What is the easiest way to install , setup, and run virtual session on my fresh install on my windows xp computer?

I want to be able to browse , install a new software in a new virtual session instead of machine itself. What is available out there?

What kind of software it would take and are there any free solutions out there?

Easiest solution would be very helpful for me.

  • Do you mean a Virtual Machine? – rlb.usa May 6 '10 at 21:15

You can use virtual machines, using VMWare, Virtualbox, or VirtualPC (or others, but these are the main options). All these are free or have free versions that will do everything you need.

Of these, I prefer Virtualbox.

A Virtual Machine that you create would need its own Windows licence, activation etc, so if you don't have a spare licence you will have to not activate and reinstall every 30(?) days.

Or, if you use Vitual PC, you can download a Virtual Machine to play with from Microsoft.

  • what is the easiest way to create a virtual pc session and install windows on it? – dotnet-practitioner May 6 '10 at 21:39

Virtual Machines will create like a new machine where you have to install Windows, or the operating system of your choice. If what you need is just to run/install programs you dont trust once in a while I recommend you Sandboxie. You dont need to install Windows again or configure special drivers for gaming with this one.

In the contrary, if what you need is to protect your computer against any user in its own session and discard anything when you want, or at reboot I recommend you iCore Virtual Accounts (for XP only), or Clean Slade. Those are free for what I know.


This is not exactly what you asked about, but it might be closer to what you really need.

One thing you see in computer labs fairly often is either DeepFreeze or Windows Steady State. These programs allow lab administrators to give users the ability to do whatever they need to do on lab computers, including install software and change settings, in a way that makes sure the computer will still work later. They use an altered kernel-level disk driver to make sure any changes to the hard drive are written to a temporary location, and all changes are simply lost after the machine restarts.


My Choice is Virtual Box as well. It seems run windows XP Shell faster than any other HyperVisor. The main reason i use VB though is the "Seamless Mode". which allows for your Vsession to only render your Vapps. but not rendering the whole windowsXP shell. so you are left with a clean normal desktop with vApps

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