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Install Windows XP in Windows 8 Client Hyper-V

Greg Shultz shows you how to install Windows XP in Windows 8 Client Hyper-V virtual machine.

As you may remember, Windows 7 came with Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode allowing you to download and install a fully functional copy of Windows XP SP3 in a virtual machine running inside of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. XP Mode was designed to ease migration and compatibility issues by allowing you to easily run Windows XP application in Windows 7.

The XP Mode for Windows Virtual PC included specialized integration components designed to allow applications installed in the Windows XP virtual machine to appear as if they were running directly in Windows 7 - the applications even appeared on the Windows 7 Start menu. When you launch such an application from the Start menu, the virtual Windows XP loads in the background without any UI and it looks and feels as though you are running the application directly in Windows 7. Microsoft calls this feature Seamless Mode.

As I explained in my last blog post, Create a test machine in Windows 8 Client Hyper-V, Microsoft has done away with Windows Virtual PC in favor of focusing on Hyper-V, which is a much more powerful and feature rich virtualization platform and also is the main virtualization platform in Windows Server. However, as a side effect of doing so, the XP Mode capability has also gone by the wayside.

Now, before you get all excited, losing XP Mode was not part of some evil plan by Microsoft to push folks away from Windows XP. In fact, the reason for the disappearance of XP Mode is related to the differences in the hypervisor platforms used by Windows Virtual PC and Windows 8's Client Hyper-V. Windows Virtual PC uses Type-2 hypervisor while Hyper-V is a Type 0 hypervisor. The differences in Hyper-V's hypervisor type means that it can't provide the same access that made XP Mode's integration feature possible.

However, that doesn't mean that you can't still run a Windows XP on a virtual machine in Windows 8. In this post, I'll show you how to install Windows XP in Windows 8 Client Hyper-V virtual machine. As I do, I'll show you some of the neat features in Client Hyper-V.

As I work through this article, I am going to assume that you have read my previous article, have already installed Windows 8's Client Hyper-V, and are familiar with the basic steps that I covered on setting up a virtual machine.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

Launching Windows 8's Client Hyper-V

To begin, just press the [Windows] key to bring up the Start Screen. Then, type Hyper and press [Enter] when Hyper-V Manager appears, as illustrated in Figure A.

Figure A

Accessing Windows Feature tool from the Start Screen is easy.

Creating the virtual machine

In last week's article, I told you that there are two ways that you can create a virtual machine from the New Virtual Machine Wizard. You can work through the wizard to create a virtual machine or you can quickly create a virtual machine using the preconfigured default settings, which you can then change later. Since we worked through the wizard to create a virtual machine last time, we'll create a virtual machine using the preconfigured default settings. We'll then edit the virtual machine's settings. While going this route is a bit more time consuming, it will allow us to take a look at some of the features available in the virtual machine Settings window.

After you launch the Hyper-V Manager, navigate to the Actions pane and select the New | Virtual Machine command. When the first screen of the New Virtual Machine Wizard appears, just click the Finish button, as shown in Figure B, to immediately create a virtual machine with preconfigured default settings.

Figure B

You can quickly create a virtual machine using the preconfigured default settings.
When you see the new virtual machine appear in the Virtual Machines list, right click the name and rename it to something like XP Virtual Machine, then go back to the Actions pane and click the Settings command, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Renaming the virtual machine will help you to keep track of it.

Editing the virtual machine's settings

When the Settings window appears, you'll see that there are a multitude of settings that you can configure to customize how your virtual machine will work. For the purposes of this article, I'll just cover the basic settings that you need to get started with your Windows XP virtual machine.

Because Windows XP is an old operating system, it isn't compatible with Hyper-V's network adapter. As such, the first thing that you will need to do is add a legacy network adapter. Select the Legacy Network Adapter item, as shown in Figure D, and click the Add button.

