One of my frustrations in upgrading to Windows 7 last year was that Virtual PC no longer worked since I didn’t have Hardware Virtualization on my CPU. This really drove my transition entirely to VMware Workstation on my personal laptop. I recently reinstalled my work laptop (with permission) on Windows 7 Enterprise and figured I’d give XP Mode a look since this machine has Hardware Virtualization enabled. I was surprised to find that Hardware Virtualization was no longer required, a change that occurred on March 18, 2010 according to this press release.
To install Windows XP Mode, you have to download and install an Activation Validation Tool, and then I had to allow IE 8 to run an add-on (reminded me of the Mac commercial). Then you can download and install Windows XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC and a Windows XP Mode update from the Virtual PC website.
Its funny that the Books Online haven’t been updated yet to reflect these changes. They still state the following:
To use Windows Virtual PC, your processor must support processor virtualization extensions such as Intel VT, AMD-V or VIA VT. You might need to enable these processor extensions in the BIOS. (Windows Virtual PC and Windows XM Mode Setup and Installation Guide)
I saw bravo to Microsoft for fixing this. I always felt that the requirements for processor virtualization extensions was a short coming in the product that has now been rectified. Now if they just fix the BOL to reflect the change…(I am sure this is coming, it seems to take a long time to update BOL topics).