Instead of doing all that crazy testing stuff on your PC, VirtualBox helps creating virtual testing laboratories for all testing there is without breaking the PCs.
You even can network many virtual machines at a time as long as there is enough RAM in the PC and fully test every scenario without any mess in your PC settings.
To set up and configure such a test lab, you’ll need VirtualBox, Windows 7 ISO, and Windows Server 2008 R2 ISO installed on your computer.
So let’s set it up!
- First, install your VirtualBox with the Setup Wizard.
- When the installation is over, you are ready for creating your first virtual machine by choosing “New” in the Machine tab.
- Next, you have to enter a name and OS for your virtual machine. As you need both servers and clients, call your client Windows 7, select the Windows 7 OS on the dropdown list and click “next”.
- Now you’ll need to assign a decent memory size for your machine. The minimum available is 512MB, but you can set more based on your needs and computer characteristics. 1GB should be enough.
- At this point you need to create a hard drive for your machine, so select “Create a hard drive” and click “create”.
- Among the many virtual hard disc types presented in the next window, the VDI will do just fine for your purposes.
- Now as you have to choose between a dynamically allocated and fixed size hard drive, the latter gives a bit better performance from the HPP perspective, and you really need all performance you can get. That’s why select “Fixed size” and click “next”.
- Now set the file location and its size. It is recommended to have at least 25GB of space for Windows 7, but some 5 extra GB of space won’t hurt.
- Your machine is ready and you can start working.
- Well, not at all. You still need to make some adjustments, so go to “Machine” and select “Settings”.
- After the dialog with settings opens, switch to the Storage window and click “Empty” on the right side.
- Now you need to look further to the right, click on the CD icon and choose to insert the virtual CD/DVD into your drive.
- Finally, you need to move to “Networks” and change the settings of your network to Internal Network. Doing this is very important if you want to create such a network so that your virtual machines could communicate with each other.
- Now as you have done all of that you finally can go ahead to start your machine.
- After it’s booted it is going to be like any other installation of Windows 7. So now we proceed to some configuration.
- Open the Run box on the virtual machine by pressing the keyboard combination “Windows + R”, type ncpa.cpl and click “enter”.
- Find the network adapter icon and right click on it to open its properties.
- Select the Internet Protocol Version 4 option and click “Properties”.
- Now you should change the the radio button option and allow an assignment for a static IP address, then set it to 192.168.1.1 and the subnet mask – 255.255.255.0, clicking OK and the settings will apply. Remember that each virtual machine brought on your network needs incrementing the last IP address digit by 1 while the subnet mask is to stay the same with all virtual machines.
- Now you are able to finally ping any of your virtual machines from every other.
Voila, you have everything ready for accommodating your virtual test lab!