Tuesday 28 April 2009

Windows XP - Copy & Paste Not Working

I came across a rather odd and obscure problem today. Using Windows XP on a new PC I was suddenly unable to copy & paste data between applications either using mouse or keyboard shortcuts of CTRL-C and CTRL-V which was very frustrating!

Nothing seemed to be any different and a few searches on Google didn't throw up any info until one link that appeared to link the problem to Remote Desktop. I use this software to connect to other machines on my network including my server. For some reason Remote Desktop (rdp) appears to have taken over the Copy/Paste function and prevents other applications using it.

The solution was to close Remote Desktop COnnection (RDP) which restored Copy & Paste back to normal.

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Microsoft Virtual PC

Virtualisation is currently a hot topic with market leader VMWare offering some of its software under Open Source licence agreements. Microsoft has also released its own desktop virtualisation software called Virtual PC. This is available as a free download from the Microsoft website.

The beauty of virtualisation is that you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware and at the same time. Previously to run different operating systems you needed to perform multiple installations and choose which system to boot at startup.

Virtualisation performs differently. You install your operating system as normal which is designated the "host" system. Virtual PC is then installed on this and allows additional "guest" operating systems to be installed. You can flick between operating systems as easily as clicking between different application windows. One restriction is the capability of the hardware that you are running the software on but assuming this is sufficiently specified it is very easy to test out different operating systems or different software on the same OS.

I will shortly be testing Windows 7 using Virtual PC on my Vista 64 system and will detail the results that I find.