I've got a machine with 4 GB of RAM running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.

Unfortunately I have to run Visual Studio in the XP Mode VPC, and it's quite the dog. Aside from giving the VPC more RAM (what's an optimal amount?) does anyone have any suggestions for speeding it up?

  • 1
    There isn't really much you can do aside from adding more RAM to the VM and making sure the VM is using all your CPU cores, if applicable. Sep 20, 2010 at 7:23
  • 5
    Do you absolutely have to run VS inside XP Mode? Can't you create a duel boot? Why create the problem in the first place?
    – JL.
    Sep 20, 2010 at 16:52
  • 1
    If you spend THAT much time in XP. . .
    – surfasb
    Jul 13, 2011 at 9:32

2 Answers 2


Revisiting this question - the best thing that you can do for this is to run your VM off of a solid-state drive.

Adding an SSD to my system (OCZ Vertex 3) dropped compilation times by 80%. The problem is that Visual Studio is very intense in disk accesses, and when running a VM, this is a big problem (since the VM is just one giant file).

Looking at the disk queues in resource monitor, the difference was apparent. With a 7200 RPM drive, the queue was stacked at over 300 queued requests during compilations. With an SSD, the queue never went above 5 requests.

Would highly recommend an SSD for anyone else in this situation.

  • This also works for doing Linux development under another OS, I saw very significant speed gains during compilation as well. Mar 16, 2013 at 18:05

I'd give it as much memory as you can 2GB -- if possible I'd up the memory on the physical box and give the VM 3gb or 4gb.

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