Windows XP SP1 unpatched is vulnerable to exploits and penetration testing, you will need to search the internet to find and outdated version or dig up an old XP CD-ROM, after you install do not update.
Remember you are not going to be using this VM for work it’s a test machine for learning about exploits and vulnerabilities, if you update the OS then you will not be able to use it for testing. As an extra precaution, you could disable the internet or set the network to internal.
Virtual Box is a free open source virtual machine application that allows you to create several virtual machines that can be run on your PC, it's a great way to try out a new operating system without the need to dual boot, you can create clones once you have set up your machine, if something goes wrong you can delete the VM and clone a new one.
Download Virtual Box you should also download the VirtualBox Extension Pack from the same page.
Although you can create several VMs, you should be aware there will be a limit on the number of VM’s you can run at a time, this will depend on the amount of resources you have available on your main PC.
The more memory and CPU’s you can use for your VM will determine how fast your VM will run. On an I7 with 16 Gb of memory, you could run 4 VMs, each VM using 1 CPU and 2 Gb of memory.
Setup Windows XP VM
These videos will guide you through creating your Windows XP virtual machine using Virtual Box:
After XP finishes installing it will reboot, you can now install the guest additions to enable drag and drop from your host machine to the VM.
Please note Windows XP is no longer supported, however, it can be used for testing!
Please check out my other video tutorials in the Virtual Box series: