Emulated hardware

Emulated hardware

Virtual Server 2005 emulates most of the hardware components for virtual machines. The emulated hardware is detected by the virtual machine operating system and appears to both the operating system and any users of the virtual machine as physical hardware. The following table lists basic hardware components and their corresponding emulated hardware.

Component Emulated hardware

Basic input/output system (BIOS)

American Megatrends (AMI) BIOS using the Intel 440BX chip set with PIIX4 On-board components:

  • Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS)
  • Real-time clock
  • RAM and video RAM (VRAM)
  • Memory controller
  • DMA controller
  • PCI bus
  • ISA bus
  • SM bus
  • Power management
  • 8259 PIC
  • Programmable interrupt timer (PIT)

Floppy disk drive

Supports a single 1.44 MB floppy disk drive and mapping to real floppy disk drives or floppy drive images.

Serial (COM) port

Emulates up to two serial ports that can be mapped to physical serial ports, local named pipes, and files.

Printer (LPT) port

Emulates a single printer port that maps to the physical parallel port.


Emulates a standard PS/2 Microsoft IntelliMouse® pointing device, but can be mapped to a PS/2 device on the physical computer.


Emulates a standard PS/2 101-key Microsoft keyboard, but can be mapped to a PS/2 keyboard on the physical computer.

Network adapter (multifunction)

Emulates the multiport DEC 21140 10/100TX 100 MB Ethernet network adapter with one to four network connections. In some cases, the DEC 21140 may show up on the virtual machine as Intel 21140. These are equivalent network adapters. The virtual network adapters and the network driver that controls them do not support the virtual local area network (VLAN) identifier (ID) in a Tag Header.


Virtual machines use the CPU of the physical computer, which means that a virtual machine has the same type of CPU as the physical computer. Guest operating systems only see a single CPU.


Supports 3.6 GB of RAM per virtual machine.

Video card

Emulates the S3 Trio64 graphics adapter with 4 MB of VRAM, VGA and SVGA support that is compliant with VESA 2.0, 2D graphics accelerator and hardware cursor, and support for DirectX.

IDE/ATAPI storage

Emulates up to 4 IDE devices, hard drives, or CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives (or ISO images), and virtual hard disks that are up to 127 MB per IDE channel.

SCSI storage

Virtual Server emulates the Adaptec 7870 SCSI adapter chip set. You can configure as many as four SCSI adapters on a virtual machine. Each SCSI adapter supports up to seven virtual hard disks of up to 2 terabytes each.

Sound card

Virtual Server does not include an emulated sound card. For more information, see "Notes" at the end of this topic.


In some cases, the DEC 21140 may appear on the virtual machine as Intel 21140. These are equivalent network adapters. For a virtual machine to properly recognize 4 MB of VRAM, you may need to install Virtual Machine Additions. For more information, see Installing Virtual Machine Additions. Virtual Server does not include a sound card. If you create a virtual machine by using Virtual Server, and then add the virtual machine to Virtual PC, you will need to specify a sound card driver. For more information about configuring a sound card with Virtual PC, see "Emulated devices on virtual machines" in Virtual PC Help.