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Windows XP Mode on Windows 8 Pro

    Question

  • I have upgraded my Windows 7 x64 Pro to Windows 8 Pro and notice I can no longer run my Windows XP Mode. This was the windows XP VM that was downloaded from the MS Website and installed to run. I added the Hyper V role and created a VM using the XP Mode VHD. The Machine boots but goes straight to a registration page. It will not activate over the internet so I called in via telephone. After reading the long list of numbers I was informed by the automated process that the numbers were invalid....Good Bye.

    Now how do I get this activated? My entire development environment is in that VM.


    Lee

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 2:38 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Results from a chat with Microsoft Support...

    You are now chatting with 'Hershie'.

    Lee: I have upgraded from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8 Pro. I have my entire development environment within the windows xp virtual mode from windows 7. I turned on Hyper V on windows 8 and created a VM connected to the XP VHD. When I boot the machine it wants to activate XP again. It will not activate either by internet or phone, now what? I have tried entering a volume license key and a retail key.

    Hershie: Hi Lee! Thank you for contacting Microsoft Customer Service chat.

    Hershie: Please be advised that this chat service is designed to assist you with site navigation, technical support case submission, and customer service questions.

    Hershie: If you need technical support, I can provide you with your support options or help you submit your case to the appropriate support professional who can work with you to resolve your issue.

    Hershie: How may I assist you today?

    Hershie: Please give me one moment to read your issue.

    Lee: You still there?

    Hershie: Yes.

    Lee: Any Luck

    Hershie: Did you get any error message after entering the product key?

    Lee: The telephone prompter said that the activation code was invalid. Same with both activation keys I used.

    Lee: Message Number 45090

    Hershie: What is the activation code please?

    Lee: You mean the one I provide the telephone prompter?

    Lee: Or the product key

    Hershie: The one you provided to the automated system.

    Lee: It's going to take a few minutes to retrieve.

    Hershie: Okay.

    Lee: When I go back to the activate by telephone screen it says getting the id, but then shows nothing, where before it was a bunch of numbers.

    Lee: Keep in mind this vm was supplied by Microsoft as part of windows 7 and as such never required activation.

    Hershie: Have you tried checking our online forums about this?

    Lee: I rebooted the VM and now get these numbers - 285633-109853-683715-507640-489103-429302-142683-877483-631710

    Lee: I always try the forums first

    Hershie: Please give me one moment here.

    Hershie: Thank you for waiting, Lee.

    Hershie: Can you please provide your product key?

    Lee: Again, none was ever required so I looked one up under my MSDN subscription - xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Hershie: Thank you for providing the product key.

    Lee: I also tried the Window 7 key, and of course that did not work

    Hershie: I just want to inform you that Windows XP mode in Windows 7 does not require activation.

    Lee: That's what I have been telling you

    Lee: All of a sudden it wants activation

    Lee: If I do not activate it I cannot use it, not even log in

    Hershie: Just want to verify, you are now running Windows 8?

    Lee: Yes

    Lee: To copy and paste....I have upgraded from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8 Pro. I have my entire development environment within the windows xp virtual mode from windows 7. I turned on Hyper V on windows 8 and created a VM connected to the XP VHD. When I boot the machine it wants to activate XP again. It will not activate either by internet or phone, now what? I have tried entering a volume license key and a retail key

    Hershie: And on the activation window, does it say 'activate Windows XP'?

    Lee: I hate to be crass here, but I am not an Idiot. I have been an IT pro for 20 years. I know the difference in activation windows. So yes its XP activation with in the VM

    Lee: VM = Virtual Machine, and its running under Hyper-V on Windows 8

    Hershie: In this case, I recommend you work with our Answer Desk Technical Support to further diagnose the issue and provide additional support options.

    Hershie: Please click here.

    Lee: I have no idea how to get in touch with them

    Lee: So I have to PAY for another Microsoft Mistake?

    Hershie: No. Please click on the link above to start working with a Technical Support Agent.

    Lee: Ok


    Lee

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 3:42 PM
  • XPMode is built on VPC7.  VPC7 was specific to Win7.

    There is no XPMode for Win8 (and indications are that there won't be).


    Brian Ehlert
    http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Learn. Apply. Repeat.
    Disclaimer: Attempting change is of your own free will.

    • Marked as answer by AprilZhangModerator Thursday, November 08, 2012 9:47 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Lee Taylor Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:41 PM
    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 5:00 PM
  • XPMode is specifically licensed to your Windows 7 OS, and not Windows 8.

    The official information is here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/faq.aspx

    Is Windows XP Mode supported on Windows 8?

    Windows XP Mode will not be supported on Windows 8. Windows XP Mode is a
    Windows 7 Professional feature designed to support Windows XP application
    compatibility.

