What is Integrated Mode in Windows Virtual PC?

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If you use Windows Virtual PC you will see “integration features” being mentioned.  These are enabled once you have the latest integration components installed, and can be enabled or disabled at will – but what are they?


When the integration features are enabled we are actually using Remote Desktop to connect to the operating system running inside the virtual machine.  This allows us to take advantages of many of the technologies built into remote desktop:

  • The ability to display seamless Windows from the virtual machine
  • The ability to redirect smart cards and printers to the virtual machine
  • The ability to share folders to the virtual machine

We have worked hard to do this while maintaining a level of performance similar to that of Virtual PC 2007, and in many cases the performance is better.

However there are still times when you might need to disable integration features.  The most common is if you are running a program that needs to use DirectX or needs to change the resolution of the display – as neither of these are possible to do when using remote desktop.

Note that if you disable integration features you lose access to shared resources (smart cards, printers, folders, etc…).


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  • When will the Integration Tools be available for clients using Windows Server 2003 and 2008?

    Microsoft Dynamics supply vhd files for demonstrations which are built on Windows 2003.

  • Slightly off topic but...

    Am I right in thinking that if my machine does not support Hardware Virtualisation then I can't use Windows Virtual PC but equally I cannot run Virtual PC 2007 SP1 because it is blocked by Windows 7 (compatibility warning)?

    If so, it seems that this machine cannot be upgraded to Windows 7 if I intend to run any sort of VM?

  • You also need to turn off integration mode if you're attemping to run an installer that doesn't like Remote Desktop -- such as the prerequisites for Visual Studio 2003.

    On that topic, there's also an issue with Windows File Protection blocking VS 2003's Frontpage Extensions installer in the Windows 7 XP Mode VM. One workaround is to mount an XP SP3 CD in the VM, but that's not really a viable solution for non-VL customers.

  • Is the remote desktop programable? Will other OS (in addition to the WinXP WinVPC) be able to utilize intergrated mode in WinVPC?

  • One problem I'm having with the Virtual PC is that I tried to Remote Access the XP VM from another computer (not the host) but the remote computer cannot detect the machine, even though they are in the same domain.

    And, what's more... it seems that I cannot connect to the XP VM via Remote Desktop even in the host machine.

    Is that a problem and how can I troubleshoot that?


  • I second Siimon's post about systems that are only a couple of years old, perfectly capable of running Virtual PC and Windows 7, but which won't be upgradeable to Windows 7. Will there be a fix for this?

    Also, I would love to read more about whether the new Virtual PC and Hyper-V are converging or not. I mean, when will be able to use the same extensions, the same "seamless windows", USB, etc. on both? When, if ever, will it become possible to move machines from one to the other, and back?

  • Richard hinchliffe -

    Those OSes are not supported in the beta release.  I cannot discuss their future status.

    Siimon -

    You are correct, and we are looking into what to do about this.

    Patrick Chipman -

    You are correct about product installation.  I am not familiar with the frontpage extension issue.

    Wesley -

    What do you mean "Is the remote desktop programable"?  For details on which OSes can use integrated mode - check out http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/requirements.aspx

    Isaac -

    Make sure you are not using shared networking.

    MikeMS -

    Sorry, I cannot discuss future plans.



  • MS have done too bad by 1.locking VPC 7 to Windows 7. 2. Requiring processor virtualization for XP Mode. 3. VPC 2007 doesn't run on Windows 7.

  • my integration tools are not working...

    it fails evrytym during startup..

    help please..

  • I ran an update that popped up today when I startewd my Win XP system under EWin 7 Ultimate.  Since then I have been unable to use WinXP because it A) has forgoitten the password and B) it no longer can start Intetgration services.  I really do not want to reinstall because I have already installed a bucket of programs under WinXP and these will be lost if I reinstall.  Any advice?  Pleeeeez?

  • well bleepity bleeeping bleep. Thanks for making this blog post, now I know why my integrated features are not working, network admin has disable remote PC. Thanks a bunch! Now I can inform the IT guys and maybe they can think of a compromise or workaround...

  • Would it still be possible to access resources that are shared over the network, as you would from a real XP machine?  When I try to explore a workgroup, I get a message saying that the workgroup is not accessible, and I am unable to see the servers belonging to the workgroup.

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What is Integrated Mode in Windows Virtual PC?