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I'm currently running Windows 7 Professional, with Windows XP Mode (basically Windows XP in a Windows Virtual PC VM). I've done a few upgrades from 7 and 8 to 10, and all went smoothly without losing any functionality but I'm reluctant to upgrade this PC.

I understand that Windows 10 Pro doesn't include XP mode and that I really shouldn't be using XP any more, but I have one app that I need that needs it.

If I upgrade this PC to Windows 10 Professional, will I lose access to my Windows XP Mode VM?

4 Answers 4

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You should still have access to your XP VM. The VM itself should be a .VHD file. If you are upgrading to Windows 10 Pro, enable Hyper-V in the Control Panel. Then, open Hyper-V and create a new VM. It will ask you of you want to create a virtual hard drive. At this point, you just need to browse to your XP VM ( the .VHD file) and this should be very similar to Windows XP mode. If you don't have Windows 10 Pro, you won't have access to Hyper-V. However, you cam still use Oracle Virtual Box, VMware Player, Paralelles, amd maybe some others.

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    It should be noted that without an explicit license this is illegal
    – netniV
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 12:19
  • False. If he was using Windows XP mode in the first place, it is assumed the license for XP has been activated. Since the VM will remain on the same machine, there should be no legal issues here, unless Windows XP was not activated.
    – Peter
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 13:42
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    Not true. Read the license document that comes with it. It's very specific.
    – netniV
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 14:15
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    IIRC netniV is correct. XP mode has no valid license, it is basically licensed only via the the Windows 7 license (it also does not have to be activated imo, in the XP era there were licenses available that didn't need activation). Windows 10 has no XP mode so it does not have that additional Windows XP license. It should however be possible to legally get a Windows XP really cheap so you can just use Virtual Box plus a real license if this is important for you.
    – Syberdoor
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 8:46
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    I don't think this is accurate. Microsoft is well known for making their licenses "perpetual" and link legally binding terms between versions used in upgrades. Thus, it's entirely reasonable to assume that the XPMode image created from a Windows 7 OS that was then used to upgrade to Windows 10 would still be valid to use on said machine on said install. I just don't see Microsoft actually revoking said license for making an upgrade they are pushing you to do anyways.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 22:45
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It is true that Windows 10 does not include XP Mode, but there are ways to get a XP VM. First of all, you can always download the XP Mode install file, extract the folder VirtualXPVHD, and put it into a .vhd file, and load the resulting file in HyperV or other hypervisor as suggested by several websites (that also have more detailed instructions and pictures).

http://www.download3k.com/articles/How-to-add-an-XP-Mode-Virtual-Machine-to-Windows-10-or-8-using-Hyper-V-00770

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/forget-end-life-woes-windows-8-xp-mode/

Another option would be obtaining an XP ISO file, which is still pretty common.

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    It should be noted that without an explicit license this is illegal
    – netniV
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 12:20
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Yes because xp mode is only licensed on Windows 7. There no license for it beyond the Windows 7 platform included.

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  • That seems like a valid reason why it shouldn't work, but do you have experience or references showing that it actually won't work after an upgrade? Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 12:07
  • Windows XP will happily run in any virtual machine. However the base XP virtual machine that your Windows XP VM lives off is strictly licensed which means it is not possible without breaking the law. You could backup and then restore on a new VM which should be OK as long as you have the license.
    – netniV
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 12:21
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If you are unable to buy Windows XP licence anywhere and you have a lot of free time, you could do the following:

Install lightweight Ubuntu version (or other linux) into your virtual machine and install Wine software inside of that linux. Wine is able to run many older software which was designed for Windows XP.

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