    To learn how to retrieve data from a Windows XP Mode virtual machine on
    Windows 8, click here.

    Is Windows Virtual PC supported on Windows 8?

    Windows Virtual PC will not be supported on Windows 8. Client Hyper-V is
    Microsoft’s offering for operating system virtualization on Windows 8.

    To learn how to retrieve data from a Windows XP Mode virtual machine on
    Windows 8, click here.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 5:04 PM
  • I.e. the reason I used Hyper-V to run the VM

    Lee

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 5:13 PM
  • Guess they should have pointed that out during the upgrade process, and I would have dealt with it appropriately at that time, too late now.

    Lee

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 5:14 PM
  • The XP machine was a development environment therefore the data was not the issue it was the machine itself which I would have been willing to upgrade to windows 7 or later, had been given the chance. I believe the important thing here to keep in mind is the attitude of Microsoft itself. The virtual machine DOES run on windows 8 as a Hyper-V machine. It's just that the OS notices the new environment and wants to be re-registered. No XP Key will work to re-register the machine. This could have easliy been provided to by Microsoft to allow the machine to continue to run. In my mind this NOT supporting it. Fact is I can take any of my XP CD's and reinstall and register on another machine, just not this one. Although I marked your post as answer, it is a political answer at best. I will mark this down as one of a many multitude of Microsoft failures that will continue to add up to their demise.


    Lee

    Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:47 PM
  • yet it's ironic that XP Mode works on Virtual Box and VMware Workstation 8 and 9... all running with Windows 8 as the host.... 
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 1:13 PM
  •   It may be ironic but it is perfectly logical. The vm is running Windows 7. What OS is running on the host is of no consequence.

     

    Bill

    Saturday, November 10, 2012 11:02 PM
  • I don't understand your reply about the perfect logic of a Win7 VM. What does unrealshots comment have to do with a VM running Win7?

    I guess I share the confusion and disappointment here. After a clean install conversion of my prime Win7 machine to Win8, I just:

    • Restored my XPMode VPCs to my one remaining Win7 machine
    • Got them all working
    • Uninstalled XPMode integration (several Google hits having suggested this was the *key* step; apparently not)
    • Created new HyperV VMs in Win8 for each
    • Moved over and reconnected the XPMode base VHD and all the VM difference VHDs and set them to be the VHDs for the new HyperV VMs.

    And they all get to this same "Activate Windows" problem when started.

    I don't bet Microsoft cares, but for those of us who drank their KoolAid three times now--the original XP stuff that is now broken in other environments, Win7 VPC/XPmode as the solution to that problem--and, more specifically, these portable VHDs that had the apparent promise of portability into the future, and the Win8 Upgrade--this is a pretty serious problem. I'm sitting on a uninstalled Win8Pro upgrade for this last Win7 machine. I may never be able to use it.

    Surely there is some other solution. I don't care if the XPMode features like Win7 Start Menu access and XPM app in a window work. I just want to get the client XP code past the activations step. What could enabling that somehow possibly cost Microsoft? Lost sales of Win8?

    Even if I were some big corporation with SA or MSDN/TechNet access to new XP keys and installables, starting over like that wouldn't be an answer for all my VMs. One of them exists solely for containing an installed Microsoft product that is no longer supported, no longer has its patches available from Microsoft--and they were never directly downloadable, and, when patched, creates files that don't work in the unpatched version of the exact same app.

    Sunday, November 11, 2012 5:54 PM
  • yet it's ironic that XP Mode works on Virtual Box and VMware Workstation 8 and 9... all running with Windows 8 as the host.... 

    Are you saying you were able to get a "legacy" XP Mode VM/VHD running in VirtualBox hosted on Win8? (That would be ironic...having to depend on Larry Ellison -ware to get around the "features" of the latest greatest Steve Ballmer -ware.)

    I Just tried going down that path but could not get VirtualBox installed on Win8 without breaking the Win8 host's network connection. Saw this both with the HyperV services running and with them stopped.

    Also, as far as I got in defining a new VM, it looked like Virtual Box didn't know how to deal with the "differencing" VHDs. If that were the only problem, I'd go back to my Win7 machine and merge them into a new VHD...

    • Proposed as answer by shaper Thursday, February 07, 2013 9:51 AM
    Sunday, November 11, 2012 9:44 PM
  • I don't understand your reply about the perfect logic of a Win7 VM. What does unrealshots comment have to do with a VM running Win7?

    I guess I share the confusion and disappointment here. After a clean install conversion of my prime Win7 machine to Win8, I just:

    • Restored my XPMode VPCs to my one remaining Win7 machine
    • Got them all working
    • Uninstalled XPMode integration (several Google hits having suggested this was the *key* step; apparently not)
    • Created new HyperV VMs in Win8 for each
    • Moved over and reconnected the XPMode base VHD and all the VM difference VHDs and set them to be the VHDs for the new HyperV VMs.

