VirtualBox from Oracle is an amazing and free application if you like testing different operating systems without messing up your original operating system or Master Boot Record (MBR). VirtualBox allows you to virtually install operating systems and do all kinds of risky experiments, because if you mess up, you won’t hurt your computer.
VirtualBox is also useful if you like to test operating systems before their final release. For example, Windows 8 beta was released recently. If you want to try it out without making any change to your MBR, you can simply download the iso file and install it inside your current operating system. It’s just another window on your desktop that starts up a whole new operating system of your choice.
However, most people want to connect their host hard disk drives to the guest operating system. For your information, the host OS is the operating system you’re actually using, while the Guest OS refers to the OS virtually installed inside VirtualBox. When you install an operating system in VirtualBox, you can’t connect to your hard disk drives right off the bat.
That’s why we wrote up this tutorial. For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ve used Windows 7 as the host operating system and Windows XP as the guest OS. Let’s begin.