Running the checked version of Windows under Virtual PC

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When I was working at Connectix it was occasionally reported that the checked version of Windows XP would not run under Virtual PC (Driver developers use the checked build of Microsoft Windows to identify and diagnose operating-system-level problems - you can find more details here: but we never really had the time to investigate this.  When we were acquired by Microsoft we did finally get around to looking into this issue.

It turned out that the checked build of Windows was recognizing our emulated motherboard as a problematic device and displaying a blue screen immediately on boot.  The solution to this was to change one string in our emulated motherboard to make it report itself as an "Intel 440BX Rev.2." motherboard instead of just an "Intel 440BX" - and the checked build was now happy.  Apparently the original revision of these motherboards had a number of bugs which affected driver developers - none of which were in our emulated version.


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  • Wow, I can't believe its that simple!

    Does this fix also work for Virtual Server?
  • That's so cool!

    Whatever downside there may have been in Microsoft buying the code, the upside is that MS can throw more resources at it. Finding that the fix is trivial is just gravy.

    Is this fix in SP1 or do you know when it will make its way into customer hands?

  • This fix is in both Virtual PC SP1 and Virtual Server today.

  • It is possible to install VM Additions into a checked build but it is not safe to try using most of them. About the only VM Addition that works and is convenient is automatic capturing and releasing of the mouse cursor when it moves in and out of the virtual screen.

    NAT fails, the clipboard isn't shared, and any attempt to share a folder from the host causes the checked guest to hang.

    Some things in the checked build fail by themselves even before trying to install VM Additions. In these cases I don't know if it's due to the checked build itself or interaction with the emulated environment. To find the answer to this I'd have to find a suitable real machine to put a checked build on.


    Interesting site. Can you inform them that Windows XP SP2 has been released (including a checked build).
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Running the checked version of Windows under Virtual PC