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When you install a new operating system, it will overwrite the existing one and thus make the process irreversible. VirtualBox, an aptly name free and open-source program, aims to solve this through virtualization. The process takes an operating system and installs it within the current operation system, creating a sandbox environment where one exists within the confines of the other. You may use this to try out Linux on a Windows setup, or emulate Windows software on a Linux/Mac setup. Then there’s the age old issue of getting legacy software that works only on older systems (XP comes to mind) to function on Vista/7, which can be solved by installing the older OS right inside the one you are currently using. Still, you should be aware that the proper activation key are needed to install a proprietary OS as well as a med-high end system to smooth facilitate virtulization (at least a dual-core).

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