Windows

Windows XP Mode virtualization no longer requires specific CPU

One common complaint about the Windows XP Mode in Windows 7 was the chip-level virtualization requirement. Well, not anymore.

As Greg Shultz explained not too long ago in "Get the Most Out of Windows XP Mode with These Tips," the requirements for running Windows XP Mode in Microsoft Windows 7 included Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate and a CPU with the necessary built-in hardware-based virtualization technology. Well that has changed for the better.

Mary-Jo Foley, in her blog on sister-site ZDNet, reports that Microsoft has removed the hardware virtualization barrier to running XP Mode. Concerns raised in discussion forums associated with the TechRepublic Windows blog revealed that the hardware-based virtualization technology and the specific CPUs that featured it were a huge source of confusion. Removing that hurdle makes the Windows XP Mode a much more reliable option for those users and organizations that deploy it.

At the same time Microsoft was announcing the removal of the hardware-based virtualization requirement, it also made several other announcements concerning virtualization and the Windows operating system. New strategies and technologies discussed include virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), improved licensing models, and new roaming use rights.

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

28 comments
Gis Bun
Gis Bun

I suspect that removing the VT requirements will be beneficial for many businesses. A VT system should run XPM a bit better than a non-VT system. Personally, I prefer VMware Workstation 7. It costs but online support is better. So is the choice of guests. Someone commented on CPUs with and without VTs. I read an article around the time when XPM was coming out that some [laptop?] vendors were disabling the VT feature in the BIOS. Of note that I built a new system in January and my ASUS P7P55D-E Deluxe motherboard had VT disabled by default.

raymosely
raymosely

I'm running Win 7, since pre-release. It works for me. My major hiccup was that HP would not provide drivers for my 2200 scanner. Now I have XP Mode and my scanner works perfectly. Glitch installing pdf software for the scanner, but copied the files to the virtual C drive and even that installed fine.

wa3rey
wa3rey

Windows XP Mode virtualization will not work on 64 bit machines unfortunately.

caseyp0568
caseyp0568

I dual partion my drive and have both full OS. Skip the limits with running a OS under another.

ghbgiest
ghbgiest

XP mode is useless to me since it cannot read or write directly to DVD or CDRoms. It can "read" files using some VT mechanism but cannot play/ write movies/ music or other media type files. Did this CPu requirement change change this stupid VT files mechanism?

AstroCreep
AstroCreep

So I read the post from Mary Jo and read the Microsoft link, but I can't seem to find out if there will be any lost functionality or any issues with the omission of the CPU virtualization extensions. Anyone know if there will be any differences in the XPM for the non-VT CPUs? ...or was having VT just a "Guarantee" that XPM would work properly?

thurston
thurston

So has this patch been released now or do we have to wait for SP1 where I have been reading about this? It does not stop me from using it, but that would be nice to know.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Now that the hardware-based virtualization technology requirement has been removed, are you more likely to take advantage of the Windows XP Mode feature of Windows 7?

RedDawg264
RedDawg264

I can understand why M$ doesn't allow XP mode on Win 7 Basic, but why not allow XP mode on Home Premium and above. Why should I have to pony up more $$$ for upgrading to Win 7 Pro?

raymosely
raymosely

After installing XP Mode, it came up with an XP window, much like an RDP window. This window works just like RDP. Then I discovered the Win 7 integration. Shut the virtual window down, and run the XP Mode application straight from the Win 7 desktop. My scanner now works great and feels like it is part of Win 7.

carlsf
carlsf

I own a 64bit system with the VT mode in BIOS and Vista 64bit why wont it work???

