Windows Virtual PC Executables

Unlike Virtual PC 2007, Windows Virtual PC is comprised of multiple executables.  As such you may have a some trouble trying to figure out what is actually running when you look at task manager.  Here is a list of the Windows Virtual PC Executables, with descriptions of what they do and how they can be used:

  • vpc.exe

    This is the main executable that is used for running virtual machines.  Each virtual machine runs as a thread of this process – so you should only ever see one of these.  This executable is only running when you have virtual machines running.

  • vmwindow.exe

    This is the executable that is used for the standard “work with the virtual machine desktop” experience.  If you just start this executable by itself it will open the “Virtual Machines” folder.  You can get it to open a specific virtual machine by passing in the name and path for the virtual machines .VMC file by using the following command:

    vmwindow –file “VMC file”

  • vmsal.exe

    This executable manages seamless applications.  You will have one instance of this executable running for each virtual machine that has seamless applications running.

  • vpcsettings.exe

    You probably guessed this one – it is the settings window for the virtual machine.  You can launch it manually by passing it the virtual machines .VMC file that you want to configure:

    vpcsettings.exe “VMC file”

  • vpcwizard.exe

    This executable is used for all of the virtual machine wizards.  There are actually three wizards, and you can specify which wizard you want by using the –type parameter.  You can open it as the new virtual machine wizard, new virtual hard disk wizard, or as the edit virtual hard disk wizard.  For the last option you also need to specify the VHD that you want to edit:

    vpcwizard.exe –type VM
    vpcwizard.exe –type VHD
    vpcwizard.exe –type EVHD –filepath “VHD file”

All of these executables are located in the System32 directory (under the Windows directory on the system drive).  And all of the file parameters need to have a full path provided.