This topic covers some common issues you might encounter when using Windows Virtual PC. An updated version of this topic may be available in the Windows 7 Technical Library (

What problem are you having?

When I try to log on to Windows XP Mode, I receive the following error: “The local policy of this system does not permit you to logon interactively”.

Cause: Access to Windows XP Mode requires membership in the Administrators group or Remote Desktop Users group.

Solution: Add the user to one of those groups or log on with an account that belongs to one of those groups.

When I try to use Windows XP Mode, I receive the following error: “Cannot start Windows XP Mode”.

Cause: This occurs when one or more of the files required to run Windows XP Mode are missing or not valid. This can occur if the parent virtual hard disk has been modified.

Solution: If possible, restore the missing or damaged files to their specified locations. Windows XP Mode looks for the following: Windows XP Mode.vmcx in the Virtual Machines folder, and both Windows XP Mode.vmc and Windows XP Mode.vhd in %systemdrive%\Users\<username>\ AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines. If you specified another path during setup, Windows Virtual PC checks that location.

I can’t join the Windows XP Mode virtual machine or another virtual machine to the domain.

Cause: Trying to join your virtual machine to the domain might fail. This could be caused by network connectivity problems, corporate policies, lack of a fully qualified domain name, or an “access denied” error because of a duplicate computer name.

Solution: Try the following:

  • Check the network connectivity by accessing a network resource, such as another computer or the Internet.

  • Ask your system administrator about adding a computer account to the domain. For example, you might be required to use a wired connection, or be on the premises (instead of a remote location). If you are using shared networking (the default for Windows XP Mode) and are required to use a wired connection, make sure the computer is connected to the network with a cable (as opposed to a wireless connection).

  • When you are prompted to enter your user name and domain name, such as the Domain User Name and Password screen in Windows XP, specify the fully qualified domain name of the computer—for example,

  • If you receive an “access denied” message, change the name of the computer in Windows XP, restart the virtual machine, and then try again.

I joined my virtual machine to domain, but I can’t access internal Web sites and shared folders on the network.

Cause: This can occur if you saved credentials that are not domain credentials.

Solution: View the saved user name to find out if it includes a domain name. If they are local credentials (for example, Virtual_Machine_Name\Administrator), delete the credentials and try again. For instructions, see Log on automatically to a guest operating system.

The mouse moves slowly or inconsistently and is stuck in the virtual machine window.

Cause: When the Integration Components package is not installed, mouse movement is erratic and the mouse must be released from the virtual machine window to move it back to the host desktop. To move the mouse out of the virtual machine window when the Integration Components package is not installed, release the mouse by pressing CTRL+ALT+LEFT ARROW and then moving the mouse.

Solution: Install the Integration Components package for the guest operating system. For instructions, see Install or upgrade the Integration Components package. This improves mouse responsiveness and makes it possible to move the mouse freely between the virtual machine and the host desktop. If you are using an unsupported guest operating system, the Integration Components package might not be available.

How do I restart or shut down a virtual machine?

Cause: The Restart and Shut Down options are missing from Start menu in a virtual machine.

Solution: To restart, use the virtual machine window. From the Action menu, click Restart. To shut down, see Shut down a virtual machine manually.

When I rename a virtual machine, the new name is discarded and the old name reappears.

Cause: You cannot rename a virtual machine when it is running or hibernated.

Solution: Shut down the virtual machine (or turn it off if cannot be shut down, such as when no operating system is installed). For more information, see Shut down a virtual machine manually. Then, modify the Name setting of the virtual machine. For general instructions, see Configuring a virtual machine.

I can’t copy and paste files and folders between the guest and host operating systems.

Cause: The ability to copy and paste relies on the appropriate drives being shared. Certain drives must be shared with the virtual machine.

Solution: Share the required drives with the virtual machine. For instructions and information about minimum requirements, see Share host drives with a virtual machine.

When I try to install an application, I get the error “The Windows Installer does not permit installation from a Remote Desktop Connection”.

Cause: Some applications do not support installation over a Remote Desktop connection, which is the type of connection used to connect to a virtual machine session when the Integration Components package is installed.

From the Tools menu of the virtual machine window, click Disable Integration Features, install the software, and then click Enable Integration Features.

I can’t use my VPN dialer software.

Cause: Some VPN dialer software does not work on a virtual machine using “shared networking (NAT)” (network address translation). This is the default network type for virtual machines, including Windows XP Mode.

Solution: Configure the virtual machine to use bridged mode instead. For instructions, see Configure networking for virtual machines.

I can’t use Office Communicator to talk or record audio.

Cause: Audio redirection might not be configured correctly or available for the guest operating system.

For Windows XP, clear the Audio setting of the virtual machine. For Windows 7, check the Audio setting of the virtual machine. For Windows Vista, audio input is not supported. For instructions, see About integration features.

The list of USB devices I can attach keeps changing, or doesn’t list all the USB devices on my computer.

Cause: This can be caused when the device is in use, when the computer is configured to manage power for the device, or if Windows ReadyBoost is enabled.

Solution: Try one or more of the following:

  • Check to see if the device is in use—for example, if it is transferring files. If it is, cancel the current operation or try again when it is finished.

  • Use Device Manager to inspect the power management for the device, and turn it off if it is in use.


    This solution may affect the power consumption, especially if the computer is a laptop running on battery power.

  • Turn off Windows ReadyBoost.

I can’t resize the virtual machine window.

Cause: You are not logged on to the virtual machine, or the session is locked.

Solution: Unlock or log on to the guest operating system and then try again.

When I try to resize the virtual machine window, a logon screen appears.

Cause: Windows Virtual PC reconnects to the session each time you try to change the window size. This occurs when there is an error while trying to reconnect to the session.

Solution: Close the virtual machine and then open it again.

I can’t create a virtual machine in a folder of a roaming user profile.

Cause: This type of folder is stored in a network location in a domain environment and is not supported.

Solution: Specify a folder on the local computer. For instructions, see your system administrator.

Windows XP Mode has disappeared from the Virtual Machines folder. How can I recover it?

Cause: This can occur if the Windows XP Mode.vmcx has been deleted from the Virtual Machines folder.

Solution: Find and double-click the file Windows XP Mode.vmc to recreate the Windows XP Mode.vmcx file. The.vmc file is %systemdrive%\Users\<username>\ AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines, unless a different folder was selected during setup. In that case, search for “Windows XP Mode.vmc”.

See Also