Last resort for performance issues with Virtual PC on laptops

In the past I have posted about options for improving performance of Virtual PC on laptops, and about using SpeedSwitchXP.  Furthermore, with Virtual PC 2007 we have worked hard to address many of these issues.  Unfortunately, there are still laptops where Virtual PC does not run well.  The root cause of these problems is that these laptops are stopping system timers when entering low power modes.

Well, with Virtual PC 2007 there is one last option to consider:

  1. Stop running Virtual PC
  2. Open notepad
  3. Open %appdata%MicrosoftVirtual PCoptions.xml
  4. Locate the <virtual_machines> section of the file and add this key:
    <enable_idle_thread type=”boolean”>true</enable_idle_thread>
  5. Save the file and exit notepad
  6. Start Virtual PC

Now when you start a virtual machine under Virtual PC, Virtual PC will fully utilize the processor in order to stop the laptop from entering a low power state.  The upside of this is that you should see no performance issues.  The downside is that it will drain your battery power much faster than normal.  As such – you should only use this option after you have tried all other possible solutions.