How to Create a Virtual Sandbox

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A virtual sandbox is useful in a number of situations. If you are testing new software or analyzing viruses but don't want them to have access to your main system hard drive, a virtual sandbox will keep your data safe. Also, you can use a virtual sandbox to run a second operating system to test your software in different configurations. When creating a virtual sandbox you will need to decide whether you want to isolate specific applications or the entire operating system.

Things You'll Need

  • Operating system install disc

Virtual Application Sandbox

  • Download the "Sandboxie" application (see Resources). Choose a location to save the file to your hard drive, and double-click to install it.

  • Click the Start button and click "All Programs," then "Sandboxie" and "Sanboxie Control" to launch the program.

  • Click "Sandbox" in the toolbar at the top of the window and choose "Run Any Program" then choose the virtual sandbox you wish to open the program in.

  • Type the name of the program you wish to open or click the "Browse" button to choose the program in your file browser. The program will launch inside a virtual sandbox.

Virtual Operating System Sandbox

  • Download the "VirtualBox" application (see Resources). Choose a location to save the file to your hard drive, and double-click to install it.

  • Click the Start button and choose "Programs" and "VirtualBox" to open the program.

  • Click "New" at the top left of the window to create a new virtual machine. Follow the onscreen prompts to choose a name, operating system and other options associated with the virtual machine.

  • Follow the onscreen prompts to select a location and size for the virtual hard disk. Choose enough space for the operating system and any programs you plan to install. Click "Finish" to finish creating the virtual machine. You will return to the main screen.

  • Double-click the entry for the virtual machine you just created to open it. Select an installation medium, and insert your operating system install disc and select "Host drive."

  • Follow the onscreen prompts to install the operating system. Once the operating system is installed, your virtual machine will run as if it is a separate computer with its own hard drive.

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