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Virtual PC 7 Notes and Reports

Information about Microsoft's PC emulator for PowerPC Macs

Updated July 8, 2009


On this page:

with Virtual PC 7.


Other MacWindows emulator pages:

Virtual PC:

Windows on Intel Macs:

Other:


Other sites of interest:

Microsoft VPC/USB. June 11, 2004 -- We went trolling through the Microsoft Knowledge Base for information on using USB devices with Virtual PC and found several useful articles:


What's in VPC 7

If you have a PowerPC Mac, you can still buy Microsoft's Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 with Windows XP Professional (US $249) and Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition (US $499, upgrade $329), which includes Virtual PC with Office, as well as a Standalone (DOS-only) version, and an Upgrade version.

VPC7 was Microsoft's first major rewrite of the emulator since it acquired it from Connectix. There were also new features in Version 7, including the following:

There are also beefier system requirements for the new version. Virtual PC 7 requires a Mac with a 700 MHz processor, 512 MB or RAM, and Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.

You can still install your own version of Windows; Microsoft says it will ship a less expensive version without Windows within a few months.

Currently, only the English version is available. Microsoft has promised versions for French, German, Japanese and Swedish, but has not said when they will be available.

Features with VPC 7:

Speed improvements. Although we haven't run benchmark tests, we found VPC 7 to be faster and more responsive to VPC 6 under all conditions. We found speed improvements even without a Quartz Extreme-compatible card, and in Jaguar (10.2.8) as well as in Panther. Windows XP, which we found to be clunky (and many readers found unusable) under VPC 6, seemed to run smoothly.

Replacement processors. VPC7 worked on a Power Mac with an upgraded processor, even though Microsoft says that upgrade cards are not supported.

Fast Save. This feature works as advertised. Click the close button in the upper left of the window in which Windows is running, and it instantly closes. Virtual PC then takes a few seconds to save the state, after the window closes.

Configuration options. In addition to specifying which icons will appear in the VPC toolbar, VPC Preferences lets you set the CPU usage for a virtual machine running in the background. This is a slider bar between "low" and "high," not a numerical value of processor utilization. You can also add a script menu.

Installation. The new installation assistant did not appear to affect the ease of installation. We found installation of VPC to be fairly easy, and the same is true for VPC 7.

Version History

Virtual PC 7.0.3, security update. August 24, 2007 -- Microsoft has released Virtual PC 7.0.3, the first update in over two years for the emulator/virtual machine software for PowerPC Macs. Microsoft describes the update as one that “fixes a vulnerability that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code.”

Virtual PC 7.0.2, update for Tiger. June 29, 2005 -- Virtual PC 7.0.2, a free update is aimed at compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The company said that the update fixes the three compatibility problems with when running in Tiger:

Virtual PC 7.0.1. November 10, 2004 -- Virtual PC for Mac Version 7.0.1 is designed to fix a bug that prevented VPC 7.0 from running on Macs with more than 2 GB of memory. Microsoft also said that the update "improves the overall stability of Virtual PC." The update is available in five languages.

VPC 7.0 ships. October 5, 2004 -- Microsoft ships Virtual PC for Mac Version 7.0 with Windows XP Professional.

Reader Reports

TIP: Using Virtual PC 7 with RAM disk

October 13, 2004

A reader named Ed describes how he got performance gains in Virtual PC installing it on a RAM disk, a virtual drive volume located in RAM, rather than on the hard drive. He used a utility called RAM Disk Creator (US $15) to create the RAM disk in Mac OS X.

I have gained Virtual PC performance by using the RAM Disk Creator utility. It seems to work only with Virtual PC 7. Create a RAM disk just big enough to contain the Virtual PC application, then copy VPC to the RAM disk. When you launch Virtual PC from the RAM disk (instead of the hard disk), there's noticeable performance gain.

All of your changes are saved on the Virtual PC disk image located on your hard disk, so your date is safe. If the Virtual PC application gets accidentally deleted from of RAM disk, just copy it back to the RAM disk.

You can REALLY get a huge performance gain if your Virtual PC disk image is small enough to also copy to the RAM disk. If you are running Windows 95 or NT, then the Virtual PC disk size is around 200 MB. This is real performance boost. Just remember to copy back the PC disk to your hard drive before ejecting the RAM disk. Otherwise, your data will be deleted

A third strategy is to copy the Virtual PC app and Virtual PC disk image (if small enough) to the RAM, as just describe. This time, create another PC drive image located on your hard drive for the specific purpose of saving your data. This way you don't have to copy back the main Virtual PC disk image to your hard drive.

October 18, 2004
Loren Olson reports good performance with VPC 7, but found no speed improvement using a RAM disk:

I found no real advantage to using Virtual PC 7 with Ramdisk Creator. However, running Virtual PC 7 under OS X 10.3.5 on a Dual 867 with a Radeon 9000 video card I found the speed improvements are very real. Instead of getting a CPU that rates at about 557 MHz I now get one that rates at almost 700. I am disappointed that Virtual PC still apparently lacks USB 2 and FireWire but, I guess that was too much to expect. Though it will support USB 1 devices.

