How About A Portable XP For Free?

excellent
key review info
  • Application: Mojopac 1.8.0.0
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by: Ionut Ilascu
application features
  • Fully portable
  • (4 more, see all...)

Portability has come to play a very important role in our lives as it allows greater mobility and flexibility to the user, roaming personal files from one computer to another with the least effort. Flash drives are fast enough for us to be content and the fact that nowadays one can install certain apps on a flash drive and use them independently from the computer only adds more value to the small contraptions.

Nowadays a greater step has been taken and new portability standards have been reached and solutions have been found for walking around with an operating system in the pocket. As unbelievable and far fetched as this may sound, it is actually possible to move with your memory stick or iPod around and, whenever you plug it into a computer, to benefit from Windows XP's functional and flexible interface.

MojoPac is the name and virtualization is the game.

MojoPac is the latest and fastest ultra-thin virtualization on top of Windows OS, allowing you to carry your own personal Windows profile with you from computer to computer, preserving applications, settings and data. The application saves the entire personal environment but, for running, it will need a host with Windows XP operating system on it to virtualize and present you the personal profile.

Needless to say that the program installs on a portable device, but the interesting part comes here, as it can be installed on any USB 2.0 compliant storage device as long as there is at least 128MB of free space available. However, for better performance there are certain devices that make MojoPac run faster (check the website for specific requirements).

Unlike other virtualization tools on the market, MojoPac needs little configuration and any type of user would successfully complete the installation. Installing the application takes very little time and resembles in some far fetched way to the installation of Windows, but it is less troublesome and there are much fewer settings to be made. The first step towards getting MojoPac on the portable device is choosing the desired drive. The application will make a brief analysis of the drives it can install on and then it will present the options. Once the portable drive is set, MojoPac analyzes the disk performance so that you know from the start what to expect when running the program (for a list of best devices MojoPac works with, check developer's website).

Next, the software will install on the drive and, depending on the compatibility and performance of the device, the process may take a while. For security reasons you will have to define a username and a password that logs you into the virtual system, although all the data you install in the virtual environment can be tampered with by accessing the portable device without logging into your MojoPac profile.

Immediately after the installation of the application, MojoPac permits the user to copy files and folders from the host PC into the Mojo environment, borrow favorites and homepage, history and cookies from Internet Explorer as well as from Mozila Firefox. You will be given a graph with the amount of MojoPac disk usage and the free space remaining after all the data is copied. You have to know that data copying is available at each injection of the MojoPac device into the computer. Actually, the options available are Login, Data Copy and Upgrade.

With all the settings and preparations over, you are ready to use your MojoPac device as if you were running a portable copy of Windows XP. As much as many of us would like, MojoPac does not provide a genuine portable copy of Windows, but it brings the next best thing: virtualization. The truth is that a part of the host's Windows will be put to use to MojoPac's advantage. Thus it needs only a small amount of data, as much of it is borrowed from the host.

Just like any virtualization software, MojoPac also allows the user switching between the Mojo environment and the host's with the utmost ease. The Mojo bar in the upper part of the screen allows for a comfortable toggling between the two environments, with just a click of the mouse. The bar is part of the host's desktop by default, but you can make it dockable by pressing the minimize button. This way it will become visible only when you take your mouse to the upper end of the screen.

MojoPac does a wonderful virtualization and whatever is installed in the Mojo environment stays in MojoPac and does not affect the host system in any way. You can install any software on your portable device and roam from computer to computer and still be able to enjoy that program as if you had a portable operating system. When running them, they will use the resources of the host computer MojoPac runs on but preserves all user specific settings within MojoPac environment.

If the host operating system is connected to peripheral devices such as printers or scanners, these will be available from MojoPac without having to be reconfigured, because the application actually virtualizes the operating system rather then the hardware. The moment the MojoPac device is ejected from the machine, there will be absolutely no trace of it as it takes all the settings and programs upon ejection. Every action done in the virtualized environment stays there and does not affect the host in any way.

The end effects of MojoPac virtual environment consist in being able to make portable any application and use it on different physical XP machines at the same performance as the host permits. It is similar to taking your computer and all the applications installed on it with you.

The Good

Virtualization does not take long and a couple of minutes are all you need to log into your MojoPac. The user can use the new virtual desktop by installing different applications and these will behave as if installed on a real machine.

At each login you have the possibility of adding data from the host machine to the virtual environment and, the moment MojoPac is ejected from the computer, there will be no trace of it in the host.

The application is extremely easy to install and works with almost any portable storage device: USB keys, portable hard drives, iPods, etc.

The Bad

All the items available on the MojoPac device can be accessed with absolutely no restriction so even if you are not logged into the environment these can be tampered with.

There is no support for Vista yet as it works only with XP (Home and Pro, SP1 and SP2 and Media Center Edition). Also, if the host computer is not logged in with administrative rights you will have to install MojoPac Usher in order to make MojoPac work with a limited mode host.

The Truth

Despite all listed baddies, the application is truly impressing as it accomplishes a very much desired dream: full portability of any application. It is still a work in progress but the stage it has reached right now represents a promise of further development and improvement.

MojoPac works like a charm and successfully virtualizes Windows XP desktop, borrowing vital files from the host in order to use them in virtual environment. However, it separates the two desktops and there is no interference between the two as all the settings remain in the environment they have been made into and do not transgress.

All in all, the application is definitely worth trying, especially now that it is absolutely free of charge.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 5
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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