How to connect virtual PC to host PC

I’ve downloaded and installed the Microsoft Virtual PC image for testing IE6. The development copy of my website is on the host PC, running on Windows XP/Apache/PHP. I need to use IE6 on the virtual PC to view pages served up by Apache on the host PC.

I know this requires networking them together, but I’ve no idea how to do that. I’ve installed the Microsoft Loopback Adapter on the host PC, and told the virtual PC it can use that adapter in the Virtual PC settings dialogue, but on the host PC the loopback adapter says “limited or no connectivity”.

Can someone tell me what the next step is?

(Before someone suggests it, I’ve been using MultipleIEs. Trouble is, you can’t test printing with that - you need a proper copy of IE6.)

Are you on a LAN? Is another IP being used that your trying to use for that Virtual PC? If its Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 or 2007 you can click on the little “network pipes” on the bottom left of the VPS and you can set it to either “Local” “Shared NAT” and you can “physically” use the network adapter on the host which is the recommended setting.

No, it’s an individual XP Media Centre PC with just a broadband Internet connection. The VPC is XP Pro.

I’ve discovered that I didn’t have any IP set up. I now have the loopback adapter on the host using, and the LAN on VPC using The latter says it’s using Intel 21140-Based PCI Fast Ethernet, which I think is the loopback adapter since it doesn’t match any of the real hardware on my laptop.

It’s VPC 2007, and in the dropdown you’re referring to I have the Loopback Adapter selected.

I’ve also run the network setup wizard on both machines, setting up a workgroup called ‘WORKGROUP’. In My Network Places > Entire Network > Microsoft Windows Network > Workgroup I get “Workgroup is not accessible” on both machines.

I’ve been asked whether I got this working or not. I did, but I don’t remember exactly how.

I do remember I had to set the firewall (ZoneAlarm) on the host machine to allow traffic from the loopback adapter by specifying its IP address. I think that may have been the only step necessary to get it working, but I’m not certain of that.

You should be able to browse to the IP address of the host machine. At least that is the way it has usually worked for me.

Try using the machine name, sometimes that will work.

PS: Using VPC + the IE6 image is the right way to do this. MultipleIE is a hack best avoided.

This late reply still might be noteworhty for people who got in trouble with installing Virtual pc. I started with this thread when looking for a solution some time ago. I checked the
and ended up as below:

I followed the instructions on Ben Armstrongs (the VPC guy) blog:

Second i followed the instructions as per the andornot blog:

On the ‘ANDORNOT blog’ the advice is given to Allow network sharing on the
Loopback Adaptor, whereas Ben Armstrong (the VPC guy) advises to allow this
on the Network connection that you use for Internet, in my case a wireless.
This worked without the error warnings etc…that seem to appear when allowing
this on the Loopback adaptor(as mentioned in the andornot blog).

For the sake of clarity (for anyone who reads this thread looking for a
solution), this is what I did for an XP SP2 VPC on a XP SP2 Host (might be
different for other configurations):

  1. Installing the loopback adaptor on the host (follow Microsoft’s or other
    blog instructions)
  2. Follow instructions 3 to 9 (skip 6!) from the ANDORNOT blog (see the
    blog address above)
  3. Allow internet sharing on the host pc (see the virtual pc guy weblog
    mentioned above) on the network connection you use for internet (not the
    Loopback itself!).

I finally ended up with a working VPC that allows to test locally developed
websites in IE7 (on the host) and IE6 (on the VPC) and allows real-live
internet for the host and the VPC.

To test localhost sites mind the following:

  1. On the host as usual, via http://localhost/
  2. On the VPC, via http://ipadress of host/…
    (ip adress of host to be found via Windows command prompt, command ‘ipconfig’)

The VPC has been running smoothly ever since!

I hope my situation applies to more who
are looking for a relative simple way to install the VPC for local and
realworld webtests.

I just got a new IE6 VPC from Microsoft because the old one timed out. Bearing in mind that my host PC was already set up as described above, the only steps I needed to get the VPC working were:

  1. Virtual PC > Settings for my Virtual PC > Select “Microsoft Loopback Adapter” as one of the available network adapters.

  2. Boot up the VPC.

  3. Go to Control Panel > Network Connections > Local Area Connection > Properties.

  4. Give the connection an IP address by clicking on General tab > Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) > Properties > Use the following IP address >, subnet mask

  5. Request the page from the host machine using its IP address,

Note that just checking the VPC’s IP address with ipconfig and pinging it from the host, as suggested by AndOrNot, didn’t work for me. I had to set a new IP manually. I think I may not have a DHCP server, I’m not really sure.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I ran the network setup wizard. Since I didn’t have to do that on a fresh VPC, I think that was a red herring. It’s also worth noting that I haven’t got the VPC accessing the Internet. Last time I tried that I lost all Internet access from my host PC and had to reset my router to factory settings. I haven’t needed access badly enough to try that again. :smiley:

…Or you could just go to the virtual os and enter it’s Default Gateway in guest browser and be done with it.

old post I know but comes up high on search

It makes a difference indeed whether the host computer is on a LAN or not.

  1. If you are on a LAN, then you do not need to install Microsoft Loopback Adapter at all. Instead, select Shared Networking (NAT) in the VPC Settings dialog.
  2. The option with Microsoft Loopback Adapter and Internet Connection Sharing is handy if you are occasionally disconnected from your LAN.
  3. If you are not connected to a LAN at all (but how did you get all the VHD there and how do you deploy? :cool:) then you need to use Microsoft Loopback Adapter to create an isolated network. You will have to set the IP addresses on the host PC and virtual PCs manually.