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

As we speak, I'm running it at this very moment. It seems iLO doesn't like IE8 so I installed it on my 64-bit Enterprise Win 7 setup so I could connect to my servers that way. Working fine.

carlsf
carlsf

We are running XP and Vista (32 and 64bit) Have looked at WIN7 and MS have removed the "CLASSIC" option, we use this as a standard settting on all systems so any user can go to any computer an know where to find what they want, also the new interface is NOT nice, the same reasom we use Office 2003 PRO DONT and WONT be running WIN7 of any flavour

tonycopp
tonycopp

Of course XP mode is unable by design to allow you to control the media you purchased. The business model needs to constantly create new improved OSs for their ability to sell you anew what you once owned.

robin
robin

To install applcations on the virtual pc, which is what XP Mode is, you open up XP Mode and automatically log on to the virtual pc XP box using remote desktop connection. Then you run and install your applications in the same way as on any XP PC. BUT, and this is the issue, if your application does not allow you to install it using rdp, you are stuffed and the whole idea goes flying out of the window, if you aprdon the pun!!

Oopscymru
Oopscymru

I have yet to see Win7 on PC where this was not an option. I guess I work with a more limited set of Dell hardware than I thought. . .

pcassistance_org
pcassistance_org

I use Windows 7 Professional and i was really hoping to run XP mode for some of my older applications on my laptop. Mind you, my laptop is not a cheap piece of plastic, it's an ASUS G50vt-x5. The only downside is the core 2 duo actually doesn't support VT (which I 100% blame Intel for, as theres no reason it shouldn't) so virtualization for me was not an option (it is especially annoying when i was want to run 64bit flavors of linux). With the removal of the VT requirement, I can actually use XP mode and push back my need to buy a better CPU. I think this is a great move on MS's part.

mike.motes
mike.motes

what I did was to copy the installation files to the Virtual Desktop, and it installed without a glitch.

AstroCreep
AstroCreep

The lack of VT, or a system with a CPU that doesn't have VT? Well if it is a lack of VT on the chip, that's kinda what I want to know. I know that the extensions give quicker access to low-level resources, but that's most beneficiary when running a full-on hypervisor, so what are we really missing at a client/desktop/laptop level? If you're asking about getting a system that doesn't have VT, well if you bought an off-the-shelf system with a dual-core Pentium or a Core 2-series CPU, there's a good chance it doesn't have VT. Intel decided it was a good move to make multiple versions of their Core 2 CPUs (one with VT, one without). Most OEMs went ahead and used the non-VT chips in consumer-level systems while using the ones with VT for the business/enterprise-class systems. So most of the Latitudes of the world have a CPU with VT...unless you decide to save $20 and get one without. ;)

tech4me
tech4me

Thanks for fixing this Microsoft. You actually saved me from making a big mistake and losing face with a customer. We have a customer who had Vista and required XP to run a single business app, but otherwise used the computer for personal use. Instead of downgrading to XP (which was difficult as they didn't have Vista Business with existing downgrade rights) we decided to upgrade to Windows 7 Pro and use XP mode, only the CPU didn't have VT support. If MS hadn't fixed this, I would have been one of those confused consumers that expected XP mode to work on any CPU. Thanks for adding this feature MS. Despite the limitations (and obvious security concerns) of XP mode I think it's very handy for businesses that just need to run a few apps in Windows XP, but don't want their entire system to be held back by a OS from half a decade ago. Also, I think they should have added XP Mode as part of the Windows 7 Professional install (as an optional component) instead of requiring you to download it. XP Mode should also be available for download (ie a little more hidden and trickier to acquire) for Windows 7 Ultimate.

robin
robin

Thanks very much guys. Should have thought of that myself!!

raymosely
raymosely

That is correct. The problem is that virtual sessions, such as RDP, do not like UNC paths or mapped paths. Copy the files to the hard drive and run from a hard path.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad processor Q9400 (2.66GHz) I believe the Q9400 is on the list; at least I remember checking anyway.

AstroCreep
AstroCreep

What model CPU did you get in that HP desktop?

JCitizen
JCitizen

Just a FYI for anyone interested, I bought a consumer grade desktop OEM from HP, and the Intel CPU was on the VT list. However HP gives you a choice of processors to buy. I really wanted AMD, but just couldn't afford it at the time. I would think this move by Microsoft, while welcome would result in very poor performance for PC without the hardware support. This is what I want to know as well.

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