If you've tried this

Slowdowns with Norton Antivirus

NOTE: Symantech reported that NAV for Windows was incompatible with VPC 6.

October 18, 2004
Steve Sande reports of a problem with VPC 7.0 Win XP Pro and NAV 2005:

I'm using Virtual PC 7.0 with Windows XP Pro on a 1.8 GHz iMac G5 17" and it works pretty well; so well, in fact, that I'm selling my old Dell PC! Of course, knowing how the Wintel world is overrun with viruses, trojans, etc. I immediately went out and bought Norton Antivirus 2005 to install on my virtual XP machine. Well, it doesn't install - apparently Symantec doesn't support NAV running on virtual PCs. You can get the installer splash screen to show up, but when you click on the "Install Norton Antivirus 2005" link it shows the hourglass for a few seconds and then just sits there. I pulled up the task manager and you can actually see NAVSETUP.EXE trying to run before shutting down. I did some searching and found that this was quite common with NAV 2004 and 2005 with VPC 6, and that nobody had found a fix.

My solution was simple - I returned NAV to Amazon.com and downloaded Avast! antivirus. It loaded in seconds, it's free for home use, and it works with the XP Pro SP2 "Security Manager".

October 18, 2004
Mr. Richardson reports of a performance problem with newly the revamped Fast Save feature:

My experience with VPC 7 on a QS 2002 G4 is good; slightly faster than VPC 6.1.1 with Win2K on the same computer. The one negative I've experienced with VPC 7 is the Fast Save option. On VPC 6, the Save PC State process took 15-20 seconds (restoring from saved state took about 20-25 seconds).

However, with VPC 7, the save process takes about 3 minutes, and this is true regardless of RAM amount allocated to XP. I typically allocate 448 MB to XP on a Panther system maxed out to 1.5 GB.

I'd like to find out what the fix is for the very slow fast save/restore option. Otherwise, XP Pro works well, especially configured in System/Advanced settings for best performance for the Windows Classic appearance.

October 27, 2004
Mr. Richardson

The Save PC State slowdown I had in VPC 7 was solved by turning off the Autoprotect preference setting in Mac Norton Antivirus.

October 27, 2004
John Warren

I can confirm what Mr. Richardson has seen with fast save when Norton AV is running.

I currently have cases in with both Microsoft and Symantec on this issue. In both cases the issue is already past the Level 2 techs.

I also have both Microsoft and Symantec talking to each other. I will be posting more information about this later once I get more information back from MS and Symantec.

Reader reports good performance

October 29, 2004
Roy Houston

We upgraded to the a Power Mac G5 2 MP with 4 GB of RAM last week.

Previously, we had used VPC 6.1. With Virtual PC 7, we can edit and render Flash seamlessly, even while other programs are open in Virtual PC, and while other Mac software was running. In fact, we found Windows running faster then on our Toshiba P4 1.8, and that is no exaggeration.

We mentioned this to the Apple guy at our local CompUSA and he was amazed because he's seen the frustrations we've had with VPC 4.0, 5.0 and finally, 6.0, which was light years better then the older versions, but we still had to depend on a Windows based machine for our work. Now it appears we can soon put the Toshiba to rest. We can say with confidence (using both OS regularly) that this is the best version made.

We remind readers that according to Microsoft, Virtual PC 7 can only use the bandwidth of one processor in a dual-processor Mac.

VPC 7 problem with USB and PalmOne devices

October 29, 2004
A reader named Kevin

The problems started cropping up with USB and PalmOne devices as early as VPC 6.1.1. In VPC 6.1.1 it would take forever for the installer to complete its process of installing, and then when you tired to Sync, it look like Hotsync would initiate, but it would never take off, just time out. Well, in VPC 7 the installation process has been greatly improved, but once again, you can't sync to PalmOne devices such as the T3, and T5.

November 1, 2004
Peter Walker:

I have the same problem. I've installed Palm Desktop, but can't hotsync with Windows using VPC 7.

November 1, 2004
Loren Olson

If you are using Virtual PC 6 or 7 under OS X syncing Palm devices is next to useless. The only fix I have seen is running Virtual PC under OS 9, which of course you can not do with Virtual PC 7.

December 15, 2004
Matt Wildbore

I also cannot sync my T5 with VPC 7. When the HotSync initiates the USB activity initiates ( at the bottom of the VPC window) and the Windows arrow briefly changes to a small hourglass and then it does not connect.

 Suggestions on how to sync

November 4, 2004
Unseelie thought a problem if Palm Desktop for Mac was open:

I sync Palm devices with VPC 7.0 daily with my Tungsten T to a Windows XP (now updated to SP2) VM under 10.3.5 and it works just fine. I did, initially, see some problems if the Mac Palm Desktop was enabled. It appeared as if the Mac Palm Desktop would grab the device before Palm Desktop within the VM could do so. Since then, I have always disabled the Mac Palm Desktop before syncing within Windows and it works like a charm.

