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I use Window 7 XP Mode for my legacy applications (and also to sandbox iTunes)

I understand Windows 8 uses Hyper-V instead. I'd prefer to migrate my old machine than build a new one.

How do I move my existing XP Mode virtual machine to Windows 8?

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2 Answers 2

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The official answer is: You can't.

Although Harry's answer will work fine for "regular" Virtual PC VHDs, it won't work for Windows XP Mode. After installing the VHD in Hyper-V, XP mode will ask for activation and will fail activation, even if a valid Windows XP license key is specified.

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Edit: this procedure doesn't work; see Heinzi's answer.

Windows Virtual PC Tips (PDF) says:

Windows Virtual PC VHD will work in Hyper‐V after uninstalling the Integration components (ICs). Uninstall the ICs before moving the Windows Virtual PC VHD to Hyper‐V.

So you should follow these steps:

  • Make a backup copy your XP Mode vhd file in case things go wrong
  • Bring up XP Mode and uninstall the integration components
  • Copy the vhd file to Windows 8 and import it into Hyper-V
  • Start up the virtual machine under Hyper-V
  • Install Hyper-V integration services

On the other hand, this document suggests that there may be issues with the Windows HAL (hardware abstraction layer). If you find that the vhd won't start up under Hyper-V, or if the integration services installation fails due to a HAL mismatch, you might need to change the HAL type as described. This should be done after uninstalling the Virtual PC integration components and before moving the vhd file to Windows 8.

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