Nostalgia. How do you feel about it? I like the warm fuzzy feeling I get when thinking about stuff from back in the day but hate the crushing disappoint I feel when I reacquaint myself with things from the past. Spoiler alert, they almost never live up to the unbelievably high expectations I have of them.
That is why I’m not that sure about this little guide but as you may feel differently or may have a genuine need for it I’m going to walk you through this completely free and legal way I’ve found to get your hands on Windows XP. Microsoft may have stopped providing support for the most dominant operating system the world has ever seen but still, it is Windows XP.
Now whether you’re a developer and you need to test your coding creations across different operating systems or if you’re simply hankering for a dose of nostalgia doesn’t matter. If you want XP this is how to get it.
Stage 1: Go to the Microsoft Windows XP mode page and select Download. The executable file will download but when it is finished you don’t want to install it.
Stage 2: Right click on the exe file and then select 7-Zip, then Open archive and then finally cab.
Stage 3: You’ll find 3 files and if you click sources you’ll find another 3 files. If you double click xpm you’ll open up the Windows XP mode virtual hard drive folder.
Stage 4: Extract the files by clicking Extract in the toolbar. Then select where you’d like to extract the files too and create a new folder. Pressing OK will then start the process.
Stage 5: Once the files have all been extracted, head over to the location you selected and select the file VirtualXPVHD. Rename the file and simply add a . between the P and the V so that the file is now called VirtualXP.VHD. This will change the file into a virtual hard disk.
Stage 6: Now that you have the virtual hard drive you’re going to need a virtualization program to run your virtual copy of Windows XP on. VirtualBox is the best and you can download a copy of it here.
Stage 7: Once you’ve downloaded and installed VirtualBox open it and select New. Select Expert Mode and then give your virtual machine a suitable name, like Windows XP Mode.
Stage 8: Now you have to assign the RAM you want your virtual machine to be able to use. Anything between 512mb and 2048mb will be fine but remember that your computer needs to use RAM too.
Stage 9: You now need to assign a hard disk to your virtual machine. This is where we go back and get the virtual hard disk we created earlier.
Once you’re done you should have something that looks a little like this:
If you have click create.
Stage 10: Before you get started on your new virtual machine running Windows XP you need to do a little playing around with various settings. Go to the VirtualBox toolbar and select Settings. Then go to System and select Boot Order. You want to put Hard Disk to the top of the list.
Stage 11: Then go to Display and increase the video memory to 128mb.
Stage 12: Go to Network settings in VirtualBox and check that all of your network settings have been automatically applied to the virtual machine.
Stage 13: Boot that baby up. Don’t too excited just yet, however, as there are a couple more stages to get through. When you get to a completely black screen press Right Ctrl + R to restart the virtual machine. Cancel all of the new hardware installation and Microsoft Automatic Update wizards and head to Devices.
Once there select Install Guest Additions CD Image and use the default installation location.
Stage 14: Once this is complete Reboot the machine again and you’ll have a fully functional virtual machine running Microsoft Windows XP. You’ll be able to use it for 30 days unless you have an old XP code lying around. If not then you can go through the whole process again in 30 days time.