Run a Virtual PC on Your Desktop Using Microsoft Virtual PC 2007Freeware, Windows Vista Guides Add comments
In this guest post, Mike Sherwood explains how to run Operating systems virtually inside another operating system.
Virtualization is an up-an-coming technique that many companies are using to better use their resources. Most servers can only run one program at a time, causing most companies to have as many servers as programs they need to run. To solve this, creating a virtual machine on a machine saves money and uses the available resources to capacity. You can use this technology to your advantage to run a “Virtual PC” right on your desktop, for whatever reason you have. One of the best parts about this program is the ability to run a different operating system in a window right on your desktop. (I needed to run programs for work that are only compatible with XP, while running Vista on my computer) And best of all, it’s free! I’ll show you how.
Download MS Virtual PC 2007
- Go to Download Microsoft Virtual PC 2007.
- Choose the correct version for your operating system: 32- or 64-bit. (They’re at the bottom of the page)
- Click the “Download” button, and select “Save”.
- Save it to the desktop.
Install MS Virtual PC 2007
- Double click on the extension you saved on the desktop.
- Follow the instructions for a clean install.
- Disregard the warnings about “supported operating systems,” I have Windows Vista Home Premium and it works just fine.
Create a Virtual PC
When the installation is complete, it will either prompt you to create a Virtual PC or you will have to start-up the program and do it manually. If you need to do it manually:
- Start-up MS Virtual PC 2007
- When the “Virtual PC Console” window is open, click “File” and “New Virtual Machine Wizard.”
- Select “Create a Virtual Machine” and click “Next”.
- Name your new virtual computer. I try to stick to OS names to distinguish if they are running different operating systems. Click “Next”.
- Select the operating system the virtual PC will run on, and click “Next”. This will pre-select configurations for its “hardware,” but this can be changed later.
- On the next screen, select “Adjusting the RAM,” and click “Next”. This way you can choose how much of your RAM you want the virtual PC to use. It usually runs 128 MB, but if you don’t want your virtual PC to creep along, I would let it use more. My XP virtual PC uses 512 MB (1/4 of my total RAM).
- On the next screen, select “A new virtual hard disk” to create a new virtual hard drive using your existing hard drive space. It automatically partitions it for you. Click “Next”.
- Select where you want your virtual hard disk file to be saved, and choose how large you want the virtual hard disk to be. (Remember, 1000 MB=1 GB) Click “Next”.
- Click “Finish”. You’ve just created a virtual machine!
Install an Operating System Using a Boot Disk
Here comes the hard part. In order for the virtual machine to run, it needs an operating system. In order to install an operating system, you need a boot disk. The virtual PC CAN use existing virtual drives, so I installed XP using an .iso file mounted in Alcohol 120%. You can also use your computer’s physical drive if you have a physical boot disk. While the virtual machine is starting up, click on “CD”, then “Use physical drive” with the letter drive you would like to use for the boot-up. It should recognize the boot disk, and just follow the instructions to install the OS!
So there you have it, your own personal Virtual PC right on your desktop. Now have fun running XP on a Vista desktop!
Windows XP Running in Windows Vista
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September 30th, 2008 at 10:16 am
I was using VPC until I came across VirtualBox http://virtualbox.org/
Much, much better then VPC and it’s also free. My Vista guest runs alot faster under VB then it does under VPC. Also VB supports USB devices.
The learning curve for VB is a little longer then VPC but that’s because it does so much more.
Give it a try.
October 2nd, 2008 at 10:59 am
Which dock do you use? Looks great.
October 2nd, 2008 at 10:02 pm
Thanks Uwe! It’s just StarDock’s ObjectDock, which you can link to from this site (just search for ObjectDock). I’ve also modded some of the default icons with some icon packs you can get here. My favorite parts are my permanent docklets for my portable HD, my USB drive and my iPod. I used one of MintyWhite’s guides to assign a permanent drive letter for each of them, and then I can right-click on the dock to eject or modify or whatnot and not need a taskbar or go into My Computer.
October 3rd, 2008 at 4:03 pm
I just remembered another important use for Virtual PCs. I’m not sure if it works or not (I haven’t tried it thank goodness), but if you ever need to open an unsafe file that may contain a virus, if it infects anything it will be the virtual PC and not your actual computer.