    And they all get to this same "Activate Windows" problem when started.

    I don't bet Microsoft cares, but for those of us who drank their KoolAid three times now--the original XP stuff that is now broken in other environments, Win7 VPC/XPmode as the solution to that problem--and, more specifically, these portable VHDs that had the apparent promise of portability into the future, and the Win8 Upgrade--this is a pretty serious problem. I'm sitting on a uninstalled Win8Pro upgrade for this last Win7 machine. I may never be able to use it.

    Surely there is some other solution. I don't care if the XPMode features like Win7 Start Menu access and XPM app in a window work. I just want to get the client XP code past the activations step. What could enabling that somehow possibly cost Microsoft? Lost sales of Win8?

    Even if I were some big corporation with SA or MSDN/TechNet access to new XP keys and installables, starting over like that wouldn't be an answer for all my VMs. One of them exists solely for containing an installed Microsoft product that is no longer supported, no longer has its patches available from Microsoft--and they were never directly downloadable, and, when patched, creates files that don't work in the unpatched version of the exact same app.


      How do you think that he is running XP Mode using VMWare or VirtualBox if he is not running it in a Windows 7 virtual machine?

    Bill

    Sunday, November 11, 2012 11:38 PM
  • How do you think that he is running XP Mode using VMWare or VirtualBox if he is not running it in a Windows 7 virtual machine?

    I duuno. But if he does, I'd love to know how and I suspect others would as well. I must be missing some finer point or arcana in VM technology here. Thank you for your help so I can understand this. I've dabbled with this VM stuff over the years but am hardly an expert.

    unrealshots appeared to claim that "XP Mode [by which I infer an XPMode VHD made/activated originally in Win7/VPC] works on Virtual Box ... running with Windows 8 as the host." Perhaps he means he has a WinXP VM running inside a Windows VPC running inside a Win7 VM running inside Virtual Box and the last layer is "Win8 as the host" on the real hardware. Otherwise I get to the question I posed to you: where was Win7 in that environment? I interpreted it that he has the Virtual Box installed on a real Win8 host, and, within that, starts and executes the originally Win7/VPC XPMode VHD VM. Aside from originally getting the VHD built and activated and operating, Win7 was now completely out of the picture.

    Perhaps I'm being naïve or am just ignorant of all the details, but at some level it seems that if the operating environment that the XPM OS sees "looks enough like" the Win7 Virtual PC, it should happily proceed, thinking its running on the machine (virtual though it may be) it was originally activated on. If the HyperV environment is too different, well, it's gonna fail the activation. That doesn't rule out, in my mind, some other virtualized environment looking enough like the Win7/VPC for it to pass.

    At any rate, I'm really disappointed by this. I can understand the VirtualPC and WinXPmode packages not installing/working on Win8. I can understand not being able to create a new XPMode VM in HyperV. I can understand having to disable XPM integration in the old VM to get it to work in the the environment. But having a perfectly usable set of Win7 data fail in Win8 HyperV apparently only over this license activation issue, activating a piece of all but abandoned Microsoft OS, just seems like nothing more than another finger in the eye of Friends Of Microsoft from Microsoft.

    Monday, November 12, 2012 12:19 AM
  •   In virtual machine terminology, the host is the computer running the virtualization software. This runs on the physical hardware. The guests are the virtual machines which run using the virtualization software.

     


    Bill


    • Edited by Bill Grant Monday, November 12, 2012 3:41 AM delete irrelevant bits
    Monday, November 12, 2012 3:34 AM
  • I don't understand your reply about the perfect logic of a Win7 VM. What does unrealshots comment have to do with a VM running Win7?

    I guess I share the confusion and disappointment here. After a clean install conversion of my prime Win7 machine to Win8, I just:

    • Restored my XPMode VPCs to my one remaining Win7 machine
    • Got them all working
    • Uninstalled XPMode integration (several Google hits having suggested this was the *key* step; apparently not)
    • Created new HyperV VMs in Win8 for each
    • Moved over and reconnected the XPMode base VHD and all the VM difference VHDs and set them to be the VHDs for the new HyperV VMs.

    And they all get to this same "Activate Windows" problem when started.

    I don't bet Microsoft cares, but for those of us who drank their KoolAid three times now--the original XP stuff that is now broken in other environments, Win7 VPC/XPmode as the solution to that problem--and, more specifically, these portable VHDs that had the apparent promise of portability into the future, and the Win8 Upgrade--this is a pretty serious problem. I'm sitting on a uninstalled Win8Pro upgrade for this last Win7 machine. I may never be able to use it.

    Surely there is some other solution. I don't care if the XPMode features like Win7 Start Menu access and XPM app in a window work. I just want to get the client XP code past the activations step. What could enabling that somehow possibly cost Microsoft? Lost sales of Win8?

