Microsoft offers – probably for downwards compatibility issues – a free Microsoft Windows XP Licence in the form of a Virtual Machine plus the virtualization ‘platform’ Windows Virtual PC, successor to Virtual PC 2007. This version of WindowsVirtual PC is only compatible to run on Microsoft Windows 7.
Features of Virtual PC for Microsoft Windows 7:
- USB support and redirection – connect peripherals such as flash drives and digital cameras, and print from the guest to host OS printers
- Seamless application publishing and launching – run Windows XP Mode applications directly from the Windows 7 desktop
- Support for multithreading – run multiple virtual machines concurrently, each in its own thread for improved stability and performance
- Smart card redirection – use smart cards connected to the host
- Integration with Windows Explorer – manage all VMs from a single Explorer folder (%USER%\Virtual Machines)
The virtual machine is called Microsoft Windows XP Mode (XPM) for Microsoft Windows 7 and is – as of today – available for download in Release Candidate (RC) state.
Microsoft Virtual PC for Windows 7
To setup Microsoft Virtual PC / Microsoft Windows XP Mode:
Download either the 32bit or 64bit (x64) Version of Microsoft Virtual PC for Windows 7 using the link above
For the 32bit version the filename is Windows6.1-KB958559-x86.msu for the 64bit/x64 version it’s Windows6.1-KB958559-x64.msu
In any case, the knowledge base entry for the release candidate (RC) of Microsoft Virtual PC for Microsoft Windows 7 is KB958559.
When installed, the system wants to reboot.
After rebooting, go check the entries in your Start Menu. There must be a new Folder called Windows Virtual PC.
Click on Windows XP Mode
This popup should appear
Download the the file. it’s approx. 500mb
Then execute the downloaded exe (WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe)
This Process will extract the Virtual Machine Disk of Microsoft Windows XP Mode VM to %ProgramFiles%\Windows XP Mode
The Filename of the VHD is Windows XP Mode base.vhd
Now start the Microsoft Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 again using the start menu, clicking on Windows XP Mode
A wizard will open:
Define Username/Password for the Windows XP Mode Virtual Machine
Define the automatic protection settings
Wait for about 5 minutes for the Microsoft Windows XP Mode to complete setup (copies the base VHD to your %userprofile%)