VirtualBox – Repair Tool of the Week

VirtualBox is a free virtualization product which allows you to run another operating from within your current one. While this is technically not a “repair tool”, it is very useful to computer technicians for testing and training purposes. For example, I used virtualization software to create a Windows XP virtual machine and infected it with a virus so I could show Technibble readers via video how to manually remove a virus. Once I was done creating the video I rolled back the virtual machine state and it was a fresh copy of Windows XP again. I also use a virtual machine to test all of the Repair Tools of the Week I recommend.

Computer Technicians can do the same and break or infect an operating system to learn how to fix it without the concerns of damaging live operating systems. VirtualBox is one of the easiest virtualisation software to use since all you really have to do is install the software, press New and follow through the prompts such as what OS you want to install and how much hard drive space you want to give it. You can tell it to use your real CDRom drive to load an operating system on it or you can even mount an ISO which will emulate a CDRom disk.

If you want to learn how to remove viruses, fix certain problems, experiment with other operating systems such as Linux without the fear of messing up your current operating system, this is a great way to do it and increase your skillset.



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Bryce Whitty

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Bryce Whitty
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Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (18)

  • I agree with Bryce, VirtualBox is the bomb! Make sure to have enough HOST space to accommodate ‘boxes’, but when you do, it is a valuable asset. For instance, I have the following boxes; Windows7, Unbutu, WinXpSP3, SBS2003, and specific client machines that allow me to test software and updates before beta testing on my client. I highly recommend it….

  • Heath says:

    It is quite a useful too, i use it to create a small domain to work with as a learn new things in the server environment.

  • Virtualbox is terrific. I have no idea how it will fare under the new Oracle regime, but it is as close to point-and-click virtualization as you can get.

  • Majestic says:

    Isn’t virtualbox the same thing as vmware?


  • Bryce W says:

    Majestic, it is similar as they are both virtualisation software, however VirtualBox is much MUCH more user friendly.

  • Matthew Sgherzi says:

    I just roamed the Internet this week and found VirtualBox (my virtual machine alternative thread that everyone came to love).

    I like how simple it is. Better yet, I love that it’s freeware AND open source. I see many improvements coming to this software in the future as it’s easy to use even for someone who may not know what they’re doing in terms of virtualization. Great add, Bryce.

  • Matthew Sgherzi says:

    I also agree that VirtualBox is WAY more user-friendly than VMWare is. I speak from experience when I say that you may need to read the user guide or FAQ when attempting to use VMWare.

  • Brian says:

    I love this program. I use it a lot.

  • Majestic says:

    ahhh yes I installed it and I have to admit the user interface is a lot more friendly. i think I may switch over to it.

    Thanks Bryce

  • cesar says:

    I did some virus test on a windows 7 VM using VirtualBox.
    But use it with caution when testing viruses running VB on a Windows enviroment.

  • Ron says:

    I’ve used Virtual Box for quite some time now. It’s a great piece of software.

  • Gabe says:

    If all you need testing is on windows guests though, virtual pc seems lighter/faster, no? Especially now that you can easily mount VHDs in win7, and it now supports usb.

    I dunno, I never really liked VirtualBox for some reason. First it was the bugs, then the install process… maybe I oughta try it again (HAvent checked the latest version).

  • Mike says:

    This is just the Coolest Software IMO for Testing and Training.


  • I think more people will use it for evil than for good ;). And by that I mean that probably it’s going to be a favourite tool for people writing viruses and trojans.

  • Antonio says:

    I just downloaded this. I cannot wait to setup a domain. Thanks

  • dennis says:

    VirtualBox is what I currently use. Also used VMware before, but switched to VBox because it is much lighter and I like the user interface. I just wish both can run OSX.

  • RUBYROSE says:

    I’m new to this..Do you need to have an OS Key?
    or does the download come with a virtual os ?

  • Gideon says:

    Very nice and useible app – however I still battle infecting a virtual machine without harming my physical machine…