    Even if I were some big corporation with SA or MSDN/TechNet access to new XP keys and installables, starting over like that wouldn't be an answer for all my VMs. One of them exists solely for containing an installed Microsoft product that is no longer supported, no longer has its patches available from Microsoft--and they were never directly downloadable, and, when patched, creates files that don't work in the unpatched version of the exact same app.

      You will not be able to activate XP Mode vms if they are running under Windows 8. XP Mode was a special build of XP and it cannot be activated in its own right. It runs on Windows 7 under the Windows 7 license.

        XP will install, run and activate under Hyper-V on Windows 8. XP Mode will not. 


    Bill

    Monday, November 12, 2012 4:28 AM
  • Where do I get (a) new XP license(s)/key(s) at this point?

    (Not sure yet how even that would solve the problem that one of my XPM VMs can't be recreated again since it has an app with patches that are no longer available for download and were never installable outside of the context of the download.)

    Monday, November 12, 2012 6:16 PM
  • Just a guess but i know that vmware can convert xp mode to a virtual machine. I would try:

    1. Restore to windows 7
    2. install xpmode
    3. install vmware player
    4. put xpmode into vmware player
    5. upgrade to windows 8 and keep programs and settings

    Once again just an idea but i think it will work

    -hayden

    • Proposed as answer by hingino Wednesday, November 14, 2012 9:16 PM
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 9:16 PM
  • In the end this scenario is being foiled by licensing and the OS activation process.

    It is really not a technical issue of simply taking the XP Mode VM and running that on a hypervisor or virualization engine.  Quite frankly, that is easy.

    One thing that Workstation might have going is that it emulates all the hardware.  But, honestly, I would expect the VM to also detect this as a hardware change (assuming you have an existing XPMode VM) as the devices the OS sees will indeed be different.


    Brian Ehlert
    http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Learn. Apply. Repeat.
    Disclaimer: Attempting change is of your own free will.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 9:22 PM
  • Lee,

    If you're still looking for a more technical explanation, I have one for you. If you're not familiar with SLIC/SLP you might want to do some research. The rest of this post will assume you already understand OEM pre-activation.

    As you know, the virtual host (Virtual PC and Hyper-V) create emulated devices (like video cards, network cards, etc.) and pass them through to the guest OS. In this situation the main difference is that the new emulated BIOS from Hyper-V does not contain the SLIC table present in the emulated BIOS provided by Virtual PC. Because this string cannot be found the OEM certificate and OEM product key are no longer recognized as valid by the SLMGR. Being a factory activated OEM copy also explains why your activation code is worthless, because your key is an OEM generic.

    As for your options going forward, Microsoft is ready to completely ditch XP support so an official Hyper-v BIOS patch to include the old Hyper-V SLIC table will probably never happen. Because the software licensing for that emulated OS is OEM you will never be able to get a non-OEM key working. You would have to perform a repair installation to change the license type to Volume or Retail.

    • Proposed as answer by techservices.us Friday, November 30, 2012 1:14 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by techservices.us Friday, November 30, 2012 1:14 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Roberto Arjobe Wednesday, December 05, 2012 1:47 PM
    Monday, November 26, 2012 6:01 AM
  • Guess they should have pointed that out during the upgrade process, and I would have dealt with it appropriately at that time, too late now.

    Lee

    YES!

    You hit the nail on the head.

    This is SHOCKING.  I was using Win 7 Pro and had a fully configured (hours of work) XP Virtual Machine with my complete web development environment in it.  It didn't even occur to me that it wouldn't work on Windows 8.  I've only just discovered now when I tried to access it to do some updates!

    I MUST recover this virtual PC.

    Why did the Upgrade Advisor not mention this!?!?  I carefully resolved all the issues highlighted there before moving on.

    Not impressed at all Microsoft.  Not at all.

    - Rob Lightbody.

    Monday, December 03, 2012 10:21 PM
  • Lee,

    If you're still looking for a more technical explanation, I have one for you. If you're not familiar with SLIC/SLP you might want to do some research. The rest of this post will assume you already understand OEM pre-activation.

    As you know, the virtual host (Virtual PC and Hyper-V) create emulated devices (like video cards, network cards, etc.) and pass them through to the guest OS. In this situation the main difference is that the new emulated BIOS from Hyper-V does not contain the SLIC table present in the emulated BIOS provided by Virtual PC. Because this string cannot be found the OEM certificate and OEM product key are no longer recognized as valid by the SLMGR. Being a factory activated OEM copy also explains why your activation code is worthless, because your key is an OEM generic.

    As for your options going forward, Microsoft is ready to completely ditch XP support so an official Hyper-v BIOS patch to include the old Hyper-V SLIC table will probably never happen. Because the software licensing for that emulated OS is OEM you will never be able to get a non-OEM key working. You would have to perform a repair installation to change the license type to Volume or Retail.

