Ever had the experience of running more than one operating systems in parallel? Well, that’s something worth experiencing. I remember how I ended up experiencing it at the very first place; there was this mechanical designing software “Autodesk Inventor 10”, my Computer Aided Design (CAD) teacher was using this software for the mechanical simulation and drawing in the class, I was asked thus to design all of my CAD to-be-submitted projects using the same software.
One of the software’s requirements was Microsoft’s 32-bit Windows XP. The operating system that I had been using those days was Microsoft’s 64-bit Windows 7. I googled my problem and found out that it’s not possible to install windows XP with windows 7 in a dual boot system until or unless you do it this way: Install windows XP first and then windows 7. Having invested so much of my time and effort in making sure that my PC is well equipped with the best of educational, recreational, gaming and entertainment software and tools, the prospect of rolling back the existing operating system for Windows XP 32-bit, and then all that for Autodesk Inventor 10, it struck me really hard. I knew even if I set myself to make it happen, it would take me a hell lot of time to restore my PC to the existing state where it takes me no time to get my job done. I knew I would need to reinstall software like MATLAB and AutoCAD, it takes at least 2 hours to install them normally and if any issue pops during installation, half of your day would go ruined getting rid of those issues.
I needed something ideal, something that not only solves my CAD class’s problem but something that also saves me the cost I was being asked for that. I discussed the problem with one of my class mates, one who was well known for being a computer geek and told him all that about not willing to uninstall windows 7. Thanks to him for being so helpful, the perfect solution I was in search of came out to be “Oracle’s VM Virtual Box”, the installation and getting-to-know-it took some time but then it was worth it.
Now that all my problems are solved, I would like to share here a couple of things that helped me and may serve as a one spot solution for anyone who’s interested in creating virtual machine in windows 7, using Oracle’s VMware.
Virtualization software like Oracle’s VMware allows you to create and run multiple operating systems on the same computer at the same time. The software itself could be installed on any operating system you could think of and would allow you to run as much operating systems as you like, if there’s a constraint it’s that of space and memory, nothing else.
Steps-to-take for creating your first virtual machine
Step 1: Once the Virtual Box is installed, type virtualbox in the search panel of the start menu and click on the .exe file that appears as a result, this will open a window known as “VirtualBoxManager” window.
Step 2: Click on the “New” button at the top left corner of the “VirtualBoxManager” window and wait for the wizard to pop up. This wizard will be guiding you through the process of creating a new virtual machine.
Step 3: Give an appropriate name to your virtual machine in the field named “VM name”. Prefer informative names like “Ubuntu” over something like “My VM”.
Step 4: In the “Operating system type” field, select the operating system that you are going to install.
Step 5: Select the memory (RAM) that you want to allocate for your virtual machine. Keep in mind that the host operating system would not be able to use this part of memory while the virtual machine would be running.
Step 6: Next step would be to specify the hard disk space that you want to allocate for your virtual machine.
Step 7: To create a new disk image, in the new window that appears, click the “New” button. This would bring up a “Create New Virtual Disk” window which would help you create a disk image file in the virtual machine’s folder.
Virtual box allows you to create two types of virtual disks.
- The dynamically allocated one would be very small initially and would grow to the specified size with time, depending on how much programs are installed and how much data is stored by the guest in the virtual hard disk.
- The fixed-size file would not grow with time and would rather, occupy all the specified disk space immediately. The good thing is that since the fixed size file is going to incur less overhead, it’s going to be slightly faster than the dynamically allocated one.
I would recommend you to select here “dynamically allocated file” option.
Step 8: Click “Next”; in the new window that appears, click “Finish” and here you go, your first Virtual Machine has been created.
Steps-to-take for running your first virtual machine
Step 1: In the manager window, you would be able to see a new entry now that you have created your virtual machine, with the name that you had given to it in the “VM name” field. Double click on this entry and click the start button at the top. This will open up a new window showing the boot-up screen.
Step 2: Now that the space and memory for your virtual operating system has been allocated, it’s time to install the guest operating system itself; the virtual machine, as it is now would just behave as a computer with no operating system installed. The “First start wizard” is going to help you through the process of installation of the guest operating system.
Step 3: In the Installation media drop down, select the option that’s most appropriate in your case. I had downloaded the installation medium in the form of a .iso image; so, I just mounted it directly.
Step 4: If your .iso would have been successfully mounted, you would be able to see it in the list with others that would have been used with Virtual Box previously. Once the image file is picked, the installation would just be a Next-Next-I Agree-Next-Finish thing.