Instructables
Picture of Virtual Machine for Free
Have you ever wanted to built a virtual machine?  Perhaps you have a reason or just want to be able to say you can. Maybe you want to because it is faster than switching between partitions or you do not want to buy Parallels software? Whatever your reason creating one has never been easier.

Download the software from: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

Once it is installed all you need is a complete operating system on something like a DVD or flash drive and the fun begins.
 
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Step 1: Creating Your Virtual Machine

After the installation completes open up VirtualBox and click "new"

Select your operating system and version.

Choose the amount of RAM (while you can go over stay within the green).

Select make a new hard disk with a fixed size, keep in mind that the operating system will use up a portion of it so make the minimum size around 20GB. You will however want to create a fixed size as it will allow everything to run faster. I would suggest not making it more than 1/3 of your total hard drive because you will not be able to change it or use it for OS X, without first deleting the entire virtual machine.

First, though, a box will come up asking you about the type of file you want for the virtual disk. Just leave it at VDI.

The hard drive will then be created. Now insert you disk/flash drive with the OS and hit “start” on the top bar. From this point on the screen that comes up will act and function like a normal computer. Image that you are installing the OS for the first time.

Step 2: Install Windows

Picture of Install Windows
At this point you have started the virtual machine and inserted your OS DVD/Flashdrive, etc. What the program will do is treat the Windows, Linux, or other software like a brand new computer and install it. Follow the steps like you would do for any other computer and after some waiting everything will be up and running. 
does this software allow you to switch back and forth between your normal desktop and the virtual machine easily? can you share files between them?
Hammock Boy (author)  amandaghassaei1 year ago
There is a folder created on your hard drive by virtual box that contains all of the dekstop, documents, photos etc. folders that a mac/windows computer has. Generally it is better to access the files from there instead of dragging back multiple copies of the same file from your desktop to the virtual desktop because you run into issues with keeping everything up to date.