Command line reference for Microsoft Virtual PC

When I started to use Windows 7 instead of XP, at the first time the switch wasn’t easy. I have a lot of different applications which are not able to run in the new environment. Therefore I create a virtual machine under MS Virtual PC. I installed an XP with the applications which had issues on Windows 7.

After a while I started to get bored the way how I needed to start the virtual XP machine. I always opened the Virtual PC Console, browse the machine and finally I turned on it. I was wondering whether an easier way exists?

I wanted to create a shortcut with the necessary parameters on my desktop. First of all I was curious regarding the virtual pc command line parameters, so I looked after. I got the following result in the cmd prompt:

-help – Displays information about command line parameters
-fullscreen – Used to put a virtual machine in full-screen mode
-window – Used to put a virtual machine in windowed mode
-restore – Used to restore a minimized virtual machine window
-minimize – Used to minimize a virtual machine window
-disableopt – Disables direct execution optimizations
-s3bitclip – Clips S3 coordinates to 12-bit resolution
-pause – Used to pause a currently running virtual machine
-resume – Used to resume a paused virtual machine
-registervm – Used to register a virtual machine configuration file
-startvm – Used to register a virtual machine configuration file and then launch the newly created virtual machine
pc – Used to target a virtual machine in the Virtual PC console
launch – Used to launch a virtual machine from the Virtual PC console
-quiet – Virtual machines that would normally be restored on launch are not started
-geometry – Used to change the size and position of the virtual machine window
-disableclose – Used to disable the virtual machine’s close button
-extnetworking – Used to force any network connections on the virtual machine to operate in external-only mode
-setbiosno – Used to set the virtual machine’s BIOS serial number
-setassettag – Used to set the virtual machine’s chassis asset tag
singlepc – Launches a virtual machine without displaying the Virtual PC console.
-usehostdiskcache – Uses the host disk cache for all virtualized disk I/O

Okay, in possession of the parameters it seems to be easy, and it is. If you attentively look through the list above, you can find three important switches. I made them bold.

Now let’s see, how my shortcut looks like:

The full target: “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual PC\Virtual PC.exe” -pc “VirtXP” -launch -singlepc

From now on after a double click on the shortcut, the virtual XP machine starts immediately.

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