Is it easy to run virtual session on my toshiba A45-s250 laptop. Operating system: Windows xp SP2 Ram: 2Gigs Intel Pentium 4

I want to start a virtual session and run visual studio express , free license after 30 days they expire I want to be able to copy another virtual session and be up and running again with minimum effort. I dont want to download, install all the software again.

Also, I want to do web surfing on my virtual machine so it will not corrupt my machine.

Is it easy to install and setup virtual session on windows xp. what should I do ? Where should I start. Is there a free virtual session type of software out there for intel windows xp?

  • Again... Please come up with a meaningful title. Thanks! – Arjan Nov 15 '09 at 23:52

Free virtual machine software? of course. There is VirtualBox and VMware Server Edition which will both allow you to create and run virtual machines.

To start you'll need a copy of Windows capable of running this version of Visual Studio. Install it to the VM from CD or ISO file and go through the install procedure as normal. After you have Visual Studio installed and everything configured the way you like it, copy the virtual hard disk (it will be the bigger file of the two) to a backup location. If anything breaks on the VM, copy your backup into place and you're back up and running.

As for the 30-day licensing I wouldn't recommend trying to bypass it as it's against the EULA. Plus, a virtual machine will still be able to keep time just like a regular system. So if you leave the image dormant for 30 days the license will still expire next time you boot. If you don't want to pay for Visual Studio, consider one of the express editions.


Pentium 4's are a little slow for modern virtualisation/programming, but far from impossible.

Yes, what you want is possible. I would look at using Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (If you don't want to spend a pennt) making a normal virtual machine and activating it, then create a snapshot or just copy the entire directory. Next create a second disk that can contain your data/settings and whenenver a trial runs out, simply make a backup of the data/settings drive, restore the folder/snapshot and copy the data/settings disk back.

That being said, Visual Studio Express is 100% completely free, it is free to register and then you can use it for as long as you want!

  • I have tried to register many times but visual studio express register site is broken. I tried the following but failed: un-install c# express, download it again, and install it again. Still the express version did not work. MS, please fix your registration process for visual studio express. – dotnet-practitioner Nov 15 '09 at 23:53

I assume you mean run an application like VS Express in a virtual environment so it doesn't run the risk of affecting your machine? I don't know where the 30 days comes from - VS Express is free and has no time limit. Well, the good news is that there are several pieces of software out there for this, such as VirtualBox (my personal favourite), VMWare and Virtual PC. One bit of bad news is that your PC is a little underpowered for this. You'll also need a good hard disk and plenty of space. You also should have a license for each VM installation of XP.


I want to do web surfing on my virtual machine so it will not corrupt my machine.

on such an old machine, you're better off to use Sandboxie instead, run you browser virtualized (isolated) and nothing will corrupt your system but you still have full access to all system resources.

as for circumventing the limitations to trialware/demos, SU is the wrong place to ask for assistance with such activities.

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