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Windows 7: A question about the virtual pc


22 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 
A question about the virtual pc

Hello guys,

I have been wondering for some time about the virtual pc option, and I can't fully understand what it does. I have read numerios documents about it and I still can't get it. My question is, what is its primary purpose, can I install another OS on it and is it something like a '' sandbox '' for files? Since I am still learning how to install Win 7 if the virtual pc offers an installation of another OS it will be great to test myself there, but I am still very confused about that stuff.

Please help!
Best Regards
Stefany


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Dec 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You seem to have a good perception of it. Virtual PC allows you to create virtual computers, which you can install operating systems on like a real one. It is a good tool for "sandbox".

Since you have Windows 7 Ultimate, you can get XP Mode for free. That is a virtual XP machine.

Here's a link: Download Windows XP Mode
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22 Dec 2010   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Stefany, a virtual sytem (some call it Partition) is essentially another PC on your system. You can install another Windows OS (XP, Vista, Windows 7, even Win98), Linux, Solaris or even OS-X (although that is not recommended) on it. It shares the resources (RAM and Disk space) with your Host system.

If you want to venture into that, I highly recommend Virtual Box. It is the easiest to setup and operate. Make sure you activate the Guest additions within your guest OS. Then you have seamless operation of the guest and the host (at the same time).

There are many people here who are real experts (not me though). Do not hesitate to ask further questions as they come up.
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22 Dec 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I looked at it briefly and was not impressed.

Yes, it works and yes you can install an OS, install programs, etc. The "virtual PC" is just another file on your "real PC".

But there are limitations.

How much RAM are you willing to let it have?

How much of a reduction in response time are you willing to tolerate compared to what you are accustomed?

You might not be impressed with the graphics end of things.

But all you can do is try. You can get a feeling for it in a day or two.

I was considering it in order to run a 16 bit application that won't run on 64 bit Windows.

You may decide that dual-booting another OS is preferable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2010   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
I looked at it briefly and was not impressed.

Yes, it works and yes you can install an OS, install programs, etc. The "virtual PC" is just another file on your "real PC".

But there are limitations.

How much RAM are you willing to let it have?

How much of a reduction in response time are you willing to tolerate compared to what you are accustomed?

You might not be impressed with the graphics end of things.

But all you can do is try. You can get a feeling for it in a day or two.

I was considering it in order to run a 16 bit application that won't run on 64 bit Windows.

You may decide that dual-booting another OS is preferable.
My experience is just the opposite. Ubuntu in vBox is really fast for e.g. picture manipulation, the internet (but I use Chrome in lieu of FF which is a dog) and any other operation I have thrown at it. I guess you could not do any gaming there, but that is not my thing anyhow.

I have a 2.5GHz duo core CPU and vBox got 1GB of my total 3GBs, plus 25GB of my SSD space.

The beauty of that setup is that I can seamlessly switch between the host and the guest (courtesy of the Guest Additions) and I still have access to my Windows 7 host taskbar and my tweaked sidebar from my Vista system as well as my Windows 7 Rocket Dock. I sometimes use host features (e.g. snips) on the Ubuntu guest machine which runs (nearly - less the Windows 7 bars) full screen on a 22" monitor.
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23 Dec 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Thank you very much for the useful tips, guys. Now I completely understood what that thing meant

Merry Xmas everyone!
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23 Dec 2010   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

You already got good explanations, but let me add something.

A virtual machine is simply a "computer" running on virtualized hardware, in Windows it means you can have a virtual machine running as an almost real computer in an Explorer process (window or full screen). Depending on which virtualization application you use to run a virtual machine, it can really be almost as any real computer. The most common free applications to use and start testing and ""playing" with virtual machines are Microsoft Virtual PC, Oracle VirtualBox and VMware Player. You can read more about virtual machines here: Virtual machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Some examples. Here you can see five operating systems running on single computer. Four guest virtual machines, two older versions of Windows (NT 4 and 2000), alongside with Linux (Ubuntu) and Unix (Solaris), all four running in explorer windows on my host computer's Windows 7 desktop. I can freely and seamless move between different operating systems, mouse and keyboard are captured by currently active one. All computers are shown in my network as individual computers, with their own IP-address:

A question about the virtual pc-vpc_1.png

Here a scenario that I really like and use quite often. Windows 7 on dual screen system. Screen 1 on the left running Solaris Unix in full screen, screen 2 on the right Windows 2000 in full screen. Because taskbar is visible, I can also use all Windows 7 resources and applications, as here in screenshot I'm having my Windows 7 webbrowser on top of the Windows 2000 window:

A question about the virtual pc-vpc_2.png

Virtual computing is really fun!

Kari


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23 Dec 2010   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Kari, this is a very nice posting. Unfortunately I have to give you virtual reps because of the 15.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Thanks, Wolfgang. It's the thought that counts
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23 Dec 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Thank you Kari for the nice pictures and explanation. Now I think I have overcomed my fears and will going to install a virtual pc on my pc and practise on it installing Windows 7. If everything goes well, I will post here in a few days. But if everything falls apart, I wouldn't be able to post because the pc will be repairing
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