November 4, 2004
John Holmes

I am able to do the hot synch just fine. If I am in the VPC window and click on it, then when I push the hot synch button on my Palm, it does the hot synch in the Windows Palm Desktop, if I don't then it will hot synch in the Mac Palm Desktop.

The best method I could find is from within VPC Windows, with the mouse changed to a white arrow. On the Palm device, tap the Hot Synch application in the applications (not the Hot Synch button on the cradle).

November 4, 2004
Jim Breashears describes how he syncs with Virtual PC 6

I've never (knock on wood) had a problem syncing VPC 6 with Palm Devices using USB. I don't know it this is relevant to the discussion, but my set up is: PowerBook 1.25 w/ 1.25 GB Ram & PowerBook 667 w/ 1 GB Ram, both machines set to allot 512 MB to VPC 6. Both machines have VPC 6 and Win 2000 Pro.

VPC Menu Bar > Edit > Settings > USB > Enable > select "USB Device from Apple Computer"

My Palm device is a Kyocera 7135 Smartphone. I used to use the Keyspan serial- to-USB because I thought that was the only way to get it to work. One day I got a wild hair and tried plugging in straight to USB and it worked. I think I got the idea off of MacFixIt, but can't remember for sure.

December 15, 2004
Bruce Miller

I have been enjoying both USB Active Sync and USB Hot Sync 100 percent reliable results inside all versions of Windows (98 SE, 2000, XP Home) running from VPC 5, 6 and now 7.

I have been helping others achieve the same results following extremely simple, but very specific sequences of tips and procedure I have archived here

The tips refer specifically to USB Active syncing, but as noted within, all the tips and sequences of USB cable plugging are identical for Palm Hot Sync for successful results. Not following all the tips will eventually cause syncing to fail or never work properly.

Also, its essential to install both Palm Desktop and Active Sync software in Windows EXACTLY as instructed and to NOT plug in the USB cradle until prompted to do so for proper and trouble-free driver installation. Its so critical, that I suggest reinstalling Windows entirely if that wasn't originally followed.

TIP: Palm syncing with Virtual PC, use Bluetooth

April 21, 2005
Andreas Merkel

I had also the sync problem with Virtual PC 7 and my Palm device.

I'm using Mac OS X 10.3.9 with a Palm Tungsten T3 and Win XP on Virtual PC 7 (latest update).

It was not possible to sync over USB. But VPC 7 offers the possibility to set com1 to Bluetooth-PDA-Sync. It is also necessary to reduce the transfer-speed within Hotsync and palm to a lower level. I used 19200.

Now the syncing works fine. I think this is a good solution for all persons with Bluetooth Palms.

April 25, 2005
Loren Olson did not have the same luck with his add-on Bluetooth adapter.

While I suppose there is a possibility this will work if you have a built in Bluetooth, it certainly will not work with a D-Link Bluetooth adapter. I have a D-link Bluetooth adapter which while seen by the Mac itself, never ever appears in Virtual PC.

VPC 7.0 doesn't work with Macs with more than 2 GB

Version 7.0.1 fixed this problem, but a reader provided a workaround:

Joseph McBride
November 10, 2004

If you have a G5 with more than 2 GB of memory, VPC 7 will not install or boot up. I received VPC 7 in October as part of the MS Office 2004 Professional suite. There are workarounds as follows:
  1. Quit VPC 7.
  2. Open hard drive /library/Extensions folder.
  3. Create a new folder and name it what you want.
  4. In the extensions folder in 2 move the extension "virtualpcosservices.kext" to the newly named folder in 3.
  5. In"/Library/StartupItems" folder find "VirtualPCOSServices" folder.
  6. Move folder in 5 to folder created in 3.
  7. Restart your Mac.

If you can verify or disprove the efficacy of the 7.0.1 update in fixing this memory problem

VPC 7 won't talk to Serial/USB converter

November 10, 2004
Spero Leon reports that VPC 7 doesn't work with a USB adapter that worked with previous versions:

Since the upgraded to VPC 7 from VPC 6.1 I cannot use Keyspan Serial-to-USB Adapter. It seems that the port gets hung up or is busy.

December 10, 2004
Steve Unruh

I have both a Keyspan and Iconcepts USB-to-serial adapters. I am using VPC 7.0.1 and cannot get either to work. I have tried it with "Enable USB" both on and off. With it on and the adapter selected, I get a message that the com port is unavailable. When it is off, the adapter still shows up in the selection popup of the com port, and you get no error message when you select it, but it still does not work. Both of these adapters work with VPC 6.

I am using a 12" PowerBook with 10.3.6.

An adapter that works and how to use it

December 21, 2004
Matthew Pinto

I read this report of problems with USB/Serial adapters and VPC7. I don't have a fix but I can report that I have not had problems with the Prolific Adapter with VPC 7, Windows XP SP2 on a Power Mac G5.

