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  1. #1
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    How can I properly uninstall Windows XP Mode from W7?

    When I first installed W7 Pro 64-bit, I had some legacy software I needed to run on XP, so I set up and ran Windows XP Mode successfully for some time. I have now replaced the legacy software, and since the virtual machine files created during setup for XP Mode total a hefty 34.5GB, I'd like to be able to delete those files, because they make backups unnecessarily large and time-consuming.

    XP Mode files.png

    I've thus far refrained from simply deleting those files wholesale, as I don't want to to make a mess of things, but I really don't want them there. How can I safely and properly remove those virtual machine files from my computer? I don't necessarily want to delete the ability of W7 to create XP Mode again, in case I might want, for whatever reason, to recreate XP Mode sometime in the future; I just want to get rid of these unused bulky files.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help.

    HH33
    Last edited by HealingHands33; 2015-02-12 at 17:55.
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
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  2. #2
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    See this SevenForums thread: Windows 7: Uninstall Corrupted Windows XP Mode.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coochin View Post
    Hi, Coochin,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I read the forum post at that link, but the poster who offered the "solution" didn't seem very knowledgeable or certain about what he was suggesting. I know where the 34.5GB folder of XP Mode virtual drive files is located, so it would be no problem for me to just delete them, but since the poster in that other forum sounded as though he was new to XP Mode and was only guessing, I'm hoping that there will be someone in this forum who can confirm from experience that I won't break something if I just blow those files out of existence as that poster recommended.

    Maybe that really is the correct and recommended way to get rid of an XP Mode virtual drive and its associated files, but it sounds a little too simple and it seems a little too crude as a method of uninstalling the virtual drive, so I'd just like to be sure.

    Thanks again for your post.

    Cheers,
    HH33
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on HP ProBook
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on OLD Dell laptop
    Samsung Galaxy S5 running Lollipop 5.0

  4. #4
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    Well, I've finally managed to find the answer to (almost all of) my own question, so I thought I'd post it here in case others are trying to do the same thing. It's amazing how, when you change just one word in your Search terms, you suddenly get much better answers from the Internet.

    The procedure is spelled out on this page at technet.microsoft.com. In the section entitled "To delete a virtual machine," it gives the following instructions for deleting files in the Virtual Machines folder located at %systemdrive%\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microso ft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines:

    Look for and delete files that are named the same as the virtual machine and have the following extensions: .vmc, .vmc, .vpcbackup, .vsv, .vht, and .vud. You also can search for files with those extensions.
    That will get rid of my 34.5GB files just fine. However, I have located another Virtual Machines folder at C:\Users\"User Name"\Virtual Machines which contains a 512MB file entitled "Windows XP Mode.vmcx". The Technet instructions do not mention removing virtual machine files in this subdirectory, nor do they say to remove files with that file extension (.vmcX), so I want to be cautious and find out if anyone knows if this file should be deleted too.

    I should make very clear that I want to be careful NOT to delete the ability of W7 to create another XP Mode virtual machine in the future, should I want to do so for whatever reason, so I want to be sure that in deleting this .vmcx file I won't inadvertently be disabling the ability of W7 to create future XP Mode virtual machines. My sole purpose is to delete the virtual machine I originally created to run XP Mode in order to save disk space and backup time.

    I think the 512MB .vmcx file <probably> can be deleted safely, but I'd appreciate confirmation of that from someone who has "been there, done that." It may only be coincidence, but when I look in the Settings for the XP Mode virtual machine, I see that the RAM allotted to the XP Mode is 512MB.

    It's possible that I should instead be following the procedure in that Technet article entitled "To remove Windows XP Mode", but I want to make sure that if I do that I will not be permanently disabling the ability of W7 to recreate XP Mode in the future, should that be necessary.

    Any thoughts on the deletion of that .vmcx file and/or the long-term effect of following the "To remove XP Mode" instructions will be much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    HH33
    Last edited by HealingHands33; 2015-02-16 at 00:48.
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
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  5. #5
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    As you only want to do this to reduce backup time, why not change the backup arrangement instead?
    You should have 2 types of backup, image and files. The image backup will allow you to recover from catastrophic failure and only needs to be run occasionally - once a month tops. The file backup collects all your data and should be run daily using an incremental backup. This will only collect files that have changed and you will then have historic copies in case you want to go back to a particular version.

    What backup program are you using and where are you storing your backups?

    cheers, Paul

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HealingHands33 View Post
    That will get rid of my 34.5GB files just fine. However, I have located another Virtual Machines folder at C:\Users\"User Name"\Virtual Machines which contains a 512MB file entitled "Windows XP Mode.vmcx". The Technet instructions do not mention removing virtual machine files in this subdirectory, nor do they say to remove files with that file extension (.vmcX), so I want to be cautious and find out if anyone knows if this file should be deleted too.
    The .vmcx file is required for XP Mode. It can be recreated, but only from the .vmc file you're going to delete:

    Windows XP Mode has disappeared from the Virtual Machines folder. How can I recover it?
    Cause: This can occur if the Windows XP Mode.vmcx has been deleted from the Virtual Machines folder.
    Solution: Find and double-click the file Windows XP Mode.vmc to recreate the Windows XP Mode.vmcx file. The.vmc file is %systemdrive%\Users\<username>\ AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines, unless a different folder was selected during setup. In that case, search for “Windows XP Mode.vmc”.

