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Virtual PC version 5 Readme FileReturn to News Page

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Virtual PC version 5 Readme File
Published: 12/7/2001
To those that are considering buying Virtual PC version 5, I thought it might be useful to see the full "Readme" file which includes compatibility information, known issues and more.

    " Connectix Virtual PC for Mac Version 5.0 Read Me for PC-DOS, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home and Upgrade Versions

    This Read Me file is divided into the following sections:

  • Notes Regarding Virtual PC Technical Support
  • System Requirements
  • Important Information
  • Notes Regarding USB Devices
  • Known Incompatibilities
  • How to Contact Connectix Corporation

    Please Register Your Copy of Virtual PC by One of These Means:

  • Using Virtual PC's built-in registration mechanism
  • By visiting the Connectix web site at:


  • To better support our customers, Connectix has developed Connectix Care, a collection of services designed to offer a variety of free and fee-based support options. All registered Virtual PC 5.0 users can access the new online support tools at no cost. Additionally, each user gets one free incident to utilize our enhanced phone and email support.

    For additional information about Connectix Care, visit the Connectix web site at http://www.connectix.com/support/

  • Virtual PC 5.0 works with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, Windows NT 4.0, PC DOS 7, and PC DOS 2000. Connectix support is limited to the operating system that is included with Virtual PC. Other OSes are not actively supported by Connectix.

    More information about Virtual PC can be found in the Connectix Knowledge Database at http://www.connectix.com/support/kdb.html.


  • Virtual PC requires a native G3 or G4 processor.

  • Upgrade and accelerator cards are not actively supported by Connectix.

  • Virtual PC requires Mac OS 9.1 or later and/or Mac OS 10.1 or later.

  • To run Virtual PC 5.0 in OS X, you need a 400MHz minimum processor.

    Please refer to the Virtual PC manual for OS-specific RAM and hard disk requirements.


  • Connectix strongly recommends Mac OS 10.1.1 for USB functionality in Virtual PC. USB support also requires Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP and the appropriate Windows drivers for your USB device (provided by the manufacturer). Note: DOS, Windows 95, Windows NT, and some distributions of Linux do not support USB.

  • Floppy disk support in OS X: Connectix and Apple are working together to solve a known issue with floppy drive support that occasionally prevents some floppy disk drives from correctly accessing the media. As a work-around, reboot your Mac into OS 9 and either copy the information from the desired floppy disk(s) onto your hard disk or use the Disk Copy utility to create disk images of the floppy disk(s). (Note: Be sure to put the copied files or disk images in a location that is accessible when the computer is started up from Mac OS X. A folder in your Home directory would be the best place to put the files/images.) After you've transferred the data, reboot your system back into OS X.

  • Language Selection: The Virtual PC application is localized in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese. On OS 9, you can select your desired language by doing a Custom Install of the application only. On OS X, language selection is enabled by choosing the desired language in the International control panel in the System Preferences.

  • Virtual PC is compatible with several distributions of Linux. However, there are many variances between distributions and it is possible you may encounter a problem when using advanced networking configurations. To learn more about specific Linux distributions and known issues, refer to the Connectix Knowledge Database at http://www.connectix.com/support/kdb.html.

  • Long filenames for files dragged from a guest virtual machine to the Mac will be truncated and may lose the 3 character PC extension from the name.

  • Low density (720K) floppies formatted in Windows XP will not be recognizable in the Finder, other guest OSes or physical PC's. This issue is also true of low density floppies formatted on hardware PC's running Windows XP. Connectix recommends using only high-density (1.44MB) floppies with Virtual PC.

  • Some applications may not run or install correctly from a shared folder. If you're having problems opening a file or installing an application from a shared folder, copy the files or installer to a location in Windows and run or access the files from there.

  • Virtual Switch networking may be slower under OS X than in OS 9 in some circumstances.

  • Host-to-guest and internal guest-to-guest networking using Virtual Switch are only available in OS X.

  • The "Install Additions" message may be displayed for unsupported operating systems (i.e. Linux.) Non Windows-based operating systems that have the ability to run in high-color/resolution video modes may cause this message to appear. The Additions however, cannot be installed in non Windows-based operating systems.