    Or you could do the following - 

    1. Install the latest Oracle Virtualbox on Windows 8 (it works fine)
    2. Set up a new VM and install the required BIOS.bin file (which contains the required SLIC table for OEM licensing on XP Mode)
    3. Configure your new VM to use the VHD files (optionally converted to native VirtualBox .VDI file)
    4. Launch your VM and cross your fingers

    The required BIOS.bin file can be found here - http://www.vmlite.com/images/fbfiles/files/pcbios.zip

    you need to run this command to use it to replace VirtualBox bios for a specified vm.

    VBoxManage.exe setextradata your-vm-name "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/BiosRom" "path-to-BIOS-file\pcbios.bin"

    • Edited by Roberto Arjobe Wednesday, December 05, 2012 1:58 PM updated info again
    • Proposed as answer by Dick Watson Wednesday, December 05, 2012 6:41 PM
    Wednesday, December 05, 2012 1:54 PM
  • Roberto, while it does work, what your suggesting is a violation of the XP Mode licensing.  It is only licensed for the Windows 7 OS it came with.
    Wednesday, December 05, 2012 5:53 PM
  • I have always tried very hard to know and comply with even the most obscure license requirements.

    To me, this case is such a massive breach of good faith by MS--giving XPM with Win7 and then taking it away and breaking the user's Win7 capability, no recourse, no alternate solution, no workaround, middle finger, in Win8--that I'm not feeling they have much moral standing to make a big deal of this and am perfectly willing, maybe eager, to violate to get around the problems this is causing me. I understand their hope was we'd use XPM as a transition step. Believe me, if the things I used XPM for had a transition path past XP beyond abandoning the use case, I wouldn't be posting in this thread.

    I, too, installed stuff in fully licensed XPM VMs. Stuff that won't work in an OS past XP and cannot be reinstalled now, even if there were another license compliant way to instantiate an XP SP3 Pro instance in HyperV. And I drank the Win8 KoolAid fully expecting there to be "some way" to bring this stuff along. Sure, I should have done better due dilligence. But if I had, I would have skipped Win8 for this reason. Is that REALLY what Microsoft intends? Running off potential Win 8 users just to make sure we all comply with the license for an OS they are within months of completely orphaning anyway? I'm thinking MS might want to be a little more interested in keeping their OS customers loyal to their platform given the current market dynamics.

    I should add: Roberto's post has contributed more to my continued use of Win8 than anything Microsoft or the Win8 product by itself have done.

    • Edited by Dick Watson Wednesday, December 05, 2012 6:40 PM added final comment
    Wednesday, December 05, 2012 6:29 PM
  • You can do what you want, I was merely pointing out the licensing issues with Roberto's post.

    A free license of XP Mode with Win7 was good faith, remember XP Mode was supposed to provide you the extra time you needed to move off of XP, not a long term solution for the end of XP's support.

    If you have an XP VM, not the XP Mode one, you can simply move it to Win8 Hyper-V, only the XP Mode license is tied to the OS.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2012 6:47 PM
  • If I had a way to obtain, even pay for, a suitable XP license at this point and could repair the now otherwise "unusable" as licensed VHDs, I'd be willing. I don't have any other XP VMs since XPM gave me a way to retire real hardware that I naively thought might enable these apps an indefinite life not a Win7 life. Even if I'd known then what I know now, suitable XP licenses weren't any more readily available to create an XP but not XPmode VM.
    Thursday, December 06, 2012 3:47 AM
  • If I had a way to obtain, even pay for, a suitable XP license at this point and could repair the now otherwise "unusable" as licensed VHDs, I'd be willing. I don't have any other XP VMs since XPM gave me a way to retire real hardware that I naively thought might enable these apps an indefinite life not a Win7 life. Even if I'd known then what I know now, suitable XP licenses weren't any more readily available to create an XP but not XPmode VM.

    Not to be rude, but nothing lives forever. XP is about to become an unpatched wasteland, prone to who knows what kind of exploits. If you're not ever going to have it connected to the internet or any other network then it might be fine, but the reality is that XP is a security breach waiting to happen. As stated by Steve, it was provided to fill the gap while you found replacements or upgrades for your applications, never as a permanent fix.

    But to put it in perspective, how many times have you bought a car and been mad at the manufacturer when it broke down 11 years later with 350k miles on it?

    Friday, December 07, 2012 1:26 AM
  • The apps in question either predate PCs on the Internet or have had their Internet side functionality completely eliminated by Microsoft already. Ergo the VMs in question need no Internet connectivity. WinXP installations for point usages like this will be running after we are both dead.

