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Harleytriage
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how to safely open an ova file for viewing

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HP Slim Desktop S01-pF1016S
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

HP Slim Desktop  SO1-pF1016S.   I need to open an ova file and the sender recommends downloading Virtual Box to do so. Is the necessary/safe? If not, what do you recommend.  OS Windows 10 64 bit

Thanks,

HarleyTriage

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itsmyname
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@Harleytriage --- The .ova file extension is attached to files that contain descriptions of a virtual machine. .ova files are usually package files and they contain the descriptions, certification information as well as other information regarding the virtual machine.

 

Is that what you expected? 

The contents of the file _might_ contain malicious software.

Can you ask the person who sent the file to you?

Did you download the file from the Internet?

 

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Harleytriage
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Hi, Thanks for the reply.

I did download the .ova file. The sender suggested Virtual Box to open it - did not supply if safe.

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itsmyname
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@Harleytriage --  The sender suggested Virtual Box to open it - did not supply if safe

 

If I really had a good reason to open the file, I would:

  1. Take a "spare" computer, and add-in a "spare" disk-drive;
  2. On your main computer, copy the ".ova" file to an empty USB memory-stick;
  3. Also on your main computer, download the Virtual Box software to the same memory-stick
  4. Disconnect the "spare" computer from the Internet;
  5. install Windows 10 onto it;
  6. During the installation, click "I do not have a product-key". For this procedure, an "unactivated" copy of Windows 10 will work fine.
  7. Connect the USB memory-stick to the "spare" computer.
  8. Install Virtual Box;
  9. Launch Virtual Box;
  10. Configure a Virtual Machine;
  11. Load that ".ova" into the Virtual Machine;
  12. Launch that virtual operating system.
  13. Observe the running V.M.;
  14. If there is anything "good", copy the file(s) to the USB memory-stick.

If there is anything "bad", then just disconnect the AC power-cord from the computer, to forcibly "kill" Windows, the Virtual Box app, and the V.M. that was running.

 

If you copy anything from the V.M. to the memory-stick, be sure to virus-scan the memory-stick, as you connect it to your "main" computer.

 

P.S. Use the camera in your smart-phone to take pictures, before launching the V.M. and after launching that ".ova" file.

 

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