    Troubleshooting Windows Virtual PC


    Quote Originally Posted by HealingHands33 View Post
    I should make very clear that I want to be careful NOT to delete the ability of W7 to create another XP Mode virtual machine in the future, should I want to do so for whatever reason, so I want to be sure that in deleting this .vmcx file I won't inadvertently be disabling the ability of W7 to create future XP Mode virtual machines. My sole purpose is to delete the virtual machine I originally created to run XP Mode in order to save disk space and backup time.

    I think the 512MB .vmcx file <probably> can be deleted safely, but I'd appreciate confirmation of that from someone who has "been there, done that." It may only be coincidence, but when I look in the Settings for the XP Mode virtual machine, I see that the RAM allotted to the XP Mode is 512MB.
    I would leave the .vmcx alone, but XP Mode can still be downloaded and reinstalled: Download Windows XP Mode from Official Microsoft Download Center


    Quote Originally Posted by HealingHands33 View Post
    It's possible that I should instead be following the procedure in that Technet article entitled "To remove Windows XP Mode", but I want to make sure that if I do that I will not be permanently disabling the ability of W7 to recreate XP Mode in the future, should that be necessary.

    Any thoughts on the deletion of that .vmcx file and/or the long-term effect of following the "To remove XP Mode" instructions will be much appreciated.
    If you remove XP mode you will definitely have to download XP mode if you ever want to use it again (or at least reinstall it from a saved 450MB download file).


    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2015-02-16 at 16:07. Reason: speeling

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    As you only want to do this to reduce backup time, why not change the backup arrangement instead?
    You should have 2 types of backup, image and files. The image backup will allow you to recover from catastrophic failure and only needs to be run occasionally - once a month tops. The file backup collects all your data and should be run daily using an incremental backup. This will only collect files that have changed and you will then have historic copies in case you want to go back to a particular version.

    What backup program are you using and where are you storing your backups?

    cheers, Paul
    Hi, Paul,

    Thanks for your post. To answer your question, I use both EaseUS ToDo Backup Free and AOMEI Backupper Free, the former more than the latter. Having had two HDDs die on me in the past, I save full disk images of each of our computers every week to a 1TB external HDD, then copy those images to a second 1TB HDD which is always kept off-site, except when the copying of the image files occurs. Yes, I know it's a "belt and braces" approach, but it has really saved my bacon in the past. I realize that I can use incremental file backups between monthly images if I wish, but that gets a bit more complex if I have to do a restore. Since I currently have no need for XP Mode, I'd rather just get the huge virtual drive folder off my HDD and be done with it.

    Cheers,
    HH33
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on HP ProBook
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on OLD Dell laptop
    Samsung Galaxy S5 running Lollipop 5.0

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    The .vmcx file is required for XP Mode. It can be recreated, but only from the .vmc file you're going to delete:

    Windows XP Mode has disappeared from the Virtual Machines folder. How can I recover it?
    Cause: This can occur if the Windows XP Mode.vmcx has been deleted from the Virtual Machines folder.
    Solution: Find and double-click the file Windows XP Mode.vmc to recreate the Windows XP Mode.vmcx file. The.vmc file is %systemdrive%\Users\<username>\ AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines, unless a different folder was selected during setup. In that case, search for “Windows XP Mode.vmc”.

    Troubleshooting Windows Virtual PC

    I would leave the .vmcx alone, but XP Mode can still de downloaded and reinstalled: Download Windows XP Mode from Official Microsoft Download Center

    If you remove XP mode you will definitely have to download XP mode if you ever want to use it again (or at least reinstall it from a saved 450MB download file).

    Bruce
    Hi, Bruce,

    Thanks for your informative and helpful post. You have confirmed what I thought might be the case, namely, that if I use the "Remove XP Mode" procedure, I will not just remove the virtual drive I created, but will instead remove the XP Mode capability from the computer. Accordingly, I'll go ahead and just remove the huge virtual machine folder which contains the 34.5 GB. If removing the 512 MB .vmcx file may disable possible future XP Mode installation, I may just archive the .vmcx file to each of my two 1TB backup HDDs, then remove it from my computer's HDD. That way, I'll be able to put the file back where it was if I should ever want to, but won't have to keep backing it up every week.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Cheers,
    HH33
    Last edited by HealingHands33; 2015-02-16 at 16:38.
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on HP ProBook
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on OLD Dell laptop
    Samsung Galaxy S5 running Lollipop 5.0

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