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Windows XP Mode - 1 VM for multiple users?

    Question

  • I have multiple users that use one machine (Windows 7 Professionl x64), which in turn they need to run an old application that will only run in Windows XP mode.  However, I have noticed that you have to create a machine for each individual user, as far as I can tell. 

    I basically want to make one virtual application that ALL users can use without having to create a VM for each user.  Is this possible or have I overlooked something where you don't need to create a vm for each users? 

    Thanks for any help!
    Friday, December 04, 2009 12:31 AM

Answers

  • Hi Keith,

    Try open Virtual Machine in another account, click Create Virtual Machine --- change the location to a new folder, then choose "Use an existing virtual hard disk", point to the XP Mode VHD file (Note: point to the differencing VHD file but not the parent disk VHD file). Then try to run the new-created virtual system. It should be the same as you created in first account.
    Friday, December 04, 2009 1:56 AM

All replies

  • The problem is that by default virtual machines are created on a per user profile basis. Since Windows security keeps user profiles isolated from each other, one user can't see another user's virtual machine. Try copying the %USERPROFILE%\Virtual Machines folder to C:\Users\Public and see how that works.
    Friday, December 04, 2009 12:46 AM
  • Hi Keith,

    Try open Virtual Machine in another account, click Create Virtual Machine --- change the location to a new folder, then choose "Use an existing virtual hard disk", point to the XP Mode VHD file (Note: point to the differencing VHD file but not the parent disk VHD file). Then try to run the new-created virtual system. It should be the same as you created in first account.
    Friday, December 04, 2009 1:56 AM
  • As it turns out, it's more difficult to share a virtual machine among all users on a machine. I got it working, but there are additional steps and it's not smooth enough for what you want. What Shaon described was a different approach. What do you want to do? Do you want one virtual machine with each user's changes kept separate from the other users? Or do you want everything shared where a user sees all of the work done by the previous user?
    Friday, December 04, 2009 2:49 AM
  • It is basically one application that doesn't save any changes.  I just want multiple users to use the same app with no saved changes, as they can't save any changes anyways.  I will try what Shaon suggested and check back with my results.
    Friday, December 04, 2009 4:01 PM
  • I am also interested in doing this.  My wife wants to run her Photo Story 3 from an XP Virtual Machine, while I need to run another couple different apps under XP.  I'd rather just use one single virtual machine for this rather than each of us having our own large chunk of drive space set aside for our separate VHD's.  One single vm also means not having to download and install windows updates separately for each user on the computer who has an XP vm.

    John, can you outline the steps you took to make this work?

    Thanks,
    Bryan
    Friday, December 04, 2009 7:53 PM
  • Hi Bryan,

    You can try create several accounts in XP Mode instead of creating several virtual systems --- actually we cannot create several virtual systems as we need to give every system a valid product key.
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:32 AM
  • I too have this requirement. My situation is complex in that we have multiple users logging on to multiple machines (call centre shift workers). To take one of our computers as an example:

    1x Windows 7 Enterprise x64 PC
    2x users logon to the same PC throughout the day, requiring access to their individual Win7 profiles
    1x legacy application that does NOT save any user specific data

    The above means that we only need one Windows XP Mode image on the machine, but require 2 Windows 7 users to be able to access it, ideally with the application to run seamlessly.

    I have managed to get it working, but it is by no means 'elegant':

    Set up XP Mode for the first time logged on as 'User1'.
    Ensure that the VM is saved to a locaton accessible by anyone, e.g. C:\VM\
    Install legacy application.
    Shutdown XP Mode
    Log off 'User1'
    Log on as 'User2'
    Create a new VM - not through the XP Mode, but rather through the standard VM creation Window. Select the option to utilise an existing VHD and point it towards the XP Mode VM created earlier.
    That's it - the legacy app shortcut should appear in 'User2' start menu and be able to run seamlessly.

    If anyone knows of a more elegant approach, I would love to hear it.

    Many thanks.
    Friday, January 29, 2010 2:06 PM
  • That's probably as good as it gets for now. I can't provide anything better at this time.

    I can assure you that the product team does understand the interest in this issue.

    Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:18 AM
  • I installed xp mode to the default user programs folder directory. This makes it so you dont need to create multiple xp mode users.
    Monday, February 08, 2010 10:43 PM
  • I installed xp mode to the default user programs folder directory. This makes it so you dont need to create multiple xp mode users.

    Please be more specific. Exactly what did you do? I want to verify your results.
    Tuesday, February 09, 2010 3:43 AM
  • Basically installed to default user programs -> start menu directory. Thought it worked but I still had to create a new VM/map to original vhd file for each user that logged into the machine.

    Same solution as above I guess.
    Tuesday, February 09, 2010 5:13 PM
  • Has anyone figured this out? I'm trying to accomplish the same thing: 1 VM with multiple users, but when I create a new VM and point it to the existing VHD file, I get the invalid Product ID error. 

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Monday, April 19, 2010 4:27 PM
  • Has anyone figured this out? I'm trying to accomplish the same thing: 1 VM with multiple users, but when I create a new VM and point it to the existing VHD file, I get the invalid Product ID error. 

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    You have to copy the VHD to a public location from the C:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines after you have shown hidden files. then use steps above to finish Creating the Virtual PC on each user profile.
    Thursday, May 06, 2010 3:03 PM
  • To use a common virtual XP machine, for all Windows 7 logons

    1) Create a VM in an accessible area. The default user space can be used if the share option is enabled for specific users. Use the default user name eg XPMUser and simple password.

