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jcampi
05-06-2008, 09:43 PM
I have read some posts about Virtual PC and I'm a little intrigued with the concept. If you install Vista on a computer's hard drive as the main OS what is the advantage of adding Windows XP on Virtual PC? Is Virtual PC a software program? Why use Virtual PC at all when you could just create a dual boot PC with XP and Vista on the same hard drive? (a partition could be created for Vista and another partition for XP). What are the advantages/disadvantages? Is there a web link to research Virtual PC?

Guest11
05-06-2008, 11:38 PM
Well it is software which houses another OS inside the one you are in. A reason to do it might be it's easier and would allow you to run a program or piece of hardware that will not run on your main OS without taking up a huge amount of space or hardware.

writeco
05-07-2008, 03:33 AM
Another virtual program is Returnil. When launched during booting this program records all changes to a virtual hard drive (as opposed to your primary OS hard drive; typically your C drive.) What's the big deal?

If you are experimenting with new software and not sure of the effects on your computing environment, when activated, Returnil records any changes to the virtual hard drive. When you reboot, the changes are removed. Cost is $30.

Dan18960
05-07-2008, 07:06 AM
Well, I guess I am the "originator" of the Virtual PC 2007 camp :D

On Saturday last, I was installing Vista on my bench box inside of Virtual PC since the main operating system on the bench demon is XP Professional. I already have a box with Vista on that I installed Virtual PC to run XP Pro on but wanted to see the difference.

Now to John's questions . . . . . .

(1) What is the advantage of adding Virtual PC 2007 and installing XP - well in MY usage it is for being able to support both Vista and XP on the same system. But other advantages is being able to run software that is not compatiable with Vista but runs perfectly in XP. You can have XP in the Virtual environment, software loaded, and still be able to use the software. Added to that is the ability to not have to have 2 computers to switch between. You would either have to have 2 monitors, 2 keyboards, and 2 mice OR a KVM switch which means you could only work on one "screen" at a time.

(2) Virtual PC 2007 is a free software program from Microsoft.

(3) Why use Virtual PC at all? Virtual PC doesn't limit you to XP. ANY operating system can be installed in the Virtual environment. This can be for testing purposes, software usage, hardware usage, or any number of compatiability issues you face with with the "home" operating system.

(4) Why use Virtual PC when you can just create a dual boot pc? Well, that means everytime you want to use the OTHER operating system, you have to close your programs, log off what ever your in, and restart the computer! Virtual PC allows for using your home operating system and still being able to use your virtual operating system. A case in point, several weeks ago I was on Paltalk on ONE machine in 2 different sessions - one was Vista and the other was XP. I was logged in as 2 different users and had ability to post or speak as either one without having to boot between Vista or XP. Both environments had sound (which I had to turn off in one of them as I was hearing myself on the other operating system). But lets say I had an older software that just wouldn't run in Vista and I HAD to have the data from that software - by having Virtual PC loaded, XP or any operating system that supported that software installed, and the application with data, I could do my main operations in Vista and still refer back to my data or use that application.

Is Virtual PC for everyone? NO! Unless you have a real need for a second operating system - there is no need to have Virtual PC or a dual boot configuration. Is it handy that Microsoft provided V-PC? YES! It is a way to use an operating system your use to or have already installed on your computer and being able to go backward or forward with another operating system. Like I stated in the beginning - I took my XP box, installed V-PC, and then installed Vista. I have also taken Vista, installed V-PC, and installed XP. So you can go either direction and not have to invest in a completely new computer to test an operating system.

I have not attempted to install Linux yet in V-PC but that may / will be my next adventure.

jcampi
05-07-2008, 08:26 AM
Dan, thank you for the explanation. I get it. I reviewed some info. at the MS site for Virtual PC 2007 and observed the file size is rather small at about 30MB. I would think that running a OS from a dual boot configuration would behave or 'feel' differently than running the OS in Virtual PC. Is this the case? Do you experience a preceptible drag on the pc? Is the Virtual PC mode more suspectible to crashes and issues? When you run the OS in Virtual PC I would supose the drivers, etc. are linked to the OS based from the hard drive. Does Virtual PC usually involve any driver issues? Thanks for the info. This is interesting. Running Linux from Virtual PC does seem like an interesting proposal.

