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  • Blog Post: Automating WIM2VHD

    As I mentioned yesterday – I have been working on a completely automated virtual machine build process that does not use templates (but build everything from scratch).  One of the key tools that I have been using for this process is WIM2VHD – which allows me to generate new VHD files directly from...
  • Blog Post: The real “legacy” network adapter

    Over the years I have made a hobby of collecting real copies of the hardware that we emulate inside of our virtual machines.  And this is one of my favorites – the quad-port Intel 21140 network adapter: One of the interesting problems that we hit while working on Virtual Server was: How do you support...
  • Blog Post: Shutting down a virtual machine

    What happens when you use the Virtual PC / Virtual Server / Hyper-V user interface to shut down a virtual machine? At the simplest level – we send a message over to the virtual machine that asks the guest operating system to shut down, and then we wait. But this is where things get a little tricky. We...
  • Blog Post: Turning off a virtual machine

    Virtual PC, Virtual Server and Hyper-V all have a simple command to “Turn off” a running virtual machine. Unfortunately, it is one that causes us a bit of consternation when we look at it with usability and user friendliness in mind. A long time ago (just over 10 years ago) most computers had big mechanical...
  • Blog Post: What physical computer am I on?

    Once you start to get more and more virtual machines, and more and more Hyper-V servers, in your environment it can get quite hard to keep track of where a specific virtual machine is actually running. System Center Virtual Machine Manager can help you out here – but what if you are not sitting at the ...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell Script to Register a bunch of Virtual Machines [Virtual PC]

    When I was getting ready to head out to TechEd this week I copied a bunch of my Windows Virtual PC virtual machines onto a USB disk. 60 of them to be precise. But then I had the problem of how to get them all registered. Sure, you can register a virtual machine with Windows Virtual PC by just double...
  • Blog Post: Loading the Virtual Server SCSI Shunt Driver on Vista & Windows Server 2008 VMs during installation

    Unlike Hyper-V , Virtual Server allows you to boot a virtual machine off of a SCSI disk .  Unfortunately - in some configurations (like mine) this can cause the initial operating system installation to be very slow – unless you load the Virtual Server SCSI Shunt driver during installation . For...
  • Blog Post: Managing the Default Virtual Machine Location with Windows Virtual PC

    Virtual PC 2004 / 2007 always default to creating new virtual machines in the current users “My Documents” folder. Users who need to use an alternate location can do so by setting up the MYVIRTUALMACHINES environment variable . Things have changed significantly with Windows Virtual PC. The first...
  • Blog Post: Using Virtual Server with Internet Explorer 8

    Whether you are running Virtual Server on Windows 7, or just trying to manage Virtual Server from a Windows 7 computer – you will need to use the Virtual Server Administrative Web Site under Internet Explorer 8. This is possible – but there are a number of things that you need to do: Enable compatibility...
  • Blog Post: Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 on Windows 7

    From time to time people have asked me how to install Virtual Server on Windows 7, and have even pointed me towards attempts made by other people with varying levels of success. But I have not looked into this until today – because it is unsupported. Let me state that again – to be crystal clear...
  • Blog Post: MED-V 1.0 SP1 Available – Now with Windows 7 Support

    Last week MED-V 1.0 SP1 was released as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2010 refresh. This update adds some key new functionality: Support for Windows 7 hosts – both 32-bit and 64-bit Support for running the MED-V server on Windows Server 2008 R2 Support for Japanese...
  • Blog Post: Accessing Shared Drives from the Command Prompt under Windows Virtual PC

    With Windows Virtual PC we changed our shared folders to be based on the drive sharing code from Remote Desktop. The advantage of this change is that shared drives are now much more stable, reliable and better performing than shared folders ever were. There are some downsides to this change (as I have...
  • Blog Post: Why is F12 not working with my virtual machine?!?!