Figure D

Because Windows XP is an old operating system, the first thing that you need to do is add a legacy network adapter.
When you do, Hyper V will add the Legacy Network Adapter to the Hardware list and immediately take you to that section. Since I already created a virtual switch for my last article, I'll select the Test 1 Virtual switch from the virtual switch drop down, as shown in Figure E. Then, click Apply to save your changes. If you haven't already set up a Virtual switch for the Network Adapter, you can do so at any time. (See my blog post, Create a test machine in Windows 8 Client Hyper-V.)

Figure E

If you have already configured a Virtual switch, just select it.
Now, move up the Hardware list and select the Memory section. I'm going to specify 1GB of RAM for my XP Virtual Machine. As you can see in Figure F, I've specified 1024 in the Startup RAM text box and left the Enable Dynamic Memory check box unselected. Even though the text box is titled Startup RAM, in the case of the Windows XP operating system, this will be the total amount of available RAM.

In other words, it will essentially be static memory. Being an older operating system, Windows XP is not supported by Hyper-V's Dynamic Memory feature, so you'll need to leave that check box unselected. The Memory Weight slider is designed to allow you to prioritize memory usage but it is related to the Dynamic Memory feature and so in the case of Windows XP we'll just leave it as it is in the middle.

Figure F

Hyper-V doesn't support Dynamic Memory for Windows XP.

To continue, go ahead and click Apply to save your settings. Then move down to the IDE Controller 0 | Hard Drive section.

When you arrive at the Hard Drive section, as shown in Figure G, the only thing that you may want to do is increase the size of the hard disk. By default, the hard disk is set to 127GB in size. For this example machine, I want to increase the size of the hard disk to 500GB. To do so, click Edit button.

Figure G

Chances are that you'll want to expand the size of the virtual hard disk.
When the Edit Virtual Hard Disk Wizard appears, you'll see that it immediately advances to the Choose Action page. You'll then select the Expand option, click Next, and then specify the size as 500GB. These two steps are illustrated in Figure H. To complete the operation, click the Finish button. When you return to the Settings window, click Apply to save your changes.

Figure H

You'll use the Edit Virtual Hard Disk Wizard to expand the size of the virtual hard disk.
Keep in mind that Hyper-V creates dynamically expanding virtual hard disks. This means that the hard disk only takes up as much room as needed and can only grow to the specified size. For example, clicking the Inspect button (next to the Edit button in the Hard Drive section) displays the Virtual Hard Disk Properties dialog box, shown in Figure I. As you can see, at this point the size of the virtual hard disk file is 4MB. As I install the operating system and applications, the virtual hard disk will grow in size until it reaches the maximum size of 500GB.

Figure I

The Virtual Hard Disk Properties dialog box shows the current size of the virtual hard disk.
At this point, move down to the IDE Controller 1 | DVD Drive section and choose how you want to install the operating system and applications on your virtual machine. You can use ISO images files or the physical CD/DVD drive. As shown in Figure J, I've selected the Physical CD/DVD drive option and indicated the appropriate drive letter. This will make it easy to install Windows XP from the optical disc. Click Apply to save your changes.

Figure J

You'll specify how you want to configure the DVD Drive that you'll use to install the operating system and applications on your virtual machine.

Launching the installation

Installing Windows XP in a Hyper-V virtual machine is easy. To begin, insert the Windows XP CD in the drive, go back to the Actions pane in the Hyper-V Manager, scroll down to the virtual machine section and click the Connect command. When you do, you'll see a virtual machine window that tells you that the machine is turned off. At this point, just click the Start button on the menu bar, as shown in Figure K.

Figure K

Click the Start button on the virtual machine window's toolbar.
You'll then see the installation begin. Figure L shows the Windows XP Setup screen.

Figure L

Seeing the basic looking Windows XP Setup screen in Windows 8 is quite a stark picture.
Once the installation is complete, you'll see the Windows XP desktop in a virtual machine in Windows 8, as shown in Figure M.

