Installing Windows 7 on Virtual PC 2007

Installing Windows 7 on Virtual PC 2007

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We have not updated Virtual PC 2007 to add support for running Windows 7 as a guest operating system at this point in time.  However, this is possible to do – with two important caveats:

  • You really need to have hardware virtualization support to get decent performance
  • Understand that this is not supported.  If you encounter problems – feel free to come here and tell me about it – but do not contact Microsoft Product Support

So what do you need to do?  Well the process is quite simple.  The first thing is that when you create a new virtual machine – you should select Windows Vista as the guest operating system:

win720071

This ensures that the right virtual hardware is configured for the virtual machine.  You can then install Windows 7 directly into the virtual machine with no special steps needed.  After Windows has finished installing you will be able to install the virtual machine additions that are included with Virtual PC 2007 SP1.  After this stage you should have all the integration functionality and drivers for all the devices in the virtual machine:

win720075

So why do you need hardware virtualization support for good performance?  Well, virtual machine additions breakdown into two parts:

  • The integration features (drag-and-drop, desktop resizing, shared folders, etc..)
    • This part tends to be fairly robust and resilient to operating system changes.
  • Performance optimizations
    • This part is very operating specific and involves a bunch of work to get working each time a new operating system comes out.  This part is also only necessary if you do not have hardware virtualization.

Microsoft only supports Windows 7 on Windows Virtual PC when hardware virtualization is present.  And while Windows 7 is not supported on Virtual PC 2007 – in order to get decent performance you need hardware virtualization there as well.

Two closing notes to be made:

  • Amusingly, as Virtual PC 2007 has not been updated to officially support Windows 7 as a guest operating system – Virtual PC will identify the guest operating system as Windows Vista in various locations.
  • While I have not encountered any issues with Windows 7 – my usage does not represent thorough testing – so do not be surprised if you do encounter an unexpected error / inexplicable issue while using this configuration.

Cheers,
Ben

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  • Hello.

    As Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is the last version of Virtual PC for Windows Vista host at this point of time, and that Windows Vista is still under mainstream support, I suppose Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is still fully supported by Microsoft. I have a question about VPC 2007.

    1) Does Microsoft plan a new version of Virtual PC 2007 in the future (a VPC 2007 SP2) ? If yes, will it add the official support of Windows 7 as guest (and possibly also the official support of Windows 7 as host) ?

    Another question, but about Windows Virtual PC (the last one) :

    2) Does Microsoft plan a new version of Virtual Machines Additions to run Windows Vista and 7 guests on Windows 7 host without Hardware virtualization, just like Windows XP and its XP Mode ?

    Thank you for your answers.

  • What about Windows 7 x64 on Hyper-V (2008 R2)? I mean, that works, but Windows XP mode (with the new non-VT update) in that Windows 7 system hangs on startup. Anything that needs to be set beyond the default settings?

  • Quote:

    you should select Windows Vista as the guest operating system ...  This ensures that the right virtual hardware is configured for the virtual machine.

    Apart from the different type of sound card emulated, what other changes are there in virtual hardware?

  • Hi Ben,

    I run Win7/32 as a virtual machine under Windows Virtual PC (Win7 64bit), for a few weeks now and it runs fine - one thing I noticed and wish that could be fixed is that I can not get a recording audio device to work (I use it as an aprs/ads-b/acars server, and audio input is necessary for acars to work).

    Also, it would be useful to get the hyper-v type of host/client reboot stuff (aka reboot host and automatically get the client hibernated/restarted). Also, another thing I noticed is if you move the Win7 virtual machine to another host, you need to re-activate the Win7 client which I am not so sure if it is necessary, as one of the reasons of having a virtual machine is movability (in case a host needs maintenance or breaks down etc etc).

    Anyway, a few things on my wish list:

    -Win7 remote applications (many machines, one user, one application installation thing)

    -USB/hardware Com ports/Audio support under hyper-v.

    -Win Virtual PC & hyper-v support for hardware nvidia Cuda on remote apps/desktop (don't know if this is possible with the virtual driver, but it could really be useful(like running remotely a video conversion program so you can utilize the video hardware of the host remotely ;) ..

    :)

  • Big Monstro -

    I cannot speak about future releases but note that "support" does not mean that new features / support for new operating systems will follow.

    In regards to your second question - no, this is not planned at this point in time.

    Ran -

    Nope, just the sound card.

    Cheers,

    Ben

  • Hello

    Where can I download VMAddition.iso?

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