    2) locate the configuration file (.vmc) and copy a shortcut to the users\Public Desktop folder. It may be necessary to enable hidden file viewing using the Folder Options Icon in Control Panel, as the .vmc file defaults to user\apps\...

    3) Log on to any windows 7 account and click the shortcut. Log on to the VM using the user XPMUser and simple password. Bingo.

    I haven't tried it but I guess different users can be added as per a 'normal XP machine' so Users can share applications but keep some privacy to their data.

     

     

    • Proposed as answer by phillechill Thursday, December 02, 2010 3:10 PM
    Wednesday, September 01, 2010 2:54 PM
  • Worked flawlessly for me! You are a greek god sir.

    Clicking the .vmc once while logged in as another user makes that Virtual PC the default one for that user. You can then copy the shortcuts for any Windows XP Mode applications to the Start Menu so that they can be accessed directly. Only drawback is that if you have a lot of users, you need to instruct them all to click the .vmc file and then logout of the Virtual PC at least once.

    Many thanks mondeomadman!

    Thursday, December 02, 2010 3:16 PM
  • Maybee there is a registry key that you can add that makes the machine default to the new VM.
    • Proposed as answer by talynebear Tuesday, July 12, 2011 2:47 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by talynebear Tuesday, July 12, 2011 2:47 PM
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011 10:03 PM
  • I found that using Windows 7 symbolic links works. Here is what i did. I setup one user XP Mode how it needs to be. Copied the .vhd file to a common location, i chose the Default profile. Luckily it doesn't duplicate the Windows Virtual PC folder to any new users, because my .vhd file is 7GB.

    Add a runonce registry entry to default user to execut a batch file containing this code. Or simply log on to each uesr and run the batch file manually.

     

    mklink /d "%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC" "C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC"

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 2:53 PM
  • I found that using Windows 7 symbolic links works. Here is what i did. I setup one user XP Mode how it needs to be. Copied the .vhd file to a common location, i chose the Default profile. Luckily it doesn't duplicate the Windows Virtual PC folder to any new users, because my .vhd file is 7GB.Add a runonce registry entry to default user to execut a batch file containing this code. Or simply log on to each uesr and run the batch file manually.
    mklink /d "%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC" "C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC"

     

    I tired the above but all I get is a "Cannot Start XPMode. One or more required files are either missing or not valid". Any ideas? 

     

    Friday, July 22, 2011 1:50 PM
  • bump . . .

    followed mondeomadman's directions and it works. enabled auto logon for xpmode account to make it easier for my end users. Only issue is the first time a user logs onto the win7 machine and opens the.vmc, they MUST logon. After that the xpmode vm auto logs on fine . . . any way to beat that initial xpmode logon?

    Thanks,

     

    -David


    dfkon
    Tuesday, August 09, 2011 11:15 PM
  • You do know that three of you have started replies to a thread that went dead a year ago, don't you?  It is a lot less confusing if you simply start your own new thread.
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 5:34 AM
  • yes, cbarnhost, i realize it is an old thread, just that it had a lot of good info that I thought it could be followed up on . . .
    dfkon
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 2:24 PM
  • Iam also in the same bind, we are trying to run AutoCad 2002 LT (I realize it's 10 years old, school system, no money for upgrades, you know how it is). We have it for students, and to me it is completely unacceptable to log in as 600 users (plus a potential 150 faculty) on 25 separate machines to enable the program to run (that's 18,750 log on's by the way), and that is *not* something I am eager to have 7th through 12th graders doing on their own...

     

    I need a way to have the AutoCad shortcut populate, I don't care where as long as they can get to it and I can simply make a printout showing them where to access it (start menu, desktop, low earth orbit, anywhere really)

     

    We are at wits end here trying to make this work, XP mode runs flawlessly but setting it up or having to manually set it as a VM or anything of that sort on a per user basis is not an option. I'm okay with a batch file or a runonce or anything of that sort so long as I do not have to be there for every new login and the students don't have to do anything other than find a shortcut and run it.

     

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 5:16 PM
  • You do know that three of you have started replies to a thread that went dead a year ago, don't you?  It is a lot less confusing if you simply start your own new thread.
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.

    what the hell is the point of posts like these?  have you tried searching on here for answers? its a lot easier to keep the data in one thread and then search that thread.

     

    plus, the best answer so far has been from a non MVP poster.

     

    I am also trying to do this same thing with our Corp Win7 image; one XP Mode image and 2 legacy apps that all users can share on the same machine. I plan to put the vhd files in a public folder that all users could get to.   i will be sure to post my results once i get it working. 

    Friday, September 23, 2011 2:45 PM
  • Keith,

    Did you ever get a resolution for this? I am having the same issue and need a resolution.

    Tuesday, November 05, 2013 3:46 PM
  • That's probably as good as it gets for now. I can't provide anything better at this time.

    I can assure you that the product team does understand the interest in this issue.


    I know this is an old thread but I am having the same problems. I have lab machine that multiple users need to be able to access a common XP VM.

    As of 08/11/2014 has there been anything done by Microsoft to ease this? XP is officially gone so I'm sure many more people are now trying the VM solution.
    Monday, August 11, 2014 1:48 PM