Install Windows 11 on a VirtualBox VM
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One way to explore Windows 11 safely and without affecting your main system is by setting up Windows 11 on a VirtualBox virtual machine. In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of loading Windows 11 on a VirtualBox virtual machine.
Step 1: Install VirtualBox
If you haven't already installed VirtualBox, head to the VirtualBox website and download the installer for your operating system. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
Step 2: Create a New Virtual Machine
- Open VirtualBox and click on "New" to create a new virtual machine.
- In the "Name and operating system" window, enter a name for your virtual machine (e.g., "Windows 11").
- From the "Type" dropdown, select "Windows."
- In the "Version" dropdown, choose "Windows 11 (64-bit)."
- Click "Next."
Step 3: Allocate Memory (RAM)
In the "Memory size" window, allocate an appropriate amount of RAM for your virtual machine. Windows 11 requires at least 4 GB of RAM, but it's recommended to assign more if you have enough system resources. Typically, 4-8 GB should work well. Adjust the slider accordingly and click "Next."
Step 4: Create a Virtual Hard Disk
- Choose "Create a virtual hard disk now" and click "Create."
- In the "Hard disk file type" window, select "VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)" and click "Next."
- In the "Storage on physical hard disk" window, choose between "Dynamically allocated" or "Fixed size." "Dynamically allocated" is recommended as it allows the virtual hard disk to grow as needed, while "Fixed size" allocates the entire disk size upfront. Click "Next."
Step 5: Configure Virtual Hard Disk Size
Allocate an appropriate amount of storage space for your Windows 11 virtual machine. Windows 11 requires a minimum of 64 GB for the 64-bit version. Adjust the size as needed and click "Create."
Step 6: Configure Virtual Machine Settings
- Select your newly created virtual machine in the VirtualBox Manager.
- Click on "Settings."
- In the "Settings" window, navigate to the "System" tab. Under the "Motherboard" section, increase the "Base Memory" to at least 2 GB.
- Go to the "Processor" tab and assign multiple CPU cores if your host system has a multi-core CPU.
- In the "Display" tab, increase the "Video Memory" to 128 MB.
- Under "Storage," click on the empty optical drive and choose the Windows 11 ISO file you downloaded.
- Click "OK" to save the settings.
Step 7: Install Windows 11
- Start the virtual machine by selecting it in VirtualBox and clicking "Start."
- The Windows 11 installation process should begin. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
- When prompted, enter your Windows 11 product key, configure language and region settings, and create a user account.
Step 8: Install VirtualBox Guest Additions
(Optional but Recommended)
To enhance your virtual machine's performance and functionality, you can install VirtualBox Guest Additions. This will provide features like seamless mode, shared folders, and better graphics support. Here's how:
- In the running Windows 11 virtual machine, click on the "Devices" menu in the VirtualBox window.
- Select "Insert Guest Additions CD image."
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install the Guest Additions.
Congratulations! You've successfully loaded Windows 11 on a VirtualBox virtual machine. You can now explore the new features of Windows 11 without impacting your primary operating system. Enjoy your Windows 11 experience in a secure and isolated environment.
- Ensure you have a Windows 11 ISO file. You can download it from the official Microsoft website.
- Download and install VirtualBox if you haven't already. You can find the latest version on the VirtualBox website.
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