  • Users of Virtual PC with Windows 2000 who wish to install their own licensed copy of a PC operating system that doesn't have a bootable CD-ROM will need to make a Disk Copy or Virtual PC floppy disk image of the boot floppy disk that came with the OS. Use this file to boot Virtual PC to access the CD-ROM and begin the installation. For more information on installing your own OS, please refer to "Installing a new PC operating system" in Virtual PC's built-in help.

  • To optimize the performance of Virtual PC (OS 9 only) make sure that "Processor Cycling" is not selected in the Advanced Settings of the Energy Saver control panel in the Mac OS. Performance can also be improved by turning off Virtual Memory in the Memory control panel although doing so will increase the memory used by the Mac OS itself.

  • To utilize Virtual PC's floppy disk image drag-and-drop capability, images dragged to the "Eject Floppy" button must be in a non-compressed, read/write format.

  • To install your own version of a supported operating system, please refer to the built-in help provided with Virtual PC.

  • Novell Netware Users: Connectix recommends running the latest Novell client for Windows 95/98/Me (version 3.31 or later) or for Windows NT/2000 (version 4.81 or later) available from Novell. Some Windows OSes (i.e. Windows 98) contain a Novell client that can be installed through the Networking control panel and used for connectivity to Novell network resources.

  • Novell connectivity requires the use of Virtual Switch networking in Virtual PC. Problems may be encountered attempting to log-in and access resources on a Novell server through Shared Networking.

  • Connectix RAM Doubler users should use RAM Doubler version 9.0 or later.

  • Connectix recommends using Kensington Mouseworks 5.6 or later to avoid receiving memory errors when launching Virtual PC that are caused by a lack of available USB resources.

  • Users of iBooks and "Bronze Keyboard" G3 PowerBooks: In order to use function keys with an iBook/Powerbook "Bronze" keyboard and Virtual PC:

    1. Open the Keyboard control panel and proceed to the "Function Keys" button.
    2. In the "Hot Function Keys" dialog under "Function Key Settings," check "Use F1-F12 as function keys."

  • If Virtual PC is running on multiple systems on a PC network, be sure to have a unique computer description and user name set in the Windows Network control panel to avoid a Windows networking error message #38. (This only applies to Windows 95, 98 and Me.)

  • Virtual PC and Games: Virtual PC is not recommended as a gaming solution for the Mac. Virtual PC does not provide the resources many PC games require to run, such as hardware accelerated 3D video.

  • When running multiple PC's at the same time, there may be noticeable drops in the performance of the foreground PC if "Pause Background PC's" is not checked in the global preferences. Pausing background PC's will increase the performance of the foreground PC.

  • Copying a very large graphic from Windows may cause difficulty in pasting the graphic into a Macintosh application (and vise versa). If this occurs, save the file and use the drag and drop feature of Virtual PC to exchange data between environments.

  • Full screen mode: If the Virtual PC 5.0 Additions are installed in Windows and you switch to full screen mode, Virtual PC will attempt to set the PC's resolution to match the Mac's (both bit-depth and resolution.) If the Additions are not available in the OS or you are using a drive image from a previous version of Virtual PC, you will see black borders around the Windows desktop. This is as designed to avoid switching the Mac's display unless specified by the user. Control of these functions can be found in the Full Screen Mode setting in the global preferences for Virtual PC 5.0.

  • The video in a virtual machine may not update after the Mac or the Mac's display has gone "to sleep". If you experience this issue, pressing the Command key or switching Virtual PC to windowed mode and back to full screen mode will refresh the display.

  • Monitor Flicker: If your monitor flickers when in full screen mode, set Windows to the desired screen resolution and verify that "Adjust Mac to Match PC" is selected in the full screen settings in Virtual PC's global preferences. Then, apply full screen mode and if the screen still flickers, open the Monitors control panel (OS 9) or the Displays preference (OS X) and choose the same resolution but a different refresh rate (Hz) i.e. it might say 800x600 - 60Hz. Try choosing 800x600 - 75Hz.

