Installing Windows XP SP3 on a VirtualBox

Watch the video or follow the tutorial.

In this tutorial we will install Windows XP SP3 on a VirtualBox virtual machine. Please note that this process is valid for any OS.

First of all go to the VirtualBox Download page and click on the Windows Hosts link. Note that the word host refers to the computer that you are about to install VirtualBox on, so if you are not using windows then click the link relevant to your particular OS.

Click Windows Hosts or which ever link is relevant to your OS.

Press Save File

Wait...Once complete start the installer by double-clicking on the downloaded file.

Press Next

Unless you have a specific reason for changing anything, leave it as it is and press Next

Select whatever suits you and press Next

The install of VirtualBox will interrupt any downloads or such like that are currently active while it installs the VirtualBox Network Adapter. If you have any active downloads it might be best to wait until they are finished. When it is OK to install press Yes

When ready hit Install and if asked enter the admin password for your computer


Once complete press Finish. i always uncheck the start VirtualBox checkbox because I run a standard windows account and have to enter an admin password when I install applications. If i let the installer start the application it will open it under the admin account not the standard user account that I use, so I uncheck the box and start it from the start menu shortcuts. When ready start VirtualBox

If you had a previous version of VirtualBox installed it might ask you to upgrade the extension pack, you should do this right now but please note you will have to start VirtualBox under an admin account to do this.

Takes a few minutes....

Press Install

Press Upgrade


Press OK and if need be go back to running VirtualBox under your standard user account

If unsure press cancel otherwise press Delete, it doesn't matter to be honest

As you can see I already have a couple of VirtualBoxes installed, one of which is XP but we will install another from scratch to see how it works. Press New

Choose a name for your new VirtualBox, if you include the OS name in it VirtualBox is clever enough to fill in the rest, if not select as above and press Next

I recommend using half of your install RAM in my case thats 4096 MB, press Next

Select "Create a virtual hard disk now" and press Create

If you have a reason to select VHD or VMDK then do so otherwise choose VDI, press Next

Dynamically Allocated is the best option and means that the disk image will start off big enough to hold the files that are installed on it and it will grow as more files are added, press Next

I like 50 to 100 Gig for my VirtualBox hard drives but choose whatever you like. I would say a minimum is 20 for an XP SP3 installation. Press Create.

The VirtualBox is now ready to be configure, press Settings

The only thing in General I change is on the Advanced tab: shared clipboard and Drag 'n' Drop to Bi-directional and thats all move onto System

On the Motherboard tab I change the Boot Order to include Optical and Hard Disk only and in that order, moving onto the Processor tab

On the Processor tab I set the Execution Cap to 90% and all other options I leave as they are.

The default options are fine on the Acceleration tab

Of the three tabs in the Display Settings I leave everything as the default since I find that changing these settings in particular makes the VirtualBox unstable. I have never got the 2D or 3D acceleration to work so I always leave them off.

In the Storage settings click the left hand CD icon and set the options as above, clicking the right hand CD icon will allow you to link the VirtualBox's DVD drive with a particular DVD drive on the host machine. Choose the one that will hold the XP CD or disk image, on my machine that is the F drive. Click Passthrough as well

If you need Audio then leave the default settings, if you don't then disable it like I have.

Default settings are fine for Network, everything seems to work fine as they are.

Serial Ports I don't need so I leave the settings as they are

I generally leave the USB settings as they are but if for some reason you need a USB 3.0 controller then here is where you select it.

Click the blue folder icon to the right and select, if you want a shared folder on your host computer, this is useful to send files to and from the VirtualBox from the Host machine.

Don't worry about the user interface just press OK to finish the settings

Enter the XP CD or disk image into the drive you select in the Storage settings, make sure the newly created XP VirtualBox is selected and press Start

The Windows XP installation will start, press Enter

Press F8

If you require any special disk partitioning then press C and do what you like, otherwise press Enter

Choose quick format and press Enter

Once formatted Windows will then begin to install itself


Windows will reboot, when prompted to "Press Any Key to Boot From CD", do nothing


Go into all options and change the locale to your country and when finished press Next

Type anything that you like and press Next

Enter your product key and press Next

I like to name my computers after ideas, people and places from Arnold Schwarzenegger films but you can name it whatever you want, type an admin password for the Administrator account and press Next

Set to whatever you need and press Next


Typical settings is fine for a VirtualBox, press Next

Leave as is and press Next


Wait some more....

And wait a little more....

Once complete Windows will reboot, again ignore it if it asks to boot from CD

Hit OK

Hit OK

Press Next

I like to configure Windows Update via Group Policy so I select Not Right Now and press Next

This step isn't necessary so I hit Skip

No we do not want to register with Microsoft, press Next

Fill in as many names as you like, there has to be at least one and press Next

Press Finish

That's us pretty much done but there is one more thing to do.

Go to the Devices tab and select "Install Guest Additions CD Image".

Press Next

Press Next

Don't check the Direct3D Support box, leave everything as it is and press Install


Press Finish to Reboot the VirtualBox

And there you go Windows XP SP3 is now installed on a VirtualBox and it should be noted that this process is the same for any other OS you might want to install. thank you for watching and enjoy.