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Virtual Machine USB Boot 1.51

Boot virtual machines from a USB key

by Mike Williams

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License: Open Source
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 05 February 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 3540
Developer: DavidB
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Virtual Machine USB Boot
Boot virtual machines from a USB key

Virtual Machine USB Boot is a portable tool which makes it easy to boot a virtual machine - VirtualBox or QEMU - from a USB key.

Setup is simple. We clicked "Add", entered a name for our project, chose the VirtualBox VM to be launched (these were automatically detected and presented in a list), and the USB drive to boot from. That's all you need to do, although there are other tweaks available - alternative load methods, run minimized/ full screen options, CPU priority choices - for anyone interested.

Every boot item you create is added to a list. Double-click one and it dismounts the USB key from your PC, adjusts the VM's settings to include it, then launches the VM for you.

This worked perfectly for us. We double-clicked our test entry, the VM appeared and booted from our USB key. The key wasn't then available to our host operating system - you can access it from one system, or the other, not both at the same time - but once we closed the VM, Virtual Machine USB Boot mounted the key and we were able to use it again.

Running Virtual Machine USB Boot doesn't affect your regular VirtualBox installation, either, because it restores the original VM settings when it's done.

There are a few VM configuration issues which might cause problems. Virtual Machine USB Boot tries to add your key to the first available port in the VirtualBox storage controller, for example, but this will fail if there's no port available. Fortunately pop-up alerts warn you of the issues, and if you do run into problems then they'll probably be simple to fix.

Verdict:

There are ways to manually set up a VM so that it boots from USB, but they're awkward, to put it politely. Virtual Machine USB Boot is much more straightforward, so simple that beginners will have it working in seconds, yet also super-configurable for anyone who needs some fine-tuning.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.18.102

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

What's New in Version 2.18.102 

• Introducing stickers! You can now download and send expressive stickers in chats. Tap the new "sticker" icon while in a chat to get started. You can also tap the "+" icon to download more sticker packs. If you'd like to create your own stickers for WhatsApp, visit whatsapp.com/stickers to get started.
• You can now easily search for GIFs right from within a chat. Just tap the "sticker" icon in a chat and then tap the "GIF" icon at the bottom.
• Consecutive Voice Messages will now play in sequence, so you don't have to press play on each message.

[...]
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