Virtual PC on two monitors without additional software

I've finally moved my main development environment on my desktop to Vista, and had the issue that I still do quite a bit of work for one client in Visual Studio 2003 which is not supported.  No problem - run up a Virtual PC 2007 image running XP Pro SP2 with just VS2003 and SQL Server 2000 and I have a perfect solution.  On a dual core processer with virtualisation support and lots of memory it runs fine.

However I also run on dual monitors and I'm very used to developing with VS on one screen, and my SQL tools on another.  Also I like Virtual PC in full screen mode.   Unfortunately you cannot maximise, or even resize the Virtual PC screen across both monitors.

But the saviour is the hard to find span option for Remote Desktop, not available via the dialogue but as a command line switch (needs both monitors to have the same resolution);
C:\Windows\System32\mstsc.exe /span

So, configure your Virtual PC image to allow remote connections, start it up, but don't login.  Then use remote desktop to connect over your two monitors.  It all is one big display, 2560 x 1024 in my case, so dialogs get split and you can' maximise code windows but it really works nicely.  The best bonus, running a source code diff in TortoiseSVN over two windows means the original code is one screen and the changed code is on the other - cool.

Print | posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 12:21 AM

Comments on this post

# re: Virtual PC on two monitors without additional software

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How cool is that?

The answer, I think, is that that is very, very, cool, indeed.
Left by MC on Mar 17, 2009 6:08 PM

# re: Virtual PC on two monitors without additional software

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Can seem to get it to work? It always fails to locate the Virtual Machine, whether I use the name or the IP address. Any ideas?
Left by Daniel on Nov 23, 2011 1:35 PM

# re: Virtual PC on two monitors without additional software

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@Daniel

In order to remote desktop into a virtual machine there are a few things you need to configure,

1. Enable remote desktop, System -> Remote Settings.
2. Ensure you don't have a firewall on the virtual PC that prevents remote access.
3. Configure networking for the virtual PC so that it has a genuine IP address so you can connect to it from another PC; select bridged rather than NAT

Thanks

Liam
Left by Liam Westley on Nov 23, 2011 9:24 PM

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