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The years have rolled by and Windows XP is now an antiquated and unsupported operating system (OS). But just because Microsoft no longer provides support What's Next? Support Ends for Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP What's Next? Support Ends for Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP When Microsoft stopped supporting XP in 2014, they also announced that Microsoft Security Essentials would no longer be available, with updates for existing users available for a limited time only. That limited time has now... Read More , that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to revisit Windows XP. They might be work related, or maybe you miss XP and want to take a stroll down memory lane?

Well, the death bell may have tolled, but there is still a way of installing Windows XP, using a download provided by Microsoft. It is absolutely true — you can still download Windows XP. Microsoft knows that web developers always have a need to test their websites on a variety of browsers and OS.

As such, Microsoft provides Windows XP Mode, a full version of XP that runs from within Windows 7. Now, most people have also long since moved on from Windows 7, too. Making this compatibility mode fix, well, a little unhelpful.

Don’t give up though because I’m going to show you how to take that Windows XP Mode download, extract a file or three, and load it up in a virtual machine 7 Practical Reasons to Start Using a Virtual Machine 7 Practical Reasons to Start Using a Virtual Machine The term "virtual" has been co-opted in so many ways. Virtual reality. Virtual RAM. Virtual schools. But Virtualization in the context of PCs can be confusing. We're here to clear it up. Read More .

Before we begin, you’re going to need to download and install the latest version of Oracle VirtualBox, available here. Furthermore, you’re going to need a file archive tool How To Extract Files From ZIP, RAR, 7z & Other Common Archives How To Extract Files From ZIP, RAR, 7z & Other Common Archives Were you ever faced with a .rar file and wondered how to open it? Fortunately, managing ZIP files and other compressed archives is simple with the right tools. Here is what you need to know. Read More , such as 7-Zip or PeaZip. I’ll be using 7-Zip for this tutorial, but PeaZip comes with the same functionality. Once you’re ready, head on to the next section.

Downloading and Extracting Windows XP Mode Virtual Hard Disk

Let’s get started. Head to the Microsoft Windows XP Mode download page. Select Download. On the next page, select WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe, then hit Next. The Windows XP Mode executable will now download.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Download Windows XP Mode

When it completes, don’t install it.

Instead, browse to the executable, then right-click and select 7-Zip > Open archive > cab from the context menu.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Extract Archive

This immediately opens the executable in 7-Zip for you to have a poke around. There are three files.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Sources

Select Sources to reveal another three files.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode XPM File

Double-click xpm. This is the XP Mode virtual hard drive folder. It should look the same as the image below.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode XPM Folder Extract

These are the files we need to create the XP Mode virtual hard disk. Unfortunately, they’re Archive files, meaning they’re currently Read-only. (What’s in an executable, anyway? How to Make an "EXE" Installation File How to Make an "EXE" Installation File What do you do when you've created some new Windows software and you want to share it with the world? Ideally, you'd create an EXE install package. Here's how. Read More )

We need to extract these files to a new folder The Top 3 File Compression & Extraction Softwares The Top 3 File Compression & Extraction Softwares Need to compress a large file? There's no shortage of file compression and archiving apps for Windows. But which file zipper is best for you? Here are our three top picks. Read More . Select Extract from the toolbar, then press the ellipsis icon next to the address bar. Browse to where you’d like to extract the files — your C: drive is fine — and select Make New Folder. I’ve called my folder Windows XP Mode, but the choice is yours. When you’re ready, press OK, then OK again to start the extraction process. This can take a minute or two.

Head to the folder you created when the extraction process completes. You’ll see the same list of files. The difference is that we can now edit these files as we see fit.

Select the file named VirtualXPVHD. Press F2 to rename. Insert a period (full-stop, U.K. readers) between the “P” and the “V,” and press Enter. The file should immediately change into a virtual hard disk, and the icon to boot.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Create Virtual Hard Disk

Installing the Windows XP Mode Virtual Hard Disk in VirtualBox

Before we completed the XP Mode virtual hard disk extraction, I asked you to download and install VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a very popular, free virtualization device. It can virtualize all sorts of operating systems, including macOS (read our tutorial here How to Run macOS on Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine How to Run macOS on Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine The best way to try a new operating system is with a virtual machine installed on your existing OS. Here's how to run macOS Sierra on Windows 10 (i.e. create a virtual Hackintosh). Read More ), Linux (try five different Linux distros! Top 5 Linux Operating Systems You Should Try in a Virtual Machine Top 5 Linux Operating Systems You Should Try in a Virtual Machine Five Linux operating system distributions are particularly suitable for running virtual machines, so let's take a look at them. Read More ), and of course, copies of Windows, old and new.

Anyway. Onwards!

