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How to Create a Virtual Machine in Windows 7 Using Windows Virtual PC

You can create a virtual machine in Windows 7 using Windows Virtual PC. Although Windows 7 contains many of the popular features from other operating systems, you might have programs you need to use that are not compatible with the Windows 7 operating system. You can create virtual machines using Windows Virtual PC that allow you to install and run these older programs. This gives you the benefits of Windows 7 without having to lose anything.

Using Windows Virtual PC, you can create multiple virtual machines and run a different operating system on each one. Once you've created a virtual machine, you can run your older programs just as you would any other application on your desktop.

  1. Choose Start→All Programs→Windows Virtual PC and then select Virtual Machines.

    If you don't see Windows Virtual PC on your Start menu, you'll need to download it from the Microsoft Web site and install it on your computer before proceeding.

    You can't use Virtual PC 2007 with Windows 7. So, if you've upgraded from a previous version of Windows, you'll need to install the newer Windows Virtual PC to create a virtual machine.

  2. In the window that opens, click the Create virtual machine button on the toolbar.

    The Create a Virtual Machine wizard opens.

  3. Give your virtual machine a name and specify a location to store the virtual machine file. Click Next.

    The wizard asks you to specify your memory and network options.

  4. Decide how much RAM to dedicate to your virtual machine and whether to allow network access. Click Next.

    Although the virtual machine can run with as little as 4 MB of RAM, the more you can give it, the better it will work.

  5. Give your new virtual machine a drive letter. Click Create.

    You can choose to use an existing drive or to create one by partitioning an existing drive.

    You can also choose to Create a Virtual Hard Disk Using Advanced Options. If you select this option, you'll be taken through another series of wizard pages for creating a more advanced hard drive. However, if you don't have a specific need, stick to the basic options.

  6. Choose Start→All Programs→Windows Virtual PC and then select Virtual Machines. Double click the new machine.

    Your new virtual machine will open onto your desktop. Once it's open, you can install any operating system you want.

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