Boot Up an External HD As a Virtual Machine
Windows Virtual PC 2007 is a program developed and produced by Microsoft that allows you to create and use up to three different “virtual machines,” which are virtual PC environments installed on an internal or external hard drive. In order to boot to a virtual machine from an external hard drive, you first have to both create the virtual machine and install the desired operating system onto the hard drive.
1. Launch Virtual PC 2007. If you do not have the program, download and install it (see Resources).
2. Select the “New” option on the Virtual PC startup screen.
3. Click the “Create Virtual Machine” button, then click “Next.”
4. Plug the USB hard drive into a free USB slot on the computer and power it up if necessary.
5. Browse to the desired location on the USB drive in the “Name and Location” window, then select the operating system you wish to install onto the virtual machine from the drop-down menu and click “Next.”
6. Click “Next,” then select the “A New Virtual Hard Disk” option and click “Next” again.
7. Click the “Browse” button in the next screen and locate the virtual hard disk you created in the previous steps. Type in a suitable name for the disk, then click “OK” followed by “Next.”
8. Click “Finished” to complete the installation of the virtual hard disk.
9. Open the Virtual PC 2007 console and select “Start.”
10. Insert the Windows install disk into the computer’s CD/DVD-R/RW drive. The Virtual Machine will automatically detect it and start the installation process. Follow the instructions as they appear onscreen to complete the first part of the process.
11. Click the “Action” menu and select “Reset.” The installation process will continue from where it left off.
12. Reset the Virtual Machine again once the process has completed, then click the “Start” button in the Virtual PC console and select the operating system you just installed. Virtual PC will boot to that operating system.