Microsoft Virtual PC

30 pts.
Microsoft Windows XP
Virtual PC
Virtual PC 2007
Windows XP Professional
I have installed Virtual PC on my XP Pro system. My questions relates to security. 1. Do I need to install my virus protection software, firewall software and other security software on the virtual machine or is the virtual machine automatically protected by the main (host) computers security software? 2. Also, if somehow the virtual machine becomes infected, can that infection spread to the main (host) computer? Thanks, BM

Answer Wiki

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1. The virtual machine is a new machine, which could communicate with other computers on the network or connect to the internet, and it has to have its own security software installed.

2. The VM can access the host disk <b>if you configure shared folders</b>, so, a virus could be able to infect files on the host file system. Also, if the VM becomes infected, it could spread the infection to the host and other computers, through the network.


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  • Bmail
    Carlosdl: Thanks for the response. If I understand your answer...I will have to install, separate from the host computer, the same security software on the VM. This brings me to a legal question...wouldn't I have to purchase a separate license for each security software I want to install on the VM, even though it is running under the host computer?
    30 pointsBadges:
  • Schmidtw
    You will find that often times consumer AV providers offer licenses for 1-3 non commercial machines. Check with your AV provider. -Schmidtw
    11,330 pointsBadges:
  • carlosdl
    Yes, you will have to install security software on the VM. About the lincenses, that depends on the license of the particular software you use. For license purposes, the Virtual Machine is another machine.
    85,865 pointsBadges:
  • Kevin Beaver
    Definitely check your existing license(s) for your host system before you buy anything new. Like Schmidtw says, you often get a license for multiple machines when you purchase anti-virus software, etc. Make sure you harden that Windows installation just like any other system and keep your patches current as well.
    27,550 pointsBadges:
  • Bmail
    Thanks to all for your help and advise. Virtual PC is up and running well with full security protection.
    30 pointsBadges:
  • jinteik
    if your VM is just for testing, just install AVG...
    18,995 pointsBadges:
  • Hlx
    Also a great place for the free MS Security Essentials.

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