Smart cards are routinely used in many organizations for login, digital signing, encrypting data or even accessing some applications. A key reason why you may need to use a smartcard reader in a Virtual Machine (VM) on Windows 7 is application compatibility. For e.g., if you’ve a web-based app which requires Internet Explorer 6, you may use it in Windows XP Mode and login to that app using a smartcard reader. You can use smartcards in any VM created using Windows Virtual PC (WVPC) on Windows 7, just as you use smartcards on Windows 7. Smart cards’re shared between host and VM by default when Integration Features (IFs) are installed in the VM. You can disable this setting by unchecking the ‘Smartcards’ check-box in the Settings of the VM under ‘Integration features’. Then, the smartcard cannot be used in the VM until the setting is enabled again.
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