Tuesday, July 12, 2005

VirtualPC Problem/Tip

Every now and then, I'll launch a Virtual Machine using VirtualPC, and the screen will not change (does not refresh). I can move my mouse, but the VPC's pointer remains frozen. If I minimize the VPC window, and then restore it, the picture updates, but still remains static (so I know that the VPC is working, and it's just the screen that is not updating).

This problem seems to be related to power saving modes of my laptop. I almost never shut my laptop down, but rather just use the sleep function that kicks off when I close the display. If I leave a VPC running when the laptop sleeps, then I can almost guarantee that the screen problem will occur. However, sometimes, it occurs even when VPC (or the VPC console) is not running.

I found that when this occurs, that I can "fix" the problem by shutting down all VPC sessions (saving state, if appropriate) and then closing the VirtualPC Console. Next, start the VirtualPC Console again, and then start the VPC, and voila! Should be fixed.

This is a lot better than my old fix, which was a total system reboot.