Available as a free download for owners of legitimate copies of Windows 7, Virtual PC with Windows XP Mode is an application that allows you to run your older applications and devices that might not be compatible with the new operating system. XP Mode accomplishes this by creating a "virtual" computer inside your Windows 7 operating space. To get the most out of XP Mode, your computer must support processor virtualisation. Having plenty of RAM helps, too, so if your XP Mode seems slow or nonresponsive, allocate more memory to the virtual computer.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Windows 7
- 2 GB of RAM minimum (4 GB or more recommended)
Shut down the Windows XP Mode virtual machine if it's currently running.
Click "Start," "All Programs," then the "Virtual PC" program folder.
Click the "Virtual PC" program link. After the "Virtual Machines" window opens, click and select the "Windows XP Mode" virtual machine in the list.
Click the "Settings" button just below the menu bar. Click the "Memory" setting in the left pane of the "Windows XP Mode -- Window Virtual PC Settings" window.
Click inside the "Memory (RAM):" value field. Replace the default 256 MB value with 512 or higher -- 512 MB for the virtual machine provides a substantial boost in performance. To speed up the virtual PC even more, enter 1024 if you have enough physical RAM for Windows 7.
Tips and warnings
- The RAM you allocate to Windows XP Mode may not be available for use in Windows 7 while virtual PC is running.
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- Windows Guides; What are Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode and How Do I Use them?; Rich Robinson; Aug. 10, 2010
- ZDNet; Windows 7 "XP Mode" System Requirements; Adrian Kingsley-Hughes; Apr. 29, 2009
- Windows Guides; Improve XP Mode Performance in Windows Virtual PC [How To]; Rich Robinson; Aug. 11, 2010