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Stop Testing Software on Your PC: Use Virtual Machine Snapshots Instead

Discussion in 'Windows - Software discussion' started by ireland, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

    Nov 28, 2002
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    Stop Testing Software on Your PC: Use Virtual Machine Snapshots Instead

    We’ve long railed against registry cleaners and system tuners as useless products that waste your money, but how do you go about cleaning up after uninstalling shady freeware? Answer: You don’t. You avoid installing nonsense on your PC to begin with by testing everything in a virtual machine first. Snapshots just make it easier.

    It’s been a long time since the days when you could just test out lots of freeware on your computer without worry — these days almost all freeware is bundled with spyware, crapware, adware, or the ninth circle of hell, which includes things like the awful Ask Toolbar or the terrible Trovi browser hijacker malware. That’s why we almost never recommend software downloads unless they are from a really reputable place like SysInternals (Microsoft), Ninite, or NirSoft.

    Every other download site is either wrapping crapware-filled freeware with their own crapware, or they are just distributing installers full of crapware. Some of them will only bundle the crapware if you are using Internet Explorer — so you think you’re recommending a clean source to your family because you’re using Chrome, only to help them get infected because they are still on IE. Even open-source software isn’t safe from the awful — SourceForge now bundles some pretty terrible crapware with a lot of their downloads, and that’s just the “safe” sources.

    But you can still get all of your freeware testing fun without worrying about malware problems. Just install it into a virtual machine instead. That’s what we do.

    What You Should Know About Virtual Machine Software
    When it comes to virtual machine software, there are a lot of choices, but not all of them provide a way to make it easy to test software and then roll back to a clean state in a couple of seconds. Sure, you could always reinstall Windows over and over, but who wants to do that?



    Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4, 2.6 and 3.x), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  2. 2oldGeek

    2oldGeek Active member

    Jun 16, 2005
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    I use VirtualBox sometimes, great program. I normally use Acronis True Image "Try and decide" feature to test software and Deepfreeze to bulletproof my computer when I'm not around.. hehe, grandkids!

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