  • The login keyboard sequence for Windows NT, 2000 and XP on short keyboards (i.e. keyboards without a Forward Delete key) and laptops is Control-Option-Shift-Delete.

  • Assigning D and E drives: Some versions of Windows renumber the drives attached to the IDE bus and display the drive E: as D: (if a D drive had not been already assigned). This is normal behavior.

  • Some versions of PC-DOS do not support FAT32. If you use a Virtual PC PC-DOS boot floppy image on a drive image formatted as FAT32 (or over 2GB in size) you will be able to boot from the floppy disk image but will not be able to read from or write to the C: drive. Connectix recommends creating a boot floppy from Windows 98 or Millennium in order to access FAT32 volumes.

  • To toggle between English and Japanese in Windows-J, use the "=" key on your keypad.

  • The following key combinations should not be used in the Virtual PC settings for right mouse click modifiers as they will perform the Mac-specific action associated with them: COMMMAND+Q, COMMAND+. (period) and COMMAND+Return.

  • Users may encounter issues when installing an OS that requires more than one CD. Some OSes may not be able to detect that a 2nd CD has been inserted to continue the installation. You may have to prompt the OS to retry mounting a second time when the second CD is inserted if the OS fails to mount the CD on the first attempt.

  • To improve performance, Virtual PC dedicates most of the Mac's processing power to the Virtual Disk Assistant when it is modifying (such as expanding) drive images. As a result, performance for other Virtual PC functions may seem slower during such operations.

  • Users who wish to utilize the Mac's internal modem directly within Windows should choose the modem manually in the Windows Modems Control Panel (don't auto-detect) after assigning the Mac’s modem to a COM/Serial port in the PC Settings. This is not necessary when using Virtual PC's shared networking functionality.


  • Connectix strongly recommends Mac OS 10.1.1 for USB functionality in Virtual PC. USB support also requires Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP and the appropriate Windows drivers for your USB device (provided by the manufacturer). Note: DOS, Windows 95, Windows NT, and some distributions of Linux do not support USB.

  • Virtual PC's USB functionality is only available and supported in Microsoft Windows 98, Me, XP and 2000 operating systems. When running other OSes (i.e. Windows 95, NT, DOS or Linux) it is recommended that you disable USB in the Settings for that PC.

  • Connectix makes every effort to test a number of USB devices for use with Virtual PC. Due to the large number of USB devices in the market however, many devices have never been tested with Virtual PC and Connectix cannot guarantee their functionality. A current listing of tested devices can be found on the Connectix web site at http://www.connectix.com.

  • Installation of USB Devices through Virtual PC: Users should consult the device manual(s) regarding the appropriate installation procedures for USB devices in Windows operating systems, as some manufacturers recommend leaving a device unplugged for driver installation whereas others suggest plugging-in a device.

  • Users with 3rd-party USB mice and keyboards should not attempt to activate those devices through Virtual PC's USB setting or install drivers for them in the PC environment, as this may result in temporary loss of those devices in both environments.

  • Users of the Griffin Technology iMate ADB-to-USB adapter should use the latest version driver for that device.

  • Users installing USB devices through Virtual PC should verify that they have the most current drivers (PC native) for their devices. This step can save a lot of time and effort.

  • Users with USB 720k/1.44Mb floppy drives should not enable USB floppy drives in Virtual PC's USB setting. Enabling the drive through the Mac OS allows Virtual PC to recognize the device as an "A:" drive.

  • Owners of USB to Parallel adapters should check with manufacturers and verify what printers are supported.

  • Users of Apple iTunes should use version 1.1 or later.

  • Some USB devices may stop communicating with Virtual PC if disabled and then re-enabled in the USB settings during a Virtual PC session. Resetting the device (by turning it off and back on) or restarting the PC will re-establish communication.

  • The Casio Cassiopeia Personal PC does not currently work with Virtual PC.

  • The Compaq iPaq Pocket PC does not work consistently in Virtual PC with Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional guests or with Windows 2000 guests used with Virtual PC running on OS X.

