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MacWindows Special Report:

Virtual PC Software Conflicts

Windows software that won't run with Virtual PC

Last updated October 23, 2006

On this page:

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Virtual PC:

Windows on Intel Macs:



Virtual PC is the most popular PC emulator for Macintosh. It enables you to run the majority of Windows and other PC software on your Macintosh. However, some software will not run with Virtual PC, while others will run with some problems.

If you are considering buying Virtual PC to run a specific PC software application, you may want to consult this list first.

Send us Your Report

If you know of a VPC conflict that should be on the list but isn't, or if you can confirm refute one of the "single reader" reports, please . Please note the following before sending a report:

Virtual PC Software Incompatibility List

This is a list of software that reportedly won't run with Virtual PC--it is not a list of bugs or problems.

The second table includes unconfirmed reports of conficts.

Listed alphabetically by software application.

Confirmed reports

The first table lists software conflicts that have been confirmed by either by other sources. (MacWindows has not tested all of the software listed.)

Software that won't run with VPC

Reported VPC Version


Conflict Description

AddWeb 3 and

VPC 3.x and 4.x and VPC for Mac OS X Test Drive

(VPC 4.x worked with AddWeb 4.0 through, but does not work with newer or current versions of AddWeb.)

Two readers have reported this conflict (Mac OS 8.6 and 9.1), and one reader reports Connectix verified it.

However, one reader said that AddWeb 6 does work with Virtual PC 6.1.

In Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows ME, error message during launch of AddWeb: "this program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down."

In Windows ME, error message: program "has caused an error in <unknown> and will now close."

Advanced PDF Password Recovery from ElcomSoft

VPC 5.0.3

ElcomSoft has stated that their software doesn't run on VPC. Several readers confirmed.

Program won't launch.

(Works with the old SoftWindows 5.1 emulator, now discontinued.)

Age of Empires II

Virtual PC 4 and 3.0.3

(One reader says it runs OK in Virtual PC 3.0)

Several readers have reported this conflict. One reader said the Connectix tech support confirmed that there is a problem

A type 2 error message appears and says later that the drive is being used by another virtual machine.

One reader says "VPC 4 states that the CD-ROM drive is in use by another application, and the icon for AOE II disappears from the E drive, and the E drive becomes unavailable."

Another reader says

"There is a known issue with AOE2, along with several other titles by various software publishers. The anti-copy protection on the CD-ROM causes VPC to not properly identify the CD-ROM. We have logged this and will be attempting to complete a fix or workaround. Unfortunately, I don't have a date for that yet."

Business Winstone v1.3 (ZD Labs, now called eTesting Labs)

A benchmarking suite used to measure the performance of a PC.

VPC 3.x

Report to us by Macworld staff, verified by ZD Labs:

"The benchmark software times out during the Corel Office test."

Software launches and begins to run, but stops during the Corel Office test.

DAVE (Thursby Software)

Mac software for connecting Macs to Microsoft networks.

All versions

Confirmed by Connectix tech support database (article 4318).

Running DAVE on the Mac prevents Virtual PC from getting a network connection from Windows.

Connectix says the problem is that NetBIOS only allows one NetBIOS setting per Ethernet port, and both DAVE and VPC Windows are setting their own instance of NetBIOS. Connectix suggests disabling disabling TCP/IP in DAVE's NetBIOS' control panel. This prevents the Mac side from accessing PC networks, but enables Virtual PC Windows access to the network.

Dragon SpeakingNaturally from ScanSoft

All versions

Confirmed by ScanSoft tech support.

This speach recogniztion software for Windows won't work in VPC



All versions

Confirmed by Connectix Connectix tech support database (article 4315, 6/7/200):

"There is no particular bug that causes processing failure, but the applications still need to be considered incompatible for now. Future improvements in VPC and in Mac hardware may allow them to work properly, though."

Emulated PC does not meet the system requirements

HomeSite 4.5

HTML editor

Virtual PC 3.0 with Windows 98 and Windows 2000

Confirmed by multiple readers.

Confirmed by Connectix tech support, according to one reader.

The problem occurs only with HomeSite 4.5; earlier versions of HomeSite do run on VPC 3.

Mercury QuickTest Pro 8 and 9 Virtual PC 7.0.2 (on Mac OS X 10.4.4)

The app works with VPC 5.3.

Reported by two readers In Windows XP SP2, the software won't launch.

It installs and starts but hangs when (having created a script) you move between tabs to view it.

Norton AntiVirus 2004 from Symantec

Virus protection for Windows

Virtual PC 6, 7

Confirmed by Symantec.

Reader says: "Norton AntiVirus 2004 will not begin to install itself on Virtual PC 6.0 running Windows XP Professional..."

Symantec Support says:

"Symantec does not support our products running in emulation environments. Symantec products rely on a tight integration with the operating system and hardware. Emulation software creates an additional layer on the operating system. Therefore, Symantec products will not run on them and are not supported."

Nokia PC Suite Virtual PC 7 Reported by two readers 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 over USB. Virtual PC sees the phone over USB in My Computer, but Nokia PC Suite can't connect to it.

PowerPrint 5.0 USB (InfoWave)

Mac software--a package of Mac drivers for PC printers.

Virtual PC 3.x

Confirmed by InfoWave:

"The main issue is that Virtual PC does not currently have the ability to recognize the USB port as an available COM port with an active printer."

Virtual PC uses the Macintosh print drivers and requires that printers be accessible from the Mac OS side in order to print to them from Windows.

