Is running Windows XP in a virtual machine as risky as running XP natively?

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I’m replacing all of my computers that operate with Windows XP; I have one laptop that runs Windows 7 Pro; I run one program, a specialty program for Dentistry with the Windows Virtual PC, XP mode, on that Windows 7 Pro laptop. Is running this in Windows XP mode as risky as running Windows XP after support for XP ends?

This is a really good question. I’m glad you asked, because I’m afraid that a number of people might be making some dangerous assumption about virtual machines and XP mode.

It is in fact, one of the common recommendations for folks that have software such as you do, that can’t be run on anything after Windows XP, to use a virtual machine to be able to run Windows XP and that special software. (XP mode is really just a virtual machine.)

Is it as risky as running XP natively? Well, yes and no, but mostly yes.

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Can I Isolate Windows XP in a Virtual Machine to Stay Safe?

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Dear, Leo. All of my legal forms are made with a program called Perform. Unfortunately, the company closed a long time ago so there are no updates and it works only in Windows XP. Now I’m now on Windows 8.1 so I use VMware to run XP, SP3 in a virtual machine. And Perform is the only program that I run in it. There is no network connection between the virtual machine and the host system. My question: Since I do not need to connect to the internet in the virtual machine, if I uninstall IE from it, will I be immune to any malware for the virtual machine, of course? Also, is uninstalling IE the only thing needed to isolate XP from the internet?

Unfortunately, there are a number of issues with what you are proposing. I don’t think you are doing anything wrong, per say, but I don’t think you’ll end up as secure as you think you might be. For example, there’s no way I’d ever say you’d be able to make that XP virtual machine immune from malware.

Running XP in a virtual machine is indeed one of my recommendations for those who are required to use XP for otherwise unsupported legacy software – exactly like you are. So far, so good. But as I said, there remain issues.

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I have an important MS DOS program that won’t run in Win 7 – what do I do?

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I have one MS DOS program that is invaluable to me. However, it won’t run on my Windows 7 OS. Can I install Windows 98 on an external drive that I then use for backup and run the DOS program on this drive? If not, could I move the backups off of the external drive and install Windows 98 on that drive and then the DOS program?

Unfortunately, you’re not going to get the scenario that you’ve described working. You’re going to have to actually reboot into Windows 98. You might be able to do that off of an external drive if you’ve got Windows 98 completely installed on that drive, as well as the program. I don’t think you even have to move your backups for it to work.

But before you go down that road, I want you to investigate a different solution.

Read moreI have an important MS DOS program that won’t run in Win 7 – what do I do?

Does Windows 8 Have XP Mode?

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XP mode in Windows 8 doesn’t work. I tried it anyway. Microsoft only offered the Windows 7 XP mode. I have some old DOS games that either returned an error or crashed. I don’t know if it’s because I now have a 64-bit processor.

The problems that you’re experiencing could be happening for any number of reasons, but I suspect that those games are just fundamentally incompatible with Windows 8 and 64 bits.

Sure, XP mode isn’t available on Windows 8, but you can do something almost exactly like it.

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Does Restoring Windows 7 from a Backup also Restore XP Mode?

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I run Windows XP mode, which is Windows virtual PC on my Windows 7 Pro PC. Now I also use Macrium Reflect to backup Windows 7. Does restoring the Macrium image also restore the Windows XP mode? Or do I have to use an image program in XP mode to create an image and then restore that image in XP?

First, let me congratulate you for backing up. Understand that having a backup, doing it regularly, and even being able to ask this question puts you miles ahead of all the other people who run into problems when they fail to backup their computer.

As for your question, the short answer is you don’t need to do anything extra.

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Can I Play My Old Games on My 64-bit Computer?

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I have a 64-bit computer. I still have many old games on CD. Is there any way to play them on my computer? I’ve tried to right-click and select the option to play older versions or change any options that I can think, but so far, none of this has helped.

Technically, it doesn’t matter if the games are on CD. That’s just how they’re delivered to you. What’s more important is what the game itself uses, requires and expects from your machine. That will vary dramatically from game to game.

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