Virtual PC and wrong processor speeds

When you are using Virtual PC (or another virtualization solution) and try to install an application that does a hardware check first, it could be reporting that your processor is too slow (even though it isn’t) and aborts installation.

Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2010 is such an application that does a hardware check first and will therefore prevent you from using/testing it in a virtual environment.

This computer does not meet the minimum requirements necessary to run Business Contact Manager for Microsoft Outlook 2010. Business Contact Manager for Microsoft Outlook 2010 requires at least a 400MHz processor and 128MB of RAM.
Business Contact Manager refuses to install as minimum requirements are not found.

The issue is caused by Virtual PC not being able to properly recognize the processor speed and will report 4MHz instead. You can see this when opening your Computer Properties screen (keyboard shortcut; Windows key + Pause)

System Properties processor speed (click on image to enlarge)
Windows reports the name of the processor correctly but not the speed.
(click on image to enlarge)

To solve the issue, you can edit the Registry to set the proper processor speed manually.

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\CentralProcessor\0
Value name: ~MHz
Value type: REG_DWORD

As the value you should provide the correct processor speed in MHz. So in the case of the example in the screenshot, you should fill in 2400 as the value.

Note:
While you can fill in a value higher than your actual processor speed, this will of course not affect the performance of the Virtual Machine (VM) itself. If that were the case, then the original set 4MHz would have slowed down the VM in such a way that it wouldn’t have booted in the first place.

Registry processor speed (click on image to enlarge)
The reported processor speed can be edited in the Registry.
(click on image to enlarge)