Running Win95 programs on Vista/Win7

Started Mar 26, 2014 | Questions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Re: (To JC) Re: 32 bit or 64 bit Win Vista and 7?

Joe186 wrote:

My laptop is 64 bit, Home Premium Win7 w/ 8 gigs ram and Intel i5-2430M CPU (4 core 2.4GHz).

That CPU supports VT-x, meaning you'll have good performance running XP in a virtual machine.

You've got plenty of RAM, so Virtual Machines should run fine (especially since you wouldn't need to allocate much memory to XP running that way).

But, with Home Premium, you can't download XP Mode from Microsoft (which gives you a copy of XP running in a Virtual Machine under Win 7), as that feature is only available with the Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate Versions of Windows.

So, you'd need a legal copy of it to install yourself using third party software like the free VirtualBox. Get VirtualBox here:

It's very easy to install and use. Basically, you just download it and install it. I'd also install the VirtualBox Extensions you'll see a link to on the download page.

Then start VirtualBox and click on a "new" button to create a new Virtual Machine. Then, you use it's "wizard" to select the Operating System you want to install (and you'd select Windows XP), tell it how much memory that Virtual Machine can use (and I'd give it about 512MB and you should be fine for running any apps you were running in earlier Windows releases, or if you want to, give it 1GB or so instead), how many processor cores you want it to use (and 1 should be fine), how large of a virtual drive you want to create (it probably defaults to around 8GB of disk space), etc.

Then, once you set up a new machine, click on the start button to boot into it, and you'll see where you can click on an icon to select an XP installation disk (that you'd put in your CD or DVD player) to start the XP installer.

Then, just go through the XP installation process, just as if you're installing it on a physical machine. Basically, XP will think it's using a physical machine versus a virtual machine. After you have XP installed in a Virtual Machine and have it running, click on the Devices menu and use the "Install Guest Additions" choice so it will install some extras for you in XP that let you do things like resize the Window that XP is running inside of, setup shared folders that both Win 7 and XP can access, etc.

Basically, you'd end up with a copy of XP running in a Window inside of Windows 7 that you can install software in, etc. It's just running in a Virtual Machine versus being installed to Physical Hardware.

It's very simple to use that way.

The downside in your case is that you'd need a legal copy of XP to install in a Virtual Machine, just as if you wanted to install XP to physical hardware.

With Win 7 Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate, you can download XP Mode and get the same thing (copy of XP running in what Microsoft calls Virtual PC) at no charge. They make it available for users that want to run older software (like you do) that has problems running in 64 Bit Win 7. See more about how to install and use XP Mode here (free for users with Win 7 Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate):

But, with Win 7 Home Premium, you are not allowed to download and install XP Mode (and they use authentication software to insure you have Win 7 Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate before they will allow you to download and install it).

So, you'll either need to upgrade to Win 7 Pro to get XP Mode, or use a third party product like VirtualBox and have your own legal copy of XP you can install in it instead.

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