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Does it make any sense to install anti-virus on Windows XP Mode?
Does the Virtual PC XP Mode need safety measures?

I just got XP mode running under Windows7 VirtualPC. Should I bother playing with the XP security settings or is it not needed? I would except the VM should be isolated, but then it has access to my main system's drives which doesn't sound very secure.

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marked as duplicate by Sathya, Ivo Flipse May 26 '10 at 8:09

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3 Answers

If I'm running a virtual machine that I want to use for work or production I will put the updates on in and a lightweight antivirus such as avast!

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Absolutely. A virtual machine has the same vulnerability as a normal machine (assuming all of the devices are active). If you can access the internet from the virtual machine then I suggest antivirus and running windows update.

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I'm not concerned about the VM actually getting infected, if it's isolated. But it appears by default this isn't the case... I thought people tended to use VMs for browsing dodgy sites to avoid infecting their main PC, for instance (not my use-case!) –  John May 27 '10 at 12:53
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I would say that for Windows Update, absolutely. Getting the latest patches is seldom a bad idea.

For the firewall, I would say it depends on what you're using XP for. If you are going to exposing it to the world, absolutely turn the firewall on. Pretend like your virtual machine is the same as a full box connected to the network. I, however, have a hardware firewall so I don't run Windows Firewall on either the guest or the host.

For Antivirus, I do not run antivirus in guest OS's because of the performance hit. I do not use Internet Explorer, or download anything untrusted, so I have never had a need to. If you are going to be doing anything even remotely shady, I'd consider it.

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Install AV if you will be using the virtual box to touch the internet (e.g. surfing the web, serving web pages). If it's just for internal use (e.g. a test server to debug my we apps) then I would say it's not necessary. –  Chris Nava May 25 '10 at 18:39
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