Virtual PC 2007 runs on Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise,
Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.
Drawbacks of multibooting
Multibooting requires separate partitions on your computer's hard disk for each
operating system. You also need to install the oldest operating system first,
which can be frustrating if you want to add an earlier operating system (for example,
you're currently running Windows Vista but you want to add Windows XP). Installing an
earlier version of Windows after a more recent version is already installed can render
your computer inoperable. This can happen because earlier versions of Windows do not
recognize the startup files used in more recent versions of Windows and can overwrite them.
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A better way: Virtual PC 2007
Virtual PC 2007 is a virtualization, or simulation, program you can use to create virtual
computers (called virtual machines) on your computer (called the host computer). The virtual
machine shares system resources such as random access memory (RAM) , hard disk space, and the
central processing unit (CPU) with the host computer. The major benefit to you is the ability
to install operating systems in any order and without disk partitioning. You can minimize or
expand the virtual PC window just like a program or folder, and switch between it and other
windows on your desktop. You can install programs on the virtual machine, save files to it,
and pause the virtual machine so that it stops using computer resources on the host computer.
How to set up a virtual machine
After installation is complete, you'll create a virtual machine and a virtual
disk for it to use. (Each virtual machine requires at least one virtual hard disk.)
You can then install your additional operating system on the virtual machine.
You'll need the installation disc or other installation media for the operating
system and a valid product key.
If you no longer want the virtual machine on your computer, or want to reclaim the
disk space used by the virtual hard disk, you can delete the virtual machine files
in the My Virtual Machines folder, which is created in your Documents folder on the
host computer when you install Virtual PC 2007. If you delete a virtual hard disk,
any data stored on the virtual hard disk will also be deleted. Be sure to save any
data that you want to keep to another location before you delete the virtual hard disk.
To create a virtual machine and a virtual disk on the host computer
1. Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Microsoft Virtual PC.
2. In the New Virtual Machine Wizard, click Next.
3. Select Create a virtual machine, and then click Next.
4. Type a name for the virtual machine, and then click Next.
5. In the Operating system list, select the operating system you plan to install,
and then click Next.
6. Click Using the recommended RAM, and then click Next.
7. Click A new virtual hard disk, and then click next.
8. Type a name for the new virtual hard disk, and then click Next.
9. Click Finish. The Virtual PC Console will display the virtual machine you just created.
To install an operating system on the new virtual machine
1.In Virtual PC Console, click the virtual machine you want to install the operating system on, and then click Start.
Because no operating system is installed yet, you'll see the following message: Reboot and Select proper
Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device.
2. Ensure that the virtual machine window is the active window on your desktop, insert the installation disc for the
operating system into the CD or DVD drive, and then press Enter.
The installation should begin within the virtual machine window. Follow
the instructions that will appear to install the operating system.
To log in to the new virtual machine, click Action, click Ctrl+Alt+Del,
type your user name and password, and then click Enter.
Now that the
virtual machine is running your new operating system, you can install
programs and create files, just as if it were a separate physical
computer. For additional information on using Virtual PC 2007, open
Virtual PC 2007, click Help and then click Virtual PC Help.
you use a virtual machine, the mouse cursor will remain inside the
virtual machine window. This can be confusing at first. To return
control of the mouse back to the host computer, press the host key and
then drag your mouse away. The default host key is the ALT key that is
located to the right of the spacebar.