  • USB devices can only be initialized and used by one virtual machine at a time. To access the device in another virtual machine running at the same time, you must disable the device in the USB panel of the PC Settings for the first virtual machine and then enable the device in the USB panel of the PC Settings of the virtual machine you wish to use the device with.

    More information on USB devices and overall issues can be found in the Connectix Knowledge Database at http://www.connectix.com/support/kdb.html.


  • Users of Norton Utilities 4/2000 for Windows may encounter an erroneous "FAT" error upon running the utility on their drive container the first time. Subsequent uses of Norton Utilities will not yield this error.

  • Virtual PC is not compatible with BeOS or Solaris.

  • Rio or Rio-compatible MP3 players may not function correctly if installed using the "auto-detect" method in the RioPort's software. To use a Rio player choose the specific Rio device from the "Options..." dialog under the "View" menu in the RioPort software.

  • Some applications may not be able to open files from a Mac shared folder. Copying the file to the Windows desktop, C: or D: drive will make them accessible.

  • Files and folders with names longer than 31 characters (including the 3-character PC extension) will not copy from Windows into a Shared Folder. Renaming the files or folder to a name with less than 31 characters will allow it to be copied into a Shared Folder.

  • Programs that use their own custom modem drivers instead of the built-in Windows drivers may return a "carrier not detected" message and may not work with Virtual PC.

  • Norton Utilities CrashGuard 1.0 generates an erroneous crash message when Virtual PC is launched. To correct this problem users should obtain the latest version of CrashGuard from Symantec.

  • Apple LaserWriter Select 300 and Personal LaserWriter 300 printers are not fully supported. Files printed in the PC environment may not print properly on these printer models.

  • The Apple ImageWriter printer is not supported within Virtual PC. To print text to the ImageWriter, copy the text from the PC application and paste it into a Mac text-editor.

  • InfoWave (GDT) PowerPrint users (prior to version 4.5.1) must set the COM1 port to the Printer or Modem Port that the PowerPrint serial to parallel converter cable is connected. Within Windows 98 select the correct Windows driver (or closest driver) for the PC printer. Select COM1 as the printer port and click on Configure Port and verify the following: 57,600; Data bits: 8; Parity: none; Stop bit: 1; Flow Control: Xon/Xoff.

  • InfoWave's PowerPrint 4.5.1 is not compatible with Virtual PC.

  • Kensington's MouseWorks users should use version 5.6 or later and should follow the manufacturer's specifications for configuring their mouse or trackball. Make sure the Virtual PC Mouse preferences reflect this setting.

  • Users with Logitech's MouseWare installed should make sure they are using the latest version of MouseWare for full functionality in Virtual PC with Logitech USB mice.

  • Certain multimedia features in Windows Millennium and XP such as Movie Maker and Windows Media Player have system requirements that exceed the capabilities of Virtual PC and may not perform as expected.

  • The Canon CanoScan FB 620U scanner does not currently work in Virtual PC with Windows XP.

  • The USB CardScan device does not currently work in Virtual PC with Windows XP.

  • The Ariston iSee camera is not supported in Virtual PC.

  • The Business Graphics WinMark 99 test selected from WinBench 99 may not work if the Windows resolution is set to 800x600. It does however work if the resolution is set to 1024x768.

  • The Intel USB Microscope does not function in Virtual PC.

  • The Wacom PenPartner USB tablets do not function under Virtual PC. However, the Wacom Graphire USB tablets function normally if the Wacom tablet driver software is installed and the "Mouse" settings panel option "PC Cursor Tracks Mac's Mouse" is deselected.

  • During the mini-setup portion of Windows Me, the Merlin animated character runs slowly and sounds associated with the character may be out of sync.

  • Virex virus scanning software cannot scan Virtual PC drive images when they are over 2GB in size. An unknown error will be reported by Virex.


    Connectix Corporation
    2955 Campus Drive, Suite 100
    San Mateo, CA 94403
    +1-650-571-5100 "

Related Links:
The Misc. articles page has several VPC articles on previous versions, including the performance tests, notes on 3d support (none in v4 or v5), etc. There's a recent page here on VPC V5 Performance in OS 9 and OS X also. See Connectix's web site for more info on pricing and availability.
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