Virtual Box 2.2
VirtualBox for Windows is similar in functionality to the VirtualBox Mac version and it's reasonable for systems professionals, but non IT folks won't be happy
- iSCSI support, VirtualBox-installed drivers worked fine
- No drag-and-drop of files between a host and guest VM, poor USB support
VirtualBox for Windows is similar in functionality to the VirtualBox Mac version and it's reasonable for systems professionals, but non IT folks won't be happy. We were impressed by the seamless mode, but this is a free project, and it needs work.
VirtualBox for Windows was comparatively primitive, but had some interesting features. There are some show-stoppers that will prevent most from wanting to use it, however. The first problem is that there's no drag-and-drop of files/folders between a host and guest virtual machines (VM). This forces copies between host and guest through command-line interfaces. Systems professionals may not mind, but the help desk switchboard will light up if civilians try it.
USB support was horrendous. When it worked, it worked OK. Of the upsides, it's possible to run guest VMs in the background, and no matter what they are, they can be accessed via Remote Desktop Protocol. This worked for all the guests we tested. VirtualBox also has 'seamless mode,' which allows the VM to be integrated more into the desktop operating system and hides the guest VM's background for application use.
VirtualBox installed guests without special settings help that's specific to the guest operating system version, and recommends a comparatively low amount of memory (192MB for Windows XP and 384MB for Ubuntu). And although there's no dual-display support in guests, it's possible to run the VM full screen on an external monitor.
And although iSCSI support is not available in the GUI, it is available from the VBoxManage.exe command-line application. This worked well, and we were able to use an iSCSI disk as a boot device and could install a guest VM on it. We could also create guest snapshots, and restore them to XP and Ubuntu.
Running XP guests
XP ran normally, and we had no problems installing it. VirtualBox-installed drivers worked fine, although we had some problems with USB support. As an example, upon the first time connecting a USB device, VirtualBox would install a windows driver, then it would not capture this event and it would say 'not supported.' If we tried to connect the device again, the VM would freeze and we would have to kill all the VirtualBox processes and start again. This happened when the host was Windows Vista or XP.
Bluetooth, Web camera and fingerprint reader weren't recognized at first, but after rebooting the host operating system (after first having tried to connect the Bluetooth to the VM), we were able to get the XP VM to see the Bluetooth module. It was necessary to download the Bluetooth and other drivers for our hardware to make them recognised; then we were able to use them. Unfortunately, when trying to connect to the camera, XP gave an error message about too much USB bandwidth usage and was unable to show a picture. We disconnected other devices and tried again, but it never worked.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Kogan Agora 4G Pro review: the final word on Kogan's best smartphone
- 2 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 3 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 4 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 5 Lenovo ThinkPad T550 laptop
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Hackers figure out how to seize control of a car from anywhere
- Mozilla to focus on minimizing desertions to Edge with new Windows 10 Firefox
- Most Google de-listing requests are from everyday folk, leaked data shows
- Michael Dell: Dell will ship Windows 10 PCs on July 29
- Microsoft wraps up revamped Office 2016 for Mac
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCMarketing Coordinator - World's largest search engine!NSW
- CCLead Generator - Software SolutionsNSW
- FTAccount Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- CCAccount Strategist | Sales Executive | Global Search EngineNSW
- CCInternal Communications ExecutiveNSW
- FTDesktop Engineering ManagerNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager & Account ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Sales Support Representative - The Worlds largest Search Engine!NSW
- FTDevOps Consultant - Microsoft Experience - Digital ConsultancyVIC