Free Microsoft Virtual Machines for Testing

Blog Post created by mjc on Feb 27, 2012


I am often asked how security professionals and students can safely test security software. My usual response is, they should create a virtual lab with diverse operating systems for testing. The problem that many encounter is they don't have licenses available to install the operating systems.


During my creating and testing the Metasploit Javascript Keylogger, I came across free virtual machines from Microsoft that are sure to be useful to security professionals, web designers, and web programmers. Microsoft provides Windows Virtual PC VHDs to allow us to test different Internet Explorer versions.




I was able to use the virtual machines to test browsers such as IE6, IE7, IE8, and IE9 with the keylogger. Microsoft allows you to download Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 virtual machines. The interesting piece is these virtual machines are usually vulnerable to new Microsoft related exploits.


You need to download Microsoft Virtual PC to run the virtual machines.



You can also use these images to test Nexpose or Metasploit.


As always, Hack Responsibly.