    Your analogy of not complaining to the manufacturer about the high mileage car is great. Only In this case the car--a WinXP VHD--will run absolutely forever. The problem is Microsoft broke the road.

    Friday, December 07, 2012 3:13 AM
  • I noticed that you have not received an answer that will help you to run winxp-mode in win8 and that's because it is not directly possible but how about a little detour.

    (Inception)

    So in Windows 8 (host), install Windows 7 (guest) and in it, install XPmode (pesudoguest).

    DONE

    However, this requires that you have a license for Windows 8 (as you already did upgrade) and a license for Windows 7 (From there you come). So you're OK. For those who want to run XP in Windows 8 is cheaper to buy a license for XP and install it on any virtual machine.

    • Proposed as answer by COTECSI Wednesday, December 19, 2012 11:55 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by COTECSI Wednesday, December 19, 2012 11:55 PM
    Saturday, December 08, 2012 12:43 AM
  • Technically, no.  You can't reuse that Win7 license (you are installing it on a new computer, a virtual one, but it is a different installation), since it's already "assigned" to the hardware via the Win8 upgrade.  It is the reason I didn't mention it.

    eBay does have new retail licenses of XP Pro for sale.

    Saturday, December 08, 2012 3:25 AM
  • I was having the same issue, installed the free version of "Oracle VM Virtualbox" and the "Extension pack" and was able to load Windows XP in a VMHD.  The only caveat is that you need a license key for Windows XP do so.  It works under any version of Windows 8 and it is free.  Make sure you download the expansion pack as well because it allows you to use a USB keyboard connected to the PC as long as a basic one.  I could not get it to work with my MS Natural 4000 USB attached keyboard but it worked fine with I plugged in a standard USB keyboard with no extra hot keys or anything on it.  Find it at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/virtualbox/downloads/index.html?ssSourceSiteId=ocomen#extpack.

    Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:01 AM
  • Download and install both the Oracle VM Virtualbox and the Virtualbox Extension Pack and setup a VM with a VHD.  You then go into the settings for the VHD and go down to USB and enable USB 2.0 EHCI Controller and add your kb by clicking the plus sign and save the settings.  Then insert the Windows Installer CD into the DVD drive and click start and it should proceed to load XP.  If you don't enable USB2.0 you will not be able to get past the F8 license agreement screen.   
    Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:12 AM
  • "So in Windows 8 (host), install Windows 7 (guest) and in it, install XPmode (pesudoguest)" and then connect that XP Mode VM VHD. It may be the only way now. I noticed that Lee mentioned an MSDN subscription, so that should cover licensing.

    I sure am glad that I ran across this thread. I too have critical legacy apps that CANNOT be made to work in Win 7 or higher. If there were no way to run XP, I would not upgrade.

    Gregg Hill

    Friday, December 28, 2012 12:26 AM
  • Windows 7 all the way!
    Tuesday, January 08, 2013 1:24 AM
  • Lee

    Might be talking out my ear here ... Got a cold ... But

    To solve the situation with all your needed data locked in to that Virtual XP. If you still have the one PC still running Windows 7 you could open that XP VHD up on that machine; Remove all the folders of data and put them in a new folder; Buy an XP disk off ebay (1) if you don't have one (2) if you need to run XP for software needed for your work and install that XP in Windows 8 Hyper=V and then install your needed XP software into the new XP virtual machine and add all the data and stuff you removed from the XPvhd ... no?

    Then you can finish upgrading your last PC to 8 ... OR keep it at 7 for awhile longer ...

    Like I said, Have a cold so ..

    Tuesday, January 08, 2013 10:20 AM
  • Here is the deal with me:  I have a trusty Epson scanner that has worked in XP mode just fine.  That has been the only reason I use XP mode.  So now I need to purchase a new scanner.  Not the worst thing in the world but if I had known this I probably would not have upgraded to Windows 8 on my workstation.  And yes, the Upgrade Advisor should have explained this little problem.  It certainly know I was running XP Mode.


    Eric Robert Lewis, Ph.D.

    A note of clarification:  Hyper-V does not support USB.  This may be obvious to many of you but it was not obvious to me.   My actual experience with virtualization was limited to Win7 XP mode.  If I can boot from USB ... then USB is supported by the hardware and BIOS so just saying Hyper-V is hardware virtualization below the OS doesn't really "explain" the loss of function to me.

    As for others trying to use XP in Win8, I did install WinXP  and it did accept my product key. I had an old copy of XP in my files.  So no problem there.  But without USB support XP is useless to me.  Is this a buyer beware issue or should Microsoft have made this limitation more "obvious"?  I think so.

    Another note:  I was not able to get the Microsoft distributed "official" SP2 upgrade CD to work when I tried to update the initial XP installation in Hyper-V.  I don't recall the messages now.  I left this mess in my office in Wisconsin and am now in Cabo San Lucas using my Toshiba laptop (originally Vista, now Win8)  Win8 is great on the laptop but I'll either buy a new scanner or back off to Windows 7 when I get back.  Thankfully, I have a complete W7 backup on my Windows Home Server.

