How-To Geek

Beginner: How to Use Virtual PC to Install Windows 7 into a Virtual Machine

Continuing in our series covering how to use Virtual PC, this week we’ll be showing you how to install Windows 7 into a virtual machine. It’s a very simple process, but here’s the step-by-step guide for beginners.

If you haven’t already read it, you should check out our guide on how to create a new virtual machine using Virtual PC.

Creating a Windows 7 Virtual Machine

To see all you can configure in it, you should open your Virtual Machines folder,  select your new virtual machine and right click it to select Settings.


Now you will see you have two options to load your Windows 7 installation files.

You can load your installation DVD on your PC and select in the DVD drive menu Access a physical drive as shown in the picture below:


Or you can select Open an ISO image if you have a .iso copy of the installation DVD in your computer:


Once you have selected your installation option, you can double click on the virtual machine and it will start and it will load your installation files.


After loading the installation files, you should configure your language options.


Whenever you click on the virtual machine window, Virtual PC will let you know that the mouse will be captured by the virtual machine and will also show you how to release the mouse to use it on your host operating system again.


You can now click on Install now.


You can select whether you want to make a custom installation or an upgrade. Since you won´t have any previous operating systems installed, you should select Custom.


Select the drive where to install the virtual machine. You can also select Drive options for more advanced configuration settings.


On the Drive options menu, you will see options for formatting the drive, creating or deleting partitions, change the partition size, etc..


Once you click on Next, the installation process will begin.


After the installation has finished, your virtual machine will start for the very first time.


When the operating system has loaded, you will be seeing a toolbar on the upper side of the window. Select Tools and click on Install Integration Components.


It will ask you to install the Integration Components as shown below.


It will open a virtual DVD drive from where you should choose to run the setup file.


This will open the Integration Components wizard that will integrate your virtual machine with your host operating system.


You will see that while it installs the integration components, the virtual pc will begin to recognize your devices and install the drivers.


It will ask you to restart your system for the configuration changes to take effect.


After rebooting, if the Integration Components have not been automatically activated, you can go to Tools and enable them.


After enabling the Integration Components, you will see all the devices connected to your host operating system in the new USB menu from where you can attach them and use them as if they were connected to your virtual machine.


You will also see a new View Full Screen option and you can now enable Aero and other features.


If you want to select what other features you want to integrate between your host computer and your virtual machine, you can go to the virtual machine Settings and select them from the Integration Components menu.

  • Published 04/21/11

Comments (17)

  1. Steve O

    Seriously this HP thing framing your website is killing me. I’ll be back in a few days to check if its gone.

  2. geeky geek

    for steve -> to keep the blog free, they have to add some commercials on it.

  3. vistual

    @ geeky geek,
    very true but its shouldn’t be intrusive or affect a visitors experience. – they actually prefer to be notified about that stuff.
    one of the mods recently complained about something similar in an off topic thread.
    i think they look into that stuff right away

  4. The Geek

    Please don’t whine about ads in the comments of an unrelated article.

    And frankly, the ads are over on the side of the page, well out of the way of the reading area. Complaining about something that isn’t intrusive and doesn’t make the article difficult to read… is silly.

  5. vistual

    no complaints here.

  6. Cambo

    Virtual PC is OK, however it only supports Windows Operating Systems (of course VPC being made my MS) and very limited Linux support.

    I’d still stick with a OS neutral VirtualBox or VMWare Player (both free) and freely available for Windows, OSX and Linux hosts.

  7. Hatryst

    Great article. I prefer VMWare though (because my hardware likes it !)

    *off-topic* We’re getting quality stuff here and can’t we give anything in return? Tolerance, at least?
    Ads are good. HTG is giving out so much good stuff, that you should click on the ads instead of complaining about them. It helps HTG, and the talented writers. If HTG had not published all these helpful articles, you’d be infected with “MS removal tools” antivirus, and a nice looking “BOOTMGR is missing” error that would greet you when you turn on your computer, and then you’d have to pay to get it fixed !
    But, at HTG, you get the solutions for free. So if ads annoy you, ignore them.

    You’ll understand it when you’ll have a website/blog of your own…

  8. silversuperman

    I Too use VMware. Only cause I use other OS’s like Ubuntu and a WebOS Virtual Machine. But this is a great article. Thank you!

    **+1000 @Hatryst. Agreed. HTG is an amazing site so much appreciation to HTG for all the amazing articles. I’m on this site at least 2 to 3 times per day… I’ve never had an issue w/ the ads.

  9. Steven Shaffer

    @Cambo Thanks for making that point. I was just going to ask how this compares to Virtualbox. I’ve used it for some time now and wondered if there was any benefit of switching to VirtualPC. Thanks again for the article! If not for it I wouldn’t have gotten my question answered in the response section….

  10. Aaron

    What is the point of this if you’re already running Windows 7?

  11. Ravi Lodhiya


    Well I am using Windows 7 Ultimate and love to try lots of software applications but always afraid of if anything goes wrong with Host PC, it may kill my precious time to restore and trust me I have been through good few times. That’s why I use Virtual PC and I install all my R&D applications and fiddling with settings with Virtual PC (no doubt always keep a fresh copy of backup handy). And thanks to Microsoft if anything goes wrong, I till have overall control on my main pc and can restore virtual pc very easily.

    The point is, it really saves your hell lot of the time, keeps your machine clean and help me to experience software applications I just want to try without affecting my existing ones. Simple.


  12. David

    I absolutely adore Virtual Box (with guest additions). Easy, fast, well-supported, intuitive.

    I teach computer security and always have a few installations of Windows in various states of ‘unprotectedness’ so I can either test or show students what sorts of things can go wrong. When it goes bad, I just wipe that virtual machine and start again.

  13. amozai

    Virtual Box is my hero.

  14. Uvais

    How to install XP inside Xp or install 7 inside XP??


    Love How to Geek :)


    Great article thank a lot.

  16. Danny

    I’ve not tried using Win7 in a virtual machine as I don’t know what’s going to happen if I try to create/activate/delete a dozen Win7 virtual machines. Will it stop activating installations sometime?

  17. Who am I?

    I like this technique well. but i have a doubt if it(virtual pc) could be used in crashed systems?? plz make clear about this..

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