Like any new operating system, even Windows 7 is not immune to compatibility problems with programs and peripherals that worked on previous operating systems. The Microsoft, to try to make all compatible products usable on Windows XP also on Windows 7, has made available Windows XP Mode.With Windows XP Mode it is possible to use Windows XP "inside" Windows 7.As already mentioned, Windows XP Mode is very useful in cases where there are compatibility problems.
Caution:Windows XP Mode only works with versions:
- Windows 7 Professional
- Windows 7 Enterprise
- Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows XP Mode NOT works with versions:
- Windows 7 Starter Edition
- Windows 7 Home Basic
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Suppose you have a program that does not work on Windows 7, while before on Windows XP it worked (the same can be true for some devices that were not supported on Windows 7 with their drivers). To show you the convenience of Windows XP Mode I used the 7-PDF Maker program (only for example, this program works even if installed directly on Windows 7, but logically we will use Windows XP Mode for programs / peripherals not compatible with Windows 7).
First you need to have installed Windows Virtual PC on Windows 7. Windows Virtual PC a virtualization program from Microsoft. It is used to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on the same computer and to start numerous applications in a virtual Windows environment. If you have not installed it you can do it now, choose the version based on the operating system you have installed (32bit or 64bit): Download Windows Virtual PC 32BitDownload Windows Virtual PC 64Bit
Once Windows Virtual PC is installed, you need to install Windows XP Mode, which other than a Virtualized Windows XP SP3, that is already ready to use, to be used with Windows Virtual PC. Being in practice a real operating system, the file to be downloaded is a bit heavy (447MB), so we recommend that you have an ADSL connection, you can download it from here: Download Windows XP Mode
Windows XP Mode requires that the computer be prepared for hardware virtualization (to find out if you have this requirement, read the notes at the end of the article!).
Once downloaded and installed you can start it by going to the start menu All Programs -> Windows Virtual PC -> Windows XP Mode.You will find with your dear Windows XP in a window on Windows 7.
Now you can use the virtual operating system as it suits you; but let's take up the subject of using the programs / peripherals that are not compatible on windows 7. In the virtual operating system (Windows XP Mode) install the program / peripheral in question, continuing with the example, I installed 7-PDF Maker. Once you've installed what you need, you can also close Windows XP Mode.
Go from the start menu to All Programs -> Windows Virtual PC -> Windows XP Mode applications, where you will find the various programs you have installed.
Click on the program to be started, in the example 7-PDF Maker (Windows XP Mode), and the program will be started through Windows XP Mode but it will seem to be a normal program on windows 7:
Windows Virtual PC supports the following host and guest operating systems:
- Host: Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Enterprise.
- Guest: Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) Professional, Windows Vista Enterprise Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista Ultimate Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista Business Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Enterprise.
Note: the virtual application feature is not supported in Windows Vista Business Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 7 Professional editions.
System requirements for Windows Virtual PC
- Supported operating systems: Windows 7
- Processor: Intel, AMD, VIA processors with hardware-assisted virtualization support, with the BIOS setting enabled.
- Memory: 2 GB of recommended memory.
- Hard disk requirements: 20 MB of disk space for installing Windows Virtual PC.
System requirements for Windows XP Mode
- Supported operating systems: Windows 7 (Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise).
- Hard disk requirements: 2 GB for installing Windows XP Mode. We recommend another 15 GB of disk space for the Windows virtual environment.
Note: You can use Windows Virtual PC to run Windows XP Mode on your computer. Windows Virtual PC requires a processor that supports hardware virtualization, with AMD-V technology, Intel VT or VIA VT activated in the BIOS.
Note:To find out if your PC and CPU support hardware virtualization, Microsoft has made available a tool, which can be downloaded by clicking HERE. If your computer does not support hardware virtualization, after installing Windows Virtual PC, you can use Windows XP Mode by installing updates. that you find on this page: Use Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode without hardware virtualization.