Virtual PC 2004 tips

I'm working with Microsoft's Virtual PC 2004 again. Since the last time I discussed VPC, Microsoft released the essential Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1, which addresses a lot of outstanding issues, particularly compatibility with SP2 and newer AMD/Intel processors.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

This transcript of a Microsoft support webcast, “Troubleshooting common problems in Microsoft Virtual PC 2004” is also a good read. Lots of great “why we did it that way” background too:

You should give a try to VMWare. They are longer on the market (IIRC) and their workstation product is visibly faster, not to mention that it works on Linux too (I have never used it on Linux though).

I agree with Drazen Dotlic. VMWare IS better. I can’t see any advantage in VirtualPC. Also, I think there are more up to date articles as the one you mentioned here (, since this one is talking about VMWare Workstation 3.0 where 5.0 beta ( is already available! I haven’t tried 5.0 yet, but 4.0 is already much better. There is also the “VMware Virtual Machine Importer” available that lets you convert your VirtualPC to VMWare.

Yes, but VMWare costs real money. VirtualPC is “free” with MSDN Universal.

Therefore VirtualPC VMWare, at least for the purposes of this particular organization. Did I mention there were layoffs yesterday?

You’re kidding! I’ve installed Windows XP and Windows 2003 on Virtual PC. On my computer it never took 2 hours. I’d guess it was about ten to fifteen minutes more than an normal install.

Here’s a blog entry with some more VPC resources

Great same-pc VPC networking tips:

VMWare products cannot be installed on a domain controller. Is this true or am I missing something?

It is unfortunate that I need a whole another computer just to run VMWare occasionally.

MS Virtual PC is a typical, early version Microsoft product - not worth much. I am installing Suse Personal Edition 9.0 and it will take over 2 hours. VMWare installs Suse in about 35 minutes. I have not tried MSVPC with an ISO image, but that is the next path I’ll take. Stick with VMWare until Microsoft markets a good version of this product. Even then, VMWare will likely be a better choice for all of us.

Related on Great same-pc VPC networking tips

This is for Windows only. What about VPC’2 on Linux?


i just tested ‘parallels workstation’ and it is way faster then either VPC or VMware, allthow with slightly less features :confused:

Parallels is a good, inexpensive choice; they’re the ones that just released vm software for Intel Macs. I posted an interview with them a while back:

Virtual PC 2007 is shaping up to be a much more mature product. I’d recommend participating in the beta tests to help shape this application into the solution you desire.

I’m crying, sobbing in fact.

I thought I had found the solution to being able to play Tie Fighter and Freespace2 again using VirtualPC to run a Windows98 VM.

The installation was incredibly fast for me, half of what speed it normally takes Win98 to install natively.

But I didn’t know about video emulation not being even Direct3D accelerated.

sobbing uncontrollably

So close, and yet so far…

When using VPC04 SP1 and installing Linux, it’s a known problem that the keystrokes for the pipe-symbol and redirection ( and ) don’t work, but there is a hotfix from Microsoft:

(it costs me hours trying loadkeys and kernel-recompiles in the vpc-Linux - and i blamed the distributors, but after installing the hotfix all went fine)

I highly, highly recommend switching to Virtual PC 2007. It has a zillion of these kinds of bug fixes. As of this writing, it is in beta, but it still works much better than 2004 sp1 for me:

I have used MS VPC for about half year now.

Today I regret haven chosen yet another MS product because for some reason, today, my carefully constructed VPC has ceased functioning. It won’t boot anymore. It just brings up a black screen, that is all it will do now.

Any which way this means that MS has managed to steal a lot of time by releasing a product that is just not good: I have to create a new OS using VMWare or stick with VPS and try desp. to salvage my data.
Needless to say I have also lost a lot of valuable data.

MS rules again.

used to own an s3 trio card and s3 virge many years ago

if game does not run set it to software mode in config under graphic options

worms 2
mechwarrior 2

all work in vm2007 under win95

How about VirtualBox? It not only supports more OS choices (like VMWare), but it’s free just like VPC… Only real limitations I know of right now are no 64-bit guest OS support and there’s issues with OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and NetBSD hosts.

I currently have it installed on Vista x64 SP1 and run Fedora, FreeDOS, OpenSolaris, openSuSE, ReactOS, and Solaris under it.

Just had to post after seeing this thread… I have been using VMWare since 3.0 and have never had a problem!! I have 4.5 installed on a dual processor P3 with 2 gigs of ram running a full domain (Server 2k3 ent - dc1, server 2k3 stand - dc2) replicating ad with 2 host machines incuding 2 external laptops connected thru a lan’ed access point. DC2 has radius on it for authentication. From what i have seen from the Microsoft VM, this is not possible at all. Besides the drive management and video processin being better on VMWare (and only gettin better with current releases), look at the memory management and customizable nic settings for vlans, nat, bridged, etc… VMWare workstation cannot be installed, but i believe the GSX version can be, not recommended though. Put it on a standalone attached to the domain and promote a vm to a dc. VMWare is just a much better vpc platform. (why should VirtualPC be any different than any other product microsoft bought out and slapped their name on?)