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How to Run Windows XP in Windows Vista – Part 2

written by: sammy•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/11/2009

In the 1st part I told you how to Install and customize Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 installation. In this part I will try to cover the remaining features of the Virtual Machine.

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    Step 4 Installing Updates on Virtual Machine

    To install or Update Virtual Machine additions, you need to click Action → Install in the in VM window, and then follow the instructions to com­plete the setup process. You don't need to reboot your PC for the settings to take effect as rebooting the VM is sufficient.

    At this point, you have a Windows XP installation running inside the VM window on your Vista desktop. To install applications for Windows XP, place the disc bearing your old software in your optical drive, open the XP version of Explorer, locate the setup file and launch it. If you have the setup file on your hard disk instead, just drag and drop it onto the XP desktop. After the file has been copied, you will be able to launch the setup and install the program as normally done in XP.

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    Step 5 Taming the Virtual Machine

    As previously mentioned in part one, there are some shortcomings inVirtual PC. It cannot handle OpenGL, DirectX, or any other gaming plat­forms, so it probably won't run any of your old games.

    At the same time, most applications or software can be installed without any difficulty. If your old scanner or printer is not compatible with Vista, you can try using it in Virtual PC and probably you will be able to run them.

    If you can't get a program to run under Virtual PC, it might be worthwhile to tweak your VM options. Click Settings and increase the amount of memory avail­able. You may also need to create an extra virtual hard disk to get more hard drive space in VM, or you can try turning the VM sound card OFF, which will free up some memory.

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    Step 6 Establishing Internet Connection and File Sharing in Virtual Machine

    Until now you will be able to run most of the Windows XP software within the Virtual PC, but you will still need to establish an internet connection to communicate with the outside world.

    To get your internet working in the VM you need to go to the options tab and click Edit → Settings → Networking, and set your network adapter to Shared networking (NAT). This will allow the Virtual machine to act as a local network with your Vista instal­lation, and if you are connected to the internet through Vista you will also be connected in the Virtual Machine running Windows XP.

    Also if you want to share files created in the VM with Vista, you need to do the following settings. Click Edit → Settings → Shared Folders → Share Folder and specify a Vista folder you want to interact with. Now save the folder on the VM, and you will be able to access it later from Vista.

Solving compatibility woes in Vista by installing Virtual PC

A brief description of common compatibility woes faced by users in Windows Vista and their effective cure by running a PC within a PC by installing Microsoft Virtual PC 2007.
  1. How to Run Windows XP in Windows Vista – Part 1
  2. How to Run Windows XP in Windows Vista – Part 2