How to Install Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode for Windows 7
Windows Virtual PC is an optional download for Windows 7. It currently works on the following Windows 7 editions: Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise.
Windows XP Mode is simply a repackaged Virtual PC designed for Windows 7.
In order to activate Windows Virtual PC, you must have hardware-assisted virtualization (INTEL VT) or (AMD-V) available and enabled in the bios. Microsoft has a tool available for download to check your PC for compatibility.
Installing Windows Virtual PC
In order to configure Windows Virtual PC, you must download two files. One file enables Windows Virtual PC and the other file installs a licensed copy of Windows XP SP3 for you to use for legacy applications (Windows XP Mode).
Browse to the Windows XP Mode configuration page. You should have already performed Step 1 and Step 2 on this page, which involve checking your PC for compatibility.
Select your Operating System (OS) in Step 3 and your language. Download Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode to your desktop and install.
Once you have installed the application, reboot your computer.
Configuring Windows XP Mode
Click Start | All Programs | Windows XP Mode. Alternatively, you can also click the Start Orb and type “xp mode” in the instant search field. Windows XP Mode appears in the list for you to select.
Tick the “I accept the license terms” checkbox (Figure 1) and click Next.
Accept the default location (Figure 2) of the installation of your virtual machine or choose a custom path.
Next, create a password for your user account “XPMUser” and click Next. If you select to save the password, your credentials are saved and you do not have to login to the virtual machine every time you reboot the box.
Note: Next, you can select “Help protect my computer by turning on Automatic Updates now. (recommended).”
Click Start Setup (Figure 3) and your Windows XP VM is automatically configured in 5 minutes for you to work with legacy applications.
Launching Windows XP Mode
Click Start | All Programs | Windows XP Mode (Figure 4). As I mentioned before, you can also click the Start Orb and type “xp mode” in the instant search field. Windows XP Mode appears in the list for you to select.
Windows Virtual PC launches with a preconfigured copy of Windows XP. At this point, you can install software and use it as if it was a physical PC.
If you want to view the virtual machine (VM) in full-screen, click Action | View Full Screen. When you are finished using the VM, simply select Action | Close and the VM hibernates. Additionally, you can pause and resume the virtual machine by choosing Action | Sleep and Action | Wake Up.
In my next post, I will explore Windows Virtual PC deeper and provide you with an in depth tutorial on how to configure and install virtual machines using Windows Virtual PC.