Figure M

Once the installation is complete, you'll see the Windows XP desktop in a virtual machine in Windows 8.

What your take?

Have you had a chance to experiment with Windows 8 Client Hyper-V yet? Will you install Windows XP in a Hyper-V virtual machine in Windows 8? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

Also read:

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

28 comments
DavidWer
DavidWer

All I have in terms of windows xp media is a reinstallation CD service pack 2 for a dell computer. My new windows 8.1 computer is a lenovo. So, will these cd's work to install windows xp on a virtual machine within Lenovo's windows 8.1? And will I need to get updates to make it service pack 3?

Thanks.

kyxhyperv13
kyxhyperv13

Can the VM connection window be made larger?  The largest (maximized) seems to be about 7x7 only in my 20" widescreen monitor.

rwilson501
rwilson501

The Installation process of XP requires me to create a partition.  On the Virtual machine set up I choose "compact" for the disk option.    I believed this option allocated space as need.    I was confused by the XP install requirement asking to create a partition.  Given this is on a virtual machine and my needs for disk space for XP are small, what are the reguirements in regards for another partition in the install process.   Should I create another partition prior to the install? 


nigam.samir
nigam.samir

Hi Greg,

Suppose that I've a Hyper-V VM with Windows XP installed on my Laptop having Win 8 Pro. Now I want to remove this VM. How can I do this safely?


Regards,

Samir Nigam.

bfboyce
bfboyce

I followed the steps and got the hyper v working and installed XP Pro. However the disc I has was Dell OEM and it runs out in 30 days. It wouldn't activate. I plan to buy a non-OEM full install of XP-Pro, 32 bit with SP3 which I assume will work. Question is, how do I undo the XP I've got in there now. The install formatted 500 MB of hard drive. Brian

jwallan
jwallan

Does it have to install XP via a disk or can I download it and then install it?

tenalis
tenalis

Hello Greg, I did the same as you explained to install windows XP in Hyper -V, but surprisingly i cannot see my USB HDDs that i have plugged into my computer. with Windows 7 haveing Windows XP mode it was showing up all the USB ports. Please help Thanks Srini.

dennist1
dennist1

I was able to create a virtual machine and install XP on it. Now I just need to know where to look to figure out what I am doing wrong with NIC settings. When I enable the virtual switch, I soon find that even the Windows 8 loses access. I understand the transient condition when I create the virtual switch. It gets through that fine and I find that the XP system cannot access the network, and then I see that Windows 8 can no longer access the net either. I've tried assigning static IP configuration to the physical NIC, but even that does not help.

TempCdn
TempCdn

I followed the steps and when I got to the product key page I get the "The Product ID you entered is not valid" Checked with Microsoft; they confirmed the key is good. Deleted and built a new VM; same issue. Anyone else have this issue?

Duncan Birtwistle
Duncan Birtwistle

Will the XP machine be able to access the same C:\ hard-drive files as the native Windows 8? Could Dropbox be used if not to keep the files (appearing) the same?

go.swampert
go.swampert

I feel silly for asking this, but to clarify, if I specified 1024MB of RAM for the virtual machine, would that 1024MB of RAM only be used when the virtual machine is running? ie If I had 4GB of RAM installed and specified 1GB for the virtual machine, when the virtual machine wasn't running, would I still be able to access all 4GB of RAM. Thanks

Gisabun
Gisabun

Sewt your AV to turn off checking the files in the folders where your VMs are stored. Slows down the VMs.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

Greg, thank you for providing your articles in the blog format as well as the slide show. It sure makes for a much easier read. You've always provided very good and informative articles. As for your comment requesting CPU information, I was given a system with an AMD CPU (quad-core 2.5 GHz) because the guy who bought it, bought it primarily to use to run VMs using VMWare. I set it up for him (I was working in the IT dept at the time). When he put the VMs on, they would crash repeatedly. We finally discovered that there was some sort of bug with AMD that would cause that. He gave me the system and bought an Intel system that worked fine. I got a new system that I needed for home which is still in use. This was about three years ago. We never tried the MS product so I don't know if it had the same issues.