  1. Open VirtualBox. Select New. At bottom of the Create Virtual Machine window, select Expert Mode (if your window shows an option for Guided Mode, you’re already using Expert Mode). Now, give your virtual machine a suitable name. If you include “XP” in the virtual machine name, the Version will automatically change to reflect that. Even so, double-check the Version is Windows XP (32-bit).
    Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Name Virtual Machine
  2. Assign the virtual machine some memory. Memory is a shared resource, meaning both the host (your PC) and the guest (the virtual machine) use it concurrently. Luckily, Windows XP is old, and doesn’t require buckets of RAM to run. I would advise assigning a minimum of 512 MB — but you won’t need more than 2048 MB.
    Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Allocate Memory
  3. Finally, we need to assign a hard disk — the virtual hard disk we extracted from the Windows XP Mode executable, earlier. Under Hard disk, select Use an existing virtual hard disk file. Then, hit the folder with the green arrow. Browse to the folder we extracted our files to, select VirtualXP, then Open.
    Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Select Virtual Hard Disc

When you’re done, your new virtual machine setup should look like this:

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Virtual Machine Creation Window

Okay? Hit Create.

Windows XP Mode Virtual Machine Disk Settings

Before we boot up our shiny new Windows XP virtual machine, we need to tweak a few settings.

On the VirtualBox toolbar, press Settings. Head to System. Look at the Boot Order. Uncheck Floppy, and move it down the list. Promote Hard Disk to the top of the pile. Just like your host PC, the virtual machine has a specific boot order. We want the virtual hard disk we created to be at the top, so it boots first.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Boot Order

Under Display, increase Video Memory to 128 MB.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Allocate Video Memory

Network Settings: Default

Double-check the Network settings. Older versions of VirtualBox relied on the manual entry of network configurations. The software is a fair bit smarter these days (read: automated), and usually picks up your network settings without prompt.

My Windows XP Mode virtual machine works using the default configuration. That is, using NAT, the adapter specific by VirtualBox, and making sure Cable Connected is checked.

Network Settings: Host-only Adapter

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Host Only Adapter Settings

However, if it doesn’t work (and we’ll realize the good or bad news in a moment when we fire up the virtual machine), you can try an alternative configuration.

  1. Set Attached to: Host-only Adapter
  2. Set Name: VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter
  3. Set Promiscuous Mode: Deny
  4. Check Cable connected

Using the Start Menu search bar, type “network,” and select the Network and Sharing Centre. In the left-hand column, select Change adapter settings. Hold CTRL and select both your Ethernet/wireless card and the VirtualBox Host-Only Network. Then, right-click and select Bridge Connection.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Network Bridge

This creates a network bridge, allowing the virtual machine to connect to a network even though it doesn’t have direct access to the router (or alternative switch).

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Network Bridge Adapter

When you enter the virtual machine, you’ll have to update your network adapter settings.

  1. Head to Control Panel > Network and internet Connections > Network Connections.
  2. Then, right-click the Local Area Connection, and select Properties. Highlight internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then select Properties.
  3. Select Use the following IP address, and enter an available IP address for your home network. For instance, I will enter Enter your Subnet mask and Default gateway.
  4. Unsure what they are? On your host machine, press Windows Key + R, then type CMD, and hit Enter. Now, type ipconfig /all. You’ll find the information you need listed under your Ethernet or wireless adapter name.
  5. Enter the same DNS server addresses as the host. I use Google DNS, so I’ll enter and
  6. Hit OK.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Network Adapter Settings

Turn It On!

We’ve extracted the virtual hard disk. We’ve created our virtual machine, we’ve fiddled with the settings. I think we’re ready to go.

Highlight your Windows XP Mode virtual machine on the main VirtualBox window. Double-click it. Hold your breath!

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Running in VirtualBox

Looks like we made it!

There is a strong possibility that your mouse will not immediately work with the Windows XP Mode virtual machine. Navigate the operating system installation pages using the TAB key, arrow keys, Spacebar, and Enter key.

Complete the installation. You’ll arrive at a completely black screen. Don’t worry! Press Right Ctrl + R to Restart the virtual machine. When it reboots, you can Cancel the New Hardware Installation and Microsoft Automatic Update wizards. Instead, head to Devices > Install Guest Additions CD Image. Use the default installation location and wait for the setup to complete.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Select Virtual Guest Additions

You might encounter warnings that you are attempting to install unsupported software and/or drivers. Select Continue Anyway. Once the Guest Additions installation completes, select Reboot now.

Download Windows XP for Free and Legally, Straight From Microsoft Windows XP Mode Virtual Guest Additions Loading

(If it fails to reboot, Restart the virtual machine again.)

And there you have it. A working, fully-featured Windows XP installation to call your own.

