After installing Windows 7 RC, and new Virtual PC that comes as an upgrade, I was a little bit confused, and surprised. As I wrote in my previous post about my first impressions about new Virtual PC, Microsoft has decided to fully integrate Windows Virtual PC in Windows 7, which proves Microsoft’s strategy to have virtualization everywhere (Virtualization 360). I am happy because of that, because I think this decision will help many to see all the benefits of virtualization (and that’s why I’m running this blog ). To help my readers with their first installation of operating system in Virtual PC environment, I wrote this tutorial. Enjoy.
OK, let’s start. First, I suppose you have Windows 7 RC downloaded and installed. If not, go to Windows 7 RC download page, download it and install. After that, go to Windows Virtual PC download page, and download upgrade for Windows 7 that contains Virtual PC. If you want, download Windows XP Mode, which is virtual XP operating system (it is free). After installation, you’ll see 2 more links in your Start menu, Virtual Machines and Virtual XP. When you open Virtual Machines, you’ll see only Windows XP virtual machine, but now I’m gonna show you how to create new one. In the Virtual Machines windows, click Create Virtual Machine. In first window, you have to specify a name and location for new virtual machine . When you’re done, click on Next. Now, we have to specify the amount of memory that we want to assign to virtual machine. This is your choice, decide based on the total amount of memory that your computer has and needs for your virtual operating system. Also, leave Use computer network connections selected, unless you don’t want to have your virtual machine completely isolated. Next, we need to add a virtual hard disk. This disk is nothing but simple file with .vhd extension, which will act as hard this for our virtual OS. There are few types of virtual hard disk, for our example we will use dynamically expanding virtual hard disk. After this, we have almost everything ready. Now you have new virtual OS in your Virtual Machines list, double click on it to start it. This is new in Virtual PC for Windows 7, because you still haven’t told Virtual PC which disk to use as installation media for virtual OS. You can do it if you click on Tools -> Settings ->DVD Drive. Now you can select ISO file to use as installation disk, or to use physical drive. After selecting, hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete to restart and your installation will start.
This is just a simple tutorial which demostrates you how easy is to use new Virtual PC for Windows 7, and how to create and run your first virtual machine. There are also some things that you should be aware off:
- Virtual PC for Windows 7 RC will only work if you have hardware assisted virtualization. I still don’t know how to use it if you don’t have Intel VT or AMD-V processor.
- Virtual PC still doesn’t support x64 guest operating systems.
- Help is very limited, I expect to see full help file in RTM version.
Have fun with playing with your virtual machine(s) .