Akais1
Akais1

Well what the article does not tell you is that Windows 7 Pro included a full licensed copy of Windows XP pro via the Windows XP mode. Installing Windows Pro in the Windows 8 Hyper-V will require you to purchase a full version of Windows XP pro ($199 retail) effectively doubling the price of the Windows 8 Pro\Windows XP as opposed to Windows 7 Pro\Windows XP that we had before. Microsoft should think about offering a lower price VM license for customers who upgrade to the latest O/S but still need to run legacy software occasionally in a VM.

GWK
GWK

I have run Coreinfo on my machine (RTM Win-8 with all updates), and it states EPT/SLAT is enabled and OK. Great. So went to add in the Win-8 Windows features, and it won't permit Hyper-V Platform (management is OK) "as SLAT is not available". Any thoughts/ideas?

robo_dev
robo_dev

I have been running 10 XP guests on the free VMware ESXi hypervisor server for the past two years. The Hyper-V setup screens are IDENTICAL to the VMware setup screens. If you need XP, running it virtual is the way to go.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you still need to run Windows XP in some form even if you already have Windows 7 or are planning to install Windows 8? Could Client Hyper-V be the answer?

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...download it, exactly what do you mean? An ISO file?

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...HDDs to work through Client Hyper-V can be tricky. However, you can get access to them through RDC. Once you have the VM up and running, launch Remote Desktop on your host and connect to the VM. You can then access your USB drives from within the VM.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...that condition and will have to do some investigation.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...that is the case. And, remember there are no silly questions ;-)

daminatom
daminatom

If you have an old PC with Windows XP Pro already installed you can use the same key you had to legally activate it without spending the money for an original copy

Angel Of Death
Angel Of Death

Ideally, for an Intel based platform you want a Q77 chipset motherboard paired with an i5-3470/3550/3570 (not a K series chip) as these will be most likely to provide all of the required platform features (such as VT-d, Trusted Execution, Extended Page Tables/SLAT, DEP). We have a pair of systems using ASUS P8Q77-M/CSM board with i5-3470 CPU running Hyper-V Server 2012 Core.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...entire error message you receive when you attempt to install Hyper-V. Also exactly what CPU do you have in your machine?

GWK
GWK

The CPU is Intel Core 2 Duo E6600. I don't get an error message when I try to install the Hyper-V Platform - the option is greyed out so I cannot initiate it. On hovering my mouse over the checkbox, I do get the message "Hyper-V cannot be installed: The processor does not have second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities.". Thanks.

GWK
GWK

The CPU is Intel Core 2 Duo E6600. I don't get an error message when I try to install the Hyper-V Platform - the option is greyed out so I cannot initiate it. On hovering my mouse over the checkbox, I do get the message "Hyper-V cannot be installed: The processor does not have second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities.". Thanks.

GWK
GWK

Thanks for this - you're right! I assumed the text said it all, and it didn't. It really could have been made a little more obvious!

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...the Intel Core Duo E6600, this CPU was released in 2006... As such, this CPU doesn't have SLAT capabilities and won't support Hyper-V. http://ark.intel.com/products/27250/Intel-Core2-Duo-Processor-E6600-4M-Cache-2_40-GHz-1066-MHz-FSB When you run Coreinfo, it is easy to misinterpret the output. If your CPU does support SLAT you will see an asterisk * next to EPT field: EPT * Supports Intel extended page tables (SLAT) If your CPU doesn't support SLAT you will see an minus sign - next to EPT field: EPT - Supports Intel extended page tables (SLAT) If you don't pay attention to the presence of the asterisk or minus sign, and just focus in on the wording "Supports Intel extended page tables (SLAT" you would misinterpret the reading. Please run Coreinfo again and I'll bet that you see a minus sign next to EPT field.