    • Edited by erlewis Thursday, February 07, 2013 6:57 PM clarification update
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 6:35 PM
  • Hi,

    Yesterday I tried to reactivate my XP Mode VM on my Windows 8 System with HyperV. I was very surprised that this is simply not possible and found this thread. It's very amazing that Microsoft missed this upgrade path and recline with the message "XP Mode is only supported on Win 7" - it's often not that easy for legacy apps and users to recline that way. I've learned that this is *only* a licensing problem. But - hey - who wants to pay for an 11 year old (unsupported) XP nowadays? It came with Win7 as XP Mode and Win8 is not supported... disapproval.. It seems like a bad joke. VMWare and Oracle (Virtualbox) must been laughing at this thread (as someone already mentioned). This Management decision is still strange.

    Nevertheless I've found a way for me to use my old XP mode VM. I repaired the VM with my old XP CD and my legal XP license. But I had to activate by phone because the VM didn't have Internet connection because I was not able to install the HyperV Integration additionals because my old XP didn't have any Service Pack. So I started installing XP SP1 and then XP SP3 and then I had to activate my XP by phone. And viola - I finished booting my old XP Mode VM and all programs were still there.

    Regards

    Sven

    Thursday, February 07, 2013 9:49 AM
  • Hi everybody,

    I, as you all, have faced the same problem, upgraded from Win 7 to Win 8, having the precious XP Mode working in Win 7, due to special requirements related to development in a 32-bit environment with legacy tools that could not run in Win 7, an environment that is virtually impossible to be rebuilt from scratch due to missing installation media for certain libraries, old versions of software that cannot be found anywhere to download etc.

    Having upgraded to Win 8, I tried to run the XP Mode environment to no avail, tried converting the VHD files to VMDK to run in VMWare, after a lot of trials I managed to do the conversion (for the record I had to edit the configuration files to point to the correct drive letters, as the VHD was a "differencing image" and needed to have a way to find its "parent", and used a beautiful and simple tool called WinImage (free 30 day trial version) to convert to VMDK), but the windows required to be activated and the XP Mode "license" could not be activated.

    I finally found the solution!  I mounted an XP ISO installation file as a CD ROM to the VM machine, rebooted the VM machine, pressed a key to boot from the CD (the ISO image of a normal Win XP), pressed ENTER to proceed to an installation (not enter the recovery console), and then chose the option to REPAIR the current windows installation which was identified by the installer. WinXP proceeded to repair the installation and after entering a valid and legally obtained WinXP product key, and a few reboots later, I finally had in front of me my old and loving WinXP development environment!

    Just wanted to share this so that if anybody faces this issue and sees this page, can see how he can solve his/her problem.

    Thank you everybody for the bits and pieces that when put together made solving this puzzle a reality!


    Friday, February 22, 2013 9:25 PM
  • if you're reactivitating it with another XP license, then you're not using XP Mode any longer.  There is no restriction for Windows XP on Windows 8 Hyper-V, only the XPMode license that is specifically tied to Windows 7.

    It's similar to an OEM license. You can't take your Dell OEM Win XP and install it on an HP computer.

    And the point of XPMode was for XP users to have extra time to find solutions to move off a 12 year old OS.  You'd be hard pressed to find any OS supported for 13 years (2001-2014).

    Friday, February 22, 2013 10:35 PM
  • If I encountered this problem, I would make a backup of the virtual hdd, and I would mount the hard drive into a new virtual machine. (Hyper-V, Virtual Box, VMWARE, whatever your preference.) I would also mount a volume or retail original Disk iso (should be able to be downloaded from your MSDN subscription.) I would boot the computer off the iso, and not the hdd. I would attempt a "Repair/Upgrade Install" which should overwrite all of the core operating system files, while leaving your installed software intact. I believe that the XP Mode virtual machine is a modified version of XP from microsoft...and I believe that the modifications include it not having activation features working. But if you do a repair install with the same edition (Professional) and make sure the disk image you're using is SP3 (to match the VHD installation,) the activation components should be replaced with those of the disk you used to repair it (whether it be volume or retail.) After it comes back up, then try activation again (with a key that matches the activation channel of the iso obviously.) If it fails, at least you still have a backup. But if this works, please like it up! :)
    Wednesday, March 06, 2013 2:46 AM
  • Gonna try it.  Luckily I have a Win7 machine at the house just in case.  Funny anecdote is that I'm sitting here on my Win8 PC staring at the XP-Mode login screen.  Of course I can't log in because I can't activate it.  But when I tried to shut it down, it began installing Microsoft Updates.

