Multi-monitor fullscreen mode compatibility with Virtual PC 2007

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Just wanted to take some time to highlight a minor feature of Virtual PC 2007.  With Virtual PC 2004 we heard a lot of feedback from users running on multi-monitor systems that wanted to be able to keep a virtual machine in fullscreen mode on one monitor while working with the host operating system on the other monitor.  This was not possible with Virtual PC 2004 (whenever you took focus off the virtual machine, it would minimize) but is now possible with Virtual PC 2007.  Enjoy!


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  • I Usually connect to running vpc's using the remote desktop as I am under the impression that this is faster.

  • That's brilliant! I always wanted support for full-screen on a second monitor!

  • It's working great so far - no matter what monitor the fullscreen resides on.

  • VPC 2007 still struggles from an extrememly poor user experience.  Why on earth do I have to do so many things manually and seperately?

    Being forced to dig through the help files is just awful.  Installing a guest OS should be so much simpler.  Instead, it's broken up into a completely seperate step that is very confusing.  I have to drag something onto a CD or floppy symbol at the bottom of the window?  Ridiculous.  The wizard that creates a new virtual machine should walk me through everything, including installing a new OS.  KEEP IT SIMPLE.

    A usability expert really needs to get their hands on this product and streamline the workflow.  It's a struggle.

  • This is great... Definitely makes for a much-improved experience of working with a virtual machine.

  • That's a great improvement! Will we ever be able to use multiple monitors for a single VPC instance?

  • Dan Maltes:

    Perhaps the wizard could offer to take you a bit further, but I don't think it's unreasonable to assume a person interested in using Virtual PCs... um... knows something about setting up PCs.  I find mounting an ISO is a lot easier than digging through my CD cases for an OS installation CD. :)

  • Yes, the improved full screen is great.  I have bug that I'm trying to find all the edges on that keeps my VPC from expanding to maximum full screen-ness tho.  It just stays the same res intead with a big black border.

    @Dan Maltes: You want it to wipe yer butt too?  It creates the VMC and VHD files.  Installing stuff on it is YOUR responsibility.  Though most people don't know it, there are HUNDREDS (if not more) of OSes that you can install.  Asking the VPC team to custom install each OS for you isn't just absurd, it would probably violate any number of copyright and reverse engineering laws.

    It just creates the basic empty machine for you and lets you go from there.  This is pretty much the experience you get when you build a machine from scratch, so there is nothing "extra" or "Absurd" about it.

  • Working great thanks. Not to sound ungrateful, but how long until VPC supports multiple monitors for the client OS?

  • Dan Maltes -

    I actually agree with your assessment of the new virtual machine wizard.  We've been doing a lot of usability analysis of this area for the upcoming Windows Virtualization release.  However, due to the need to balance resources we decided to not make significant user interface changes to Virtual PC for this release.

    Nick Pearce -

    We have no immediate plans for this, but if you are running Vista inside the virtual machine you can connect via remote desktop and use the '/SPAN' parameter to get a multi monitor desktop.



  • Ben

    Thanks a lot, I'll try /SPAN. Another reason to move to Vista. I know tools such as MaxiVista can help too.

    Let me also elaborate on the need for multi-displays in VPC. Platforms such as SharePoint can only run on W2K3. When I want to use XP or Vista as my primary OS, VPC is the ideal tool to support a W2K3 development environment. I find that for serious development, going back to one monitor from 2 or 3 feels so primitive!

    Thanks for the work-around. Keep up the good work.



  • Is this a feature that must be enabled?  When I run a VM in full-screen mode, it still minimizes when accessing the host OS...

  • I certainly appreciate this feature in the new VPC but I notice that I can only run one full-screen VM at once. In fact a dialog(ue) box tells me that it's not allowed.

    Why would anyone want to have more than one full-screen VM (I can hear the developer say)? Well, if you have the Virtual Desktop Manager powertoy (or similar) running, you have 4 virtual desktops available, so you might want to dedicate 2 or 3 of those to full-screen VMs and use the MSVDM tool to switch between them. How about a little tweak for this in the next version?

  • When working in virtual pc with guest os win98se host winxp, i full screen it on the primary display, but if i try to run any applications/games that change the resolution, both montiors primary and secondary are effected. Like vpc monitor makes host os monitor go funky when the game/program makes vpc change resolutions, is there a setting to fix that?

    also, you should really emulate a better video card. how hard would a 16mb riva TNT chipset be to emulate on all these new 256mb-512mb video direct x 9 cards

  • Odd thing: Using three monitors arranged like:

    [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ 3 ]

    When placing a VPC window in [ 3 ], it DOES go full screen when asked, however the placement of the monitors suddenly changes, to be like:

    [ 1 ][ 3 ] [ 2 ]

    IOW, moving the mouse from left to right caused it to move to monitor 1 to monitor 3 and then to monitor 2...

    Placing the VPC on montor 1 or 2 works as you'd expect...

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Multi-monitor fullscreen mode compatibility with Virtual PC 2007