Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Launch a VirtualPC virtual machine from the Finder Apps
You can start up a specific VirtualPC virtual machine by double-clicking on its corresponding .vpc7 file. This eliminates having to first launch VPC then choose a specific entry from the Virtual PC List window. This can be helpful if you always find yourself opening a specific virtual machine session, or if you're trying to simplify the launch process for a less-experienced user.

Do the following:

Launch VirtualPC and open the Virtual PC List window (Window >Virtual PC List) or Command-L.

Right-click (or Control-click) on a virtual machine entry and select Reveal in Finder from the contextual menu that pops up. This will open up Finder window with the .vpc7 file that corresponds to that virtual machine.

For convenience, create an alias of the original .vpc7 file and copy it somewhere convenient, such as on your Desktop. You can double-click the alias of the .vpc7 file to open and begin running the associated virtual machine.


Some may contend that this hint is so obvious that it really shouldn't qualify as a hint. I've been a heavy user of VPC since the beginning, but I was astounded that this method hadn't occurred to me sooner.

I don't know if this hint works with earlier versions of VPC (my guess is that it does). While the ability to create multiple virtual machines has been supported from as far back as VPC 3 (when it was still a Connectix product for System 9), I think it was only as of VPC 5 under OS X that virtual machine settings were stored in individual .vpc# files.

This hint is similar (but not identical) to the idea of changing PC Behavior settings in VPC's Preferences. That setting will allow you to restore all virtual machine sessions that were running the last time you quit, not just a specific one.

By default, VPC stores the .vpc7 settings files for each virtual machine in your Documents/Virtual PC List folder. You may see your VPC harddrive image (.vhdp) files there also. These are not the ones you want to alias. If you double-click these files, the Finder will attempt to mount them as disk-image volumes, and will not launch VPC.

This is actually a Mac VirtualPC-specific tip inspired by a similar one found in a blog entry by someone on the Microsoft VPC team (although not in the MacBU). While his tip only works in the Windows version, Ben's entire blog is a trove of VPC hints, insights and history.
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (6 votes cast)

Launch a VirtualPC virtual machine from the Finder | 4 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Launch a VirtualPC virtual machine from the Finder' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mounting .vhdp files??
Authored by: interlard on Apr 26, '06 12:56:03PM

.vhdp files can be mounted in the Finder?? I'm sure I tried that and it didn't work.

I have VPC6 and have been trying to figure out how to get the HD image out of VPC and into Parallels. Does anyone have any experience with this (or anything like it)?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Mounting .vhdp files??
Authored by: _merlin on Apr 26, '06 06:46:43PM

I've done it using Acronis TrueImage, although I wouldn't go and spend the money on TrueImage for a one-off. You could probably use other imaging utilities, too.

1. Share a folder on the Mac with SMB (I used the SharePoints utility for this)
2. Boot VPC with TrueImage CD image and create an image of the virtual hard disk on the SMB share.
4. Boot Parallels with TrueImage CD image and restore image from SMB share.

Note that you can't move a Windows installation in this fashion. Windows tailors itself for the (possibly virtual) machine it's installed on, and won't necessarily work on different (possibly virtual) hardware. It is useful for moving an NTFS data disk, though.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Mounting .vhdp files??
Authored by: victory on Apr 27, '06 11:38:11AM

Yes, the Finder can mount some .vphd files, but only ones that are FAT16, FAT32 or NTFS formatted (I'm not absolutely sure of this, but I'm willing to bet that NTFS support is Read-Only) and are not attached to VM that is currently running or in a saved state.

While I've never worked with Parallels Workstation, I've had great success moving OS installations between VPC virtual machines using Norton Ghost booting under DOS. It's a bit kludgey since you have to go through the trouble of mounting a secondary HD volume to hold the resulting ghost image file, but it works quite when the guest OS is Windows-based.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Launch a VirtualPC virtual machine from the Finder
Authored by: robjan on Sep 20, '08 04:08:15AM

I guess the title on this topic is slighty off but in an attempt to make this thread a hint I'll post it here. I guess it should read: How to mount a VirtualPC virtual disk in the MacOS X environment (read/write or as read only):

You can make an alias of the "Base drive.vhd" file (<cmd>+<opt>+drag it to the desktop). You have to "show packages" twice to get there. Then rename the alias to "thapeeceedisk.dmg" and disk utility will be able to mount it. Please be aware the disk will open as writable so don't have VirtualPC running!

If you want to have it mounted in the mac while windos is running you should use the following terminal command (but edit the path to your specific):

hdid -readonly /Users/Shared/Windos/Windos\ XP\ Pro.vpc7/Disk1.vhdp/BaseDrive.vhd

Hope this thread now treats as a hint ;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]