Note: this installation will expire within 30-days. If you have an old Windows XP license key Everything You Should Know About Windows Product Keys Everything You Should Know About Windows Product Keys 25 characters govern your Windows system. Your product key is worth $100 or more, whether or not you upgraded to Windows 10. We explain what you can and can't do with your Windows license. Read More , you can enter that to keep the virtual machine active. Otherwise, you’ll have to reinstall.

That’s a Wrap

Who says Windows XP is dead? Thanks to VirtualBox and Microsoft offering Windows XP Mode for free, we can revisit and hold onto Windows XP forever. It was, and indeed, remains a popular version of Windows, even for the nostalgia-inducing sounds and desktop backgrounds. That said, Windows has come a long, long way, and it is clearly no longer suitable as a primary operating system, security issues aside.

What will you use your Windows XP virtual machine for? Are you going to fill it with old games? Or is there a specialist piece of software you need? What do you miss most about Windows XP when compared to Windows 10? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Originally written by Ryan Dube on 5 July 2013.

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  1. Adrian Curnow
    October 14, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Really great step by step guide, had an old legacy training program that had to run on xp and I no longer have any old machines lying around.

    Followed this guide and now have an xp 32bit environment sitting on my Windows 10 64bit laptop without the need of a key. Saved me a huge amount of time and effort.

    Thank so much for putting this together!

  2. Cliff
    October 10, 2017 at 2:32 am

    Wow, I can't tell you how much you've helped me. Thanks so much! I had to fiddle with things a fair amount, partly because I'm doing this on a Mac, but the general progression was very clear. I never even would have imagined this was possible had I not found this page.

  3. Hxb
    October 3, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Excellent! Great steps. Thanks for your help!

  4. Hxb
    October 3, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Gavin,

    All I have to say: awesome!! Excellent instructions and steps - thank you so very much.

    Best Regards.

  5. Jacob
    September 22, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Please help! I am trying to run Shrek 2 on my VM, but every time I do, it comes up with an error message saying that I have to insert the DVD/ROM, even though I got the Shrek 2 disk inserted. I have tried installing the game to my VM, but it comes up with the same error message.

    • LuqDude
      October 4, 2017 at 12:18 am

      check the "Host Drive 'D' " in the Optical Drive drop down

  6. Steve
    September 21, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    This was a great procedure! Thanks.

  7. Kyle W
    September 10, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Hi. Thanks for the walkthrough. Got XP loaded up. I loaded up a CD to install a program (Zoo Tycoon 2), and made sure to check the "Host Drive 'D' " in the Optical Drive drop down. The system recognized the CD and went through the installation process, but when I tried to run the program, i got an error message that said "this application failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem". I tried reinstalling and still got the error message. Any idea as to what's causing this/ how to fix it?

  8. Blue
    September 7, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Another option might be ReactOS (, a libre Windows clone (albeit in alpha status).

  9. Eric
    September 3, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I've got a Dell laptop that was originally set up with XP, the owner upped it to Windows 7 but it has many problems, Dell say that it was never designed to run 7 and it will only run XP.

    After the update to 7 the owner in attempting to get it to work properly deleted all previously used operating systems so XP no longer exists anywhere on the laptop, furthermore the laptop is not designed to run virtual machines so that's out.

    Any suggestions as to how to get it up and running again with XP?

    There are many offers of 'original disks' from maybe disreputable sellers but......

  10. William Vasquez
    August 23, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    There are many reasons why one should not use virtual machines at all. First, your computer needs to be very powerful because you are basically running an operating system within an operating system. Everything runs much slower; sometimes things don't work right (the mouse, keyboard, video card, etc.); certain keyboard buttons won't work; no wifi; no internet; etc. It is just a mess.

  11. Gordan Voshell
    August 14, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for this is was so helpful!

  12. natasha ronan
    August 11, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Hello! Thank you for this. I followed all the steps although when I put the period between p and v, it changes into 'vhd' file instead of a virtual hard disk. How do I fix it? thanks!

    • Joe
      September 13, 2017 at 7:26 am

      *.vhd is the file suffix for "V"irtual "H"ard "D"isk. This is what you want. It should say VirtualXP.vhd if you have file types visible. Otherwise it will be called a Virtual Hard Disk in the description if you have VirtualBox installed.

  13. JBelga
    July 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks for this post.
    I'm french and i have a question : what do you mean by "...Insert a period (full-stop, U.K. readers) between the “P” and the “V,” and press Enter." in the procedure ?

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      A full-stop, or period is a "." - you should insert "." between the letter "P" and the letter "V" to alter the file name.

      • JBelga
        July 20, 2017 at 5:21 pm

        Thanks Gavin, you learn something new every day !

        • Gavin Phillips
          July 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm

          No problem!

