The reason why you will want to learn how to use Virtual PC is it allows you to run more than a single operating system on a Windows computer. This has many uses, but the most important is it will keep your main OS safe. Here is a step by step guide.
Download the application from the Internet and install it. You need to have Windows XP or better for best results.
Launch the program; it will ask if you want to turn it into a virtual machine. If you are not prompted, click New.
Press the Create a Virtual Machine button and click next. Give it a name and click next.
Choose the operating system you want to install (if necessary, click Other to choose the OS).
The installation process is usually automatic. But in some cases you may have to adjust the RAM that the new operating system will utilize. Do not choose more RAM than your computer has. Also keep in mind that your main OS is still running. Suppose you have 1 GB of RAM, you can assign 256 virtual RAM to the other OS.
Choose “A New Virtual Hard Disk”. After clicking next, decide where to put the hard drive. The default works out fine usually.
Set the hard disk size at megabytes (1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte).
You’re done; a Virtual PC Console box will now be available.
Click the program and then “Start”. Lines of text will appear.
Insert the operating system’s install disk.
Install the operating system following the directions as indicated. If it asks you to restart the computer, hold down the alt key and hit the R key. When the virtual system asks to restart, you will just restart the virtual one, not the entire system. The set up is complete.
If your computer seems slow when running on a laptop, plug it to a power source. This should bring it up to speed. The reason for the slowdown is that most laptops conserve their processor power to save batteries.
Note: If you are running an operating system older than Windows XP, the Virtual PC might not work correctly. If that is the case, just keep virtually restarting the system; it will eventually run.
How to Share an Internet Connection with a Virtual PC
The 2007 edition of this application can share an Internet connection with the host, but it requires manual configuration.
Click the “Edit” menu at the application window and choose Settings. If you see a message saying that some settings cannot be saved, click OK.
Go to the Setting category and choose “Networking”. Select the menu under “Adapter 1″ and choose “Shared Networking (NAT).”
Click OK and you are done. Both systems can now use the Internet and you can begin browsing.
It is also possible to have the application use your wireless adapter or physical network. This option makes it easier to set up printer sharing. Just choose the network adapter you want the system to use instead of “Shared Networking (NAT).
Now that you know how to use Virtual PC, you can begin exploring it. The great thing about this set up is your main operating system will not be affected.
Roy is a free lancer writer of http://www.mightyguide.net/ and he spends his spare time on studying Virtual PC.