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Does the Virtual PC for Windows XP Mode on Windows 7 require anti virus package and firewall be installed in it to prevent viruses etc. I have an anti virus and firewall on my PC but not installed on virtual PC. I am using the Windows XP Mode to run my accounts package that is not compatible with Windows 7. First time I have used Virtual PC.

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migrated from Jun 27 '10 at 18:48

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The files located on the virtual hard drive are all included in a single file on your physical hard drive, most of the time that file canNOT be opened by antivirus scanning programs so none of the virtual computer's files are scanned or anything.

So yes, you need antivirus on the VPC.

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Do I need a firewall? – Niall Collins Jun 27 '10 at 18:37
It depends exactly how the virtual machine is connected to the real machine. For example, if you bridge the virtual machine to the external network device, then the firewall on the physical machine will not protect the VM. If you have the physical machine do NAT for the VM, then it will. – VoodooChild Jun 27 '10 at 18:44
@Niali Collins: also you should ask this question on ""; because it will be better answered there. – VoodooChild Jun 27 '10 at 18:45

I Niall, your virtual machines should have virus protection as well, since any downloaded virus is going to go directly to the virtual machine and will bypass the virus protection of your PC.

Firewall would be another case though.. probably only required on the PC, not on the VM's.

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I have XP mode on my desktop W7 PC, it has a firewall built in, Control Panel>Windows Firewall

If you also need outbound protection, turn off the built in XP firewall and install the old version of Sygate personal firewall v 5.6.2808

I also installed MSE for my AV, lightweight and very good protection.


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Yes and no, it really depends what you are doing!

You have to treat a Virtual Machine as any other physical machine.

If you do not need network access or to install random untrusted programs, you are best off to disable networking and simply take snapshots from time to time.

If however you are going to be using it for all sorts, you really should look at a good strategy of creating snapshots (which are not really that good/easy on Virtual PC) or just installing an anti virus.

Here is another question that you may find interesting.

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