  14. ethan blowers
    July 15, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Failed to open a session for the virtual machine Windows XP Mode.

    Failed to open/create the internal network 'HostInterfaceNetworking-VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter' (VERR_INTNET_FLT_IF_NOT_FOUND).

    Failed to attach the network LUN (VERR_INTNET_FLT_IF_NOT_FOUND).

    Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
    Component: ConsoleWrap
    Interface: IConsole {872da645-4a9b-1727-bee2-5585105b9eed}

    i get this error when trying to start. please help.

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 16, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Try heading to Network Connections. Right-click the Virtualbox Host-only adapter, and select Properties. Make sure "VirtualBox NDIS6 Bridged Networking driver" is selected.

      If it isn't, turn it on, and apply.

      If it is, try turning it off, hitting apply, then turning it back on again.

      • Ethan blowers
        July 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm

        Thanks. The virtual drive in general isnt working well for me, it there a way to use that file to install a full copy onto a drive useing win 7 and replace win 7?

  15. Andy Madden
    July 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I hate Windows 10 and I used to have a Windows XP computer, an HP Pavilion a367c Pentium 4 machine. It was very nice when paired with an Iiyama 19-inch monitor and an HP Media keyboard and mouse. (Well, I don't know about the mouse.)

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Nice. You can relive old dreams using the XP machine...

  16. The Computer Geek
    July 4, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Also, there's a file called "KEY". Right-click and open it with Notepad(for Windows), TextEdit(for Mac), and Gedit(for Linux). Copy that key out and use it.

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Yes. Computer Geek is spot on, and I should have included that in the article.

      Thank you for the excellent tip.

      • Rickard
        July 31, 2017 at 6:22 am

        I get an unauthorized product key. Any tips?

        • Joe
          September 13, 2017 at 7:34 am

          I'm having the same issue. Has this key expired?

    • Bob
      July 18, 2017 at 8:26 am

      I must be stupid. I've got the key from the file, but XP keeps telling me it's an "Unauthorized product key". Is there a special trick to using this key?

  17. Kevin
    July 4, 2017 at 12:36 am

    I'm going to install Bonzi Buddy.

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      YOLO, man, YOLO :)

  18. Stole Jovanovski
    July 3, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    You can't play pinball, spider solitaire, minesweeper, the good old start menu, and good old Win XP start up.

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      Do you mean cannot beat?

    • Col. Panek
      July 11, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      I play those on Linux. Well, not the XP startup.

      Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

  19. Michael
    July 3, 2017 at 5:07 am

    For some people, VirtualBox may be a bit much. All those settings and controls. I just run Windows XP Mode on my Win7Pro machine and it works fine. It’a actually an old version of VirtualPC which I believe VirtualBox was based on. I have to run XP for some legacy software that was never updated for Win7. I have access to my network, printers, internet (Firefox 52 ESR), and I can write directly to the host drive so I can also use Office 365 with certain output files. Easy Peasy.

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Sure, Michael, but the point of the article is that most people are now running Windows 10. And many more have completely moved on from Windows 7 -- which is now only receiving security updates. WinXP Mode is, like you say, a custom VirtualPC build for Windows XP. This article illustrates how to turn that into something usable for the majority of Windows users.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  20. Lou
    July 2, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    There are many valid reasons to republish articles, and I for one would not want to discourage the practice. A repeat of a solid, current and well-written article benefits new members, and those of us who weren't looking for the information when the article was first published.
    while it is nice to finally see the originally published date and author included, please show those details in a larger font, at the top instead of the bottom of the article.
    If there are changes or updates, indicate those as well.

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks, Lou. We always include the original authors name at the bottom of the article. However, once the article is completely update, we prefer to display the new information. An updated article features the updating authors name at the top of the piece, whereas a completely rewritten piece passes onto a new author, so the focus should be on them.

      Regarding changes, the original method this article used is simply no longer available.

      Thank you for reading, and your valuable comment.

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 9, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Alternatively, use the Internet Archive if you'd like to see an archived version of the previous article. It has been trawled several times.

  21. Christo
    July 1, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Thank you. Well documented. Followed the instructions and worked perfectly. Saved me a lot of time.

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 9, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      No problem, Christo, I'm glad we've helped you out.

  22. Gordon
    June 30, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Uhmmm, maybe I could install a virtual version of XP into the XP I'm already running.... Hmm

    All my machines are still XP, and protected from changes by using MS Windows SteadyState's disk protection. No, I don't allow any changes to the disk. No, I don't do updates.

    What is this Windows 7 you speak of?

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 9, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Yo dawg, I heard you like XP...

      That is impressive, nonetheless. I think for many regular/casual users, using XP would be a dangerous experience.

