How-To Geek

Installing the Updated XP Mode which Requires no Hardware Virtualization

Good news for those of you who have a computer without Hardware Virtualization, Microsoft had dropped the requirement so you can now run XP Mode on your machine. Here we take a look at how to install it and getting working on your PC.

Microsoft has dropped the requirement that your CPU supports Hardware Virtualization for XP Mode in Windows 7. Before this requirement was dropped, we showed you how to use SecureAble to find out if your machine would run XP Mode. If it couldn’t, you might have gotten lucky with turning Hardware Virtualization on in your BIOS, or getting an update that would enable it. If not, you were out of luck or would need a different machine.

Note: Although you no longer need Hardware Virtualization, you still need Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate version of Windows 7.

Download Correct Version of XP Mode

For this article we’re installing it on a Dell machine that doesn’t support Hardware Virtualization on Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit version.

The first thing you’ll want to do is go to the XP Mode website and select your edition of Windows 7 and language. Then there are three downloads you’ll need to get from the page. Windows XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC, and the Windows XP Mode Update (All Links Below).


Windows genuine validation is required before you can download the XP Mode files. To make the validation process easier you might want to use IE when downloading these files and validating your version of Windows.



Installing XP Mode

After validation is successful the first thing to download and install is XP Mode, which is easy following the wizard and accepting the defaults.


The second step is to install KB958559 which is Windows Virtual PC.


After it’s installed, a reboot is required.


After you’ve come back from the restart, you’ll need to install KB977206 which is the Windows XP Mode Update.


After that’s installed, yet another restart of your system is required.


After the update is configured and you return from the second reboot, you’ll find XP Mode in the Start menu under the Windows Virtual PC folder.


When it launches accept the license agreement and click Next.


Enter in your log in credentials…


Choose if you want Automatic Updates or not…


Then you’re given a message saying setup will share the hardware on your computer, then click Start Setup.


While setup completes, you’re shown a display of what XP Mode does and how to use it.


XP Mode launches and you can now begin using it to run older applications that are not compatible with Windows 7.




This is a welcome news for many who want the ability to use XP Mode but didn’t have the proper hardware to do it. The bad news is users of Home versions of Windows still don’t get to enjoy the XP Mode feature officially. However, we have an article that shows a great workaround – Create an XP Mode for Windows 7 Home Versions & Vista.

Download XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC, and Windows XP Mode Update

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 03/22/10

Comments (14)

  1. Migration Expert Zone

    Excellent walkthrough, thanks! Glad to see Microsoft gave organizations a way to work around the HAVT issue, which was no doubt a major stumbling block for many.

  2. MissEm

    Thanks for the walk through. I’m passing this onto my workmates.
    When I spotted the update yesterday I was beside myself. In my current role we can only develop web based solutions for IE6 as our company still have many legacy systems that won’t work on IE 7 or 8, Firefox or Chrome. I thought I was going to be resigned to the world of VirtualBox.
    I’m using Windows XP Mode at work today to see if it makes life easier. And I’m sure it will :)

  3. pinoy43v3r

    FWIW, vmplayer with XPM is more responsive.

    3GB RAM, 100GB free hd space, core 2 duo.

  4. geeker

    Or you could use Virtualbox or any of the other virtualization tolls available in the market.

  5. kaushal

    i have windows 7 home premium 64 bit
    bt the virtual xp doesnt support this wht should i do?

  6. calebstein

    @kaushal: You need Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise to run xp mode. If you have Home, you need a full, legal copy of xp to virtualize.

  7. Tushar G. Walavalkar

    Is it possible to get the same functionality of XP Mode Start Menu in Windows 7 using the above mentioned approach. Or is it something which the Unity of VMPlayer provides ? Does Virtual PC provide this on any OS/CPU combination ?

  8. Leo

    Virtual XP Mode is hardly worth the effort. Everything that I installed in it ran better in just compatibility mode. So, it’s definitely just for that rare app that for some reason runs in it. I also found that vmware player was just way better in Unity mode. A little challenging to set up, but much better.

