Windows 7: run Windows 7 in Windows XP mode

Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate licenses enable users to install and use Windows XP Mode inside windows 7. It’s a free download from Microsoft download centre that provides an updated version of standalone Virtual PC and a executable virtual hard disk (VHD) inbuilt with Windows XP SP3.

Systems Requirement:

Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) enabled Intel, AMD or VIA Processor

Enabled HAV in computer bios

2GB for windows 7 32 bit or 3 GB for Windows 7 64 bit

20MB for Microsoft VPC and additional 15GB for XP VHD

Microsoft Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode

Windows XP Mode

Windows 7

AIK and Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) for enterprise deployment

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Deployment Tools

Installation of Windows XP Mode (WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe) in Windows 7

   3 4 5 6 7 9

Installation of standalone vPC update (Windows6.1-KB958559-x86.msu) in Windows 7

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20


Preparing a custom VM for Deployment

Create Master vPC using XP SP3

Customize with applications, patches, Antivirus, etc

Create Sysprep.inf

Run Sysprep.exe

Sysprep will prepare the VHD for distribution, and shut down the VM

Deploying a custom VM for Deployment

Install Windows Virtual PC on each computer

Remove the Virtual Windows XP shortcut from the Start menu using GPO

Copy the Windows XP VHD to each computer in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines location

Create a VM configuration file using Run cscript CreateVirtualMachine.wsf -p:<vhd_path> -vn:<virtual machine name> at Command Prompt using Admin Account

Attach Custom VHD



Setup VHD permissions

Navigate to the folder where the VHD is present, right-click on the VHD name>click Properties>Security tab.

To assign ownership to the VHD, click Advanced>Owner tab>Edit> Other Users and groups>Everyone>OK>close

Now right click the VHD name>Properties>Edit under the Security tab. Ensure that the Administrators and Everyone have Full control on the VHD.

Click OK>General tab>clear the Read Only check box>OK

About Raihan Al-Beruni

My Name is Raihan Al-Beruni. I am working as an Infrastructure Architect in Data Center Technologies in Perth, Western Australia. I have been working on Microsoft technologies for more than 15 years. Other than Microsoft technologies I also work on Citrix validated solution and VMware data center virtualization technologies. I have a Masters degree in E-Commerce. I am certified in Microsoft, VMware, ITIL and EMC. My core focus is on cloud technologies. In my blog I share my knowledge and experience to enrich information technology community as a whole. I hope my contribution through this blog will help someone who wants more information on data center technologies.
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