Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Windows 7 Virtual PC

This is a new edition of the developer’s must-have software. Although it is not the only option yet, especially if your Windows 7 machine does not support the requirements for Windows Virtual PC, namely the hardware virtualization. It is good to know that Virtual PC 2007 (with SP1) is still an option, just add a latest hotfix and you should be good to go (note that Windows 7 is still not in a list of supported operations systems).

Surprisingly, the trick with speeding up Virtual PC by running Media Player on the host machine still works, though not to extend of Virtual PC 2007 case.

For those really adventurous, Sun Virtual Box is yet another virtualization alternative.

P.S. Two annoyances I’ve noticed with Windows Virtual PC so far, aside of noticeable slower performance of external (to the VPC) drives: no OS startup screen on VPC restarts and re-login prompt on VPC window resize. 
It is boring to watch a pointless progress bar, while VPC OS is starting behind the screen. My only explanation why they thought it would be a bright idea, is that they all are server folks and see system restart scares a bejesus out of them.
The second one is cured by allowing VPC remember login information during the first start. The screen looks like normal login request and account name is pre-populated with your login name, which makes it slightly misleading. Just enter “different account” info, which would be the VPC OS account. The stored credentials can be cleared through the virtual machine settings and you will be prompted to re-enter them next start. I don’t see much security problem in allowing to store a credentials, unless your VPC is on the external drive (as it better be) – in this case True Crypt is your humble saviour.

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