Install Windows XP into VMWare Player

Prerequisites

  • VMWare player - get it here.
  • A copy of windows XP and the product key
  • About an hour of your time, depending on how much RAM you can allocate to the VM.

General discussion

Virtual machines (VM) can be used to test software that you may not want to install immediately on to your main machine. Software can be thoroughly tested and, if it meets your expectations or needs, then you can install for real. If the software does not meet your needs, or if there are conflicts or issues, then you can discard the VM and no harm is done to your main machine.

Another use for a VM is to test new operating systems. If you want to try out a new product, or a different flavour of Linux, then a VM is the way to go. There is really no need these days for dual boot systems for OS testing purposes. Try the OS out and if you like it then install onto a real computer. If not, blow the VM away and no damage is done.

The main reason I personally use VMs is for web development. I can fully replicate the environment of my hosting service on a desktop computer and avoid annoying lag times waiting for files to transfer over the net. Once the site is finished I transfer the whole site in one go. For big jobs, each client gets their own virtual machine. That way I have a complete working backup of their entire site. I have made a tutorial regarding how to set up this type of environment. You can view it here.