Recently I lost the internal network card on my home desktop. Good news is I had a spare Wireless card! Bad news. The box is my groovyPost test box where I run several VMs using Microsoft Virtual PC 2007.
After searching through several Microsoft Virtual PC documents, configuring my VMs to use the wireless adapter at first started to look impossible. The problem I ran into was attempting to connect a Virtual Machine (Guest) using a physical Wireless Adapter that is also being used by the physical machine or Host. Each time I tried it, I ran into a duplicate IP address issue. <GRR>. For some reason, the virtual machine network services are unable to translate with the wireless DHCP server on your network. If you’re running XP, there is a crude workaround that involves deleting the Virtual Machine Additions on the Guest, but the same trick won’t work on a Vista Guest. So what’s the solution (other than being told by MrGroove to upgrade to Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2?)
Say “Hello” to the Microsoft Loopback Adapter.
The Microsoft Loopback Adapter’s original design was for virtual internal network testing purposes. It acts just like a physical network adapter and “loops back” any settings connected to it. The neat thing about it is that you can install the Virtual Machine Network Services driver on it, which allows a Virtual Guest to connect to it. So if you setup a Loopback adapter and then enable network connection sharing on your physical wireless adapter, you can trick your Guest into thinking that it is connecting to a wired physical adapter. The limitation in this, however, is that the loopback adapter will bind the IP address of your Virtual Machine to 192.168.0.1, and it may interfere with any workgroups you have running on your network. If it does interfere, you can manually change your network to a 192.168.1.xxx subnet.
Read on below to explain the set-up process.
How to Enable a Microsoft Loopback Adapter and Internet Connection Sharing for use with Virtual Machines
1. Go to Start and Control Panel. Once in Control Panel Click Add Hardware.
2. The Add Hardware Wizard will pop-up. Click Next.
3. Check the Yes, I have already connected the hardware button, then Click Next.
4. Now Scroll DOWN to the bottom and Click Add new hardware device.
Tip: You can get to it faster by hitting the A key once.
5. Now Click the Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced) button, then Click Next.
6. Click Network adapters from the list. Click Next.
7. On the left side Click Microsoft, on the right side Click Microsoft Loopback Adapter. Now Click Next.
On the next Screen Click Finished.
Now to set up Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
1. Browse to your Network Connections, Right-Click your Physical Adapter, and Click Properties.
2. Click the Advanced tab, then Check the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection button. Click OK to finish.
3. Now Open up your Virtual Machine’s settings, and Set its Network Connection to Use your new Microsoft Loopback Adapter.
Your virtual machine should now be able to connect to your network/Internet using the Loopback adapter and your Wireless Network connection! Granted, this one is a bit complicated, so any comments for the How-To is welcome. However, please post any detailed questions to the groovy Community Forum.