Virtual PC – Windows XP Mode

So, I went to set this up, but my Intel core 2 duo is not supported.  I was able to run Virtual PC on this same machine (and VMWare), but now I can’t use Virtual PC on Windows 7.

My father was needing this Mode and when looking for instructions for him, there were, on the same webpage, two different sets of instructions on how to set this up depending if you load the webpage on a certain OS or not.  One set forgot to tell him to installer Virtual PC.    The instructions on how to turn on Virtualization on the Microsoft site was actually wrong, and so was HP’s site.  None of the instructions were suitable for someone who isn’t a computer engineer.

In order to set this up, Microsoft decided capability is only designed for professional, as home premium users are denied this feature.  I’m sure MS really needed this extra $89 upgrade to support programs that run in XP that won’t run in Windows 7 … sigh.   To top it off, it isn’t even on the upgrade disk lol.  It took downloading and installing a 500 meg download.   (By the way, no where in the installation for me did it tell me it wasn’t going to work , after 30 minutes and 700megs of downloads later it tells me it won’t run…You would think the installer could validate this before installing…).

So, after all this work to do this, then when you fire up Window XP Mode for the first time, you get the normal ‘I just installed Windows XP’.  Fine for the engineers, but quite confusing for the home user.  The really funny part was that on the first time running the XP Mode, it tells my dad  ‘you have unused icons on your desktop’… well…. duh – it’s the first time he has run it…  LOL…

Confusing.  Advertisement doesn’t explain virtualization requirements.  Additional $89 to install an OS version simply to have one version that doesn’t even come on the disk.  Lack of instructions – that are not even correct in some instances.   My guess is that Microsoft included this feature as a selling point but has done a poor job of making it something anyone can use.  Yes, I figured it out, I do this everyday for my living.  My father has worked with computers going waaaay back, but this one was a very poorly documented and bad experience.

I’m still trying to figure out how I ran Virtual PC on this same hardware with Vista for 9 months that now the installer tells me it’s not supported on this operating system  :)  I can understand this XP mode only supporting hardware virtualization, but the previous OS ran Virtual PC on same hardware without this requirement.  Sigh.

I should have my dad write this post , the way he worded the confusion was much better.   Although he is still trying to figure out why Microsoft continues to pop up ‘Messenger’ – a program he doesn’t want nor need to use – “Steve, why is this program pestering me at every boot up – shouldn’t it only run if I want it to run”… Welcome to 2010 Microsoft- we’ll pester you to run our stuff, won’t explain how to stop it from pestering you without needing a computer engineering degree – how about a checkbox that says ‘Don’t show this next time’?  Or better yet, how about not making it run on startup – if he wants messenger, he’ll go open messenger…  sigh… 🙂



Windows 7 XP mode looses password

That is great eh?  Happened to my dad on day two…. PITA


6 thoughts on “Virtual PC – Windows XP Mode

  1. Maybe the same reasons it is fine for engineers and not for home users are the same reasons it was only included in the Professional version.

    Also, your Core 2 Duo has hardware virtualization, its just not turned on. It’s in the bios.

  2. And that explains why it can’t remember passwords, why it worked previously in Vista, doesn’t work now.

    And NO this isn’t enabled in my bios – go look up my cpu settings, this cpu doesn’t support it Ryan.

    Nice explanation about how it requires a professional – lol. Maybe a professional kool aid drinker 🙂

  3. Not all are supported:

    (I read that even some new quad chips don’t have this by default)

    So, fixed one problem for my dad today – the VM installs with same computer name as the host. That cause it to throw and error saying your logging in with same user. Changing your VM computer name allows the integration to work again.

    None of this is documented, it’s a confusing process. It’s a real shame. It’s also a real shame that they can’t include this on disk. To test for my dad, I downloaded it all, installed it, and then it said not supported. I assumed as well since I USED to be able to use Virtual PC on this machine that it would work.

    The real confusion was why the latest version says it won’t run on my version of windows.

    Back to VMWare, I’ll be updating that.

    I should add, the sharing of usb devices is another real PITA. They have ‘shared’, then ‘attach’ and ‘detach’. So you think it’s working because it’s ‘shared’, but no – you have to manually make it ‘attached’ and then remember to ‘detach’ before using the host. Another PITA when using, ie. a flash drive or printer. Alot of jumping through hoops that don’t make sense. ie. you goto use it, nothing happens. No message. No indications. Not a ‘device is not attached’.

  4. Um, it sounds like your dad is a Mac in a PC world. Send him a bill for your support costs, and tell him it would have been cheaper to buy his computer at

  5. Funny you mentioned that. We calculated out the cost of all the wasted time in setting all this up… He could have bought a new mac…

    Microsoft isn’t building things with the end user experience in mind I can tell you that. Again, if you are a computer engineer, sure, no problem – but just someone running their business, yikes.

    They keep putting new lipstick on the same pig…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s