One feature being flaunted by Windows 7 is its ability to run Windows XP-based programs. It is required, however, that your processor supports Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (AMD-V / Intel VT ) and should be turned on in the BIOS. Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) enables full virtualization utilizing hardware capabilities, mostly from the host processor. If you want to try XP Mode, download first Microsoft’s HAV Detection Tool. Double click to run the tool and it will check if your processor supports HAV. The image below is the result of the test on my PC – and my poor PC does not support HAV (click to enlarge).
If you’re lucky and you get the HAV Tool’s approval, you may proceed to the XP Mode installation by downloading Virtual PC and the vitualized image of Windows XP. Make sure you select the correct Windows 7 version of your system.
For those who failed the HAV tool test, there’s an alternative for XP Mode and we’ll do it the lite way.
Download the VMLite Workstation app. This will replace Microsoft’s Virtual PC. One thing I’ve noticed is that VMLite (including the interface) is similar to VirtualBox. Download also the virtualized image of XP – select your correct Windows 7 version. It’s a 500-MB file so it would take time to download. Save the file in a folder that you can easily access, i.e. “C:/xpmode/”.
After all downloads are finished, install VMLite and if Windows security prompts for approval for device software installation, click “Install”. After the installation, you will be asked to locate the XP image file you have downloaded. Specify the path and VMLite will continue on with the process. Fill in needed information.
Once XP is running, install your XP-based needed apps and run them once. Check your Windows 7 start menu and look for VMLite Workstation. You’ll see a folder named “VMLite XP Mode Applications”. This folder will contain the applications that you initially ran in Windows XP. From there, you can instantly launch XP-based apps (with XP running in Seamless Mode).
For questions, you may send eMail at aenguillo[at]gmail[dot]com.