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I've been using Windows XP Mode on Windows 7 Pro (64) for all of my work I've been doing with this client. It's just differencing off of the parent.

I was considering importing it into VMWare Workstation but I do not want to hose the image / risk breaking it.

When I import into VMWare Workstation is it actually creating a full copy or is it using the same hdd?

If it does share the hdd, I won't be able to open it in both? Does it continue to difference against the parent?

I went as far as "Importing" Windows XP Mode but haven't started it in Workstation yet. I can hibernate and re-open XP Mode via Windows Virtual Machines so far.

Thanks, TK

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What is "Windows XP Mode" ? – Gregory MOUSSAT Aug 16 '12 at 13:01
@GregoryMOUSSAT – user3463 Aug 16 '12 at 17:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Don't do this. If you're going to, there's a lot to consider, and it will most likely fail.

Problems include the HAL DLL that is used, as well as the AGP driver and other driver-related isses.

What it comes down to is that Virtual XP and VMWare are "different hardware", and you're going to hit all the problems you would swapping to another PC.

Finally, there are licencing implications: Virtual XP is permitted on Windows 7, free of charge, whereas you'd need a separate licence for running it under VMWare.

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FWIW, I've been trying to do this all week, and it keeps failing, usually with a BSOD due to an incompatible driver. It's at a very low level because Safe Mode doesn't work. I gave up and did a clean install of XP instead. – user3463 Aug 16 '12 at 17:43
Thanks the reply. Hardware was a pain. This is what I ended up doing. License issues aside.... I was able to run the vmware converter inside of the vm and dump it to a network share, copying the xpmode vm. I then had to add the line xpmode.enabled = "TRUE" so that it would startup inside vmware workstation without trying to activate windows again. Had to re-activate office but it accomplishes what I desired. – TEEKAY Aug 22 '12 at 15:06

VMware has KB2104936 that describes the process of importing Windows 7 XP Mode as a virtual machine in VMware Workstation.

Starting with VMware Workstation 7, XP Mode in Windows 7 can be imported into Workstation as an independent virtual machine.

XP Mode is available only in these Windows versions:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise

Note: Windows XP Mode must be installed on the host operating system before importing, so that the option to import is available.

To import XP Mode:

  • Open VMware Workstation.
  • Click File > New > Import Windows XP Mode VM. VMware Workstation should now begin importing and configuring the XP Mode virtual machine to work with VMware Workstation.
  • After the import completes, power on the imported virtual machine using the new Windows XP Mode entry in the Workstation library. When the virtual machine is powered on, install VMware Tools. For more information, see the General VMware Tools installation instructions (1014294).
  • The imported XP Mode virtual machine should not require activation. If you are prompted for activation:

  • Shut down the XP Mode virtual machine, if it is powered on.

  • Locate the virtual machine files. For more information see Locating a hosted virtual machine's files (1003880).
  • Open the .vmx file using a text editor.
  • Add this line to the file:
    • xpmode.enabled = "TRUE"
  • Save and close the .vmx file. The virtual machine should no longer require activation.

There are limitations to using XP Mode in Workstation:

The XP mode virtual machine can only be run on a host that supports XP Mode natively. Only one XP Mode virtual machine can run on the host at a time.

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Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link, as the answer can become invalid if the linked page changes or the target site is unreachable/permanently offline. – DavidPostill Nov 13 '14 at 21:55

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