Guest11
05-07-2008, 10:09 AM
Why run Linux from a Virtual PC setup at all though as most have a "Live Cd" version you can boot to and run. When you shut down it saves a file to your hard drive of what you did and you boot back up to it. Many of them will work where you boot to them with cd in then remove it and run still fine in your memory. There is no need to install anything this way and it's the way I started with Puppy linux.

Dan18960
05-07-2008, 12:35 PM
Why run Linux from a Virtual PC setup at all though as most have a "Live Cd" version you can boot to and run. When you shut down it saves a file to your hard drive of what you did and you boot back up to it. Many of them will work where you boot to them with cd in then remove it and run still fine in your memory. There is no need to install anything this way and it's the way I started with Puppy linux.

Boot is the keyword here Rich. My goal is to NOT have to reboot my computers to switch from one os to another. Just to be able to hop over when I need to and then close the V-PC designated program.

John, while running Vista (home operating system) and launching V-PC and loading XP I found no drag on the systems. What V-PC does is pair off a designated amount of RAM that you do when you set it up and everything works in it's own memory space. There is no "sharing" of the memory per se. On my Vista box I setup Vista to use 1.5mb of RAM when V-PC loads and V-PC allocates the remaining 512mb of RAM for XP to run in.

Guest11
05-07-2008, 02:56 PM
Good Point Dan.

Dan18960
05-07-2008, 05:55 PM
Good Point Dan.

Actually it is YOUR fault Rich LOL :D

I remember you making a comment on a Paltalk session where someone was asking a question and you had to go to another machine to respond. Then I saw MS offering Virtual PC 2007 and tested it on one of my older systems that I had retired from "production" with Vista loaded and V-PC installed. XP worked great as a optional operating system. Ala - supporting 2 oses without rebooting.

Guest11
05-07-2008, 06:02 PM
Actually it is YOUR fault Rich LOL :D

I remember you making a comment on a Paltalk session where someone was asking a question and you had to go to another machine to respond. Then I saw MS offering Virtual PC 2007 and tested it on one of my older systems that I had retired from "production" with Vista loaded and V-PC installed. XP worked great as a optional operating system. Ala - supporting 2 oses without rebooting.

Every once in a while I do something useful I guess!

dale@fcg
05-08-2008, 01:35 AM
What about licensing for the OS's you use in Virtual PC? Obviously, the OS that is installed prior to using Virtual PC needs to be activated, but also I'm guessing that to install XP into V-PC on a Vista machine (or vice-versa), you'd have to use and activate an original COA for the OS to be used in V-P***at has not been activated on another machine? Or can I use my XP license from another machine? Or is no license required in V-PC?

Linux, being open-source, would not have any issues with COA's, correct?

Dan18960
05-08-2008, 07:03 AM
Dale,

Yes the Windows operating system would have to be one that can be activated - Which means XP forward. Windows 2K and prior didn't have activation.

As for Linux - I have not had a chance to investigate that installation.

Freehold Fred
11-25-2008, 01:38 AM
Dan,

I happened to stumbled across this thread after my recent ventures with virtualization. I like your reasons for using V-PC, but just like to add my reason, my primary objective: to run XP on a Vista specific machine. It is next to impossible to find all the necessary drivers for XP with these newer machines, especially drivers for the NIC and Audio. Rather than install a separate NIC card and USB Audio stick just to run XP, a V-PC allows you to use the same exact hardware with a 'virtual layer' communicating to the host hardware. The guest V-PC needs only to talk to the virtual layer to effectively use the hardware. No need for additional drivers, period.

The other surprising result is that boot time of the V-PC is much faster than a standard dual boot.


Well, I guess I am the "originator" of the Virtual PC 2007 camp :D

On Saturday last, I was installing Vista on my bench box inside of Virtual PC since the main operating system on the bench demon is XP Professional. I already have a box with Vista on that I installed Virtual PC to run XP Pro on but wanted to see the difference.

