XP Mode in Windows 7 without Hardware Virtualization

Microsoft has released Windows XP Mode for Windows 7, a virtual machine package for Windows Virtual PC containing a pre-installed, licensed copy of Windows XP SP3 as its guest operating system. Windows XP Mode is pre-installed with integration components and pre-configured to allow user to run the virtual machine immediately right after installed, to provide backward compatibility for legacy productivity software with seamless access from host desktop capability.

Both Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode is available for download from official Windows Virtual PC homepage at or from Microsoft Download Center (Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode).

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 makes it easy run many of your productivity programs that run on Windows XP on Windows 7. It uses virtualization technology such as Windows Virtual PC to provide a Virtual Windows XP environment for Windows 7.Windows XP Mode provides a 32-bit virtual Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (SP3) environment. This download includes a virtual hard disk (.vhd file) with Windows XP SP3 pre installed. Client virtualization software, such as Windows Virtual PC is required to use Windows XP Mode. Windows Virtual PC requires processor capable of hardware virtualization, with AMD-V™, Intel® VT or VIA® VT turned on in the BIOS.

The main disadvantage of this is that Windows Virtual PC requires processor capable of hardware virtualization, with AMD-V™, Intel® VT or VIA® VT turned on in the BIOS.

If your processor is not capable of hardware virtualization then you cannot use Microsoft Virtual PC to use Windows XP Mode.

However you can use VMlite a virtualization technology based on Sun VirtualBox to run XP Mode on your Windows 7 computer irrespective of whether your processor supports Hardware Virtualization or not.

VMlite can also run XP Mode in Windows Vista.

Download VMlite here

Download XP Mode from Microsoft

Download the complete How to Guide with screen shots here

VMLite XP Mode creates a virtual Windows XP environment in Windows 7 so that you can run your older applications.Through seamless integration,you can install such applications and invoke them directly from Windows 7 Start Menu!

VMLite XP Mode runs like Microsoft’s XP mode, but does not require virtualization support from hardware (it takes advantage of Intel® VT-x or AMD-V™ if available). Neither does it require advanced Windows 7 options.

VMLite XP Mode Features

  • Provides similar functions as Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode from Microsoft
  • No requirement for hardware-assisted virtualization, namely, it runs without VT-x or AMD-v
  • Provides seamless integration with host desktop to run applications from Windows XP virtual machine
  • Host files can be accessed from within the XP Mode virtual machine easily
  • Control-C/V can be used to copy files and other contexts between host and vm, between different vms.
  • Support 3rd party virtual machine images: VMDK, VHD, VDI, HDD
  • Runs on any PC with Windows XP and above as host operating systems
  • High performance, XP Mode boots in 20 seconds
  • Supports XP, Vista, Windows 7, 2003 server, 2008 server as guest, for example, you can run Windows 7 on XP to have similar integration features
  • Supports Virtual Application Mode – if you start a vm application from host Start menu, this program is launched within a special context, called “Virtual Application Mode”, where My Documents, My Desktop, and other special shell folders will be redirected to the host. For example, if you launch XP Mode Word from host Start menu, you will see green borders, and when you save a new document to My Documents, it will be actually saved to your host My Documents folder.


About the Author: Bharat Balegere

Bharat Balegere is a 27 year old blogger from Bengaluru. He is a technology enthusiast and loves tinkering with computers and usb drives.

4 Comments + Add Comment

  • Thanks, it solved my problem of not having hardware virtualization on Sony Vaio!

  • Thx very much
    it helped a lot for my labtop

  • Thanks My dear. you have solve my problem.

  • It’s funny how Windows 7 allow XP to be used on their system. This just proves how stable windows XP was.. and how terrible vista is :)

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