  9. sanjaya

    I tried installing a software i needed for my work in compatibility mode and then also tried installing it in the XP i installed in virtual box, since i have been using Win 7 home basic edition above option is not free to me, however it is still not running properly.
    Specifications for running the program Image Pro plus 6 which requires- minimal 512 MB of RAM, P3 1.0 Ghz processor, 16 bit resolution graphics card, hardware accelerator a min of 32 M memory supporting 2d texturing. My computer exceeds the necessary specifications, i was wondering if it was something not enough in teh virtual box i installed the xp.
    I have tried many things but none of them have worked so far, tried installing it in wine in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS too, with no use.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated……… thanks

  10. Bugler

    I had installed xp mode a few weeks ago and installed my old photoshop cs into the xp folders. However, after a recent windows update from microsoft, my xp mode no longer works.

    I get the message “Windows XP Mode could not be restored because of either host processor type mismatch or lack of hardware-assisted virtualization support in the system.” which is apparently the old message folks used to get before provided the KB977206 which is the Windows XP Mode Update. Since it suddenly stopped working, I presumed the windows update may have damaged KB977206 so I tried to reinstall that portion. However, i get the message this is already installed. I am stuck in the water.

  11. Daleus

    I have installed XP Mode with great success, on machines with HW Virtualization. One thing not clear in this article – for us early adopters, is there an update we have to down,oad to let previous versions of XP Mode, now work without HW Virtualization?

    On other issues….

    My experience is that very few programs will work with Compatibility Mode, and therefore the new XP Mode has been quite valuable.

    Yes, you can use all those other VMs but there are advantages of XP Mode that I haven’t seen in this article.

    1. Using this VM, you do *not* need a a new license number for XP. For anyone on a budget or auditing of Windows license codes, this is wonderful.

    2. The integration with Win7 is cool. You can drag an icon from your XP installed apps, onto your Win7 desktop. When the prog is run from that icon, you don’t get the whole VM, just an XP app window with your running app. I know this function is available is some of theother VMs, but I couldn’t tell you which ones and that functionality may only be available in some of the purchased VMs (someone correct me if I’m wrong here)

    These two points make it for my shop. We are too small to able to offer a fully licensed version of XP for everyone with a problematic program. Also, our users find it confusing when they have to fire up a full blown VM interface to run a program.

    3. No need to install a network client. As long as you are properly logged to your netowrk on the Host machine, those drive mappings will fall through to the VM along with all of your local drives and any others mapped by the local host, such a removable media (USB, external drives etc.). This is done automatically without having to arse around with “Guest Additions” that have to be installed after the fact.

    One last note. We have an app that installs fine, but does not put it’s icons into the Win7 Start Menu properly. If you run into this, simply drop the icons you need into the Start Menu of “All Users” in your XP Mode VM, and *then* they will fall through to Win7.

    As usual your mileage may vary, but these two features have swung us to using XP Mode over other VMs.

    Cheers and don’t let the unwashed masses get ya down!


  12. tarek


  13. Bill

    A question rather than a comment. I run Windows 7 Professional, installed from a full retail disk. Since installing I have upgraded my hard disk and removed a PCI sound card in favour of the original on-board sound function. When installing Virtual XP In these circumstances is there any risk that my validation code might fail?

  14. vuthy

    I have install window xp on computer desktop dell optiplex 755 have problem:
    1.a problem has been detected and window has been shut down to prevent damage to my computer
    2.If this is the first time you’ve seen this stop error screen ,restart my computer. if this screen appears again, follow these steps:
    3.check for viruses on your computer.Remove any newly installed hard drive or hard drive controllers.check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK/F to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.
    4.Technical information :
    *** STOP: 0X0000007B (0XF78D2524,0XC0000034,0X00000000,0X00000000)

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