    Here is a problem that I hear about at least 2 or 3 times a month: Someone is trying to do a network installation of an operating system using either Hyper-V or Virtual PC, they setup the virtual machine appropriately, but when they try to press “F12” to initiate network installation – nothing happens...
  • Blog Post: Disk2vhd v1.0 now available

    The SysInternals team just announced the availability of a new tool: Disk2vhd . This is a tool that you run on a running Windows computer to create virtual hard disks copies of the physical disks that are attached.  Under the covers this tool works by taking a Windows Volume Snapshot (VSS) image...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Security Essentials and Virtual PC

    For as long as I have been working on Virtual PC – people have been asking me: “Do I need to install Antivirus software inside the virtual machine?” And the answer has always been: “Yes! You need to treat each virtual machine just like it were a separate physical computer and ensure that it is configured...
  • Blog Post: Using Floppy Disks with Windows Virtual PC

    Most users of Windows Virtual PC do not need to use floppy disks with their virtual machines, as general usage of floppy disks has become rarer and rarer. Those who do need to use floppy disks – may think that they can no longer do this – as there is no user interface for connecting floppy disks to virtual...
  • Blog Post: Virtual PC 2007 SP1 Update

    Okay, I missed this one when it came out.  In my defense – this was released in February, when I was heads down working on Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 stuff.  There is an update for Virtual PC 2007 SP1 that has some significant improvements, including: Official support for running Virtual...
  • Blog Post: Windows Virtual PC Integrated Applications on Multi-Monitor systems

    When using integrated applications with Windows Virtual PC on multi-monitor computers there are a couple of “gotchas” to be aware of. We use Remote Desktop technology to provide our support for integrated applications. And as discussed here Remote Desktop in integrated mode behaves like there is a...
  • Blog Post: Changing the DPI settings of Windows XP Mode

    I have a deep, dark secret to confess.  I run Windows in high DPI mode (this is where Windows displays larger text / icons).  I do not know why, but as a “tech guy” I sense some deep shame over this.  However, I just find my computer screens *so* much more readable in a high DPI mode. ...
  • Blog Post: Running Virtual PC 2007 on Windows 7

    Attention: In this blog post I am discussing a configuration that is possible, but not officially supported by Microsoft at this point in time.  Feel free to use this – but understand that you are in an unsupported configuration. There is a fair amount of confusion out there about this – so I would...
  • Blog Post: Windows Virtual PC and Undo Disks

    With Windows Virtual PC we have been “fine tuning” the user experience for undo disks. If you are not familiar with “undo disks” this is the feature of Virtual PC that allows you to use a virtual machine, and when you are finished decide whether to keep or discard the changes that you have just made...
  • Blog Post: Multiple Seamless Applications with Windows Virtual PC

    We have spent a lot of time telling people how Windows Virtual PC and Virtual XP mode will allow them to run incompatible legacy applications on Windows 7.  Unfortunately a number of people have come away with the impression that you can only do this with Virtual XP mode and that you can only run...
  • Blog Post: Disabling Integrated Mode in Windows Virtual PC

    Earlier this week I talked about integrated mode in Windows Virtual PC .  And there I mentioned that there are times that you may want to disable integrated mode.  You can do this on a running virtual machine by using the tools menu: You can also permanently disable integrated mode by disabling...
  • Blog Post: Creating virtual machines with Windows Virtual PC

    If you have read about Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP mode, you may mistakenly think that Windows Virtual PC can only be used for running applications in Windows XP mode.  While this is one of the major features, Windows Virtual PC allows you to create multiple virtual machines and use them for...
  • Blog Post: Using Windows Virtual PC to run 16-bit applications on 64-bit Windows

    I have had some people ask me whether you can use Windows Virtual PC – with its integrated Windows XP Mode – to run older 16-bit Windows programs on a 64-bit platform.  The answer is “Yes!”.  Here you can see a screen shot of SkiFree running on my laptop: In the foreground you can see the error...
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