  23. Ann M
    January 20, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    i have jut been given a printer and bought ink etc then found out i need windows 2000 or xp which it says i dont have. will this allow me to run my printer please?
    Ann x

  24. Peter Breedveld
    January 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Old games that don't work on newer version of windows.

  25. Zev Blue
    October 30, 2016 at 6:48 am

    where can I download that ie6 - winxp.ova file?

  26. Mystery man
    August 21, 2016 at 1:18 am


  27. Manu Jain
    May 17, 2016 at 5:54 am

    it's no more available.

  28. freelynx@zoo
    April 9, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I went to the VM download page at MS but only saw Win7 and Win8 as VM OS option. Was the XP option removed after this article was written in 2013?

  29. Nick
    March 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I sure as hell will give it a test drive. I still have a PC dual booting XP Service Pack 3 and some version of Linux, the name of which I cannot remember. It truly was a great os. It only had 512 MB of RAM and a Pentium III, but it was running just fine. Not that I could say the same for web browsing, but everything included in the system was running fine (including my Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS and the Broadcom b43 Wi-Fi card, which are olllld). It was truly a great OS, with more CPU power and four times the RAM, I would have stayed on that.

  30. bliff
    March 10, 2016 at 4:59 am

    perfect for running my old games that do not support windowed mode.

  31. Kailash Sati
    December 27, 2015 at 6:59 am

    I did as per your instructions but I didnt follow

    For example, my network subnet is 192.169.1.x. After pinging from my regular computer, I knew that nothing on the network was using that IP, so I set the XP Virtual Machine with that IP manually.

    Can you please elaborate

  32. Robert Harshberger
    December 12, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Where is the ip protocall settings?

  33. Dude
    November 21, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    If i bought a new computer and wanted to run xp as my main operating system how would i do that?

    • apreston78
      August 28, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      You would have to build a new computer from scratch and install a copy of XP onto the hard drive. Of course, there's always eBay. You could get a cheap XP computer on there.

  34. Anonymous
    October 27, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Great article! Very descriptive and detailed.

    I was looking Windows XM VM for my cuckoo sandbox. Can you advice which of the VM would work for me?

    Thanks a lot.

  35. Anonymous
    September 10, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Yes!! This article has solved a BIG problem I've had for years - editing complicated PDF files under linux! The EU grant agencies require a minimum of Adobe Reader 10.x to open their grant application files and Adobe stopped supporting Reader on linux after version 9... I was forced to reboot into windows just to edit a PDF file and now all I have to do is fire up virtualbox and voila!

    Thank you so much for this. And thank you Microsoft for making VM's available for XP.

  36. Anoynomus
    May 19, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I don't know if this key works, but here, D36RK-QDFFD-BTWWY-BT7KK-43MGM

  37. PolterLuigi
    May 15, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    I have a question, is your entire computer changed to XP or is it still Win 7/8? And how do you exit XP mode?

    • Anoynomus
      May 20, 2015 at 1:19 am

      It just looks like xp is your OS but its a VM. To exit, just turn it off like normal.

  38. Al Szymanski
    April 14, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Perhaps this is a change since you did the article, but in May of 2015, the virtual OS has a time limit and expires. You are allowed one extension to the initial period or you can purchase a license. Either way, this is going to be a temporary tool - perhaps perfect for a Beta test of a web site. I have not yet found the exact expiry information on my copy but I am looking. Thank you for the tip and the article.

  39. Michael Edahl
    February 8, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    The bleeping thing cannot get out of the box to serve network. It cant even use the USB. I cannot get a windowsfile across from linux. The i.e. is so bleeping weak, that I cannot access my seagate central. The bleeping thing is bleeping useless, for bleeping sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. asdf
    December 28, 2014 at 12:14 am

    the VMs are in split files....

  41. David Jordan
    December 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks for the article. I've downloaded Virtual and XP on my Windows 7 Home Premium and, of course, it doesn't work. Is there any way round this or am I doomed not to run Poser8 on it?

  42. J Brown
    December 17, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you, very helpful. One quick note to anyone getting blue screens on boot, go to settings -> system -> acceleration and uncheck vt-x/AMD-v

  43. Ryan
    October 17, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Excellent Article. Thank you.

  44. hitesh
    October 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    hai sir you have in youtube how to install every thing from beginning

  45. PKB
    October 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Great tuorial! Thanks for sharing, the network config stiff does really helped me!

  46. Rosa
    September 15, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I am not a pro.
    But I was so happy to find your article, and without any experience whatsoever, I was able to make the VM work, and import XP like you described.
    I intend to play an old game on it. I missed it so much.
    But how do I install the game in my Virtual Machine with XP?
    I can't figure it out.
    Thanks again for some REALLY usefull info. :-)

  47. Grant
    August 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Im on Windows XP, and im gonna run XP on XP, Its WinXP-ception!

