Although many businesses have switched to Windows 7, some applications that are older still require Windows XP. Microsoft Virtual PC can be downloaded by businesses with valid Windows 7 copies to run Windows XP Mode. This allows users to create virtual machines running the XP operating systems. Virtual environments allow businesses to run non-compatible applications in Windows 7. It may be necessary to connect the virtual machine to other computers when using Windows XP Mode with Virtual PC. Windows 7 automatically configures Windows XP Mode to allow the virtual machine to use the same network group as the host computer when you install Windows XP Mode. Before you can send or receive data over a local network using the XP Mode virtual machine, you need to map the network drives and configure the network adapter settings.
If you haven’t already, download Windows XP Mode with Virtual PC for Windows 7 (link in Resources). You can also download and install Windows XP Virtual PC. After installing Windows XP Mode, the Virtual PC addon, restart the computer.
Click “Start”, then select “All Programs” from the drop-down menu. Next, click “Windows Virtual PC” mode. If prompted, accept the license agreement
For the default XP Mode user, enter a password. Enter the password into the “Confirm Password” field, and then click the “Next” button. This step will not be visible if Windows XP Mode has been configured on your computer.
If prompted, click the “Start Setup” button in the “Setup will Share the Drives on This Computer with Windows XP Mode” window. Wait for Windows 7’s initial configuration of XP Mode before you launch the virtual XP Desktop. This may take a few seconds to several minutes depending on your computer’s speed. If you have already installed Windows XP Mode and configured it on your computer, the step will not be visible.
Click the “Start” button on Virtual XP’s desktop. Next, click “My Computer”. Right-click “Local Disk C:” and then click “Sharing & Security” in the popup menu. Click the link that says “If you understand this risk, but still wish to share the root drive, click here.” This tab is located in the “Local Disk(C:) Properties”.
Click the link to “If you are concerned about security but still want to share files, click here.” Once the Enable File Sharing window has opened, click “Just Enable File Sharing” and then click “OK.”
Enable the “Share on the Network” option by clicking here In the “Share Name” field, type a descriptive name. Replace “C” default value with “XPModeCDrive”, or another similar.
Enable the “Allow network members to modify my files” option by clicking on it. Click “Apply”, then click “OK.” Wait a while for XP Mode, which will configure the virtual hard disk for sharing over the network.
Click “Tools”, on the XP Mode toolbar. Click “Settings” in the Setting menu. Click the drop-down menu next to “Adapter 1”. Click “OK” to select the name of the network adapter that is installed on the computer.
To return to Windows 7, click outside of the Virtual XP desktop. Click “Start”, and then select “Control Panel.” Next, click “Network & Sharing Center.” Then, click “Change Advanced Share Settings.”
Turn on network discovery. Turn on file- and printer sharing. Share so anyone can read and write in the Public folders. Turn off password protection
In the “Change sharing options to different network profiles” window, click the “Save Changes” button. Close the “Network and Sharing Center” window.
Click “Start”, and then select “Computer.” Once Windows Explorer has opened, click the link “Network” in the left navigation panel. The local network list will display, which includes the Windows XP Mode virtual computer. Double-click on the icon to open the virtual computer.
Right-click on the folder in the window that contains the shared drive, and then click “Map Network Drive”, from the popup menu. The Map Network Drive window will open.
Click on the “Drive” dropdown menu and choose the drive letter to map the network drive. You can also leave the default letter as is. Enable the “Reconnect at Logon” option by clicking on it. Click the “Finish” button. Now, Windows Explorer will allow you to access the mapped network drive from the host environment.
As needed, map the drive to other network computers. The virtual drive can be used in the same way as a local drive, or shared folder.