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Setting up a Virtual Machine


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#1 ClearlyTrying

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:30 PM

Hello,

 

Looking for suggestion on a malware-free, reliable Virtual Machine program to use. and a quick basic steps on how to use it if possible. Would like to start doing Online Banking and other information that uses my personal information on a more secure way. 

 

If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! 

 

Regards,

ClearlyTrying


Edited by hamluis, 12 February 2017 - 09:52 AM.
Moved from Internal Hardware to All Other Appslications to VMs - Hamluis.


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#2 jonstonx64

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:41 PM

I would recommend VirtualBox 4.2.12 for Windows (I'm assuming you're running Windows) https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads. The other Virtual Machines have been known to have problems with instances of Linux. Not all the time, but I'm just saying they have been known to. Install the virtual machine onto your computer. You will be prompted on how much RAM and disk space you want to allocate to the virtual instance you install on the virtual machine (Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu, etc.) . I'm not sure the RAM specifications, but I recommend allocating at least 2GB RAM when installing a virtual instance of Windows. You could get by with 1GB if it's XP or Ubuntu. I also recommend at least 30GB of disk space (I usually allocate 50GB) just to be on the safe side. Everything is pretty straightfoward as far as installing it, but those are the specifications I go by.


Edited by jonstonx64, 27 April 2013 - 08:43 PM.


#3 smax013

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:07 PM

You might look at SandboxIE: http://www.sandboxie.com/

 

If you want a more traditional VM, then there is VirtualBox, VMWare, and Parallels.  Each will allow you to setup a virtual machine running a number of different OSs.  If you are worried about malware, etc, then you may want to setup a Linux VM...less chance in general of malware, etc and certainly less chance of something coming from your main system setup (which I assume is Windows).

 

The other option would be a runtime version of Linux that you boot and run off a optical disc (DVD/CD).  In theory, since the optical disc will not be able to be written to, it should be more secure.



#4 ClearlyTrying

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:55 PM

Thanks for the input!! I am running Win 7 Ult. right now.

 

After I choose a VM; Do I need a cd-key/activation key if I want to run Windows. (I don't think I will run Windows, just curious; I like the idea of running Linux) 

 

Also, if I choose to use a Linux VM; When I use it, how is it different then using my pc? Does it hide your IP, location? Or just make it so you are unable to download malware?

 

 

Last question!, I am using BitLocker to encrypt my system. I use a cd-rom, usb, dvd-rom as my key as the 'password'. Considering I use Bitlocker with full disk encryption, will that interfere with dual boot/ using a VM?

 

Sorry for all the questions, or if they don't make sense. Trying to get a grasp/understanding.

Kindest Regards,

ClearlyTrying



#5 smax013

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:12 PM

Thanks for the input!! I am running Win 7 Ult. right now.
 
After I choose a VM; Do I need a cd-key/activation key if I want to run Windows. (I don't think I will run Windows, just curious; I like the idea of running Linux)


If you want to run Windows, then yes, you will need an activation key. I am pretty sure that you will need a separate Windows license (it has been a while since I read the Windows EULA, so I don't recall if there is any provision that might make it "legal" to run your existing license of Windows "twice"...once on the primary system and also in the VM...but I pretty sure, aka 99%, sure you cannot). This is the other reason to look at using a version of Linux.
 

Also, if I choose to use a Linux VM; When I use it, how is it different then using my pc? Does it hide your IP, location? Or just make it so you are unable to download malware?


It is just a different OS. It is not necessarily more or less secure than Windows (I don't mean to start a debate...although I suspect some might see it as an invitation to debate relative security of the different OSs). The one definite way is that it is secure is that most malware, virus, Trojans, etc are Windows based. Thus, any such Windows malware will NOT affect Linux.

Now, Linux is still susceptible to things like Java vulnerabilities or website tracking by way of cookies, etc. So, if you are using this VM for sensitive stuff, then you still need to practice "safe computing" habits.
 
 

Last question!, I am using BitLocker to encrypt my system. I use a cd-rom, usb, dvd-rom as my key as the 'password'. Considering I use Bitlocker with full disk encryption, will that interfere with dual boot/ using a VM?
 
Sorry for all the questions, or if they don't make sense. Trying to get a grasp/understanding.
Kindest Regards,
ClearlyTrying


BitLocker will not effect anything. A VM is not really a "dual boot" situation. You are running your VM WITHIN your primary OS. So, with a VM, you would boot into Windows normally. Once you are fully booted into Windows, you then start your VM program (Parallels, VMWare, VirtualBox, etc) and then start the actual VM OS that you have setup. That VM OS will then be running in a window (nominally speaking...some VM programs have ways to make it so it is not a pure window experience) within your regular Windows...just like if you run Word or some browser.

Now, I will note that if you are REALLY paranoid and worried about malware that might have some sort of keystroke capture function (i.e. a keylogger), then I don't believe that a VM running inside of Windows will help in that situation. Since you are still booting into Windows and then running the VM OS, the keylogger will likely still be able to record your keystrokes as you enter your passwords to banking, etc websites. This is why it might be worth considering using a "runtime" bootable Linux DVD/CD. Since you never boot into Windows, any malware (including keyloggers) should be a non-issue.

The other option is get a cheap second device that you use ONLY your sensitive stuff...maybe a Chromebook.

#6 ClearlyTrying

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 11:21 PM

Thanks smax. I really appreciate the info!I think I understand now.  :thumbup2:






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