Monday, February 19, 2007

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (Final) Released

I'm surprised to be making this blog post.

I hadn't expected it to come so soon, but today Microsoft released Virtual PC 2007 out of Beta.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 - Home Page

I don't think anyone who has been playing with the Beta versions of this version will see much new.

CyberNet Technology provided a nice rundown of the feature highpoints, if you aren't already acquainted with them.

Supported Host Systems

Supported operating systems remain the same: Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. (Product Specifications).

One interesting (mistake?) on that page is that although it lists the supported Host operating system versions above, if you look in the current page's first example at the bottom it says:

To run Windows 95 as a guest OS on a Windows 2000 host requires 500 MB of free disk space and 128 MB of free memory (96 MB for the host and 32 for the guest).

But Windows 2000 (as is XP Home) isn't in the supported software versions listed on the same page. Ooops?

Will it Install and Run on XP Home?

As many of my readers know, I have been running Virtual PC 2007 Beta's on my XP Home systems, even though it isn't "supported": Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 RC, Running on XP Home!

I never did get it working on Windows 2000 Professional. So keep a copy of Windows Virtual PC 2004 around if you intend to run VPC on any of those systems.

I was really curious to see if the Final version would work on XP (Home)

I made sure none of my virtual machines were in a "paused" state. Then I uninstalled VPC 2007 RC.

Looking to see what Microsoft may have done to appease the few XP Home users out there clamoring for Virtual PC 2007, even it isn't "supported" I took a gamble and ran the setup.exe installer without going through my "hack" technique.

After a long pause the installer displayed that this was v.6.0.156.0.

With great trepidation, I clicked "Next" and got a really dire and scary sounding warning that VPC 2007 wasn't supported on this OS. I clicked OK anyway. No idea what was about to happen.

Imagine my surprise when the license agreement appeared! I said "OK" and kept going.

Next up was a customer information window, with a license key already inserted. (Next).

I clicked Install for a final time and the installation formally began.

After what seemed like a very long time, the installer finished.

I launched the VPC 2007 icon from the Program Folders list.

My saved DSL-Linux, Windows 98 and Vista (RC 5600 build) were all there and all worked great.

I've still got to go back and uninstall the Virtual machine additions from the two Windows OS's and install the new one. I don't know for sure if it was changed at all in the final version, but it wouldn't hurt.

Yes! Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Runs on XP Home ... What about the hack method?

Then on my second XP Home machine I went through the detailed steps listed in the How to run Virtual PC 2007 on XP Home post.

This time the installer again complained about not being on put on a supported system. I continued clicking through the installation and it seemed to take fine. When I ran it, this time it complained about not having MS XML 6 installed. Hmm. I ran the MS XML 6 installer setup file extracted from the setup.exe file and it went on fine.

Now when I re-launched the Virtual PC 2007 it complained one more time about not being on a supported system, but offered a box to check to not remind again. I selected it and it was happy.

My virtual version of Vista fired up fine and stable on my XP Home system. OK!

So at this point, I can say that the "hack" still works, but with the additional step of manually running the included MS XML 6 installer this time.

Skip the Hack - Just Run setup.exe

As much as the "hack" method is fun, there doesn't really seem to be any need for it now.

The Virtual PC 2007 final release's setup.exe file seems to give fair warning about putting it on a XP Home system, but otherwise it goes on fine, just like Virtual PC 2004 did. So in all honesty, I can't say I would recommend the hack now. As long as it goes on fine, you should be good to go.

I'm happy to see that Microsoft programmers have now allowed Virtual PC 2007 to go on XP Home systems with minimal fuss. That's cool if they don't want to "officially" support it. I understand, but appreciate them allowing it without needing to jump through hoops to make it work.

I never did get the hacked version of the Beta working on Windows 2000 Professional, and I don't have one handy right now to test it on. I'll do an update when I find out for sure. In the meantime, just keep a copy of the installer for Virtual PC 2004 handy for those machines.

--Claus

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tried the final Virtual PC 2007 on windows 2000 Pro using the hack you used for XP Home and it worked fine. I now have Vista RC1 running in a virtual machine on Win 2000 Pro.

Anthem said...

There is a problem running the VPC 2007 on XP Home. It screws up my IE7. I tried it twice and on both occassions not only IE7 showed some wierd behavior but another standalone program depending on some IE components failed as it could not 'get' all the necessary components. Even a restore (using Restore Points) does not seem to help although the VPC goes away. Only way out as I found out was to uninstall the IE7 and reinstall it again after the VPC has been purged from the system. With VPC installed IE7 installation just fails to happen as it keeps rebooting the system after giving some wierd error.

Claus said...

Hi Anthem.

Sorry to hear about the conflict you are running into between IE7 and VPC 2007.

I've gotten it running on fine on both of our XP Home systems which also use IE7. I wonder if there was some OS file corruption or something missing. My desktop XP system eventually got some bad corruptions built up that pretty well tanked my ability to get MS Updates. I had to save my data, and then do a format/system reinstall.

My dad's system is still hurting and refuses to run Windows Updates off the web no matter what I do. He even managed to have a ghost version of IE6 launching even though he had IE7 installed when he hit Windows Updates. Bizarre!

Have to tried to use Virtual PC 2004 SP1 instead? It also warns about installing on a "unsupported" OS but otherwise installed just fine. I don't know if the benefits between 2004 and 2007 are that appreciable.

You might also want to consider trying the free VMWare Player. It installs "deeper" into the system that VPC seems to, but has a bunch more bells and whistles.

I have a few links in this post Virtual Machines for Windows that have sites that can create usable virtual hard drives for VMware Player to make it very functional for setting up your own virtual hard drives. It's pretty cool. Examples: EasyVMX and VM Builder.

I've used QEMU as well, but mostly just for running virtualized sessions of Linux Live CD's.

Finally, one of my IT co-workers really swears by VirtualBox an open source virtual machine system.

I've played with it a touch and it seemed quite nice as well. I am going to have to go back and revisit it as well.

Maybe one of these other virtualization options can meet your needs.

They are really fun to play with.

Good Luck!

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