Virtual PC Requirements

Virtual PC enables you to run multiple instances of one or more operating systems on a single PC.Virtual PC enables you to run multiple instances of one or more operating systems on a single PC.

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Virtual machine technology enables Windows 7 PCs to perform tasks once possible only on large mainframes or high-performance minicomputers. For instance, Microsoft's Virtual PC software enables a properly equipped computer to simultaneously run your company's mission-critical accounting system under Windows Vista, your Customer Relationship Management application with Ubuntu Linux and the latest version of Microsoft Office under Windows 7 on the same physical machine. Virtual PC is a Windows 7-only application. If your PC can run Windows 7 well, it probably meets the minimum hardware requirements needed to use Virtual PC.


Virtual PC can run on any 32-bit or 64-bit, x86-compatible CPU. Virtual machine performance is best, however, if your CPU supports full, hardware-assisted virtualization. This includes CPUs by Intel with Intel VT technology or AMD processors with AMD-V. You may need to change your BIOS settings in order to activate full virtualization. In addition, to run Virtual PC and Windows 7, you need a 1-GHz or faster CPU. Your PC should also have on-board video or graphics card support for DirectX 9 and Windows Display Driver Model 1.0.

System RAM

You need at least 2GB of RAM to run Virtual PC. More RAM is better, however, if you are running applications on the host PC along with your virtual machine. For instance, if you are running Windows 7 or Ubuntu Linux as a guest, you should have at least 1GB of RAM in addition to what you need to run your Windows 7 host operating system and any applications such as your Web browser, word processor or email application.

Hard Disk Space

Virtual PC needs just 20MB of hard disk space to install and use. Each individual virtual machine, however, needs disk space for its virtual hard drive. For instance, if you install a Windows Vista guest, you may need 15GB to 20GB of hard disk space to install the operating system - plus additional space for any applications you intend to run within the virtual machine.

Input/Output Devices

Your system will need a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive to install supported Windows guest operating systems. Linux-based guests, however, can be created using ISO images written to optical disks, bootable USB flash drives or ISO files saved on the host's hard drive. In addition, you may need a wired Ethernet or wireless adapter to complete your guest system’s installation or for system updates.

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