Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Networking a Virtual PC when disconnected from the network

So I'm sitting on a very long flight (when I wrote this, watching 'Flight of the Conchords'), wishing I had wifi as my current project involves distributed WCF services between virtual PCs.  Without network access, I'm dead in the water (probably not the best thing to say while in a plane).  After banging it out, here's a quick tip on how to set up networking for your virtual PCs when you don't have any network.

The irony here is this post is really only useful after you connect to the network.  Still, this may be good reference material for me at some point later on, if you benefit from it, that's good too.

Install a Loopback Adapter

On the host operating system, install a Loopback adapter.

  1. Open the "Add Hardware" applet in the Control Panel.
  2. Choose the "Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced)"
  3. Select the "Microsoft", "Loopback Adapter"

    Loopback Adapter
  4. Once installed, configure the loopback adapter with a static IP Address (ie, / subnet

Configure the Virtual PC

Configure the VPC to use the Loopback Adapter.

  1. Using the VPC settings, configure the VPC to use the Loopback adapter for it's network connection

    Virtual PC Settings
  2. In the guest OS, configure the network adapter with a static IP Address on the same network and subnet (

Testing it out

To test it out, on the host OS "ping".  Voila! Network without Network.  Now, where's that drink cart?