Now to John's questions . . . . . .

(1) What is the advantage of adding Virtual PC 2007 and installing XP - well in MY usage it is for being able to support both Vista and XP on the same system. But other advantages is being able to run software that is not compatiable with Vista but runs perfectly in XP. You can have XP in the Virtual environment, software loaded, and still be able to use the software. Added to that is the ability to not have to have 2 computers to switch between. You would either have to have 2 monitors, 2 keyboards, and 2 mice OR a KVM switch which means you could only work on one "screen" at a time.

(2) Virtual PC 2007 is a free software program from Microsoft.

(3) Why use Virtual PC at all? Virtual PC doesn't limit you to XP. ANY operating system can be installed in the Virtual environment. This can be for testing purposes, software usage, hardware usage, or any number of compatiability issues you face with with the "home" operating system.

(4) Why use Virtual PC when you can just create a dual boot pc? Well, that means everytime you want to use the OTHER operating system, you have to close your programs, log off what ever your in, and restart the computer! Virtual PC allows for using your home operating system and still being able to use your virtual operating system. A case in point, several weeks ago I was on Paltalk on ONE machine in 2 different sessions - one was Vista and the other was XP. I was logged in as 2 different users and had ability to post or speak as either one without having to boot between Vista or XP. Both environments had sound (which I had to turn off in one of them as I was hearing myself on the other operating system). But lets say I had an older software that just wouldn't run in Vista and I HAD to have the data from that software - by having Virtual PC loaded, XP or any operating system that supported that software installed, and the application with data, I could do my main operations in Vista and still refer back to my data or use that application.

Is Virtual PC for everyone? NO! Unless you have a real need for a second operating system - there is no need to have Virtual PC or a dual boot configuration. Is it handy that Microsoft provided V-PC? YES! It is a way to use an operating system your use to or have already installed on your computer and being able to go backward or forward with another operating system. Like I stated in the beginning - I took my XP box, installed V-PC, and then installed Vista. I have also taken Vista, installed V-PC, and installed XP. So you can go either direction and not have to invest in a completely new computer to test an operating system.

I have not attempted to install Linux yet in V-PC but that may / will be my next adventure.

Freehold Fred
12-10-2008, 06:09 PM
Link to my article, Virtual Man uses VirtualBox to run XP on Vista PC, solves network lockout:

http://bcug.mbyrne.com/newsletters/2008-12-Bytes.pdf on page 5

Dan18960
12-11-2008, 07:33 AM
Fred,

Windows Secrets recent new"letter" has some hints to the network lockouts of Vista. Seems that MS has a DHCP "flag" response that it looks for from a DHCP server. Since many home users use their routers as the DHCP service to hand out ip addresses it has no way of responding to the flag request that Vista is requesting and Vista turns off the networking ip assignments.

There is a registry edit from Microsoft to correct this - but I have found removing the ipv6 and reverting to ipv4 to take care of it easier than atttempting a registry edit that may or may not fix the flag request. The reason that XP on a virtual machine resolved the networking issue is that native XP doesn't use the ipv6 and doesn't seek a flag response from a DHCP service.

This is also noted in Windows 2008.

Freehold Fred
12-11-2008, 07:36 PM
Fred,

Windows Secrets recent new"letter" has some hints to the network lockouts of Vista

Thnx for the additional info.

The problem was with my XP dual boot on the Vista-specific machine. No adapters, none, nada were recognized or could be added via add hardware wizard. I never got to go to DHCP, or static, etc. I was not just lockout of my network, I was locked out of the Internet as well at this point.

With the Virtual Machine, I bridged my VM NIC and the host Vista Adapter. I was told however, that the bridge was not necessary, but I could not for the life of me successfully assign a static IP of my XP VM to see my same network that I DHCP'd on the Vista host.

So basically I was locked out of my network on my XP VM, because by default it is assigned NAT. That wasn't the system's fault; it was my temporary lack of understanding. The VM had to assigned to the VB Host Interface (VM NIC) and from there I bridged the networks, but the gurus of VirtualBox said a static IP on the same network as the host is supposed to work (didn't for me).