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How to use Virtual PC with Windows 7

Create virtual machines, run Windows XP applications

Article comments

Step 5: Install Additions

Before you can do anything interesting you have to install a set of addons that allow Virtual PC to do things like share folders, share the clipboard and drag and drop things between the VM window and the host OS. You have to install them separately, using the VM window, not the Virtual PC Console.

Go to the Menu bar of the VM and click Action, then pull down to Install or Update Virtual Machine Additions. It will pop up a window asking you to confirm, and then disappear as if you were kidding.

To actually run the installer, which the VM believes is either a CD or an ISO file, go to the Start button, then choose Run and navigate to what would normally be the CD drive, where you'll find the Additions ISO. Open the folder appropriate to your host OS and run the application inside. Then reboot the VM.

Step 6: Load Applications

Like most things virtual, loading applications or accessing data on the host machine is like walking across a transparent bridge. Once you know it's there, it's simple. Until you do, you're stuck.

The bridge in this case is the Shared Folder. Just as with two physically separate machines, you can exchange data or applications through a Shared Folder that both have permission to use.

Create one from the VM window. Click on Edit in the menu bar, pull down to Settings and look for the Shared Folders icon toward the bottom. Choose it, navigate to a folder on the host machine that you can use to move documents or application setup files between your real and virtual machines, and click OK.

The shared folder becomes a network drive for the VM. To launch applications, click on Start, Run, and browse to the "network drive" Z:\ , which retains the name of the folder itself. Then just launch the setup for the new application.

That's it. You're done. Well, almost.

Step 7: Stay Safe

Don't forget to install all the security updates for the new OS and install whatever antivirus or other security software you have on the host OS. The VM has to route all its traffic through your (presumably) secured host OS, but that doesn't mean a ZIP file or other potential threat won't get through and launch on the VM.

A few more warnings and tips from Steve Bass of the useful and amusing TechBite newsletter.

* If you defrag your hard drive, exclude the humungous swap file the virtual PC creates (check Options in your defragger), or it will take forever to complete.

* Some virtual PC software, including VMWare's, let you save multiple versions on your machine. Each can gobble gigabytes, however. Keep an eye on available disk space, especially on a notebook.

* Running Win7, XP and Linux on the same machine at the same time is cool, but unless your system is a monster, you'll spend more time waiting than computing.

* Finished with XP Mode or your Virtual PC for now? Shut it down to free up system resources for the rest of your work.

And another couple of warnings, from Bob Arnson, who works for Microsoft on its App-V team, but blogs as his own geek.

* When you launch a VM it still needs an operating system and applications, which take time to set up the first time around. You can clone your main OS with tools such as Acronis True Image, but it still takes time to do the install. Once you have the image, though, taking one VM down and launching another is much faster than reinstalling an OS or application on real hardware.

* The VM isn't a real machine, but it uses a real OS, for which you need a licence. And if you want to connect a cloned OS to a domain, you have to use a tool like SysReq software distribution utility.


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ProtectandAccess said: Virtual Machine is avery good concept I have tried it in Windows xp and Windows 7 both But sorryto say i was fail But i will try again after reading this post Thank yourman

Quantumpcsupport said: Great tips for windowsusers People who wanted virtual pc in windows 7 will be happy to know thatthey could it now

Brian Davison said: Im upgrading to Win 7 but have lots of stuff I use daily in the past I have left the old drive in the machine booted inot the new OS whatn I have time to install stuff and the old to do actual work until ready to swapcan I do the same thing only in a virtual machine run win7 and the apps I ahve installed with my old XP setup for stuff I have not got installed in 7 yetI would not want the old stuff integrated yet - a complete virtual old machine using the space of the old hard driveWhen Im ready I would then remove the old drive and set up XP mode in its normal guise for the few 16 bit apps I have left And keep the old drive ready to boot in case of troubleIs this possibleIs windows virtual machine or VMware the best choice for a full disc image of an exisiting installation

Epp Brandon said: the programs that i try to run on virtual pc say its not supported by virtual pc is there anyway around this

Adam Taemur said: Since I have W7HP I need to run it in compactibility view

ChizK said: I found the initial reason for my failure although I have automatic updates Service Pack 1 was not installled --- ensure you do this firstNB this caused me a lot of problems After downloading hundreds of megabytes it did not install After retrying it did not install After rebooting and going through a VERY worrying period of the machine looking like it had crashed during off and on and then retrying it eventually installedSo I could run VPC and get it to add a Virtual Machine The next bit is the installation TIP you can use the WINXP Mode executable file to get WIN XP Service Pack 3 although it is unlicensedAfter reading a post in mydigitallifeinfo I installed 7-zip and used this to extract all the files from the XP Mode installation executable This extracted a directory called Sources A file within this directory called xpm can also be uncompressed providing the virtual hard disk called VirtualXPVHDNOTE add the vhd extension to this file and move if you wishYou can now run Virtual PC and chose Create Virtual MachineThis looks like you only have an option to create a new machine but following screens allow you to select an existing virtual hard disk you can use the same directory as that containing the vhd file you just extracted as the Location in the initial screenOnce the virtual machine is running you will go through the Win XP installation process resulting in an unregistered trial installationNOTE - this installation is OEM and will only register OEM keyssome imaginitive people can deal with that a question of morals

ChizK said: Sorry Im afraid your comment is misleading to those who have Home Premium on a machine without hardware virtualisation as I do and have just tried to installThis will NOT workeventhough the instructions above say that it will Virtual PC will work on chips that dont have those hooks but not wellI know I just wasted my time after reading this guideI installed VPC without any problems It installed vmwindowexe ver 61760016393 which states Windows Virtual PC cannot start because this computer does not support hardware-assisted virtualization when Create Virtual Machine is selectedNB I did not install XP mode as the guide above suggests that it is only compulsory for Professional Ultimate or Enterprise If this was a major ommision please reply I assume not as the instructions are only in regard to the installation of VPC Once youve downloaded the installation package launch it and follow instructions

Wendy said: Thank you so much for this guide It worked perfectly for me on my HP DV6 64 bit notebook running Windows 7 Premium I was so disappointed when I discovered that Windows 7 Premium was not compatable with my old DOS based software I use for my genealogy research Thought Id have to keep my old notebook running to use it but not now thanks to this guide Excellent Microsoft has failed again for its customers

jack said: I am using both XP as well as windows 7 Both are good but I still love to work on xp

alf ipititimus said: or just install a dual boot system which wont drain system resources as you still have to install the extra OS anyway

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