Windows on a Mac - Virtualbox (Techie Post)

Okay...I like my MacBook Pro, although there is a lot that I will need to learn about using it effectively. Anyhow, the need for having a Windows environment on Mac had me look at Parallels, VMWare Fusion & Virtual Box (Free for personal use).

After some research, I figured I might start with VirtualBox to get a sense of what would the experience be like. VBox is a SUN virtual machine that is available for free.

I have been using Virtual PC for a few years & am pretty happy with it on Windows. However, VBox is supposed to have the ability to use a Virtual PC image (.VHD file). Apparently, the latest VBOX version 2.10 has this feature broken, but the older 2.06 works with .VHDs.

After some back & forth copying of .VHDs, I was able to use them with VBox, but it would give me a registry error every time I started it (something like 'The registry is corrupted & was restored from a log').

I searched & found that I can convert my Virtual PC image (a .VHD file) to a VBox image (a .VDI file). Unfortunately, after many trials using the vboxmanage convert utility & QEMU, it just did not work.

I figured since I will be using Windows on a Mac on a pretty regular basis, I might as well create a fresh fault free VBox native environment. So, I ended up installing Windows Server 2003 on a VBox image, allocated it 20 GB diskspace & 2 GB RAM (My MacBook has 4 GB) & it works like a charm.

It has MS Expression Studio (Adobe CS4 type MSFT version), Visual Studio 2008, Adobe Flex Builder & SQL Server Express Edition for now, but it runs faster than my actual Windows machine.

Summary: VirtualBox is a good product, if you would like to start afresh (Atleast for now).