How To: Install Windows 7 On Virtual PC 2007

Most of the desktops and laptops today come with Windows Vista preinstalled. But if you are planning to try out the new Windows 7 operating system then VPC (Virtual PC) is the best way to install. It’s completely safe and easy to install an operating system in VPC without creating a new partition to install new one.

Though you can dual boot Windows 7 with Vista (Vista installed first), it’s a good idea to use Virtual PC to install Windows 7 inside the already installed Vista. For those who don’t know, Microsoft Virtual PC let’s you run multiple operating systems at the same time on the same physical system. You can switch between two operating systems within seconds.

Also read my “10 Things to remember before installing Windows 7” guide to make sure things work fine.

In this tutorial we will show you how to install Windows 7 inside Windows Vista using Microsoft Virtual PC.


* Windows 7 DVD

* Microsoft Virtual PC (free)


1. Download and install Virtual PC from here.

2. Run the Virtual PC software. To do this, type Virtual PC in Vista Start menu search box and hit enter.

3. Click on “New” option and click “Next” to continue.

Virtual PC Conslole

4. Select “Create a virtual machine” option from the available three options. I prefer this option as this lets you customize as you like. Click “Next”.

5. Here, type a name for the new virtual machine. The file is automatically saved to the My Virtual Machines folder. To save it to a different location, use the “Browse” button.

6. Select the operating system that you would like to install using Virtual PC from the drop down box. In this tutorial we choose “Other” since Windows 7 option is not available in VPC as of now . After selecting the operating system, click “Next”.

Virtual PC OS

7. If you have more than 1GB of RAM in your system, select “Adjusting the RAM” else select “Using the recommended RAM”. If you have chosen “Adjusting the RAM” then, select the amount of RAM you would like to allocate to run Virtual machine (Windows 7) and click “Next”. (By default, it will use 662 MB of RAM, if you like to keep as it is, blindly click “Next”).

Virtual PC RAM

8. In the next screen, select “A new virtual hard disk” and once again “click” button.

9. In this step, browse the location where you want to create a virtual hard disk and specify a name for the virtual hard drive. Also don’t forget to specify the size of the Virtual Hard Drive. I prefer at least 16GB (Recommended by Microsoft).


10. Click finish button.

11. This will open a small window called “Virtual PC Console”. Click on “Start” button to start the actual process.

12. Insert your Windows 7 DVD in to the optical drive or plug-in bootable USB drive (using USB drive you can install in just 10-15 minutes) and hit enter when Virtual PC console prompts this window. (No need to restart your system. System will be restarted inside the console).

VPC console

You will see the Windows 7 installing environment inside the console.

VPC instlaling Windows 7

13. Install the Windows 7 inside the console with the default Windows 7 installing procedure that you know. Once you finished your installation you will see this Window.

14. Now, you can install all the required programs for your Windows 7.

15. You can close the Virtual PC with a simple click on the “close”(top right) button.

16. To open your Virtual 7 once again, type “Virtual PC”(without quotes) in the Start menu and select your Virtual Windows 7 from the box and click “Start”.

VPC final

17. You are done!!

18. Enjoy!!!



  1. hhm says

    wanna ask a question:Is it possible to add an existing windows 7 installed e.g on another drive through this program without any data lost of that windows?

  2. Aero Organization says

    Hi There! Nice Post but I’m stuck @ Expanding Windows Files in 0% and Write 99,1 MB . I think I need another CD… WORKED FOR ME UNTIL STEP 13 in Genuine Windows XP Professional with Virtual PC 2007

  3. anshul puriya says

    @ all those were having a prblm at step 12 :
    i too had the same prblm. i tried 2-3 times but nthng happenned. so once again i tried and meanwhile i was searching for a solution, but couldnt find any. but when i switched back to virtual machine it was on to the next step i.e. step 13. so i recommend to wait for atleast 15 mins and it will load the files….. 🙂

  4. phil says

    Once youve made the virtual drive do u actually have a process for copying the image to an actual drive so that windows 7 can run normally? Or do you expect everyone to lag their machines by running two OS’s at once?

    Seriously ive done this but want to use a physical hdd.

  5. damian says

    I got W7RC installed no problem until I tried to install the VM additions.
    At this point the additions install, the vpc ask to reboot, during reboot I receive the BSoD.
    After eventually restarting the W7 install reverts back to no addtions.
    I would really love to find a work around so I can play with W7.
    Has anyone else found this? Or even better a solution?

  6. Jack says

    When I reach step 12, the disc spins forever. and I have to kill the process. I used 1GB for Mem, 35GB for V-space. Could you please let me know what’s going on or someone had similiar experience?

  7. Edward says

    how to use USB device on windows 7-virtual PC? I tried with virtual pc additions and it doesn’t work.
    could U help me?

  8. Mukul says

    Great article! this’s exactly what i was trying to find on internet.
    I’ve an issue:
    I cannot run it on the full screen mode.

    How can I enable it?

  9. Dean says

    I installed Virtual PC on Vista Home Premium w/SP1, then I loaded the VPC with Windows 7. No trashed system however I am presently unable to get the Windows 7 to talk to the internet through the Vista Host.

  10. j says

    @Chris, you did choose OTHER right when given a list of OS’s right? win 7 on virtual pc works ok, can’t get aero tho, and some sound issues for me.

  11. Chris says

    Has anyone installed virtual PC on Vista Home Premium Addition SP1? I get a message that the OS is not supported but it looks like it will still install. I don’t want to trash my system.. Thanks

  12. tweakwindows says

    @ Abass
    You can allocate more than 512 MB. Please recheck.

    Thanks for reply.Yes, we can do that. I have written specially for users who don’t like to use USB/DVD drives to install Windows 7. “Installing Windows 7 without using USB/DVD Drive”Just check it:)

  13. reyn0 says

    Hi, great guide to start off. However I just find out that you don’t really need to burn the ISO into a CD. If you are using Windows VPC, when you first start up the it, there is option on CD -> Capture ISO… select that and pick the ISO that you just downloaded from Microsoft site. It will boot from there and do the installation from there. No hassle of making a CD.

  14. Abass says

    Hi there, thanks, that was helpful. I followed your process upto number 12, then got a message ‘the virtual machine could not be started because there is not enough memory available on the host’. My RAM is 1024MB (1GB) and when I go to settings>memory in the virtual machine, it seems like the maximum amount of ram I can allocate is 502MB and the virtual PC requires at least 512 MB. Help! Any solution is appreciated!

  15. whs says

    I got stuck in step 12. The disk would spin and the VirtualPC.exe used over 50% of the CPU (2.5GHz Duo Core), but nothing happened. Maybe my disk does not work (I burnt it from the download file with ImageBurn). I have a bootable USB stick (that works when booting USB from the BIOS), but I did not know how to set VM to boot from there. Maybe someone could tell me.

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