Does anyone know where I can get windows images for vmware.

I know Microsoft gives away the images for Virtual PC. These images work pretty well, but when I try to import them in VMware I need to activate the copies again, because the virtual hardware they use is just to different.

I want Images of different versions of windows 2000, xp, vista. Does anyone where I can download them, or do I need to build them from CD.

5 Answers 5


Windows images for VMware have no legal existence.

Microsoft doesn't actively market XP any more, so no trial downloads exist.
In fact, no downloads exist at all for XP except for service packs or for floppy setup diskettes! (go figure...)

Your best bets are:

  1. If you have an MSDN subscription, or know someone who does, XP is still available for download.
  2. Find someone that can loan you the XP installation CD
  3. Find an installed XP computer, and use VMware vCenter Converter to convert the physical machine to VM. The resulting VM will probably not need re-activation.
  • Thank you for mentioning the MSDN subscription. I forget all about this, I have one myself. I will download them from there and do a clean install. Too bad there are no pre-installed images though, it is going to take some time to set this all up. Apr 21, 2010 at 14:10

I faced the same problem around one year ago. I found out, that it is possible to import virtualpc images to vmware. So, you could download the WinXP image from Microsoft and then try this tutorial.

It helped me verry well.

  • I tried a lot of tutorials like this one, but none of them could help me out. Maybe it is because I have a newer version of VMware, but it really complains when I import the virtualpc image. Apr 21, 2010 at 14:13
  • Which version of VMWare are you using?
    – Diskilla
    Apr 21, 2010 at 15:52
  • I use vmware 7. When I convert the image I can only use it for 3 days, I have to register my copy after that time. It also keeps asking me for the original windows CD to add certain drivers or something. Apr 21, 2010 at 16:00
  • Alright. I guess harrymc´s answer would be the best solution then. I never worked with VMWare 7. Yet... :-) I´m going to try this tomorrow at work. Maybe I can figure out another solution. Just for interest... ^^
    – Diskilla
    Apr 21, 2010 at 16:30

I realize this is a pretty old thread, but I recently came across it. Although the images aren't listed for download "officially" from the following link. I was able to get a copy of IE8 WinXP image for VMWare workstation. I don't have access to MSDN so had no other recourse to download the xp images.

  1. Goto https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/
  2. Select ie8 for win 7 as virtual machine
  3. select platform (vmware in my case)
  4. Copy the link from the download .zip button
  5. In this case, the link was https://az412801.vo.msecnd.net/vhd/VMBuild_20141027/VMware/IE8/Windows/IE8.Win7.For.Windows.VMware.zip
  6. edit the link the IE8.WIN7.For.Windows.VMware.zip -> IE8.XP.ForWindows.VMware.zip
  7. Download image and profit, save a copy of the archived file or make a snapshot so you can continue to use.
  • These images are licensed for 90 days of use for testing purposes. Using them beyond 90 days, regardless of the method, is illegal and a violation of the terms of service of usage of the product.
    – acejavelin
    Feb 28, 2017 at 21:33
  • 2
    Microsoft specifically documented that you should archive the VMs or set up a rollback so that when the 90 day expiration occurred you could recreate the VM from scratch without redownloading it. See modernievirt.blob.core.windows.net/vhd/… where it says things like "implement a rollback strategy for any virtual machines that you download. This could be as simple as holding onto the original archive that you downloaded, or ... take advantage of your virtualization platform’s snapshotting capability". Nov 16, 2017 at 9:07
  • 1
    unfortunately 404 now :( (2017-12-27)
    – hanshenrik
    Dec 27, 2017 at 0:49

If such an official would ever exist it could only be given by Microsoft itself because of license issues. Microsoft hates Vmware and Vmware hates Microsoft. So I don't think that you can find any official prebuilt Windows OS images for VMware workstation. Even if they existed they would only be on trial licenses. The best solution is to download trial iso's from Microsoft and do a clean install. After that use the base snapshot to copy this base installation. (Until the end of trial date if you're going to set your Guest OS' system date to the real date)


There is a Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 Vmware image available at archive.org :) (*I cannot guarantee that it is malware free, but Windows Defender said it's clean at 2022-11-21) - you might also be interested in Firefox 52.9.0.esr 32bit, the last Firefox to support XP. and perhaps Process Explorer for XP, and Last Adobe Flash without kill-switch

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