- Extract the RAR files. On OSX use UnRarX: http://www.unrarx.com/ At least with UnRarX, it will still work despite the first RAR file being a self-extracting .exe file which, obviously, can only run on Windows. You may have to open the multi-part archive using the second file, it will still work.
- Install VirtualBox from https://www.virtualbox.org/
Inside of VirtualBox, create a new virtual machine using the wizard. Make sure to choose the appropriate OS (for example Windows 7) and give it enough memory (the default 512MB is definitely not enough). Also, we're using 32-bit OS only. The important part is to select the .vhd file you extracted from the .rar files as an existing hard drive.
- Do not run the virtual machine yet. It won't work, because it's designed only to work with Microsoft Virtual PC. To make it compatible, click "settings" in VirtualBox to change some things:
- On the system tab, check Enable IO APIC. This is necessary to get your mouse to work (I think).
- On the storage tab, remove your VHD from the "SATA Controller" list. Then add the same VHD file back, only under the "IDE Controller" tab. The VHD is expecting an IDE controller, and you'll get a BSOD if you don't do this step.
Under the network tab, change "attached to" from "NAT" to "Bridged Adapter". This is necessary to be able to access a webserver running on your local machine, that is outside of the VM. (You don't need to do this if you just want to access websites in general). Start the Virtual Machine.
- You'll notice the mouse doesn't work. We'll get to that. For now, the Tab key and Alt+Tab are your friends.
Log in with either the "IE User" or the "Admin" account. The password is "Password1".
- It will ask you to activate. Ignore for now.
- In VirtualBox, go to the "Devices" menu in your OS menu bar and click "Install Guest Additions...".
- In Windows, launch Explorer somehow. Easiest way is the "run" command (try Windows Key + R) and type "explorer".
From within explorer, use Tab and Enter and arrow keys to navigate to the inserted CD. Select the "Autorun" file and hit "Enter" to run it.
- You are now installing guest additions. During the process, you'll need to Alt+Tab to the new prompt window to hit enter every time you need to confirm something.
- Once guest additions is installed, use the start menu to restart the virtual machine. Once it restarts, your mouse should now work inside the virtual machine, hooray!
- It will ask you again to activate. Try to activate online. If it works without asking you for a product number, awesome. If it asks you for a product number, hit cancel, open up a command prompt (run "cmd"), and type the following:
- Open up IE. It should be able to browse the Internet. But it will not open up sites on nonstandard ports, so browsing to your own site at something like
- If you find yourself Cmd+Tabbing between the Virtual Machine and the rest of your programs, you may find that every time you Cmd+Tab back to the Virtual Machine, it opens up the windows menu. This can get real annoying real fast, because it removes focus from whatever you were working on. You can disable the "Windows key" inside of the VM from this Microsoft webpage:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/216893 Obviously, this will disable any windows key shortcuts, but that's probably fine. Remember, normal shortcuts like Ctrl+V etc use the Ctrl key on the Mac keyboard, not the Cmd key.
Since the WinXP is just a single exe file, UnrarX cannot extract it. Any idea to fix this besides extracting it on a Windows computer?
Edit: There is no "Rar!" in Windows_XP_IE6.exe :(
I'm not sure why MS wants to make buying Windows without a PC so expensive. I suppose they feel that locking us into PC hardware (that won't run MacOS, thanks to Apple's lock-in policies) is the best way to lock us into Windows. For me, someone who uses Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android for different things, it all just drives me toward a policy of trying to find ways to get by without MS and Apple as much as I reasonably can. A $39 "Windows for VMs" package would keep my foot in the Windows world, but lacking Apple's (current) hardware quality advantage, MS is the easiest to learn to do without entirely.
You could be right, and I could be wrong, though....