Install Virtual Machine Additions

After Windows is installed, Virtual Machine Additions can be installed. VMA is optional, but provides a couple useful features.

With VMA installed, mouse operation is easier--there is no more need to use the Right-Alt key to release the mouse from the virtual machine. Just click inside the guest window to control the guest's mouse, or click outside the window to return to the host's desktop.

Installing VMA increases the video memory of the emulated video adapter (from 4 MB to 8 MB).

Another useful VMA feature is the ability to share folders from the host machine so they are accessible to the guest. Click the shared folders icon in the virtual machine's lower-left status bar, choose which host folder to share, give it a drive letter, and the guest will be able to read and write to the host folder. Normally, everything done inside a vm stays in the vm and cannot cross into the host machine. (That's right--think of the security possibilities!) Shared folders are a way to transfer files back and forth between host and guest.

Virtual Machine Additions is easily installed in Windows. After Windows is installed, start the virtual machine. From the guest window's top menu bar, drop down the Action menu and select Install or Update Virtual Machine Additions. (See illustration.) This loads a virtual VMA CD, which will run just like any auto-running CD.

Virtual Machine Additions can also be installed in DOS. The Virtual PC program folder includes a virtual floppy disk (vfd) file called "DOS Virtual Machine Additions.vfd". Drag this vfd file into the vm's floppy drive, then run its enclosed batch file.

author: Dan Goodell