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Installing Virtual PC 2007

Written by IT News on 4:41 AM

Virtual PC 2007 gives you an easy and cost-efficient way of consolidating multiple operating systems and legacy applications on to a single computer. Instead of using a dedicated computer for every OS and application you require, you can install them on a single computer within virtual machines. You can switch between the virtual machines as though you are switching between applications.

In this article, I will outline the hardware and software requirements for installing Virtual PC 2007. I will then discuss how to install Virtual PC 2007 on Windows XP Professional.

System requirements

The computer that you are installing Virtual PC on (also referred to as the host computer) must meet a set of minimum hardware and software requirements. The minimum hardware requirements include:

  • 400 MHz process with L2 cache (1 GHz is recommended)
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Super VGA or higher
  • Keyboard and mouse (or other pointing device)

You can install Virtual PC 2007 on any of the following host OSs:

  • Microsoft Vista Business
  • Microsoft Vista Enterprise
  • Microsoft Vista Ultimate
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft XP Tablet PC Edition

Disk space and memory requirements vary depending on the guest OS. The table below outlines the disk and memory requirements.

Guest OS

Minimum memory

Minimum hard-disk space

Windows 98

64 MB

500 MB

Windows ME

96 MB

2 GB

Windows 2000 Professional

96 MB

2 GB

Windows XP Home

128 MB

2 GB

Windows XP Professional

128 MB

2 GB

Windows Vista Business

512 MB

15 GB

Windows Vista Enterprise

512 MB

15 GB

Windows Vista Ultimate

512 MB

15 GB


64 MB

500 MB

Remember, these values represent the minimum requirements to run the guest OS. You also need to take into account the memory required to run the host OS.

Obtaining Virtual PC 2007

Unlike the previous version of Virtual PC, you can download and install Virtual PC 2007 at no cost. You can get a copy directly from Microsoft's Web site. Press the Download button beside the version you want to download. From the Security Warning dialog box, press Save and choose the location where you want the executable saved.

Once you have downloaded the setup file, you can proceed with the installation steps I describe in this article.

Installing Virtual PC 2007

There are two different scenarios for installing Virtual PC 2007. You can proceed with a new installation or, if you are running Virtual PC 2004, you can upgrade directly to the latest version.

Performing a clean installation

Assuming that your computer meets all the hardware and software requirements outlined earlier, you can continue with the installation steps. Complete the steps I describe below if you are installing Virtual PC 2007 on a computer that is not running Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack SP1.

  1. Locate the Virtual PC 2007 set up file. Double-click setup.exe to launch the Setup wizard.
  2. Press Run if you receive the security warning.
  3. Press Next when the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 wizard appears.
  4. Accept the terms in the license agreement and press Next.
  5. Enter your customer information, as shown in Figure A. Choose whether to install the application for anyone who logs onto the computer (default) or for the current user only. Press Next.
  6. Set up installs the application to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual PC. Press the Change button to select a different location, as shown in Figure B.
  7. Press Install.
  8. Press Finish.

Figure A

Enter your customer information. Choose whom to install the application for.

Figure B

Use the Change button to select a different location for the installation.

Upgrading to Virtual PC 2007

If you need to upgrade an existing version of Virtual PC, you can follow the steps described in the previous section for performing a clean installation. The main difference is that you must first complete these preliminary tasks to prepare the computer for the upgrade:

  • Turn off all virtual machines
  • Perform a backup of all Virtual PC files
    • Virtual PC configuration file (options.xml)
    • Virtual machine configuration (.vmc) files
    • Virtual hard disk (.vhd) files
    • Undo disk (.vud) files

You can now proceed with the numbered steps described in the section above.

You cannot upgrade from Virtual PC 2004 to Virtual PC 2007. You must uninstall Virtual PC 2004 and proceed with performing a clean installation of Virtual PC 2007.

Virtualization in a few steps

As you can see, there are minimal requirements your computer must meet before implementing Virtual PC 2007. Your main concern is making sure your computer is equipped with sufficient hardware to run both the host and guest OSs.

If your computer meets all the hardware and software requirements, you can move on to the installation. The process is very straightforward with a wizard to walk you through the setup.

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