Microsoft Virtual PC is available as a free download which can be used to
create a clean system, which entails having a new system environment ready for
either testing of applications or for general Web surfing or day to day
activities. This is done to keep your main system clean of either junk from
multiple installs or spyware and viruses.
This is the introductory screen of the new Virtual PC Wizard. You can access this wizard by clicking "New" from the Virtual PC console or selecting File | New Virtual Machine Wizard.
This is your initial wizard screen. You can select from the three options
listed here. We will be using the first option (Create a virtual machine) as we
are building this machine from scratch.
You will then select the operating system you will be installing on your
virtual machine. This choice just provides system recommendations based on your
operating system choice, but you are free to change any options during the
course of the wizard.
This is your RAM selection. You will notice the recommended RAM is listed
(256MB for Windows 2003 Server). You are free to change this, but remember that
this RAM will be taken out of your host PC's RAM so don't select more than you
can spare to lose.
This is your virtual hard drive selection screen. From here you can choose to use an existing VHD or create a new one. As this is the creation of our clean environment, we will create a new virtual hard disk.
This is where you will locate your new virtual hard disk. Please take note of
this location and file name as you will need to back them up to be able to
recreate your clean environment.
After creating your VHD your Virtual Machine is now ready to turn on. You can
view the state of this and any other virtual machines you have in the Virtual PC
These are the settings for your new virtual machine (accessible from the "Settings" button on the Virtual PC Console. From here you can adjust many settings on your virtual system as well as reallocate or add hardware resources, though most hardware changes must be done while the virtual system is turned off.
At this point you can start your virtual machine by clicking on it. If you
have the proper media in your CD Rom drive you will be able to complete your
installation just like on a normal system. One thing to watch out for though, if
you use your mouse in the Virtual PC Window you must press the right ALT key to
return mouse control to your main system. Once you have the virtual machine
additions installed on your virtual machine you will no longer need to do this.
After completing your installation, you will have a full complete installation of your chosen operating system ready for whatever work you have planned for it.
One of the first things you should do after installation is to install the
Virtual Machine Additions. You can do this by selecting Action | Install of
Upgrade Virtual Machine Additions after you have logged into the system. This
will mount the ISO for the Virtual Machine Additions and begin the auto-run
program. These additions will help your system run much more smoothly.
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