    //Double Facepalm...

    Thursday, May 09, 2013 7:35 PM
  • Hi I just quickly read through this blog so I apologise if I am repeating another answer . But what worked for me after alot of trial and error is (bloody obvious really). I installed VMWare player Then installed Win 7 Ent evaluation copy ( 90 day trial) then ran XP mode on that a bit messy but worked  a treat you just need 4gb+ of ram but it keeps it all on one PC so basicly you will be running a VM within a VM you can renew the 90 day licence with slmgr command upto 3 times then you will have to do a reinstall I hope this helps  ....
    Tuesday, May 14, 2013 8:39 PM
  • Saturday, July 13, 2013 2:37 PM
  • http://lifehacker.com/5965889/how-to-run-windows-xp-for-free-in-windows-8

    ---- New programmer boy. Please, take it easy...

    Awful... If you actually read the comments... this does not work.

    I totally agree that this is bad on M$ part... IMHO, there is nothing lost at this point to letting the dinosaur just activate...

    But, it also seems like this is about people who want something for free...

    I learned the hard way too when I found out my XP system wouldn't activate. I simply setup another PC (since those are cheap) with Windows 7 and moved the VPC to that computer... Since I owned it and paid for it... it worked.

    Problem solved.

    Mo

    • Proposed as answer by MoWoM Tuesday, July 16, 2013 1:27 AM
    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 1:24 AM
  • http://lifehacker.com/5965889/how-to-run-windows-xp-for-free-in-windows-8

    ---- New programmer boy. Please, take it easy...

    It works - sort of. But you can't activate it. The key in the license key file doesn't help. So while it's kinda nifty, it's pointless.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 2:59 PM
  • Using Hyper-V on a desktop OS is not a viable solution is it?

    It reduces graphics performance of the *host* OS by about a third.

    I can't even use XMBC on my new Dell Intel HD machine, when Hyper-V is enabled.

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:51 PM
  • I got my old Windows XP Mode VM's to work like described here:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2008/01/04/running-virtual-pc-under-hyper-v-beta.aspx

    You will need a valid Windows 7 Pro (or higher) license.

    First you install Windows 7 in a new Hyper-V machine. Inside that VM you can install Windows XP Mode.

    I copied the VHD's from my old drive, created new .vmc files and configured them for the old VHD's. To avoid copying the VHD's inside the Hyper-V VHDX file, I placed them in a shared folder on the host system and created a network drive in the VM.

    The performance is slightly less, but it is very satisfying not to go through all the trouble reinstalling the VM's. Hope this helps.

    Friday, December 06, 2013 3:09 PM
  • I am guessing that this does not provide your Windows XP mode machine with USB access?  I guess this because I understand that Hyper-V does not support USB access.  Is this so?  Thanks.  Eric Lewis

    Eric Robert Lewis, Ph.D.

    Thursday, January 02, 2014 11:22 PM
  • Count another developer who has been bitten by this issue.

    Thanks to all for the notes about being able to repair to a fresh install that can be activated.  Guess I'll be doing that too.

    Frustrating.


    FWIW: I actually went through the effort of getting VirtualPC 2007 running under Win8 instead of Hyper-V.  It turns out that all you basically need is the VMM.sys driver from the 2010 Win Phone dev kit and to rename the VPC executable.  Will be interesting to see if USB works under it once I get this activation mess sorted out.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 9:32 AM
  • Virtual PC 2007 does not support USB...at all.

    The only version that has any USB support is Windows Virtual PC for Windows 7.

    If you need USB support you're better off working with VirtualBox or VMware Workstation or Player.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 11:14 PM
  • http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/beca34b1-74e2-4040-a53f-1241217ce0d3

    You can hack the registry to activate Windows XP Mode in MSVPC

    On your XP machine, click on "Start", then "Run", and type in "regedit"

    Go to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents"
    Expand "WPAEvents", you'll see the "OOBETimer", double-click it, and delete the original value, and type in
    "FF D5 71 D6 8B 6A 8D 6F
      D5 33 93 FD"
    Click "OK", then right click on the "WPAEvents" folder, click on "Permissions...", under "SYSTEM", click "Deny Full Control",
    Click "Yes" to the warning message, so it's immediately activated! It's completely safe, no virus is going to be coming in, and it's completely genuine.


    - Meitzi [MCITP]

    Monday, June 09, 2014 1:59 PM
  • >It's completely safe, no virus is going to be coming in, and it's completely genuine.
     
    And not legally licensed...
     
     

    Bob Comer
    Monday, June 09, 2014 11:40 PM
  • XP Mode isn't licensed to run on Windows 8, only Windows 7 Pro and above.

    If you want to run XP in a virtual machine on Windows 8, you need a full XP license and install media.


    Bob Comer

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014 12:46 PM