  48. Erica
    August 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I need guidance, I got as far as bridging my wireless adapter to the VMbox's adapter which created the network minibridge icon but my host's internet connection went down and the only way to reconnect that I found was to undue the bridge. I'd really like to find a way to get my VM running XP to connect to the internet for my up coming course work. ThX!

  49. Julius
    July 12, 2013 at 1:15 am

    I was going to make a snarky comment about how just wiping the HD and installing XP would be better, but then I actually scrolled down and saw how much work you put into this article and I felt bad. This has enough detail that it will probably be useful to people.

    If it makes you feel any better, any browser with sane security and privacy settings works with even fewer webpages than a 12-year-old build of IE with no plugins.

    As long as there is hardware that will run XP, XP will remain a popular option, because Microsoft haven't produced anything that can compete with it. The security is fine with SP2 and a router. I've run XP boxes for 2+ and 3+ years, pushed them hard, and never experienced the slowdowns some people claim - then again, I'm the kind of person who automatically distrusts capitalism in any form, never gets infected, and weeds the registry by hand for fun and knowledge. Most of the hardware I have lying around the house will run XP but not 7. So if my main computer dies, my Plans B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I are all prime candidates for XP. (Plan J is an ancient laptop with Win98 and 192M of RAM...I guess I'd probably go Linux there.) I have strongly considered wiping 7 off this machine and going with XP. This model explicitly supports XP, Vista and 7 and I have already downloaded the relevant drivers. If I have a choice between XP and 7, it's more or less a toss-up from my point of view. Do I want to install XP and spend the next 3 days turning it into win2k? Or install 7 and spend the next 3 weeks turning it into a broken, cheap knockoff of win2k?

    • Thomas
      July 21, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      That's awesome.
      I run Windows XP on all of my computers for everything I do.

      What do you mean that you would "spend the next 3 days turning it into win2k?"
      Just curious!

      • Thomas
        July 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm

        Also, you're one of the only people I've ever heard say that all of your computers will get viruses and explode on the day that Microsoft ends Extended Support!
        Very refreshing.

  50. Ezekiel S
    July 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    thankyou for sharing this usefull info

  51. Hiew Y
    July 11, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I still have my old Win XP running laptop. So this will be a hindsight. but it's a good option! :)

  52. John
    July 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I know it's off topic, but I love the photo at the top of the article of the ancient PC in at least three different ugly, mismatched shades of beige. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    • Ryan Dube
      July 12, 2013 at 3:09 am

      Thanks John. I picked it because it brought me back to my childhood. :-)

  53. Chase
    July 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    My favorite version is Windows 8.1 this far. Windows XP has been underwhelming and needs retired. It was good at the beginning but isn't great. The support for XP is dwindling for manufacturers. I can do more with less time with Windows 8. I 60 Windows XP machines upgraded to Windows 7 just so I didn't have to deal with this issue next year.

  54. Justin Pot
    July 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I had no idea this was possible – I've been using my old XP disk for this, which is sort of questionable legally (it's an OEM CD). I'll need to bookmark this one...

  55. Michael
    July 9, 2013 at 2:46 am

    I'm re-posting this just in case it didn't get added.

    When you refer to XP, is this XP Home or Pro? Is there the option to get either XP Home or Pro? I already have XP Home (paid copy) and still using it for now.

  56. Michael
    July 9, 2013 at 2:42 am

    When you refer to XP, is this XP Home or XP Pro? Or is there the option to select either Home or Pro? I already have a paid copy of XP Home and I'm still using it; for now. I may be dropping Windows if all goes well with a Linux OS I'm checking out now.

    • Ryan Dube
      July 12, 2013 at 3:14 am

      Hi Michael. This is MS Windows XP Professional, Version 2002, Service Pack 3.

      • Michael
        July 13, 2013 at 5:06 am

        Ok then, thanks. Now, I will have to decide if I want to do this ... getting VM and Win XP Pro. XP support is supposed to be ending April 2014. And, to top it off, I have no idea (experience = zero) about using VM. Oh well, again, thanks.

  57. Bud
    July 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    of it ***

  58. Bud
    July 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    no mention if it working on a Mac???

  59. Ellen O
    July 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks, Ryan! Your explanation is really clear and easy for me to understand. :-)

  60. brownjason
    July 8, 2013 at 10:05 am

    The way you write make it truly effortless to read. And the theme you use, wow. I want to follow up and let you know how great I treasured discovering your web blog today. I will consider it a real honor to operate at my workplace and be able to use the tips provided on your web page and also take part in visitors’ opinions like this. Should a position of guest article author become offered at your end, remember to let me know.