I have both the Mac OS X driver and XP driver installed for the Prolific so that both sides see it. I enable USB in VPC and put the check mark in the Prolific adapter and it communicates perfectly with my "CarChip" program and adapter.

VPC 7 won't connect to DSL

The problem:

November 22, 2004 Joe Simon can't get Virtual PC 7 to connect to the web over his DSL line:

No matter what I do, I can't connect to the Internet from Virtual PC 7 using my DSL connection (PPPoE) connected to my Mac's Ethernet port (Mac OS X Panther). My Mac is the only computer.

Internet Explorer says that it found the web page, but then the web page never loads and times out.

I've done everything that VPC help suggests, and have Shared Networking. (I tried Virtual Switch, but it was even worse -- Internet Explorer could not find the page at all.) I have tried the suggestions at Microsoft's VPC Internet Troubleshooting page. I've tried different network settings in Windows XP, including automatic IP and typing in the Mac's DNS server address. I've tried it with the Mac OS X firewall on and off, and with the Windows XP Firewall off. Nothing works.

The Fix:

December 7, 2004 -- We've discovered a method of getting a Virtual PC to connect to the Internet over a DSL connection. The secret is to use Virtual PC's Virtual Switch setting instead of Shared Networking. Then set up Windows to connect directly to the DSL ISP using PPPoE. Windows calls DSL a "broadband modem." Here's how with Virtual PC 7 and Windows XP:

  1. Make sure the virtual machine is not running.
  2. Set Virtual PC to Virtual Switch networking. (Virtual PC's PC menu->PC Settings->Networking)
  3. In Windows, go to the Start menu and choose Control Panel.
  4. Click Network Connections.
  5. Under Network Tasks, click Create a New Connection. Click Next.
  6. Select Connect to the Internet. Click Next.
  7. Select "Set up my connection manually." Click Next.
  8. Select "Connect using a broadband connection that requires a user name and password. Click Next.

In the next few screens, type in the information for your Mac's DSL (PPPoE) account provided by your ISP.

December 15, 2004
Eric Westby sent in another solution:

I actually ran across an even easier fix, one that enables me to continue to use shared networking: just change the MTU within the virtual machine to 1492. This is easily accomplished within a program such as Dr. TCP, available at http://www.dslreports.com/front/DRTCP021.zip

Tip: Reclaiming disk space in the VPC 7 virtual disk image. December 30, 2004 -- Steve Maser forwarded a procedure to shrink the size of the Virtual PC 7 disk image file in order to reclaim the space on his hard drive:

I was looking for a way to erase the "free space" on a VPC 7 hard disk so that you can use VPC's "reclaim lost space" option to reduce the size of hard disk file. I found this using Google. It worked for me:

Regarding VPC image size. The VPC image does not decrease in size even after you delete files or uninstall programs. The VPC image only grows in size it does not dynamically get smaller.

You will need to manually reduce the size of the VPC image with this procedure:

This procedure is for Windows 95, 98, NT 4, and 2000 guest operating systems.

Be sure to backup any important data before beginning procedure, as this directly changes the guest image contents.

1. Defragment the guest OS hard drive.

2. Backup any critical data in the guest OS.

3. Download Eraser, (http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser/) and install it in the guest OS.

4. Run Eraser in the guest OS.

5. Select Edit->Preferences->Erasing

6. Select "Unused Disk Space"

7. Select "New"

8. Enter the description "Blank"

9. Select Add

10. Create a 3-byte pattern of zeros. On the "Custom Method Editor" window, near the bottom you'll see "Pattern" and underneath that, will be "Byte 1" (with 8 zeros), then "Byte 2" with a checkbox by it, and a grayed out "Byte 3". When you check the "Byte 2" box, the "Byte 3" will no longer be grayed out and you can then check it, thus creating a 3 byte pattern of zeros.

11. Hit Save

12. Select "Blank" under "Unused disk space"

13. Hit OK

14. Select File->New Task

15. Select "Unused space on drive"

16. Select Local Hard Drives

17. Hit OK

18. Select Task->run on the previously created task

19. When finished, close the report

20. Exit Eraser and shutdown the guest PC. Make sure the guest is not in a saved state.

21. Use Virtual Disk Assistant on the Mac to reclaim lost space. Pressing "command+d" will start Virtual Disk Assistant.

22. Select Examine or modify existing disk image, and click the right arrow to continue.

23. Click Select Disk and browse to the location of the disk image to compact. Generally, this will be the Virtual PC 4 folder.

24. Double-click the disk image and click the right arrow to continue.

25. Select Reclaim zeroed drive space and click the right arrow to continue.

26. Click Reclaim Space.

Modem problems with Virtual PC 7

January 26, 2005 -- A pair of readers report two different problems with modems from within Virtual PC 7.

Eugen Steiner:

I'm trying to connect Virtual PC 7 XP professional running on a 12" PowerBook to the internal modem.

