back to article Windows XP Mode skips virtualisation hardware requirements

Microsoft pushed out a software update late last week that strips away some hardware requirements for running Windows XP Mode on Windows 7 computers, in a move designed to convince more SMBs to upgrade their operating systems. The software maker said Windows XP Mode no longer needed hardware virtualisation technology to run …


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  1. Ian Sheppard

    Several hours wasted!

    Arghhh!! I just spent several hours messing with VirtualBox to get a workaround for this! Why couldn't they have released this two weeks ago!!

    Although better late than never I suppose...

  2. David Austin



    I Just kit-bashed a rather nice HP Mini Desktop together. It Runs Windows 7 very well (With 2GB of Memory and a decent half height nvidia card), but as it's built around a Core Duo System, there was No Intel VT.

    This was irritating notso much for Windows XP Mode, but for Windows Virtual PC: Not that anyone ever mentions it, but you can also install and build any guest OS From scratch, much Like Virtual PC 2007.

    So, gonna try getting some old Win98 Apps running in a virtual box on this new update, Will post back on secuess, and performance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can you please tell us

      what were the problems that took you so long to workaround ? I'm interested in keeping VirtualBox as my virtualization solution for Windows and I'd like to be able to avoid any surprise.

    2. Andy Jones


      There is nothing to mess around with in Virtualbox! It is easy as pie. The longest part of the process is installing Windows!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does this mean there was collusion between Microsoft and chip manufacturers to get businesses to buy processors which supported hardware virtualisation? When this effort failed (as VMWare supported XP Mode without the hardware requirement), they decided to release virtualisation for all?

    1. Adam Salisbury


      It's all down to the OEMs; Dell Vostros for instance, ship with CPUs that are VT capable but their BIOS lacks the lines of code required to switch it on!!!! The only reasons I can think they've done it are the cost of wiriting the BIOS update (unlikely), ineptitude (probable) or to increase their product range (bingo!).

      "If you need a seriously powerful machine buy this Vostro, but if you want VT as well well let me show you this instead......"

      "But it's £500 more!"

      "Yeah, suck it n00b!"

      Personally I think MS were beyond utterly moronic to use a hypervisor that required VT for Win7 as the whole point of the feature was to allow people to migrate WITHOUT shelling out on expensive new hardware!

      1. Noel Morgan

        Not all OEMs fault.

        A lot of machines use the intel chipsets are incapable of running Intel-VT because INTEL do not allow it. Out of a possible 25 Core 2 chipsets only 7 support virtualization.

        I just went through an ordering process where Intel-VT was a requirement. The number of suppliers who offered me machine whose processor was fine but the chipset was not was a joke.

        Now I want to hit someone from microsoft for making this change. I welcome it, I just wished I had known about it 2 weeks ago!

        (ps the fail is for Intel)

      2. Fuzzysteve


        'Personally I think MS were beyond utterly moronic to use a hypervisor that required VT for Win7 as the whole point of the feature was to allow people to migrate WITHOUT shelling out on expensive new hardware!'

        Nope. The point was to run windows XP only applications, on Windows 7. Nothing to do with performance.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Fail Bis

          Who talks about performance? Only you, Steve.

          The point was to be able to upgrade *now* from XP to Win7, without worrying (supposedly) about legacy apps. And then MS realised *now* would not happen if people had to buy new kit (doh!), so they changed their stance.

  4. Inachu


    So I have my P5q Deluxe Quad core gaming machine and I did read the box the motherboard came in and it does support VM in the BIOS and I checked and made sure it was

    turned on in the bios and oh reader beware I have WIndwos 7 professional 64bit with 4 gig of ram installed....

    So before this update I download and install everything and it says my hardware does not support any VM...... WEIRD! BS!! IT DOES TOO!

    So I got this update and it now works like a champ.

  5. Ben 47

    Runs on Home Premium

    I wish that someone would notice that you don't need the high end versions of Windows 7 to run 'XP Mode'

    XP Mode is two seperate bits. The first, which is the latest version of Virtual PC will install on all versions of Windows 7.

    The only reason you need Professional, Enterprise or Ulimate is to get the licence for the Windows XP that is in 'XP Mode' OS image

    So if you can provide the XP OS install yourself - then you can do 'XP mode' yourself.

    I've done this on Home Premium and it works exactly the same - seamless intergration and everything

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on, I've read this press release before

    although that time it seemed to be about how MS had suddenly discovered that, oh, yes, it is actually possible to run Windows without Internet Explorer

  7. Mage Silver badge

    XP mode

    Don't "upgrade" to Win7 . Just install XP

    1. Ammaross Danan


      <insert repetative language about WinXP and x64 bit drivers and WinXP insecurities here>


      Fail. That is all.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      just do the mydigitallife BIOS hack and enjoy the best of both worlds for nowt.


  8. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Even better...

    Download and install the MS VM. Then download and install VMWare player and have a virtualisation environment that doesn't bring the host OS to it's knees, integrates better and feels much faster and more usable. VM even has a special "import XP mode" option in the menu to make this as easy as possible.

  9. Greg J Preece

    Sweet, does this apply to standard Virtual PC too?

    As title, really. Got a Win7 machine that runs on some beefy, but slightly older processors - no hardware virtualisation. I can easily use Virtualbox for XP and do so, but I really want a Win98 image on there for some stuff. Does this mean I can now use VPC?

  10. /dev/null

    XP compatibility=nut, XP Mode=sledgehammer?

    It seems to me like overkill to have to resort to a full machine virtualization (with or without hardware support) in order to provide backwards compatibility with a slightly older version of what is essentially the same OS. How many XP apps actually break when run on Win 7 anyway?

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