2008/09/04

VirtualBox: Installing Windows XP vs Windows 98

I wanted to set up a virtual machine running Windows 98 just to securely run some suspicious executables but I ended up installing a Windows XP virtual machine.

It seems imposible to install Windows 98 because when the installation is almost finished, Windows ask for some files from source C: that it needs to install in destination C: (!). First, I thought this confussion was due to the image file I was using a the source for the Windows 98 cd, so I burned the image into a CD and tried to install from it, but the same problem persisted. And even if I could change the source drive by typing "D:" Windows 98 couldn't find the files it needed there, so I gave up on 98 and decided to install XP.

Installing Windows XP was actually easier because I didn't need to use a bootable diskette (image) to run the installer, as was the case for 98, but I still had to solve a couple of issues along the way.

First, upon clicking on VirtualBox menu option to install the Windows Guest Additions, the program seemed to do nothing. Actually, it had silently mounted the Guest Additions CD, so I could start the installation clicking on the drive in Explorer.

Secondly, after setting up a couple of Sharing Folders, they didn't show up in My Network Places nor they could be reached by typing \\servername\sharename Explorer's address bar, so along they way I learned that my version of VirtualBox 1.6.4, was actually old by now, so after uninstalling the Guest Additions, I installed VirtualBox 1.6.6.

Now with version 1.6.6 of VirtualBox running, installing the Windows Guest Additions went as it is meant to be, upon clicking in the install option a message poped up to give the OK for starting the installation.

But the Sharing Folders were still missing from my Network Places, so I researched a bit and found the solution: open a command line window and type "net use e: \\vboxsvr\sharename". "e:" is the drive letter you want to mount the share into. Note that instead of "vboxsvr" could have to type "vboxsrv"; to check which one to use, hover your mouse over the shared folder blue icon in the virtual machine window lower right corner.

And yes, after trying that fucking keygen, Explorer crashed everytime I tried to open it. But I had took a snapshot of the virtual machine before trying that thing, so I could get rid of this bug easily.