How to add an XP Mode Virtual Machine to Windows 10 (or 8) using Hyper-V
by Mihai Neacsu on 15 October 2014 · 58285 views
Support for Windows XP has ended, and, although unofficial service packs exist, a better and safer idea would be to run XP as a virtual machine under your current OS if you still need to do some testing under XP.
If you have an XP Setup ISO or an XP installation disc, creating a virtual machine running XP is much easier, but if you don't, you can follow the tutorial below to install XP Mode under Windows 10. It works for Windows 8/8.1 Pro as well.
Note: The resulting virtual machine will run XP non-activated, without a license key, and you can use it for 30 days before it locks down. After the 30 days run out, you can re-create the virtual machine once again and use it for another 30 days, and so on. This is definitely not convenient for continuous use but will due just fine for testing old software or malware, for example. Alternatively, if you have an old XP license lying around, you can use it to register this installation.
XP Mode was introduced for Windows 7 (Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate) users as a way to run software designed for XP in Windows 7. For Windows 7 users, installing the XP Mode is easy: download XP mode, run the installer, done. Since Wiindows 8 or 10 does not support XP Mode, we'll need to extract the virtual hard drive included in XP Mode and run it as a virtual machine. Here's what you'll need to do:
1. Download the XP Mode from Microsoft
XP Mode is available for download directly from Microsoft: Download Here. Clicking the red download button on that page will give you the choice in the image below.
The difference between WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe and WindowsXPMode_N_en-us.exe is that the version with N in it does not contain Windows Media Player. Choose the one you want, click Next and continue with the download.
Alternatively, you can download WindowsXPMode_N_en-us.exe from Developer Link 3 on this page on Download3k.
2. Install 7-zip
Download 7-zip (Download3k mirror) and install it. It's important to install the 32-bit (also called x86) version of 7-zip for a 32-bit operating system and the 64-bit (also called x64) version for a 64-bit OS, since the x64 version won't work on x86 and the x86 version won't run with context menu on x64 machines. We'll need context menu for 7-zip to make extracting easier.
Skip to Step 3 if you know what type of system you're in.
If you are not sure if you have a x86 or x64 operating system installed, you can find this out in several ways. Here are 2:
a) Press Win+X (this opens the Power User Menu) and select System. Look under System > System type for the OS type you have installed.
b) Click Start (or press the Win key) and type PC Info. Look under System type and find out the type of OS you're running.
Now that you know what type of OS you have installed, download and install the corresponding version of 7-zip.
3. Use 7-zip to extract its contents
a) Right-click the file downloaded at Step 1 above and select 7-zip > Extract Here or Extract to "WindowsXPMode_en-us" (or the filename you downloaded)
b) After extraction. browse to Sources and notice the xpm file. Right click on xpm and choose 7-zip > Open archive.
Notice the VirtualXPVHD file.
c) Extract it to a location of your choice. Rename it to VirtualXPVHD.vhd.
d) Clean up. You can go ahead and delete the file downloaded in Step 1 and all the other files extracted from it, except for VirtualXPVHD.vhd.
In order to use the .vhd image in a virtual machine, you can either use VirtualBox or the built-in Windows Virtualization called Hyper-V. Since VirtualBox is currently experiencing some bugs under Windows 10, we'll cover the Hyper-V method below.
4. Activate Hyper-V on your Windows 10
By default, Windows 10, just as Windows 8 did, comes with a few features disabled, including the Hyper-V technology.
a) In order to enable Hyper-V, you need to go to Win+X (opens the power user menu) > Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off, under Programs and Features.
Alternatively, you can open the Run command (Win+R) or do a search (Win+S) and enter optionalfeatures, then hit Enter.
b) This will open a new window where you must tick the box near Hyper-V, as shown in the image below.
You will be prompted to restart. Do so. Upon re-entering Windows, Hyper-V will be enabled.
5. Create a virtual machine for XP Mode in Hyper-V Manager
a) Open Hyper-V Manager by clicking Start (or press the Win key) and type Hyper-V Manager, then Enter.
b) Make sure your local virtualization server is selected.
c) Optional: if you need an internet connection for your virtual machine, you need to setup a virtual switch by going to Action > Virtual Switch Manager.
d) Click Action > New > Virtual Machine. This will open an wizard.
e) Click Next and, in the next window, specify a name for your server.
f) In the next window, select Generation 1.
g) Specify an amount of RAM in the next window. 512 MB or 1024 MB should do it.
h) In the next window you can configure networking. If you need to use internet, you must redo the procedure from step a) and don't skip step c). If you don't need internet for your XP VM, press Next.
i) Select Use an existing virtual hard disk and browse for the VirtualXPVHD.vhd file from Step 3, as shown below.
j) Click Next for Summary, then Finish.
Your XP Virtual Machine is now created.
6. Run the virtual machine
You need to connect to your newly created XP virtual machine and start it. There are several ways to do that.
a) One way is to click Connect under your XP VM, in the right Actions column, as shown below.
b) In the new window that opens, click the green Start button. See the image below for clarification.
c) The first time you start the VM, it will do the last steps of a regular XP installation. It won't go through the full XP installation, but you'll still need to agree to Terms, pick a computer name, set time and date, language and, after a final reboot, it will prompt you to configure updates.
That's it. If everything went ok, you should now have a working XP Virtual Machine inside your Windows 10 (or 8).
Alternatively, you can read this guide "How to test Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP for Free, Legally" and see if it suits your needs better.