  61. harlan
    July 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    well now when i explore and try

  62. Ion P
    July 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Nice words about XP as I'm still using it, although I have a licence for W7.

  63. Chris
    July 7, 2013 at 1:08 am

    It is for testing only, and seems to be valid for only 3 months. Additional terms may apply. Small donation required if you want the IOS vm.

  64. pd
    July 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Artifact? Ryan, it's still a perfectly functional OS. No subsequent version has included anything substantially better.

    Have some respect. It's still got a huge market share and that's because most people don't get sucked in like you in the tech media, to the concept that anything new must be better. I've never seen as much inobjective analysis talked about any industry than the IT industry. If it was the car industry, you wouldn't be going around saying people shouldn't buy a 10-year second hand model that has proven reliable, repairable and very efficient over those years.

    In more sensible times, we didn't have critics and analysts who felt the need to spew out something every other minute. Magazine authors thought through their articles, spent time analysing it. The false notion that speed and volume of output is more important than quality is the basis for IT media and it produces predictably terrible journalism.

    • Ryan Dube
      July 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks for your feedback. I'm not sure where most of this came from, because if you've read most of my articles here, you'd know that I tend to wait 1-2 years after a new OS comes out to adopt it (mostly because it takes that long for the bugs to get fleshed out of it). You might have also missed my comment a few posts up from here. :-)

      I tend to agree with you - too many people are quick to pass off older operating systems as worthless and antiquated. That's why I wrote this post in the first place, actually...because I don't believe Windows XP is quite yet down and out as many do in the IT industry (which you are correct about).

    • Philip Robar
      July 9, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      > No subsequent version has included anything substantially better.

      This is absolute nonsense. Later versions are vastly better at security, multiprocessing, driver and overall stability, using physical memory ...

      • pd
        July 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm

        Hey Ryan

        I think I was a bit harsh. I didn't read the entire article, I got too worked up by the 'artifact' comment. Sorry.

        As for you Philip, which part of the atrovious joke that is Vista impresses you the most? In addition, I'm not expect but DEP was included in XP, concepts like ASLR might not have been but let's see just how many patches Windows versions beyond XP end up getting, hey? As for multiprocessing, the screw up of trying to improve multimedia by creating some sort of beyond-realtime scheduler level were comical at best. Perhaps you don't remember the embarrassing issues of people not being able to do audio and network at the same time? Drivers? Really? Drivers target the OS they are used with, how can you compare the driver support across versions? I guess you could argue post-XP versions have better 64 bit drivers but that's simply because MIcrosoft didn't focus on 64 bit when it came to XP.

        My point is that there's nothing compelling in post-XP windows. Aero is just fancy glitz few people need. UAC is more annoying than helpful to most people (If most people simply disable it, it's not a move forward). Perhaps the firewall has got better? It could hardly have been worse in XP but there's plenty of free third-party programs that could sort that out. Basically unless you rate the Windows 8 tablet-on-a-desktop UI, or the job they did making Vista half-decent with 7, I debate that there are markedly important advances post-XP that have made XP redundant.

        • Philip Robar
          July 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm

          None of what you said controverts the fact that under the hood there have been significant internal and structural improvements in every release of Windows. The documentation of this is vast and readily available at sites such as ArsTechinca and Microsoft and is covered in a more end-user oriented way at sites such as CNET and PCmag. Were there errors along the way? Of course, software is implemented by fallible humans—errors and misjudgments are inevitable.

          I'm going to assume from your remarks that you don't know anything about writing device drivers or how they work. Drivers are written for a specific framework or model, not OS. Vista's preferred model (WDDM) is significantly improved and more stable than those previous.

          The fact that hardware manufacturers lagged in providing, or failed to provide updated drivers for Vista doesn't mean that the driver model isn't better. It just means that most manufacturers are cheap and/or lazy. Was this a significant problem for users? Yes, but again, that isn't a fault of the newer, improved model.

          The fact that post-XP versions of Windows are more stable is incontrovertible. So is the fact that post-XP versions of Windows don't need to be reinstalled on a regular basis to recover from a gradual decline to glacial performance.

          Non-CS knowledgable or unsophisticated end-users, by definition, see and concentrate on superficial or visual changes and react to those. That's to be expected. But, to say that aren't "markedly important advances post-XP" just displays your ignorance. That fact that they're not important or "compelling" to >you< doesn't mean that they're not there or that they're insignificant to the computing world in general.

        • Bruce
          July 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm

          @pd: You obviously haven't spent any time looking at the real improvements of a more modern OS. Especially at the enterprise level. DirectAccess, BranchCache to name a few.

      • pd
        July 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm

        Hey Phil. check out the July 2013 Microsoft patches:

        Windows XP: 6 critical
        Windows Vista: 6 critical
        Windows 7: 6 critical
        Windows 8: 6 critical

        LOL. Yeah, everything post-XP is sooohhh much more secure!


