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  1. #1
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    Run XP In a Virtual Machine on Ubuntu?

    I'm running Windows XP SP3 Home Edition on my second PC (Pentium 2.8 GHz; 1.7 GB RAM; 160 GB HDD). Installed on it are older versions of Photoshop Elements and NERO. I have newer versions of each of them on my primary PC running Windows 7 SP1, but I'd like to continue using the older ones as well. With the EOL for XP forthcoming, I'm considering replacing Windows XP with Linux Ubuntu. If I do that, I'd like to install VirtualBox and run XP on a virtual machine upon which would be installed the legacy versions of Photoshop and NERO. However, I did not get a Windows XP installation CD when I purchased the PC new and, in any case, I suspect the fact that the XP I'm running is OEM would make installation on a virtual machine a problem (even though the virtual machine would be on the original hard drive). I have some experience with Ubuntu, but none with a virtual machine. Is what I'm considering practical/reasonable? Is there a way I can install XP (using my XP product key) on a virtual machine without purchasing an XP installation CD? I don't want to pay (again) for what is, essentially, a dead horse for which I already have a license.

  2. #2
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    Windows 7 SP1
    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, I presume, but if it is Windows 7 Professional SP1, you can install Windows XP Mode on Windows Virtual PC.

  3. #3
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    I tried installing VirtualBox on CentOS 6.3, and I never got it to work right. One of the dependencies downloaded the wrong version, and when I tried to go to the Repo where the correct version was supposed to be, the Repo wasn't there.

    Ubuntu would have a different install, and it would probably be easier. Still I can't say whether it would work or not, but VirtualBox works fine on Windows 7.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prescott View Post
    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, I presume, but if it is Windows 7 Professional SP1, you can install Windows XP Mode on Windows Virtual PC.
    Correct, I should nave noted that it is Win7 Home Premium SP1. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Installing VirtualBox to run under Ubuntu is pretty straightforward. There should be no big problems and it will run exactly as if it is on a Windows host.

    Turning to the question of XP: There may be a genuine Digital River download for XP, which will allow you to install into VirtualBox direct from the ISO, but realistically I think you are describing importing your existing XP installation.

    You will need to take an image backup of the current installation and make sure it's in a format that VirtualBox can import.

    However, this process is problematic.

    From technical perspective, the main problem with be with drivers. The OEM installation will quite likely BSOD with the current driver set if you successfully create an image and import into VirtualBox. In theory you could then use a boot disk to repair the installation, but if you are using a boot disk, you may as well use the correct installation media which will install a clean version into VirtualBox.

    The next hurdle will be activation.

    Microsoft's new licensing conditions with the likes of Windows 8 is very clear that OEM installations are tied to the original hardware and are not allowed to be reused on other hardware. There were similar, but less clear cut clauses previously for XP and even now these may have been clarified.

    So, if you get past the BSOD driver issue, your system will probably fail activation. It may be possible to tell a lie on the activation telephone hotline and reactivate on the Virtual Platform but I doubt anyone will be able to give you a guarantee that doing so will give you new lease of life on the licence.

    In essence, yes you have a licence for XP, but it's tied the the original hardware and, according to Microsoft, cannot be reused.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

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    snalmond (2014-02-07)

  7. #6
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    Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions, Tinto.

    1. A fresh install of XP would be good; no need to import existing XP. I was found nothing older than Windows 7 on Digital River.

    2. I had hoped that activation wouldn't be necessary or required for the elderly XP. Too much to hope for, I guess. Likewise, I guess the fact that the virtual hard drive onto which I want to install XP would be mounted in the VirtualBox [to be] installed on the OEM hard drive that currently holds that specific XP for which I have a license still would not be considered the original/same hard drive (even though it would be the same hardware).

    If there are other thoughts on this potential (and, perhaps, futile) plan to install and run XP on a virtual machine on Ubuntu, I'll be grateful for them. If I'm unable to carry out installation of a usable XP on a virtual machine, I'll sacrifice my old XP and try running the Photoshop Elements and NERO et al. on Ubuntu using WINE.

    Steve

  8. #7
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    Two methods though I've only used VMWare Player in Ubuntu so I don't know what differences there might be between that and VBox.

    One, you get a copy of XP Mode from a Win 7 Professional or Ultimate system, exported to VBox or VMWare Player format. I know how to do that with the later but not the former.

    Second, use Paragon's free GoVirtual program and create a VM either in VBox or VMWare Player compatible format from the current install of XP. What kind of activation barriers might be thrown up running the resulting VM in Ubuntu I do not know, they should be straightforward if your current install has only been activated once or very infrequently.

    One or both of these methods may violate the technical terms of Microsoft's TOS, but economically MS stands to make $0.00 either way so I think it's ok to do.

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    snalmond (2014-02-08)

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