VirtualBox is an open-source cross platforms virtualization application that allows anyone to create a virtual machine on their computer. It is similar to the popular VMware, but much smaller in size and handles the virtual machine more efficiently.
Before you attempt to install any Windows OS as a virtual machine, make sure that your computer has enough memory (at least 1GB of RAM) and hard disk and you own a genuine Windows installer CD with valid license key.
Go to the VirtualBox download site. Under the Platform dropdown box, select Ubuntu 8.04 (x86). AMD users please select Ubuntu 8.04 (AMD64). Check the agreement box and click Continue.
Check the box Sun xVM VirtualBox 1.6 and click “Download selected with Sun Download manager”. The program should now download the virtualbox_1.6.2-31466_Ubuntu_hardy_i386.deb file to your desktop. If you don’t have java runtime installed, you can simply right click on the file link and select “Save link as”.
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Once the downloading is done, double click on the virtualbox_1.6.2-31466_Ubuntu_hardy_i386.deb to install the program.
After the installation, VirtualBox will create a group call vboxuser. You will have to add your user name to the group. To do this, go to System -> Administration -> Users and Groups.
Click the Unlock button, follow by Manage Groups.
Scroll down until you see the vboxusers. Click Properties.
Put a check beside your user name and click OK. Done
Go to Applications->System Tools -> Sun xVM Virtualbox. If you can’t find the entry, reboot your computer.
You should see the VirtualBox main window (image below) upon opening the application
Click New to install a new virtual machine.
On the welcome screen, click Next to proceed.
Give your VM a name and determine its type. If you are installing Windows XP, simply put “Windows XP” under the name field and select Windows XP under the OS Type dropdown box.
In the next screen, set your base memory size. If you are installing Windows XP, it is recommended to allocate at least 256MB of memory. If you have lot of memory in your computer, you can always allocate up to 1GB or more.
Next, you have to create the virtual disk space. Click New.
A new window will pop up. Click Next on the new window to proceed.
Select “Dynamically expanding image” follow by Next.
Give the image a name (can be the same as your VM name) and allocate the size. Recommended is at least 8GB. Click Finish to complete the process.
This will close the window and bring you back to the previous window. Select the virtual disk you have just created and click Next. The last part is the confirmation where it will show you the summary of your configuration. If everything is fine, click Finish.
You should now see an entry of the virtual machine in the main screen. Highlight it and select Settings (just above the entry). On the left pane, select the CD/DVD ROM. On the right pane, check the box ‘Mount CD/DVD Drive’ and select Host CD Drive. Click OK.
Now insert in the Windows XP/Vista installer CD. On the virtual box, highlight the virtual machine and click Start. The virtual machine should now boot up and you can follow the screen instruction to install Windows XP.
At any time, if you want to get out of the virtual machine screen, press right Ctrl button. Once you have finished installing the OS. Reboot into the virtual machine. Under the device menu, select Install guest addition. This will allow you to enjoy enhanced graphics and smooth mouse transition between the virtual machine and your host machine.