How to access files stored in Win 7 from Win XP on VirtualBox

  griffon56 12:46 03 Feb 2012

Hello All, the title says it really. How please can I get to files on Win 7 from Win XP running on a VirtualBox VM? How, too, can I share a printer between the two systems?

There's a lot on-line about installing VirtualBox and testing beta versions of software, but there's an awful lot left out on how an ordinary non-expert like me gets to run ordinary bread and butter things like old progs which will not now run on Win 7/64.

I can load these progs but not access the files which I want to run on them, like legacy drawings done 12 years ago but still resident in folders transferred to Win 7/64 from back-ups.

Your help would be appreciated.


  robin_x 13:18 03 Feb 2012

Settings/Shared Folders.

Click the +Folder (top Right to add new paths).

You may have to do this with Virtual XP shutdown and restart.

Note: Sharing folders leaves your host machine open to malware from guest machine. Install a free AV.

Guest Linux almost certainly are safe.

  griffon56 14:27 04 Feb 2012

Thanks Robin, I can't make it work yet. Will try again later when my irritation has cooled off and I've looked at it longer.


  Jollyjohn 14:59 04 Feb 2012

Have you installed Guest Additions?

Working in VirtualBox Manager, without the virtual machine running, follow the steps as above. On my set up I clicked on the arrow at the end of the box and selected other, which allowed me to browse to the folder I wanted to share.

  griffon56 14:15 10 Feb 2012

No I haven't yet Jollyjohn, I'll give it a try. The problem with nearly all software is that it takes a lot of background reading to learn it and we don't do it, especially we oldies who want it to work without any effort!


  griffon56 14:24 10 Feb 2012

The 'Settings' choice is greyed out both regard to its button and the text choice inside the 'File' menu. This is the main problem, I can't get even to square one without starting up the guest OS, which in my case is XP SP3.

With it started, the 'Settings' button is live, but you've both said that the guest OS should not be started before applying your advice. Where do I go from here? I'm going to try it with the guest OS started and see where I get.

Fumbling in the dark. R

  griffon56 17:22 13 Feb 2012

Hi Both,

Your advice now works. I installed 'Guest Additions' and 'Powered off' the guest OS before following the advice again. It worked. I had been 'Saving' the guest OS to be on the safe side, how did I know that 'powering off' might not shut down the computer as a whole?

The installation of Guest Additions was not re-assuring either. It put up several screens saying that the OS might be corrupted by the installation, which was off-putting because I do not have the knowledge to recover a bad situation. However, I ploughed on and it was OK.

Thanks for the advice, I can now use the old software I needed.


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