The modem works from the Mac side and I have followed the manual's instructions to install a standard 56000 modem driver on the Virtual PC on COM1. Running diagnostics, it seems that the Virtual PC has some kind of contact with the internal modem. However, I cannot get the fax-application, nor other modem-dependent functions to work.

Michael Tulloch had another:

I must say that my experience contrasts markedly with the other users featured on the MacWindows Virtual PC 7 page. We had recently purchased two dual 1.8 GHz G5s, 768 MB of RAM and Virtual PC 7.0.1. Windows XP ran slowly with 512 MB allocated to Windows...We also tested VPC with Windows 2K, and that resulted in a reasonable, smooth and quick experience.

However, in both cases, we found that you couldn't control the modem accurately through VPC. Apparently the G5s built-in Microdash modem is not of the highest quality to begin with, and VPC's modem control was a little lacking. We had all kinds of problems using Z-modem to send and receive data.

Also, the Ethernet connection is wholly emulated in software, regardless of the hardware. Thus, you could be running a gigabit Ethernet card (as we were) and still only receive 10 Mb/sec.

April 25, 2005
Brett Kahl

I read your comments on regards installing the modem drivers to work on COM1. I tried the same and can not get the thing to dial out.

If you can shed some light

January 30, 2006
Malcolm Souness

Hi, I'm also having difficulty getting the modem in my 12” PowerBook to work under Virtual PC7. When viewing communications to the modem, empty square “character outlines” appear in front of commands returning from the modem when addressing it with a particular software package. Diagnostics when run suggest that the modem is in use by something else &endash; VERY confusing.

Virtual Switch broken in Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4

NOTE: This was fixed with Microsoft's 7.0.2 update.

May 3, 2005 -- Microsoft verified that Virtual PC 7's Virtual Switch option not working in Tiger. A spokesperson said that it would be fixed in a free patch from Microsoft in 2-to-3 months.

Thanks to all of the readers who wrote in to verify the problem. Two readers also reported that the problem occurs in Virtual PC 6 as well.

Phil Ershler: I have noticed the same issue with Virtual Switch in VPC 6 and Tiger. Shared Networking seems to work OK.

Douglas Stroud:

I upgraded to Tiger over the weekend and all went pretty well. However, with VPC 6 I am having the same problem as mentioned in the article with the Virtual Switch being broken.

VPC 7 disk corruption, crashing in Tiger 10.4.3 when printing

December 16, 2005
Erik Scheirer reports a strange problem with Virtual PC 7.0.2 and Mac OS X 10.4.3:

I am having all sorts of problems with 'disk' corruption, and often it crashes my Mac as well. Seems to happen any time that I 'empty the recycling' or heavy-duty file transfer.

I have found the pattern that crashes my Power Mac dual G5:

  • VPC is running and one of the 'machines' must be Windows. This doesn't happen when running freeBSD, for example.
  • Another mac on the local net is sleeping and is sharing its printer.
  • VPC is in foreground on non-printer Power Mac G5. The printer Mac wakes, and bang! the PowerPC forces restart. This, even though I have removed all shared printer entries from the Power Mac G5.

Happens every time. Only when running VPC with Windows.

The Fix

January 3, 2006
Erik Scheirer

Since I about removed the shared printer entries VPC has not crashed at all.

On Mac 1 I deleted the shared printers that are actually being served by Mac 2 and not physically connected to Mac 1. I took them out via the Printer setup utility. Also, Mac is OS X 10.3.9 and Mac 1 is 10.4.3.

If you've seen this problem

VPC7 won’t update Windows or access MSN

August 7, 2006
Luke Blindell has a problem with Virtual PC 7 with certain network tasks:

I'm quite pleased with VPC 7.0.2, but the only real problem I have is that Windows update won't work and I can't log into MSN, I think the 2 are related. Other Internet browsing works fine. I have left the network settings as default and have ALL firewalls off.

Web browsing seems fine in both Explorer and Mozilla. My web access seems as fast as the host Mac's.

August 16, 2006
Albert Markl

I can confirm the "Update Windows" problem. When checking for updates on the Microsoft web site, the program never returns.

It seems to me that it happens since there was an update for checking the genuine Microsoftness of the operating system. It worked well before.

Strangely, automatic updates work perfectly (at least as long as you’re an admin...).

August 16, 2006
Rich

I have a similar problem (VPC 7 not updating), reported it on the Microsoft Mac VPC newsgroup and have gotten no replies.

August 16, 2006
Jeremy Lock:

I cannot update Windows using Windows update via VPC 7. I have to wait for the MS Windows automatic updates to download.

Also MS Internet Explorer 7 will not open under VPC 7. As this is a beta I am not really bothered.

A fix

August 16, 2006
Elton Turner

I had the same problem and a few more with VPC not updating and not connecting to certain websites. After searching about for help, I found a reference to some PC software that helped solve the problems. I am running OS X Tiger (10.4.7), VPC 7 (latest version) and am connected to the Internet via DSL.

