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I am currently configuring a Windows 7 box (build 7100) with Virtual Windows XP (default hypervisor). Having created and configured a template Virtual Windows XP enviroment using a local Administrator account, how can I make this XP build available for all the user accounts who use this particular box?

Just to clarify, the XP build will not be used on other Windows 7 machines. So there is no issue with distribution and duplicate SIDs. The XP build will not be accessed by more than one user at the same time.

The workaround solution is to copy all the files in

C:\Users\TEMPLATE\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC

to each and every user account instance of

C:\Users\USER\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC

Of course, this is far from ideal with multiple copies of the same Windows Virtual PC files being saved on the same Windows 7 box. Is there something equivalent to an "All Users" profile in Windows 7 where these files can be saved and then automatically made available to every account on this machine?

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4 Answers

Is this using the default Windows 7 hypervisor or VMware Workstation or ??

Usually, you can't "share" a virtual machine because it's not possible to have the same virtual disk being used by more than one hypervisor for the same reason it's not possible to have the same word document open for editing twice.

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From what I understand, what you want is not possible if multiple users are going to access the computer at the same time through Remote Desktop or such. How could they use the same files and virtual machines at the same time?

If you mean they each physically go to the machine and log into it, then you should be fine. I do not know if it is possible on Windows 7, as I have not tried it and Windows 7 is very new.

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I guess that since the VM is getting an IP address from the host machine, it is possible that several users would be able to open a RDP session on it (assuming it supports multiple logins). This would mean that all the users are working on one instance of the VM.

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If you're distributing the VM files and accessing the same LAN and/or domain with them, you're going to run into problems with duplicate SIDs on your domain. Basically your windows unique identifiers are going to bang into each other, causing strife. Generally, you'll use sysprep or some of the sysinternals.com tools to get a new SID - depending on which other things you want to change at the same time (such as hostname).

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