cent. My personal favourite is Virtual-box – its free, fairly easy to use, and supports the installation of most operating systems.
It can be downloaded from https://www.virtualbox.org/
The installation is fairly easy and quick, the installer being fairly self-explanatory. It should go off without a hitch.
Before starting up the application, we must go through some house-cleaning:
- To begin installing an OS, note that you need some sort of file or CD to boot off, the exact same way you would install a normal Operating System.
- If installing Macintosh and Windows Operating Systems as a guest then you will need a paid version of these – please do not pirate.
- It is nearly impossible to change your existing setup (files, settings, OS Installation) whilst inside your virtual machine. This is because the virtual machine is run entirely separate from your current installation. Heck, you could even format your hardrive or try out Darek’s Nuke and Boot – software that will completely erase all of your hardrive.
- In case you need the best performance that you can get, when setting up the virtual machine please use dynamically allocated, it saves hardrive space and will use only what you use within the virtual machine.
- Create snapshots when you first install the virtual machine, and periodically when you make major changes. This saves time in case it crashes or (in the case of “Hackintoshes”) you accidently run software update and corrupt your Mac Installation (inside your virtual machine).
- Do not allocate more resources than your computer can handle. In other words, giving your virtual machine two and a half gigabytes of virtual RAM will not help your virtual machine, it will simply just end up crashing your Host OS and thus crash your virtual machine – be careful!!
One of these days I will go through how to setup your virtual machine, and will show you the best things that the software can do. Until then download the Oracle Virtual Machine software, and see how far you get before needing help.
As always, I will be able to help with any difficulties that occur, and will also post new updates about how to do this – with pictures (unlike this one : P).
Until then the best of luck, and hope you find Virtual Ware as good as I do!