Find and install Dr.TCP in Windows. Set the MTU values to 1300. It is okay to use both the Macintosh firewall and the Windows XP firewall – I recommend running them both for security reasons.

Once everything is running correctly, I also recommend saving a copy of the Virtual PC list (located in the user’s personal Documents folder), because Windows XP frequently loses it bearings, and this copy can be used to immediately restore VPC7 back to its last known good working condition. (Anything added to Windows since the copy was made will be lost, of course, but at least it runs again.)

Another fix

September 27, 2006
A reader named Rich

9/13/06 UPDATE: My problem was solved with the help of Microsoft Support directing me to delete a bunch of stuff. I updated the post I previously sent to you at Google Groups.

To read Rich’s fix, click here, then scroll down to the entry called “Windows Update fails in XP – SOLVED.”

If you've tried this fix

Tip: Outlook 2001 in Classic in Tiger

August 16, 2006 -- Kirk Fuller sent us a tip for setting up Outlook 2001 for use in Classic:

While looking for information at MacWindows about Entourage for a new user, I decided to see if others were having issues with Outlook 2001. Here is how I have it working flawlessly in classic on Panther or Tiger.

1. Create a disk image of appropriate size (typically I choose 40MB)

2. Install Outlook 2001 to the newly created and mounted disk image

3. For machines with multiple users: -Place the dmg file in the shared users folder (verify its permissions as available to all) -Add an alias to the dmg file in the users Login Items so its automatically mounted at login

4. Printing in Outlook will require the setup of a printer in Classic using the Desktop Printer Utility

That's basically it.  Having Outlook run from a disk image (where the OS will ignore permissions) will allow the creation of the necessary hidden files by Outlook.  As long as your OS X network settings are correct you can use the common name of your exchange server when creating the profile.

If you've tried this fix

Nokia PC Suite no-go in VPC 7

February 3, 2006
Mike Lincoln

Nokia PC Suite, version 6.70.22, does not run on VPC 7.02 under Mac OS X 10.4.4 running on a late model AL PowerBook 1.67 GHz with 1 MB memory. The program loads, but then the application's window colors become fouled up when clicking the buttons and it can never actually find the Nokia phone (N-90 in my case) over USB. Interestingly, Virtual PC sees the N90 over USB in “My Computer,” but Nokia PC Suite can't connect to it.

October 6, 2006
Paul Cheng confirmed a previous report:

I'm using the latest version of PC Suite 6.81R13. Using VPC 7.02 it exhibits the behavior listed on your site. The Bluetooth connection will not work either. The program is already flaky enough under Windows using USB.

For a list of other Windows programs that have problems with Virtual PC, see our VPC Incompatibilities page.

A fix

April 4, 2007
Sven G. sent us a link to a page that describes how to use the Nokia PC Suite on a Mac with in Parallels Desktop on a Mac. Sven G. tried it with Virtual PC on a PowerPC Mac:

Here's a very interesting link that I recently found, which finally solves the Nokia PC Suite USB communication problem: I've tested it in VPC 7.0.2 on Mac OS X 10.4.9 and it works!

The correct OS X-like way to do this would, of course, be:

sudo sh usbfix.sh

(Instead of logging in as root, which is quite unnecessary.)

Sadly, the Nokia PC Suite window still has distorted colours in VPC, especially on the icons: but maybe this has something to do with the old S3 emulated video card, I don't know.


Virtual PC 7 and Leopard

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Microsoft won't support Virtual PC in Leopard; VPC can't see Mac CD/DVD drive

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mac Observer reported yesterday that Microsoft will not support Virtual PC in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Virtual PC is virtualization software for PowerPC Macs. Virtual PC does not run on Intel Macs, and Microsoft has said that it will not port it, though the company is still selling Virtual PC for users with PowerPC Macs, and now, Mac OS X 10.4.x and earlier. Virtual PC 7.0.3 is the current, and apparently last, version.

MacWindows reader Barbara Huits reported a VPC incompatibility with Leopard:

I installed Leopard and since that time I can start Virtual PC 7 but the Virtual PC is not longer able to capture a disc that I put in the disc drive.

This incompatibility means that cannot install Windows software from CDs or DVDs.

If you've seen this problem

For more on Leopard, see our Leopard Tips and Reports page.

TIP: Workaround for VPC7 CD bug in Leopard

Monday, December 17, 2007

Several readers responded to Friday's post with a workaround to Virtual PC 7's the CD incompatibility with Leopard. Microsoft's Virtual PC (virtual machine software for PowerPC Macs) cannot see optical discs when running in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The workaround is to create a disc image file of the CD or DVD and then access it from within Windows in VPC.

James Clarke described it:

I also had this problem, but easily got around it. I simply used the Mac Disk Utility to convert the CD to a disk image and VPC7 was able to read this. It was a little annoying, but the work around was quite easy.

