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Virtual PC Networking

Accessing a virtual PC from the host by Nelviticus
Posted: 15 May 08

This FAQ tells you how to configure your host PC to give you network access to your virtual PCs by creating a virtual private LAN. It is mostly taken from an article by Aaron Zupancic plus a few other sites. I have seen this question asked several times so I thought I'd bundle it up into a FAQ. Note: this FAQ applies to Virtual PC - it's probably unnecessary in Virtual Server!

  • First, add the Local Loopback Adapter.  This is accomplished (on WinXP) by:
    • opening the 'Add Hardware Wizard' (from the Control Panel)
    • indicating that 'Yes, I have already connected the hardware'
    • selecting 'Add a new hardware device' at the bottom of the list
    • selecting 'Install the hardware that I manually select from a list'
    • selecting 'Network adapters'
    • selecting 'Microsoft' and 'Microsoft Loopback Adapter'
  • Once it's been added, you configure the private network via 'Network Connections' in the Control Panel.  I typically rename my network to 'Local Loopback Network' from 'Local Area Connection X'.  I then assign it a unique, non-routable IP address (such as or - something that won't conflict with the various networks into which the host will be connected.
  • Then, open your VPC and manually assign an IP address to it on the same subnet (e.g.
  • Edit the hosts file (found in %WINDIR%\System32\drivers\etc) to map the host name to its respective IP address.
More information:
How to install the Microsoft Loopback adapter in Windows XP
Using Microsoft Loopback Adapter

Hope that's useful!

Back to Microsoft: Windows FAQ Index
Back to Microsoft: Windows Forum

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