Conflict does not affect printing of PC printer from the Mac OS side on his iMac.

Starfleet Command


VPC 3.x
Win 98

Two readers have reported this incompatibility. However, 1 reader said that it would work if a Voodoo 2 graphics card installed in the Mac.

"sfc.exe starts, begins to load, and quits to Windows, config.exe crashes with an illegal instruction error."

(Mac OS 9.0.4, Blue and White G3 )

Windows Me

Virtual PC 3.03a and earlier


Confirmed by Connectix and many readers.

The problem is that the Windows Me installer looks for PCs with processors of 150 MHz and greater, but Virtual PC does not report a processor speed.

Fortunately, there is a workaround.


VPC 6 and Windows 98

Confirmed by readers.

Either Win 98 and /or WinMX freezes, or the Mac can crash after using for a time.

Unconfirmed reports (from a single report)

The following are single-source, unconfirmed reports of incompatibilities. These applications may in fact be compatible with Virtual PC, but the user ran into another undetected problem. If you can confirm that any of these Windows applications either doesn't or does run with Virtual PC, please let us know.

MacWindows has not tested this software, and makes no claims as to the reliability of unconfirmed reports.

Software that won't run with VPC

Reported VPC Version

Conflict Description

4NT 7.01 (JPSoftware) Virtual PC 7.0.1 Program will not run. Readers says:

I use Virtual PC 7.0.1 with Windows 2000. I confirmed the problem with the software maker.

ACDSee (ACD Systems)

Virtual PC 6 and 7

ACDSee lunches, then quits immediately. There is a way to view photos and that's all. Nothing else works.

American Institute of Architects' Contract Documents (Windows version 2.5)

Virtual PC 3 and 4 (with all updates)

Whe the software is run, an error message appears "This program does not support PC emulation software."

AutomatedQA TestComplete 3.1+

Virtual PC 7.0.2 (on Mac OS X 10.4.4)

The app works with VPC 5.3.

In Windows XP SP2, the software won't launch.

Cinemania 97 (Microsoft)

Virtual PC 3.0.3

When attempting to run, Windows displays general protection faults in module DIBENG.DLL. Then, Windows Explorer starts GPFing, requiring a reboot of Virtual PC. Microsoft's Knowledge Database says the problem is related to the display driver.

(reported with Windows 98, Mac OS 9.0.4)

Combat IV and V


Virtual PC 4.0.2

When loading Close Combat IV and V the CD icon mounts, allowing me to install the game in VPC. The CD is required to play. After installation, the CD will again mount in the VPC drive window. The game startup screen appears, but when Play is selected, there is a long delay followed by a prompt that says "cannot located CD-ROM."

Conquerors Expansion


Virtual PC 4

(One reader says it "Just won't run on VPC 3," while another says it will run in VPC 3)

In VPC 4 a type 2 error message appears and says later that the drive is being used by another virtual machine.


Virutual PC 2 and 3

Can access chat hub, but cannot launch into game. Some kind of DirectDraw error. Am running DirectX 8.0  

Deja Vu (Atril Software)

a computer-aided linguistic translation program

Virtual PC 3 and 4

Unfortunately, Deja Vu scans for its dongle first on the parallel port and then the USB port. The software's scan of the parallel port crashes Windows in VPC. There are three files you can remove to remove the USB call, but this means that the program only operates in Demo version.

The reader who reported the problem said "The author is aware of the problem. This issue is well known to Deja Vu users and the developers."

Hexplore (Ocean)


VPC 2.1.3, 3.0, and 3.0.3 with Windows 95 and 98.

Error message "Disk Verification Error" when attempting to launch the game, whatever the installment (small, normal, full). It is, of course, the original CD (not a copy).


Virtual PC 2 and 3

Windows problems after each install


An e-mail/bulk-mail management program

Program won't launch.

MecWarrior Commander


VPC 3.x and 4.x

Will operate for a minute or so then crashes.

MapInfo (MapInfo Corp.)

GIS map software

Virtual PC 3

Won't install. Virtual PC quits when setup.exe is run.

National Geographic Back Roads Explorer

Virtual PC 6.1:

It acts as if it installs properly but won't launch.

Reader says he contacted Microsoft and the software company and learned that it is not compatible.

Prime95 20.4.1

Windows freeware program for searching for Mersenne Primes.

Virtual PC, Windows 2000

Presents hardware error signals when testing under the LL conditions. However, VPC did run the factorial program. The problem may be related to how the program is optimized for the Intel architecture. (Tested on Mac OS 9.04)

Risk 2 (Hasbro Interactive)


Virtual PC 3.0.3

It starts to launch but always crashes before actual gaming starts.

Settler 3

Farm management software, won't run.

Solid Edge 8 (Unigraphics Solutions)


Virtual PC 3.0.3

After installing the files, a message is presented about updating the system files. It then crashes with an error message "An unrecoverable processor error."

Take Command 7.01 (JPSoftware) Virtual PC 7.0.1 Program will not run. Readers says:

I use Virtual PC 7.0.1 with Windows 2000. I confirmed the problem with the software maker.

TaxCut for Windows
H&R Block

won't run:

I was very disappointed that H & R Block decided to no longer provide TaxCut for Mac for the 2005 tax year. I was further disappointed that their PC version would not run on Virtual PC 7. I was told that the 2004 TaxCut for Windows would run on VPC 7. 

Total Virus Defense (Network Associates)

"It installs OK but its crash central thereafter."

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