Windows 7 came with a very interesting feature called Windows XP mode. This feature allows you to setup a Windows XP virtual machine inside Windows 7 and execute any Windows XP’s program from it.
If you are an advanced user, for sure you know about VirtualBox, which has been covered plenty of times in Make Tech Easier. The most important difference between VirtualBox and Windows XP mode is that you don’t need a Windows XP CD. You can download all files from Microsoft.
If you are having problems porting your programs to Windows 7, this feature is an option you need to review. Following is the step by step guide to install and execute Windows XP mode in your Windows 7 machine.
Note: For this mode to work you will need a Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate version of Windows 7.
Insert your edition of Windows 7 and your language:
Once you do that the step 3 will appear. Now as you can see in the image above, you have to download and install Windows XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode Update in this order.
Before downloading, Windows will check if your Operating version is valid. Press Continue:
You should now have these three files:
Installing Windows XP Mode
Double click the Windows XP Mode installer. Press Next:
It will ask for the folder of the installation, just press Next:
The program start the installation:
Installing Windows Virtual PC
Double click Windows6.1-KB958559.msu. you will see the following image, press Yes:
In the following image you will see the license agreement, press I Accept:
Once it finished it will ask for a reboot of your computer:
Installing Windows XP Mode Update
Double click Windows6.1-KB9777206-x86.msu, you will see the following image:
Starting Windows XP Mode
In the Start Menu, look for Windows XP.
Now you can click over Windows XP Mode. The first time you have to setup the aplication:
Now the program will ask you for an installation folder and the credentials for Windows XP Mode. Be sure to remember that password.
Turn on Automatic Updates and press Next.
Click on “Start Setup“:
Windows XP Mode will start to prepare itself:
Once it is done, you will see Windows XP on the screen:
Now you can install any program you want. Personally, I prefer VirtualBox, but that will require you to have the Windows XP installer CD. Windows XP Mode is a very good choice if you are experiencing problems with Windows 7 compatibility.