Running two operating systems on one computer broadens your company's options when it comes to which software it can use. In Windows 7, Microsoft included a feature called Windows XP Mode that enabled you to run Windows XP programs. Because Microsoft is discontinuing support for the Windows XP operating system, the company no longer includes this feature with Windows 8. You can nevertheless install and run Windows XP on your Windows 8 computer in a couple of different ways, by taking advantage of virtualization software. Which method you use depends on whether or not you have a copy of Windows XP.
With a Copy of Windows XP
Download and install the free VMWare Player application from VMWare's website (link in Resources).
Launch VMWare Player and follow the prompts to create a new virtual machine. If you have a Windows XP CD, select "Installer Disc." If you have an installer disc image file instead, select "Installer Disc Image (ISO)."
Enter your Windows XP product key, username, password and additional information in the provided fields when prompted.
Click the "Player" menu in VMWare Player and select "Unity" to integrate the functionality of Windows XP with Windows 8.
Without a Copy of Windows XP
Download and install free VirtualBox software on your computer (link in Resources).
Download the Windows XP Mode EXE file from Microsoft's website (link in Resources).
Open the Windows XP Mode EXE file in an archive viewing application such as 7-Zip or WinZip.
Locate the "Sources/XPM" file within the Windows XP Mode EXE file and extract it to a new folder on your hard drive.
Locate the VirtualXPVHD file within the extracted Sources/XPM file, copy it to a new location on your computer and rename it with the extension "VHD." To do this, single-click the file in File Explorer and rename it "VirtualXPVHD.vhd".
Launch VirtualBox and open the VirtualXPVHD VHD file to begin using Windows XP on your Windows 8 computer.
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