My work environment consists of 2 physical machines (W1 and W2). One is an IIS server, the other has SQL Server 2005.

I want to replicate the environment on my Windows 7 laptop using virtual PC. I want something like this:

Host laptop: Windows 7 VM1: Windows 2003 with Visual Studio 2008 and IIS VM2: Windows 2003 with SQL Server 2005

How do I setup the networking on each VM? Internal, Shared NAT, loopback adaptor?

If I use the Microsoft Loopback adapter for both VMs, will I still be able to access the outside work environment from VM1? I cannot bind both virtual machines to the host physical NIC because of computer naming conflicts with my work environment.

Any ideas?


Virtualisation software such as virtual PC normally does all this for you. Your machines should all be setup on a private virtual network inside virtual PC, and they can be NAT'd so that they can access out without having to actually be on the network themselves.

So I think Shared NAT is the answer you are looking for.

  • "Shared NAT" is not working for me. As I understand it, VM communication is supposed to go through the host machine to the outside world, but it isn't. 1st, I can't even see www.google.com from inside the 1st VM. So that's a problem right there. 2nd, I can't ping either virtual machine from each other. 3rd, web pages from VM1 cannot connect to the database on VM2. Windows Firewall is OFF for both VMs, so that's not an issue. Any other ideas? – Robert4Real Nov 2 '09 at 1:01

I have a similar setup for software testing. Internal is my preference only if the VMs don't need to access the internet. For your situation I would suggest looking here: http://www.tipandtrick.net/2008/fix-virtual-pc-2007-shared-networking-nat-internet-not-working-in-windows-server-2003-2008-and-vista-guest-os/ I have never had the problem you are describing but the suggestion on this site seems sound. The loopback adapter is not what you want - I have only used the loopback for situations where the host is not connected to a network but this article describes a more complex NAT setup: http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2005/10/04/477195.aspx Hope these help.

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