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I have an XP laptop that I want to create an image of and use in Windows 7 XP mode.

Is this a good idea or what?? And how do I do it please?

The laptop's drive is about 60GB full.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can convert the XP to a virtual disk using Disk2vhd and use it with Microsoft Virtual PC (but I can't guarantee that you wouldn't need to reactivate its license).

You can use the technique described in this article :
Make Your Own VHD to XP Mode or even Vista Mode Ready:

However, in lot of cases, you may want to just use your already working XP VHD image for XP mode in Windows 7. The good news is it’s totally possible, and the better news is it’s dead simple.

The key to make it work in XP mode is to enable the new setting called Auto Publish in the latest version Virtual PC.

Therefore, as described in this article, you CAN replace the Microsoft's XP Mode VHD by your own generated by Disk2vhd.

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