Windows XP Mode provides a virtual Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 (SP3) environment for computers running Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, or Windows 7 Enterprise. You can use this environment to run your applications for Windows XP directly from the Windows 7 desktop.
If you want to use Windows XP as a guest operating system, we recommend that you use Windows XP Mode if it is available for the version of Windows 7 you are using. This option is faster than creating your own virtual machine because Windows Virtual PC creates the virtual machine for you, configures it to run Windows XP, and installs the following:
- The Integration Components package.
These components improve the experience of using a virtual machine
by providing features that improve the interactions between the
virtual machine and the physical computer. For more information,
- Support for virtual applications. This
feature requires an update to the guest operating system. In
Windows XP Mode, this update is already installed.
Although some of the features of Windows Virtual PC improve the integration between the host operating system and a guest operating system, such as Windows XP, the operating systems are separate and must be managed separately. For example, to receive the maintenance benefits provided by features and tools such as Windows Update and antivirus programs, you must install and run them in the guest operating system.
For more information and instructions about setting up Windows XP Mode, see Set up Windows XP Mode.
About storage in Windows XP Mode
By default, Windows XP Mode uses space on the system drive to store the virtual machine and virtual hard disks. The virtual machine requires two virtual hard disks:
- A parent virtual hard disk. The
default location is %systemdrive%\Program Files\Windows XP Mode.
Your computer manufacturer may have already installed the parent
disk on your computer. If not, you can download the installation
package and specify a location to store the parent disk during
setup. For more information, see Set up Windows XP
- A differencing virtual hard disk. By
default, Windows XP Mode Setup creates this disk at
AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines.
However, you can change this location during setup, or you can
change this location later by using the following steps to move the
|To move the differencing disk|
If the virtual machine is running or hibernated, shut it down.
In the host operating system, open Windows Explorer. Move the differencing disk from the existing location to the new location.
Open the settings for the virtual machine. Do one of the following:
- In the Virtual Machines folder, right-click
the name of the virtual machine, and then click
- From the virtual machine window, click the
Tools menu, and then click Settings.
- In the Virtual Machines folder, right-click the name of the virtual machine, and then click Settings.
In the left pane of the Windows Virtual PC Settings page, click Hard Disk 1.
Click Virtual hard disk file. Type the full path, including file name, to the Windows XP Mode.vhd file—or click Browse, navigate to the .vhd file, and then click Open.
Click OK to save the change.
Start the virtual machine. The virtual machine will use the differencing disk of Windows XP from the new location.