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Compatibility with security: How to run Windows XP in a virtual machine

Alex Castle | April 9, 2014
If the imminent end-of-support deadline for Windows XP has finally spurred you to make the update to Windows 8, you might be concerned about whether you'll still be able to run your old programs. And while most Windows XP software works just fine in Windows 8, some applications do indeed have compatibility issues. Fortunately, there's a way you can run any Windows XP software at all, using virtualization.

Now, restart your virtual machine, and when it starts back up you'll see your shared folder as a drive on the virtual machine. You can use this to transfer software to the virtual machine, and then install it inside Windows XP.

One final note — by default the internet should work fine in a virtual machine, but sometimes that isn't the case. With our setup, running Windows XP on a Windows 8.1 host PC, we had to make some changes in the network settings to get the internet working in the virtual machine.

To make these changes you have to turn off the virtual machine, then open the network settings menu in VirtualBox. There, change the Attached To field to "Bridged Adapter", and the Adapter Type to "PCnet-Fast III." With that, you now have everything you need to run a Windows XP program without ever leaving the comfort and safety of Windows 7 or 8.1.


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