Comments: Major Windows 7 gotcha you should know about that may block you from upgrading

why not use other products like vmware or VirtualBox?

Posted by eduardo at August 3, 2009 06:10 PM

I'm not sure that Microsoft failed to disclose this - in fact this was explicitly covered in the announcements around Windows XP Mode:

"We recommend that customers use Windows XP Mode on a PC with 2GB of memory. We also recommend an additional 15 GB of additional disk space for Windows XP Mode. In addition, Windows Virtual PC requires a PC with Intel-VT or AMD-V enabled in the CPU, as it takes advantage of the latest advancements in hardware virtualization. "

Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft NZ. However this is not an official Microsoft response.

Posted by Stu Fox at August 3, 2009 06:37 PM

Virtual PC for Win7 is in beta, so the final may be updated to remove the hardware restriction..

Posted by Nicholas at August 3, 2009 07:16 PM

Hey Stu,

The issue here I think is the fact that XP Mode SHOULD NOT INSTALL if its not supported. It blocks VPC 2007 from installing, when it IS supported on a non-VT supported CPU.

Until Bill pointed it out to me, I didn't realize that I had to uninstall it as a Windows feature. And now... all is good. VPC 2007 is running fine.

Posted by Dana Epp at August 3, 2009 07:52 PM


Perhaps. Although I doubt it since their announcement was clear that hardware VT support was needed. I think what we may see is an update to the installer PREVENTING Virtual PC 7 and XP mode from being able to be installed in the first place on non-supported hardware. I have informed Microsoft of the problem, and its now in their hands.

Posted by Dana Epp at August 3, 2009 07:57 PM

Easier solution:

Go get the Windows XP stuff and one of the downloads is the fully working Virtual PC for Windows 7 and it works just fine on RTM of 7.

I've used it, it's working fine, and all of my VPC images work just great and creating new images work just fine too. This isn't a gotcha.

Posted by James Hancock at August 4, 2009 06:12 AM

Thanks for the heads up Dana.

Haven't seen any problems here on Win7 but I'm happy running VMWare Workstation 6.5. Needed for my FreeBSD work.

Posted by Chris Knight at August 4, 2009 08:27 AM

"The new XP mode (which is an excellent feature) may very well need" hardware virtualization, but the VPC *itself* requires the feature (no XP Mode necessary), and I'd like to see an explanation of that. It's a pity that MS is excluding so many people from the new VPC when it's obviously not necessary, based on the competition and their own earlier products.

Meanwhile, if MS wants more people to use VirtualBox, then they can just maintain the status quo.

Posted by Rick at August 4, 2009 01:07 PM

I have never liked Virtual PC. In general I'm a fan of MS. I develop on Windows with Visual Studio. However, Virtual PC has always been a lot slower than VMware. The new Hyper-V is good step forward but years behind ESX. I run the free VMware server because I install a copy of XP or 2003 from an ISO about 2-3x faster than I can on Virtual PC. I just don't get why nearly all MS developers use Virtual PC when they can get free VMware.. ?

Posted by Jonathan Miller at August 4, 2009 08:01 PM

Dana, I would like to echo the idea of using virtual box. I find it's the fastest and most stable virtual machine software I have used.

Posted by Gareth Lewin at August 7, 2009 12:50 AM