What is the Default Virtual Machine Location for Windows Virtual PC? (And why is it what it is?)

What is the Default Virtual Machine Location for Windows Virtual PC? (And why is it what it is?)

  • Comments 1


My post on how to configure the default virtual machine location for Windows Virtual PC has raised a number of questions.  One of which is: what is the default default virtual machine location for Windows Virtual PC?  This question is almost always then followed by the question – why is it that?

Before getting into the answers to these questions – I would like to start by stating that this has been a surprisingly contentious issue; both with our users and inside the development team itself.  With that acknowledged – I am not trying to argue that one choice is better than an other – but rather to explain the logic behind our current choice.

Now – on to the answers:

What is the default default virtual machine location for Windows Virtual PC?

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\

Why is that the default default location?

Virtual PC 2004 / 2007 defaulted to storing virtual machines in the users “My Documents” folder – and there are many people who like to have their virtual machines stored there.  There were a couple of reasons that drove us to change this default in Windows Virtual PC:

  • Many users now have their “Documents” folder redirected to a network location.  It is preferable to run virtual machines off of local storage – so we wanted to find a location that was guaranteed to be local where we could also guarantee that the current user would have the ability to read / write.  %LocalAppData% is pretty much the only location that provides these guarantees.
  • Many users who are using Windows Virtual PC just for Windows XP mode do not want to see the virtual machine – and do not care where the files for it are.  For these users the Windows XP virtual hard disk is truly more like application data than one of their documents.

Of course – if you want to store your virtual machines in a different location – the original blog post that sparked this discussion (linked at the top of this post) tells you everything you need to know about changing the default virtual machine location for Windows Virtual PC.

Cheers,
Ben

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 6 and 1 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • The downside to %LocalAppData% is that, in some contexts, it is deleted when the user logs out!  (Roaming profiles with "delete cached copies of roaming profiles" turned on.)

    This won't affect anyone who is paying attention, of course, but is something to be aware of.

Page 1 of 1 (1 items)