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Q: Caring and Feeding your VM

  • What do I need to do with a Windows Virtual Machine to keep it up to date?
  • I use a Windows VM only occasionally, what are best practices to maintaining the VM?


  • A Virtual Machine is just like having an extra computer and you need to periodically "power it up" to apply updates and patch software.


In order to keep your VM safe and secure, you should do the following things.


  • Make sure any data stored in your VM is backed up. We recommend not storing data in virtual machines if it can be avoided.


  • Apply all Windows Updates - Start -> Run -> type in "windows update" and apply available updates
  • Update your AntiVirus Definitions - right click on VirusScan shield in System Tray and select Update Now
  • Run automatic updates for software like Adobe Reader - launch the application and from the Help menu select Check for Updates or similar options.

Bi-Annually (Every 6 Months)

  • Check for major software updates for your applications such as VirusScan & VPN.
  • (Windows 7) Renew your Activation
    If you are accessing your VM from the campus network (wired or wireless) this will happen automatically. If you are using the VM from off campus then you will need to VPN to MIT in order to Activate. If you Activation has expired you can force a new activation attempt from the System Control Panel in the Windows activation section at the bottom.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

December 14, 2020

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