Friday, June 22, 2007

Virtual Machine for Vista Home Premium Edition

It happened that I had to buy Vista laptop (tell me about the Microsoft Tax). To install Orcas (now VS 2008) one better have a virtual machine (if you don't want to bother with tedious upgrade process later on). There are three obvious choices - VMWare, Parallels and Virtual PC.

VMWare wasn't free and had spooky 200 Mb size download. Also for an inexperienced virtualist the choices they give you with free software are not really clear so it ended up put aside for a while.

Parallels is highly recommended by the people who I respect and it's widely praised all over Internet... By the Mac community... Not Windows. Windows users are definitely second-class citizens there. I was ready to pay but gave up after three days tweaking it back and forth trying to make Parallel Virtual PC merely read from CDROM - it invariably crashed. Next surprise was their non-existent support. On the forum people claim waiting for weeks for the callback promised within three days (for the paid product!). I expected something better from a flagship of the free world free-spirited Mac-Ruby-Open-Source community. Boo.

Virtual PC 2007 from the glorious Microsoft is free (hmm...) and promises no support for Vista Home Premium Edition(aha!). Anyway I tried in despair and it worked nicely! Tiny small download, familiar and simple setup - good stuff! The only trick is that there will be few glitches here and there until VPC Additions are installed. Mouse will not be shared between the host and guest and DVDROM, when mounted for guest PC can disappear from the host's sight. VPC Help has all the instructions.

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