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  1. #1
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    Recovering XP Virtual Machines?

    I just upgraded a perfectly good Win7/64 system to Win10/64 today.

    And discovered that there’s no longer support for XP Virtual Machines. Although I quickly found out I can go get “other” VM software and build a new virtual machine, the old one I had on the system was loaded and tuned with a number of legacy apps that I need several times a year. Each of them had an initial install and layers of updates, so “just reinstall what you had” could be a two or three day long process that I’d rather avoid.

    Bottom line, is there any way to take an EXISTING XP virtual machine, from Win7, and then load (or restore or overlay, whatever) it into a new VM, or a new installation of XP? Something that will allow the old VM (assuming I can find where it was by default) to just be USED again, without reinstalling everything that was there?

    There must be some way to just drop the old xp/vm file into a new "shell" and have it still usable, no? Other than making an (XP? Win7?) dual boot and all the issues that can create, just in order to run the vm file?

    --Redd

  2. #2
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    AFAIK the only solution is to revert to W7 using the W10 roll back to previous option.
    What may work is to create a virtual disk image from the inside the XP VM with Disk2Vhd from MS, then load the VM in VirtualBox or Hyper-V.

    cheers, Paul

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    I assume you are speaking of XP Mode. I've researched this a lot and from everything I have found, it's not possible to port the XP Mode VM to Win10. It's a very long and complicated story, but basically that VM is 100% tied to Win7.

    It's a primary reason I did not upgrade a Win7 computer,.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  4. #4
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    I recalled reading this somewhere. Did a search and found the following article. May or may not work for you.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/12183...-on-windows-7/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lylejk View Post
    I recalled reading this somewhere.[/url]
    I've been down that and similar roads and they always come to a washed out bridge. Way down near the end of the article it states: "Note: During our tests we weren’t able to get the activation to go through. We are looking into the issue and will have a revised article showing the correct way to get XP Mode in VirutalBox working correctly soon. "

    The problem is, it won't activate. I wish they had put that at the head of the article. It's not the first time I've found something promising on that site only to find out there's some major caveat at the end.

    XP Mode is a very special version of the Win7 VM and it cannot be ported to another VM. I have read, but cannot verify, that you cannot even move an XPM from one Win7 to another because it's tied to the Win7 serial number.

    If you have an exiting XP computer, you might be able to image it and then port that to a VM on Win7. It's another of those things I have seen mentioned but have not tried. Supposedly, if you want XP in Win10, then you need to have a full retail copy of XP and install it - however, that failed for me as well and I'm not sure why. It might be because I was trying to use Win10 Hyper-V as opposed to VMWare or VirtualBox. In the end, I gave up on it.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys but to clear up a few points:
    1- There's no reason to make a VHD. A VHD file is a "virtual hard drive" and it is an image of a hard drive. Or in the case of the XP/VM's, it is an image that pretends to be a real hard drive, on a real virtual machine.
    So the question is how to RUN that image, not how to create one.
    Apparently MS used the XP Virtual Mode in order to "install" an XP environment on Win7 machines. And what Howtogeek is telling people, is to install that same version of XP, but to install it in a VirtualBox instead of directly on Windows. Since it wouldn't, or shouldn't, allow itself to install on a wrong version of Windows, but VBox should hide that problem.

    The only problem there is that the articles on Howtogeek are usually sloppy and error ridden and the ones I have followed, just didn't work. As noted by multiple posters, who never seem to be acknowledged by those same authors who wrote nonsense articles to begin with. (I know, computers are complicated, but HTG doesn't seem at all interested in responding when people say "It just don't work." or even when they point out obvious errors.

    Oddly enough if you can find the right words to search on, apparently you can "attach" any VHD file on your Win10 system to the old Disk Mangler [sic] and "mount" that image as, duh, a Virtual Hard Drive (.VHD) and then you can simply RUN or access any of those files from any of the usual ways, as if it were on a real drive!

    And apparently the "OK, why can't I access my backups?" perennial problems may be tied into this, because system backup images are supposed to be VHD files as well--also accessible directly once mounted. (Would it kill MS to let anyone know these things?)

    Now, this doesn't give you a desktop, or the ability to run multiple apps in one ersatz Windows session, but at least it gives full access to anything on the VHD image, so you can run any ONE of those programs at a time.

    I'm guessing that if you install XP by any means, either a multi-boot or a VM product of any type, then the whole VHD becomes usable this way. Altough, I wouldn't be surprised to find drive letter or path issues because what had been an integral new "C" drive with the virtual OS might not be one that way.

    Someone at Win10 installation support promised to get back to me, saying "you can run any OS under Win10, I'll call you back with the details" and of course, they're about 24 hours overdue now.(G) But it looks like this can be done, and done fairly simply, if you ignore that nasty man behind the curtain who keeps on saying "No, you can't do this anymore."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redd View Post

    Oddly enough if you can find the right words to search on, apparently you can "attach" any VHD file on your Win10 system to the old Disk Mangler [sic] and "mount" that image as, duh, a Virtual Hard Drive (.VHD) and then you can simply RUN or access any of those files from any of the usual ways, as if it were on a real drive!
    Have you tried that with an INSTALLED program?
    Can you site a ref for that?
    I have been meaning to get around to running my old XP in a VM in my newly 'upgraded' WX box. If I do succeed I will post my results.

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  8. #8
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    No, no refs to cite. A very sharp supervisor at MS's Win10 installation support team in India (yes, it really was MS calling about my computer(G) ) initially told me this was beyond his area, but he personally had done it.

    So I went to drive mangler [sic] and MOUNTED the VHD. Then I sent back to THIS COMPUTER, opened that drive, double-clicked on the main EXE file for one of the installed programs, and the damned thing ran. Full-screen, but running.

    I did not have a chance to experiment further, to find out the limits and functionality or whether it could interface with the rest of the system. I'm following MS's own carefully obscured instructions to enable Hyper-V support in my BIOS and plan to try using Hyper-V to support multiple virtual machines--the officially endorsed way to do it.

    Why they make it SO obscure when this apparently could be about as simple as "Add a Printer?" I don't know. Perhaps to encourage us all to drop all the older OSes so they can drop support for them.

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