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Does the Virtual PC XP Mode need safety measures?

I am using XP Mode within Windows 7, which creates virtual OS, but semi-intergrated into Windows 7. Do I need to install an antivirus program within XP Mode as well, or will the antivirus that I am running on Windows 7 take care of XP mode?

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Wow. What an interesting question. I would have never thought of this. –  David Pearce Apr 21 '10 at 13:27
    
This is a great question; +1 –  Marko Carter Apr 21 '10 at 13:58
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@joshhunt, oddly you have the accepted answer on this very similar(possible dupe?) question superuser.com/questions/10709/… –  heavyd Apr 21 '10 at 14:11
    
@heavyd: Wow. That's a bit embarrassing. hah. I guess it's a bit hard to remember one of my 355 answers from nearly a year ago. –  David Pearce Apr 23 '10 at 15:15
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marked as duplicate by heavyd, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Nifle, quack quixote Apr 21 '10 at 16:27

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

XP Mode is only integrated in that the VM window is hidden and the the applications are 'floated' into the host operating system

The VM XP does not have any direct access to the host HDD and the host Windows 7 does not have any access to the VM HDD.

Host antivirus will not be able to protect the VM

IMO you should install anti-virus into the VM if the network connection is enabled, irrelevant if you browse or not.

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Your host antivirus will not scan things that are happening in the virtualization unless the virtualization is accessing files on the host hard drive (as opposed to inside a VHD, the way it normally works.)

However, unless you are surfing the web with a web browser that is being emulated in Windows XP or running an Email client that is being emulated in Windows XP, it is extremely unlikely that your virtualization will come in contact with a virus before the host.

So unless you are surfing or email from the virtualization, I would only worry about protecting your host operating system. You're going to use twice as much system resources protecting both your host and your virtualization.

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