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I am in the uncomfortable position of having to run a few older applications under Windows 7. These applications are infamous for getting their tentacles everywhere into Windows and screwing up random things; for obvious reasons, I'd like to stick them in a VM, get done what I need done, and then wipe them from my system.

The easiest VM to set up on Windows 7 Professional seems to be Microsoft's Windows XP Mode. XP is known to be compatible with these older applications, so it's the guest OS of choice anyway. Will XP mode provide sufficient isolation so that if things get screwed up, I can just reset the VM and start over? How easy is it to completely remove a Virtual XP Mode configuration from my system? If Virtual XP Mode isn't good enough, will a full Microsoft Virtual PC install of XP do the job, or do I have to move up to something like VMWare?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've had to use XP mode for a few applications and it works great. It even brings over devices that the drivers don't work on windows 7 but do on XP (my ti-89). Starting up and shutting down the VM works pretty seamlessly and I haven't had problems removing it. I would go ahead and give it a shot.

This is done by simply going to the control panel then "uninstall a program". Select Windows XP Mode, and uninstall. You may be prompted to acknowledge that you are remove data. You may also need to remove the VHD files. These are typically found in two places:

  1. C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows >XP Mode.vhd (the file size is about 428MB)

  2. C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd (about 1.12GB)

In order to delete these files you'll have to take ownership of them and then grant full access to them.

This is done by:

  • Right click the file, select "properties", and then the security tab.

  • Select then Advanced at the bottom of the window and then the tab owner.

  • Select Edit and then select the user you want to give permission to (either yourself or administrators)

  • Select Apply and then ok. Select ok and everything else so that all dialog boxes are closed.

  • Bring up the properties of the file again, and then select edit.

  • Select either the Users group or the Adminstrators group according to what you selected earlier.

  • Click the box below "Allow" and next to "Full Control"

You can then delete the files necessary.

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"and I haven't had problems removing it" So I can nuke the VM from orbit easily, and it will take every last tentacle with it when it goes? – kquinn Aug 29 '10 at 1:56
yes you can. In order to though remove the whole thing from the PC you'll have to take ownership of one or two files and then remove them manually here is tutorial of where the files are located but don't follow that tutorial. If you need help taking ownership and then removing them, the post and I'll guide you through that. Otherwise it's really simple. – KronoS Aug 29 '10 at 2:12

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