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Windows 7 on Virtual PC 2007

windows7_vpc2007_2009-06-15_2322I downloaded and installed Windows 7 as a guest OS in Virtual PC 2007 SP1. I’m running Windows Vista Ultimate as my host OS and recently downloaded Virtual PC 2007 SP1 from the Microsoft website for testing some older OSes and browsers. I’ve been hearing a bunch of hype about Windows 7, I’ve seen the youtube videos, and have even seen some in person demos but I was finally ready to take a look at the OS myself. The whole process did take over two hours (over half of it downloading the 2+ GB ISO), but because it was all virtualized I continued using my computer to surf the web in the background.

The installation was pretty straight-forward, but from what I read you should make sure you have the latest version of Virtual PC. I created a new VHD and used the Windows Vista settings. I have 4 GB of physical RAM in my laptop, so I opted to use 2GB for the guest OS. The installation process seemed to run fairly slow and I’m not sure if this is due to running it in a virtualized environment or because I was installing it to a laptop hard-drive, but I figured it would speed up once I actually got into the OS.

I was sad to find that the OS was running really slow when I first booted into it, but after reading a few more posts on the internet I heard that installing the Virtual Machine Tools would help speed things up. I did notice that before installing the tools, my video adapter was only showing 4MB of memory available from within the guest OS. After installing the Virtual Machine Tools, the Windows 7 is running much faster and all the visualizations (spinning wheel) are running much more smooth.

I probably should have taken a few screenshots of the whole process, but for now you’ll just have to live with a screenshot of the OS virtualized post-installation.

PS. the virtual machine tools also enable a number of features (such as the ability to move the mouse from guest OS to host OS without the right-alt key press)

5 replies on “Windows 7 on Virtual PC 2007”

You are right Lyon, it is the best operating system, it runs slow because of the virtual pc, but if you install windows 7 full version you will find that it is a great operating system and even much faster and smoother graphics than windows vista.

Great article!
I have the same performance issues on a Vista Business running Windows 7 Enterprise in Virtual PC 2007. I have allocated 1024 MB of RAM to the guest OS. The host OS has a total of 4GB RAM. But the guest OS is very slow.

Which Virtual Machine Tools would you recommend me?

Claus-
The virtual machine tools I mentioned in the article are the ones provided by Microsoft as part of the Virtual PC package. I am now running Windows 7 as my host OS and run a few XP virtual machines for testing old browsers and various configurations. Like someone posted above, I would also recommend running Windows 7 as your host OS… it runs very smooth and fast and I have yet to encounter any compatibility issues with the apps I run in my enterprise. If you do run into any issues running apps, you can always run XP Mode or a virtual machine within your Windows 7 host machine.

Based on your experienced you are worried of what tool you are using and then you heard that installing the Virtual Machine Tools would help speed things up. so chin up and 🙂
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