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Microsoft Virtual PC

Posted on 2004-09-28
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I am wondering if Virtual PC instances can utilise 3D graphics cards ... e.g. could I run a DirectX game from a virtual PC instance?

Also can Virtual PC run under Linux using the Mac OS X version? Please explain.

Is there a definitive list of what Operating Systems can run Virtual PC and what Operating Systems can be run as Virtual PC instances?
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Question by:micknorman11
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by:ahmedbahgat
ID: 12176888
you can only install MS virtusl PC on a  microsoft OS only, then you can use Virtual PC to run any instance of any OS, not sure about Mac OS but all the others will work fine like OS2, linux, win95, win 3.11, win 98, win NT, win 2k, win xp and win 2k3


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by:ahmedbahgat
ID: 12176895
regarding games, this will be a matter of luck really, the only way to confirm is to try and install the game under that instance of OS under virtual PC

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Author Comment

by:micknorman11
ID: 12176908
I was wondering if at least in theory Virtual PC supports directx and 3d graphics hardware access.

e.g.

Host OS = WinXP
Virtual PC OS = Win95

Under Windows 95 I attempt to play a game that accesses 3d graphics hardware via directx - or for that matter - accessing the 3d graphics hardware directly

The reason I ask is a friend of mine is using vmware and he was wondering if Virtual PC has the same limitation as vmware - that is - no 3d graphics in the instance OS
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by:ahmedbahgat
ID: 12177050
i use virtual pc on my machine but never tried it for games, the bottom line is regarding the display card, virtual pc uses a generic driver, that is dependant on the display driver installed by the host OS, so if the host OS display card needs directX, the virtual PC os will need it as well, how the call will be interpeted between the 2 OS, again it is a matter of luck really

for example, my laptop has an internal modem on com 3

this modem could be found under the virtual OS, even by trying a bit of configuration, with no joy, however if i put an externam modem on com1, it will be detected by the virtual os as generic modem, same with the network cards, will be simulated as generic cards

but all these generic hardware ultimatly are the original hardware so you may try first installing directX on the virtual OS then install the game and see


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by:ahmedbahgat
ID: 12177055
correction
this modem could be found under the virtual OS,

should be

this modem could NOT  be found under the virtual OS

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Author Comment

by:micknorman11
ID: 12177067
interesting what you say about generic drivers ... does this work like:

host os
gfx driver = nvidia driver

virtual pc os
gfx driver = generic


then any access to the driver by an application running in the virtual pc os is actually rerouted to the driver instance back in the host os?

or is it simply a generic driver instanced in the virtual pc os that has no nvidia specific capabilities - for example is only capable of doing 2d vga operations
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by:ahmedbahgat
ID: 12177082
absolutly should be the case, because when i installed virtual PC, i did not need to install any display, network, modem drivers

what is interesting that i have 2 netcards, one in builtin the laptop, the other is wireless, and under the host OS youo specify which one you want it to be available to the virtual OS, and i activated both, and both appeared as generic under the virtual os and the virtual os had no problem sending/receiving  network traffic through both


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by:ahmedbahgat
ID: 12177094
however i had issues with browsing the internet tp play yahoo pool, ie the interent browsing was ok under the wireless but when i try to play pool, i had issues but i believe it is a routing issue and not a driver issue, i gad no problems with the non wirelss card though


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Author Comment

by:micknorman11
ID: 12177097
pretty impressive ... I'm looking forward to having a play with it.

I will leave the question open for a day pending any input on the Mac OS X side.

I'd also be interested in any technical material that details how Virtual PC works under the hood.
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Assisted Solution

by:ahmedbahgat
ahmedbahgat earned 800 total points
ID: 12177141
you will find virtual pc one of the simplest application to use, very very easy really

on brief, you allocate a hard disk space, then you specify the os you want, it has a built in list of all the os i listed but the MAC, then you put the OS you want to install boot cd and capture the CD "like reading it" from Virtual PC menu, and this should start the OS setup

the only issue you need to be aware of , if you plan to run many virtual os simultancly then you will need to have a min of physical ram that is equal to the min memory req. for all OSs including the Host os

for example if the Host os is XP,  XP min ram req is  128 MB
you want to run 95                     95  min ram req  is 16
NT 4                                         NT4 min ram req is 32

then you should have a min of 128 + 16 + 32  MB  of physical ram to be able to run it simultancly , a good solution is to avoide running more than one virtual OS

Virtual PC will also allow you to specify the amount of ram to allocate for each virtual OS, in addition to that you can share files between the host OS and the virtual OS  by installing Virtual PC add ons which is part of the virtual pc cd rom

you can download a fully working evaluation copy "60 days i think" from MS web site

and finally every time you exit the virtual OS you will have the freedom to commit the changes happened in the last sission or totally undo it, what ever that was, like software, driver, patches installation

cheers
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Expert Comment

by:Longbow
ID: 12179752
I have installed DirectX in a Virtual PC
No problem
Then installed an old game for my kid.
It never runs.
Maybe you need a lot of memory to run it.
My answer will be NO. You can't.
Even old DOS games ?
Give it a try.

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Accepted Solution

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etsolow earned 800 total points
ID: 12181313
It *may* work, but it certainly won't work well.

See here:  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;%5BLN%5D;824622
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Assisted Solution

by:SHSUFLIGHT
SHSUFLIGHT earned 400 total points
ID: 12183749
Virtual PC emulates a PC so you aren't really running on your real hardware (at least in the macintosh version).  In that case if you look under the device manager you'll notice that the specs of the machine are signifigantly less than your real specs.  Most of the video card that it emulates isn't DX supported (again at least on the OSx version of virtual pc).  Thus since no 3d graphics emulation, no 3d graphics games, like HalfLife or such.
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