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I have VirtualBox installed in my system. I installed Windows XP Pro SP3 in VB. Then installed all the applications I need, ie. MS Office, Winamp etc.

Now, if the OS I use crashes, Can I extract the contents of VB virtual HDD to my physical HDD, so that I can carry on my works without the hassles of reinstalling all the softwares?

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2 Answers 2

In general you can't move applications from one Windows system (e.g. one in a VM) to another Windows system simply by copying files. You have to reinstall.

See http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_copy_preinstalled_software_to_another_machine.html

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No, as RedGrittyBrick says, copying Windows installations doesn't let you use them in general.

What you can do is make a backup copy of the virtual machine itself on removable or external media. This way, if your system crashes you can install any OS you want on any PC you want, reinstall VirtualBox (free of charge) and keep using the VM. Of course, this requires you to do all your work using the VM rather than the host OS.

Note: the above requires you to keep your data outside the VM, or back it up regularly. Regular backups are a good idea in any case, of course.

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