Getting Started with Windows XP Mode

Setting up your Windows 7-based PC to run in Windows XP Mode is a simple and straightforward process.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to check All Programs in your Start Menu to see whether Windows Virtual PC is already set up on your machine.

• If you don’t already have Windows Virtual PC installed:
The first step is setup your PC environment for virtualization. Windows Virtual PC takes advantage of hardware virtualization technology. To run Windows Virtual PC, your PC has to have Intel® VT or AMD-V™ features enabled in the BIOS. To find out if your PC is virtualization capable, visit the Windows Virtual PC support page (link: or your manufacturer’s website for moredetails.

With the hardware virtualization feature enabled, if Windows Virtual PC does not appear in All Programs, you’ll need to download it, as well as Virtual Windows XP, from the following website:

Once you’ve downloaded these files, double click “Windows6.1‐KB958559‐x86.msu (or x64-based on your system architecture).” Once it has finished installing, shut down your PC fully and then restart. Once restarted, your PC’s Start Menu will include Windows Virtual PC.

• If you already have Windows Virtual PC (or have just downloaded and installed it):
The next step is to install Windows Virtual XP on a virtual machine.

• Installing Virtual Windows XP:

If you have not already downloaded Virtual Windows XP from the above link, do so now. Double click “VirtualWindowsXP.msi.”

When installation is complete, go to All Programs and click on Virtual Windows XP to begin the set-up of your virtual Windows XP environment. The set-up process for Virtual Windows XP will take several minutes. During this time you be asked to accept the Windows XP License Agreement, as well as to create a new password and whether or not to receive Automatic Updates.

Once the process is complete, you will see your new Virtual Windows XP environment as a window on your Windows 7 desktop.

An important consideration of working with virtualization technology is the fact that the user has both the physical and virtual PC to maintain. Every PC requires a degree of maintenance including but not limited to keeping the operating system and applications up to date with patches, virus and malware protection, and backup. Windows XP Mode is pre-configured with the Windows XP firewall and to apply updates automatically from Windows Update. It is not pre-configured with anti-virus or anti-malware software, and both types of security software are recommended.

You can install and run applications within this Windows XP environment (known as Desktop Mode) exactly as if you were running them on a Windows XP-based PC. If you like, you can expand the Windows XP desktop to completely fill the screen (Full-Screen Desktop Mode) by clicking on the Maximize button in the upper right corner of the window.

When operating in Full-Screen Desktop Mode, you will notice that there is a small menu bar at the top of the desktop. This will enable you to access certain Virtual PC functions that we’ll talk about later without leaving the Full-Screen mode.

Source of Information : Microsoft® Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V)

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