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Windows can get a lot slower if you install a lot of applications trying to find out what you need to solve a problem.

I hear a lot of people mentioning virtual machines or the like to test without cluttering your main OS.

What would be the best solution for testing new applications?

Preferably free and Windows, but any good application might deserve the attention.

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What about things like Sandboxie? – Ivo Flipse Jul 20 '09 at 11:35
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have stopped using full virtual machines in favour of

Sandboxie (

It is very easy to delete an application. Also, the application to be tested interacts with your configurations for your system rather than requiring you to duplicate your setup on a virtual machine.

Now if I can only find something similar for Ubuntu

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+1 for suggesting Sandboxie. I have been using it on and off for years, before I even heard of VM software. Personally, I'd rather use VM software for trying out OS's and other larger applications (e.g., office suites) but for the smaller ones, I use Sandboxie. – Isxek Jul 20 '09 at 16:43
I prefer an simple application compared to a Virtual PC. So unless anyone can argue against it, this is my accepted answer – Ivo Flipse Jul 22 '09 at 7:45

It's virtual machines.

But you have problem with licencing Windows OS, but you have some options for this.

  • Windows 7 - now are in RTM(pre-RTM) version and it's "free"
  • Trial versions of Windows Servers
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Just don't run them all at once :-) At least VirtualBox bluescreens your host when run alongside Virtual PC. – Joey Jul 20 '09 at 11:36

You can install a fresh windows on virtualbox and test there new apps. Virtualbox is free.

Technically, you are supposed to use a windows copy only once at a time (i'm no licence expert) so you may want to study this aspect.

You can circumvent this by starting the virtual machine from another free os, like Ubuntu.

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