How To: Run Windows XP In Windows 8

Windows 8 is a great operating system in a lot of ways, but also has a lot of potential downfalls that I previously covered in an article titled “Why Windows 8 Will Fail In The Eyes Of The Average Consumer.”

Windows 7 allowed users to run Windows XP applications with a special Windows XP mode, unfortunately however, in Windows 8 this mode is no longer supported. This means technically if you want to run Windows XP in a virtual machine, a license would be required.

Run Windows XP In Windows 8

Windows XP in all of its glory

Instead of having to fork out money for a Windows XP license though, Lifehacker has a solution. Apparently one of their readers discovered that inside “the free WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe file,  there’s a VirtualXPVHD file containing the Windows XP virtual machine, which you can open in VirtualBox.” As such, in this tutorial you will learn how to run Windows XP in Windows 8 for free.

Step 1) - The first thing you will need to do is download WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe and also Virtualbox.

Step 2) - Next you will need to use an archive tool to open the .exe file as an archive.

Step 3) - When you have opened the .exe file as an archive, navigate to sources/xpm and extract that folder to your desktop.

Step 4) – Within the xpm folder you will find a file called VirtualXPVHD. When you find this file rename it with a VHD extension.

Step 5) - The next thing you will need to do is install Virtualbox and then open the renamed VirtualXPVHD file in Virtualbox.

That’s it! You now have Windows XP running on Windows 8 for free, without the need to purchase an additional license. Lifehacker also notes that it might be possible to use Windows 8 Pro’s Hyper-V virtual machine manager, but they have not been able to verify it will work or not.

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