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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    Windows XP virtualization within Win 7

    I currently have Win 7 Professional as my main OS, but I sometimes dual-boot to XP whenever I want to run an older program or piece of software that 64 bit 7 doesn't support. However, I recently heard about Windows Virtual PC (WVPC), and that - since I have the Pro version of 7 - I can get a fully licensed copy of XP to run on Windows' free virtualization platform. Unfortunately, after I tried it, I found that the graphics and other programs were not running very well - even with hardware integration enabled - and I realized it was because the version of XP that is included with WVPC only allowed 16-bit color within the "Personalization" menu.

    Since I have the install disc of XP which I used to create my dual-boot setup, could I possibly replace the XP version on WVPC with my full version, installed from the disc? Would that give me a better performance than the version of XP that is bundled with the WVPC download? And would I have to re-install all of my software that I currently have running on my XP drive? Is there a way I could transfer it over, or would a backup and restore be necessary? If I could get the same performance on Virtual PC with XP that I have with the dual-boot version, it would be much more convenient.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Did you actually try XP Mode, or something else? Although I do not use it, I have read good things about Xp Mode.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
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    Seen this here:

    Add the following registry key to the virtual PC's registry:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Win dows NT\Terminal Services]
    "ColorDepth"=dword:00000004

    Reboot the virtual machine and you'll have 24-bit color.

  4. #4
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    You are correct Ted - I installed XP Mode and ran that through Windows Virtual PC. It isn't a bad virtualization platform, but it has a harder time rendering older video games and graphic-intensive software.

    Thank you for that registry tip ruirib - I'll try that and see if that helps its performance.

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    XP Mode is not really geared for gaming or heavy graphics apps. It was introduced mainly to provide business and enterprise a way to run their XP only compatible applications in an effort to get them on board with Windows 7.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    That is what I was afraid of Deadeye. What I wanted to know was, if I run a full installed version of XP inside XP mode, would it give me better performance than the XP version included in the XP Mode download?

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    The XP in XP mode is a full XP SP3 license. Whatever limitations it has result from being run in a virtual machine.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    To get the performance you want you will likely have to dual boot XP and Win 7. Since you already have this setup, that will work best for you when needing XP for an older app. As gerald mentioned, XP Mode was a stop gap for business to get over the "sticker shock" of upgrading to Win 7 and having to upgrade older apps that would not work in Win 7. There may be some other virtualization tools that would perform better than XP Mode, but none will do what dual boot does.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diogones View Post
    That is what I was afraid of Deadeye. What I wanted to know was, if I run a full installed version of XP inside XP mode, would it give me better performance than the XP version included in the XP Mode download?
    Rui and Ted have addressed your question. The only thing I can add is I went to a dual boot by installing Windows 7 Pro 64 bit on an existing XP Home install so I could finish off four or five games that will only run well on XP (and still have not finished them ). The only negative issue I have seen since October 2009 is that after booting into XP, my Windows 7 restore points are deleted. XP sees the Windows 7 partition and its restore points, and as they are different from XP restore points, it is assumed by XP the restore points are corrupted. But I find it to be worth the price. Maintaining a current Windows 7 image backup is a necessity, and more so in a situation such as this.

    Your can check out the Security and Backups Forum for tutorials on imaging. Ted wrote tutorials on Acronis True Image 2010 and 2011, and mercyh wrote one on Macrium Reflect Free, so there are two great programs to investigate, one pay for and one free. I have reliably used both. I use image backups regardless of the status of System Restore.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    And to further add to what Gerald says, many of us who create Up To Date Images on a regular basis have actually turned System restore off as Imaging seems to be far and away the best choice for restoration when problems develope. Acronis 2010, Acronis 2011 and Macrium Reflect.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  11. #11
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    You can check this MS Answers Forum thread for some possible work arounds to the restore point deletion. I have not attempted any, so I cannot say whether they work reliably, but it is worth a try.

    Another issue is that you have Windows 7 already installed and if you choose to dual boot with XP, you will be adding XP as your second OS. It is considered best to install the older OS first, but there are ways to set up dual boot in your situation. This How To Geek tutorial show you how to do so step by step. This SevenForums tutorial shows you how to do it also, and includes the method to use when one adds Windows 7 to an existing XP machine.

    With all this info, you are set to decide which way you want to go. Have fun!

  12. #12
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    Thank you for clarifying what the limits on virtualization are in terms of legacy games and graphics rendering. I have noticed the restore points deleting for me as well Deadeye, so I will certainly check out the MS Forum thread to see what I can find. I do have one last question however: in the SevenForums tutorial, it is recommended to install EasyBCD in order to allow XP to appear in Windows Boot Manager. Since I already have XP installed on a separate drive, when I boot my computer I have to hit ESC, then select which drive I wish to boot from. Would EasyBCD allow me to select which OS I wanted to boot from and circumvent this extra step, or does that option only work if the two systems were installed on the same hard drive in separate partitions? Is there a way to include XP in the Boot Manager without this program?

  13. #13
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    Can I assume that if you do not hit ESC during boot that Win 7 boots? If so, then you can boot into Win 7 and use EasyBCD to add XP to the boot menu, even with XP being on another drive.

  14. #14
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    You are correct cafed00d, I have to hit Esc to bring up the disc boot menu. All right, I suppose I'll give EasyBCD a try and see what happens.

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    Personally I find XP Mode to be clunky at best. MS did not put a lot into it because as already stated, it was intended to be a crutch for compatibility for companies that have legacy software.

    Diogones, it sounds like you own a legal copy of XP, since you are currently dual booting. If so, take a look at http://www.virtualbox.org/. It supports 32 bit color, 2d and 3d acceleration, and can be configured to use what ever video memory you want. So long as there enough RAM available to the VM, I find performance as good as if I booted right to XP. The key here is that you are able to allocate enough RAM. A minimum of 1GB. Keep in mind that it will take that GB from your host (in this case, Windows 7). Best of all, its free.
    Chuck

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