Virtual Machine Downloads

Virtual PC FAQ


Question: I want to upgrade my trial version to the full version of VPC, can I keep all my VMs?

Answer: Yes.  Uninstalling the full or trial version of VPC will not delete the VMs.  To keep the VPC List populated with your existing VMs simply:

  1. Copy the VM shortcuts from C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\Virtual PC\Virtual Machines to a temp location
  2. Uninstall the trial version
  3. Install the full version
  4. Launch VPC, then exit (this creates the necessary directories )
  5. Copy the VM Shortcuts from step 1 back to the same location

Note: This also works when moving to a new machine.  Of course, the path of the VMs on the new machine needs to match the path on the old machine for the copied shortcuts to work correctly. ( in PDF )

Question: I’ve just created a new VM and when I click Start Up, I get the message "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device", what’s wrong?

Answer: This is the expected behavior. After you create a VM in the PC List, you need to install an operating system. The New PC Wizard creates a virtual PC with an empty hard disk. A VM in Virtual PC behaves the same way as a real computer would with a blank hard drive.


Question: I just finished installing Windows NT or Windows 2000 and I cannot press CTRL+ALT+DEL to log into Windows. When I press CTRL+ALT+DEL, it locks the host PC.

Answer: To send a CTRL+ALT+DEL to a VM, press the hostkey+DEL. By default, the hostkey is defined as the right ALT key.


Question: I’ve installed an operating system in Virtual PC, but I can’t get the network card and video drivers installed for the video card I have installed in my physical computer?

Answer: Virtual PC emulates all the hardware of a VM. The VM cannot ‘see’ any hardware installed in the host PC. See the VPC Help for a detailed list of the hardware emulated by Virtual PC. Even though you may have an ATI or nVidia video card installed in the host PC, the VM has an S3 Trio64 video card.


Question: My mouse has been ‘captured’ by the VM OS window and I can't get it out of the VM's window. How to I get it back out?

Answer: To release the mouse from the VM, press the hostkey. By default, the hostkey is defined as the right ALT key. If you are using Windows 95-XP, you can install the Virtual PC Additions which will allow the mouse to pass freely between the host and VMs.


Question: When I click Install/Update Additions for my Linux VM, nothing happens?

Answer: The Install/Update Additions will only work with Windows 95 through Windows XP.


Question: Does Virtual PC emulate Windows?

Answer: No, Virtual PC emulates an Intel-based PC from the BIOS to video card. This allows Virtual PC to run most x86-based operating systems.


Question: Can I run Mac OS 9 or OS X in Virtual PC?

Answer: No, Virtual PC emulates an Intel-based PC which is not compatible with Mac OS and the PowerPC architecture required to run it.


Question: Can I load my host video drivers into a VM?

Answer: No, the guest does not “see” the video card as a native device. Installing your own video card drivers into the guest OS will not work.


Question: How do I install multiple operating systems?

Answer: Just create PC configurations with the "New PC" button in the Virtual PC window. Follow the prompts to set up the parameters for that machine, including what OS you intend to install. From there, start up the virtual machine and install the OS onto this new virtual machine. You may install as many operating systems as you have disk space for without partitioning your hard disk.


Question: How do I run multiple operating systems? Can I do so simultaneously?

Answer: Just double-click on the appropriate thumbnail in the Virtual PC window.  The hard-coded limit is 32.  A more likely limit to concurrent VMs will be CPU processing power and RAM constraints.


Question: What is a VHD?

Answer: A VHD is a virtual hard drive.  A VHD is a single file which stores a VM's operating system and all of its applications and other data. The VHD makes up the "C" drive that the virtual machine uses to load its operating environment.


Question: Can I support all of the peripherals on a VM (parallel port printer, Zip drive, SCSI devices, scanners, tape backup, etc.)?

Answer: In general, most COM port and parallel devices (printers, modems, etc.) are compatible with Virtual PC. USB keyboards and mice are recognized, but USB devices that require the installation of their own USB drivers (Zip disks, scanners, etc.) are not recognized by Virtual PC. However, a Zip disk can be used as a shared medium between the host and the guest by using the Folder Sharing feature.