In many situations, it is helpful to back up and archive your desktop virtual machines. You have spent a great deal of care creating these desktop virtual machines, and you never know when they might be useful again. The easiest way to archive your virtual machine is to use a product called WinRAR to accomplish this task. You can download WinRAR by following the link or by clicking the download button.

In this example, we will archive a Sun Java Desktop System. We will begin by browsing to the folder that contains the Sun Java Desktop System virtual machine files. Next, right-click on the folder that contains the files and choose Add to Archive, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Archiving a virtual machine

On the Compression Method drop-down menu, choose a compression method, and on the split to volume bytes, choose 650 if you are planning to burn to CD-ROM or 3,500,000,000 (you can choose higher, but I like to play it safe) if you plan to burn to DVD. By choosing to split your files, you are able to archive to CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. Once you have chosen your options, click OK. Figure B shows the archiving process in action.

Figure B

Archiving in progress

Once WinRAR finishes creating the archive, you can burn it to CD-ROM or DVD-ROM and store it for safekeeping.