VirtualBox NIC for WinXP, Win7, and WinPE

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I’ve been using VirtualBox lately for doing some lightweight virtualization to test various deployments.  Most recently, I was using it to test USMT hardlink migration in going from WinXP to Win7.  So after a quick setup of a WinXP test VM and installing the VM additions, I found that the network drivers were not present in WinPE.  So I added the network drivers into WinPE (in SCCM) and updated the SCCM distribution points.  The NIC still didn’t work in the VM.  So I used a different NIC that worked WinPE and Win7, but it didn’t work with WinXP even though the VM additions were installed (I don’t understand why the drivers are not included!).

Anyhow, if you need to use VirtualBox for the same kind of testing, I recommend configuring your VM as follows:

  1. Create your WinXP VM
  2. Configure the VM to use Bridged network and emulate the Intel MT Desktop device
  3. Configure the VM to auto mount a shared drive on the host computer (for quick access to files)
  4. Download the NIC drivers from Intel online to that shared folder
  5. Install the NIC drivers on the WinXP VM.

Now you have a VM that works with WinXP, Win7, and WinPE!