Fred Evans provided step-by-step directions:

You have to create a CD image using Disk Utility then capture the disk image from Virtual PC.

Using Disk Utility:

  1. Select the CD (Name of CD) from left pane
  2. File > New Disk Image From Diskxxxx(Name of CD)
  3. Change the Image Format to DVD/CD Master
  4. Choose Save to Disk.

Open Virtual PC and start Windows, login, etc.

  1. Select Drives > Capture Disc or Capture CD Image. Locate your disk image (Name of CD.cdr)
  2. The disk should AutoPlay and run the installer; OR you can browse via Windows Explorer

I used this method to re-install Microsoft Office 2003 last week. I have Virtual PC 7.0.3 running Windows XP SP2 / 256 MB / 10 GB on a (12” PowerBook 1.33GHz / 1.25GB / 160 GB Mac OS X 10.5.1).

Jack Martin had to change the .CDR extension to.ISO:

I had the same problem MacWindows reader Barbara Huits had (not being able to access CD drive). I installed Virtual PC 7 AFTER I already had Leopard installed.

To get around it, create an ISO of the CD/DVD you want to use in Windows; mount it in Windows. Second choice, "Menu - PC Settings/Shared Folder: Select your CD and close the Settings. At "Your Computer" you will find your CD and you can start or read it.

The first option worked for me. I saved the Windows install CD as a CD/DVD image (it gives it a .cdr extension; just change it to ISO once it's burned)

Start up Virtual PC Got to Drives - Capture CD Image; locate your ISO image.

I'm running XP Pro on a Mac Pro, Dual G5 processors, 6 GB RAM.

Fred Horvat did not use Disk Utility, and points out a size limitation with DVDs:

Accessing physical CD/DVD drive no longer works in in VPC 7 with Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard. You still can easily use CDs and DVD by making an ISO of the physical CD and then mounting it under VPC when you start the virtual machine. It is an extra step and a hassle but will allow you continue VPC 7.0.3 under Leopard.

I think there is a limit on ISO file sizes for DVD images in VPC of around 2.2 Gig. This could be a showstopper for some people. It would then be a lot tougher to install Vista or other operating systems that come on DVD.

Any program that will create an ISO file from CD will do. For me I have a neat shareware program on my XP box that I use. I don't recall every using Apple's but if it creates an ISO file it will work too.

There is another oddity when running VPC under Leopard with the network interface showing up in the Dock when VPC is running. It appears not to affect the running of VPC but just looks strange.

Mike V. Reported success with this process:

I've seen the same problem here with Virtual PC 7.0.3 and Leopard. It won't boot off of media that I know working properly for Windows XP installation on normal PC hardware. A boot disc with CD support from Windows 98 won't work properly either.

Going the imaged route worked for me. I managed to get my XP image up yesterday and overall it's working fairly well.

TIP: External CD drive gets around VPC/Leopard disc problem

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ken Hoyle in Queensland, Australia, discovered a way around Leopard's incompatibility with Microsoft Virtual PC, which can't recognize the Mac's CD/DVD drive. We've previously reported a workaround, which is to create a disc image of the disc. Hoyle has a better solution:

I reinstalled VPC to 7.0.3 on my PPC iMac G5 after an erase-and-install upgrade to Leopard, now 10.5.3. Windows runs fine but I cannot install 3rd party software from the internal optical drive; the "disc is not readable" error comes up. Fortunately, I have an external FireWire 400 LaCie burner, which Virtual PC recognized. I was amazed when I inserted a software installation disc in the LaCie drive and it popped up in Windows! I've now installed all my software from that. The eject disc command also works from the VPD Drives menu.

If you've tried this

TIP: Another workaround for Leopard CD/DVD incompatibility with VPC 7

Monday, January 5, 2009

We've previously reported an incompatibility between Leopard and the old Virtual PC and optical drives. Paul Redfern has another workaround:

Just to let you know - I'm using Ken Hoyle's workaround as I type this - using an external Lacie FW400/USB CD burner to install Windows XP on a new machine. My previous workaround was to boot up my Mac off an external hard-drive that still had OS X 10.4 installed on it, and starting up Virtual PC from there.

Once you have a working operating system however, and you want to install some extra software off a CD/DVD, the easiest thing to do is simply declare the install CD/DVD a 'shared folder' - you can't use 'autorun', but you just navigate over and find the setup.exe or install.msi and go from there!

Virtual PC CD workaround for Leopard works

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Amy McVay verified a workaround for the Leopard/Virtual PC incompatibility where Windows can't see the internal drive:

I just wanted to let you know that adding an external drive worked great for me. Third party software is installing right now.

Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac is a discontinued Intel emulator for running Windows on PowerPC Macs.


