This article describes the networking settings that are
available for each virtual machine in Microsoft Virtual PC 2004.
Manage network adapter settings for virtual machines
The Networking settings control whether network adapters are
available for the virtual machine. By default, one network adapter is selected
and mapped to the network adapter in the physical computer. If you want a
virtual machine to use resources on a physical network, including
your intranet and the Internet, you must configure the
Networking settings of the virtual machine. To do so, follow
- In the Virtual PC console, click the virtual machine where you want
to configure the networking setting, and then click
- Under Settings, click
- Under Networking, configure the options
that you want to use for the network adapters:
- In the Number of network adapters drop-down list, specify up to four emulated network adapters for the virtual machine.
- A set of configuration drop-down lists appear, depending on how many emulated network adapters that you selected in the Number of network adapters drop-down list. In these drop-down lists, assign each emulated adapter card to any network card
that is installed on the physical computer, including Microsoft Loopback Adapter. You
can assign more than one emulated network card to the same network
card in the physical computer. Alternatively, you can attach a
virtual network to a local-only network. A local-only network is a private
network for communication between virtual machines only.
- Click OK.
The following table describes the adapter options that appear in the drop-down list.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
|Not connected||With this option,
networking is not available in the virtual machine. It is a good idea to select this option
when the physical computer is not on a network, or if you do not access
the Internet through a virtual machine. This option can prevent possible delays if the
virtual machine software checks the network controller.|
|Local only||This option gives you networking support between
virtual machines only. Therefore, the virtual machine does not have access
to any network resources on the host operating system.|
|Shared Networking (NAT)||You can assign the first virtual machine network
card to Shared Network (NAT). With this option, the virtual machine connects to a private network that
Virtual PC creates. The network includes a virtual DHCP server and a virtual network
address translation server. The virtual machine can access most
TCP/IP-based resources that the host operating system can access. For more
information about shared networking, see the "Manage shared networking for virtual machines" section of
|Network adapter on the physical computer||With this
option, the virtual machine connects directly to the currently
selected network connection of the host operating system. The virtual machine
appears and behaves like a separate physical computer on the same network.
The configuration of the network determines the networking configuration of the virtual machine. For example, the configuration of the network
determines how an IP address is assigned to the virtual machine. If the
network uses a DHCP server, an IP address is assigned dynamically to the
virtual machine. Similarly, if the network uses static IP addresses, you must
manually configure the virtual machine to use a static IP address. To do so, use the method that is specified in the documentation for the virtual machine operating
|Microsoft Loopback Adapter||If you want to create a
more complex network environment on a single physical computer, and you do not want to install multiple physical network cards, you can install multiple instances
of Microsoft Loopback Adapter on the host operating system. For more
information about Microsoft Loopback Adapter, see the "Extend networking capabilities for virtual machines"
section of this article.|
Manage shared networking for virtual machines
With shared networking, a virtual machine can access the TCP/IP-based resources that are available on the host operating system. Virtual
PC acts as the DHCP server and assigns a dynamic IP address to each virtual
machine that uses shared networking. The IP address is in the 192.168.131.x
range, and individual virtual machines are assigned a value for x
from 1 to
253. Virtual PC does not provide an interface to manually specify the dynamic
IP address that the virtual DHCP server assigns. If the host operating system is
configured to use an address in the 192.168.131.x
range, you must change the configuration of the host operating system. To
use shared networking, you must configure the operating system that is installed on
the virtual machine to automatically obtain an IP address from a DHCP server.
For more information, see the documentation for the virtual machine
A virtual machine that is configured to use shared
networking behaves like a computer behind a Network Address Translation (NAT)
router. Shared networking does not support inbound port mapping. External
computers cannot access a server that is running in the virtual machine or any
ports on the virtual machine. Shared networking also does not support
networking between virtual machines or from the host operating system to the
For more information about networking, see the
"Manage network adapter settings for virtual
" section of this article. Notes
- When you use shared networking, the virtual machine shares
the Internet connection that is set up on the host operating system, regardless
of whether the host is connected through a modem or through a local area network (LAN).
- Some networking software, such as chat programs, may not
work correctly under shared networking because some networking software requires a static IP
- Users who are not administrators or members of the
administrators group on the host operating system cannot send or
receive pings or other Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)-based network
traffic when shared networking is activated.
Extend networking capabilities for virtual machines
You can install and configure Microsoft Loopback Adapter to
extend the networking capabilities for virtual machines. Microsoft
Loopback Adapter gives you the following networking capabilities:
- You can have networking for virtual machines when the host
operating system does not have a physical network connection available. To
provide network connectivity between the host and the virtual machines, install
Microsoft Loopback Adapter on the host operating system, and then configure a
network connection on each virtual machine and the host operating system.
- You can set up a complex virtual network environment with multiple
routers and firewalls. To provide multiple network solutions for virtual
machines, install Microsoft Loopback Adapter on the host operating system, and
then set up as many network connections on each operating system as you want.
If you want to access the Internet from a virtual machine
that is configured to use the Microsoft Loopback Adapter, you must enable Internet Connection Sharing
on the host computer. For more information about Internet
Connection Sharing, see the documentation that is included with the version of
Windows that is installed on the host computer.
To Set up a virtual network
connection, you must install Microsoft Loopback Adapter, and then
configure the network connection for the adapter. When you configure the
Microsoft Loopback Adapter, you must also configure TCP/IP on the network
connection to use an appropriate IP address.
You can use any TCP/IP
address, but it is best to select an address from a reserved range of private TCP/IP
addresses. For example, TCP/IP addresses that have the form
is a value between 0 and 255, and where
is a value between 1 and 254, are private. The
value that you select for x
must be the same on the host
operating system and on each guest operating system that you want as part of the
virtual network. If your primary Ethernet connection uses one of these private
addresses, you must select a different value for x
to assign to Microsoft Loopback Adapter.
For information about how to
set up Microsoft Loopback Adapter for a host operating system that is running Microsoft Windows
XP or Microsoft Windows 2000, see the Virtual PC Help topic, "Install and configure
Microsoft Loopback Adapter." For information about how to install Microsoft
Loopback Adapter on other operating systems, see the documentation for the
For more information about networking, see the
"Manage network adapter settings for virtual
" section of this article.
Manage shared folders for virtual machines
With shared folders, a virtual machine can use a folder or
a volume on the host computer as if it were a network share. A shared folder can
be persistent or temporary. A persistent shared folder is shared again every time the guest operating system starts. A temporary shared folder is only
available until the guest operating system is shut down. You cannot
share folders directly between virtual machines, but multiple guest operating systems
can share a folder on the host operating system.
Before you can use
shared folders, you must configure the Shared Folders
on the virtual machine. The Shared Folders
available only if the virtual machine is running and you have installed Virtual Machine Additions.
To share folders, use any one of the following methods:
- In the Virtual PC window, click the virtual machine that you want
to configure, click Settings , and then click Shared
Folders in the Settings dialog box for the virtual
- Right-click the folder icon on the Status bar of the
virtual machine, and then click Shared Folder
- Drag a folder or volume to
the folder icon.
When you create a shared folder, you must assign it a drive
letter that is not currently used by a drive or by a device in the guest operating system. If two drives or devices are assigned to the same
drive letter, the shared folder does not appear in the guest