        • Philip Robar
          July 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm

          So we're supposed to generalize from this one specific set of patches that there have been no improvements in security in Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8? I guess that I have to assume that your education didn't include an understanding of basic logical fallacies.

  65. Elrick B
    July 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    why did you take the long way around instead of bridge the network adapter right there in virtualbox?

    • Ryan Dube
      July 12, 2013 at 3:05 am

      Probably because I've never used the short way! Thanks Elrick. :-)

  66. dragonmouth
    July 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    There are still many corporate clients who are sticking with Win XP although Microsoft is trying hard to Win 7 or 8.

    For the past few years I have been strictly a Linux user except at tax time. There still is no tax software, such as Turbo Tax or TaxAct, for Linux, so I keep a Win XP PC around. The only time I fire it up is February-March every year and then, once taxes are done, it gets disconnected and put away.

    I also have couple of W2K, Win XP Pro, Win XP Home CDs squirelled away. :-)

    • Ryan Dube
      July 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Yup - same here. I've got a really old PC running XP that I use as a test web server. Personally I love those older operating systems. Which doesn't really say much because I also loved Windows 3.1. :-)

    • Sherry Beard
      September 18, 2013 at 1:35 am

      I have crashed my 2005 Gateway PC and lost my Restore CD - the repair shop wants $80 to restore XP Pro - I have replaced my computer but I was like to pass the old Gateway on to someone else if I could have a cheap way to restore the system. You say you have CD's. Is there any way to borrow one? I have my product key and believe I would be able to install and get the computer running again,

  67. Paul
    July 6, 2013 at 3:00 am

    The version I downloaded still needed to be activated. I guess you will still need to buy a key then.

    • Ryan Dube
      July 6, 2013 at 3:31 am

      Hi Paul - as I mentioned in the intro: "The version of XP gives you a temporary use license, but if you need to use it longer, you could always reinstall it or activate it with a valid XP license you may have already purchased but aren’t using on any of your computers anymore."

  68. George
    July 6, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Can you do OS updates in the new XP VM? Does it authenticate OK with Microsoft or is it stuck in the state it is downloaded in?

    • Ryan Dube
      July 6, 2013 at 3:30 am

      Great question George - I didn't try enabling and running an update, but it would be interesting to see what happens.

  69. WorknMan
    July 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Some people say Win 2000 was the best OS MS ever did, but I'd say that honor goes to XP, post-SP2. I still find it superior in many ways over Win7, esp its smaller install footprint. (How the hell did they go from 1gb to 10gb+?)

    I went from XP to Win7, and most of the new 'features' in Win7 (like the aero-snap and the horrible OSX-style dock) got turned off pretty quickly. Some features that were in Win8 (like native ISO mounting and taskbars on multiple monitors) should've been present in 7 (or even Vista for that matter).

  70. WorknMan
    July 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Some people say Win 2000 was the best OS MS ever did, but I'd say that honor goes to XP, post-SP2. I still find it superior in many ways over Win7, esp its smaller install footprint. (How the hell did they go from 1gb to 10gb+?)

    I went from XP to Win7, and most of the new 'features' in Win7 (like the aero-snap and the horrible OSX-style dock) got turned off pretty quickly. Some features that were in Win8 (like native ISO mounting and taskbars on multiple monitors) should've been present in 7 (or even Vista for that matter).

    • Philip Robar
      July 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      I kind of understand why people like Windows XP so much, especially if you enjoy reinstalling your OS regularly due to it getting slower and slower and slower as you use it. In my experience this is no longer the case with later versions. You're also ignoring years and years of security fixes that later versions have along with better memory management/access and better multiprocessing, and ...

  71. Emanuel Barros
    July 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm
    • Ryan Dube
      July 6, 2013 at 3:32 am

      Yes - as I said in the intro, it's a temporary activation. You'd either have to reinstall the VM or use an activation you purchased for an older computer that you aren't running Windows on anymore.

      • Lisa Santika O
        July 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

        Guess MS won't give anything for free even if it's already outdated...
        Well, it's good while it lasts though.

  72. Saumyakanta S
    July 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Definitely Windows XP was the best version of windows . It still dominates the mind of users...

  73. Kishan T
    July 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    thanks for sharing this :)

  74. Douglas Liberalesso
    July 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Great article, but i have one little question: where is the link to get the VMs images? I believe that's a MS page, right?

    • Ryan Dube
      July 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Sorry guys - Cntrl-F5 refresh the page and you'll see it under the first header - "Virtual Machine download page" link.

  75. Bruno Casarini Grillo
    July 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Where's the link to the virtual machine download page?