Reader has USB problems with Win XP SP3 in VPC 7

Friday, May 16, 2008

Etienne Mathieu reports a possible incompatibility with Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Virtual PC 7 (PowerPC Macs):

With Virtual PC 7.0.3, XP SP3 lost the USB connection with my external hard drive. Until I updated my Windows XP SP2 virtual machine to XP SP3, I had no problem with my external USB Hard drive. Now it sees the USB external device in the USB list in the VPC settings window but the connection does not complete and then it unchecks itself in the USB VPC settings. I tried with another virtual machine still at XP SP2 and there's no problem.

Reader's USB works in VPC with XP SP3; online VPC help available

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fred Horvat responded to Friday's report of a USB problem with Windows XP SP3 in Virtual PC. He also let us know of an online forum for VPC users:

I have tried this with VPC 7.03 in XP SP3 with both OSX 10.4.11 and 10.5.2. I was able to successfully sync my Windows Mobile phone just fine on both machines.

Maybe USB is turned off for his Virtual Machine? Then there could be issues with Virtual PC like he may need the 7.03 patch, corrupt PLIST, or Repair Disk Permissions.

I don't know but USB worked fine for me with XP SP3. Good VPC support is available on the Usergroup microsoft.public.mac.virtualpc.

For more on Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs, see our Virtual PC 7 Notes and Reports page.

Update in using USB in Virtual PC with XP SP3

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fred Horva updated his report about USB problems with Virtual PC 7 and Windows XP SP3:

There was something obvious I forgot to mention in my 05-19-08 response to Etienne Mathieu. That is in the Virtual Machine Settings USB needs to turned on. Plus sometimes you need to actually check the box for each device for Windows that you wish to use. This may or may not be Etienne Mathieu's issue but sometimes each individual USB device needs to be activated besides just USB.

Q&A: What is the max RAM for Virtual PC?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bruce Hobbs asks:

I just upgraded my PowerBook G4 from 1 GB to 2 GB so that I could bump the memory used for Virtual PC 7 from 512 MB to 1 GB in order to improve speed.

I found to my disappointment that the maximum memory that I can assign to a Virtual PC is 512 Mbyte. I will still get better performance with my 2 Gbytes, since I typically run Mac applications along with my Virtual PC applications, but I'm still disappointed.

A: Virtual PC could never assign more the 512 MB RAM to a single virtual machine. You can have multiple virtual machines, each with 512 MB. There is no way around this.

To get more speed out of Virtual PC, we do have some suggestions for tweaking Windows to run faster in VPC.

Running Virtual PC 7, Leopard and Vista

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For those using PowerPC Macs, Microsoft's now-discontinued Virtual PC is the best way to run Windows. Brian Reilly has posted information about using it to run Windows Vista in Leopard:

As a regular Virtual PC 7 user, I've come across your site on multiple occasions. I recently complied a guide to running Virtual PC 7 in 2008. The article includes the Leopard fix that you already have on your Virtual PC 7 page, but also includes how to run Vista, some VPC7 benchmarks, and a video comparing Word 2008 (mac) to Word 2007's start up time: 12.6 seconds for Word 2008 running natively compared to 9.6 seconds for Word 2007.


PowerPC owners take heart: Win 7 runs on Virtual PC

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fred Horvat reported that he can run Windows 7 Beta 1 on a PowerPC Mac with the (long discontinued) Virtual PC emulator:

I got Windows 7 Beta running under Virtual PC 7.03 on my dual G5 with OSX 10.5.6. I also got the network card working inside the Virtual machine. I had to follow the Vista install steps for Virtual PC Mac to get it to install (do a Web Search for instructions if curious). Performance is a bit pokey and not really for day to day use though. I can't say yet if performance is any better than Vista under Virtual PC. I have not done any Windows performance optimization yet.

For more reader reports and tips, see Running Windows 7 Beta 1 on Macs.


Virtual PC 7 for Mac problem with IE8 in Windows XP SP3

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fred Horvat reports that Internet Explorer 8 doesn't work in Virtual PC 7 for PowerPC Macs:

Just a quick note to Mac VPC 7 users. Currently Internet Explorer 8 under Windows XP SP3 installs fine but does not work properly. It appears to load and render Web Pages but does not display them to you. All you get is a white page displayed in the browser window.

On Microsoft's VPC for Mac newsgroup microsoft.public.mac.virtualpc there are a few users working on the issue. For the latest info go there. Currently the only solution to get IE working again is to revert back to IE7.

If you've seen this problem

TIP: Microsoft unintentionally fixes VPC, IE bug

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fred Horvat reported that a Microsoft update for Internet Explorer 8 has enabled it to run in the now discontinued Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs:

Here's an update to my last E-mail on 05-03-09 in regards to IE8 not working under VPC 7.0.3 with XP or Vista. Since then the latest IE8 patches seemed to have fixed the issue. Craig MacKenna on Microsoft's VPC for Mac newsgroup microsoft.public.mac.virtualpc stated that during the installation when the question of "do I want to include updates" you must answer "YES" to this for IE8 to work in VPC. He tried it both ways and if answered "NO" it will not work.

I tried this on XP Pro and Vista Ultimate and it does indeed work as described.

If you tried this


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