Enable Integration for XP Mode Virtual Machines

Available in Windows 7 Professional, XP Mode allows you to integrate the resources of your physical computer with the Virtual Machine. Components you can share include drives, audio, printers, Clipboard, and smart cards.

Learn how to enable and use the built-in features of the XP Mode Virtual Machine.

Why enable XP mode integration?

The XP Mode virtual machine uses the resources of your physical computer to run a fully licensed copy of Windows XP right from within Windows 7 Professional.

Virtual machines use part of the computer’s RAM, processing power, and other components to allow XP to run.

Using the built-in features of XP Mode, you can also share other resources such as drives, audio, and printers to increase the functionality of XP running in the Virtual Machine.

Enable and use the built-in features of XP mode

Click Start > All Programs > Windows Virtual Desktop > Windows Virtual Desktop to open Virtual machine folder.

Right click on Windows XP Mode virtual machine and choose Setting from the menu.

Edit Windows XP Mode Settings

inside Windows XP Mode – Install Windows Virtual PC window, click on the settings labeled Built-in feature.

Note that the right side of the window changes to show you the built-in settings available for your XP Mode Virtual Machine.

Click on XP Mode Integration Features

On the right side of the window you will see several options. Below is a description of each and some suggestions on how to use them to make your XP Mode Virtual Machine more integrated with your physical computer.

Enable built-in features in XP Mode

Turn on at startup – This option allows you to specify whether built-in features are available each time you start XP Mode. Unless you want to manually integrate each feature when using XP Mode, select this option.

Sound – XP Mode can use your PC’s audio to add audio to your Virtual Machine sessions. Keep in mind that integrating audio adds another component that can go wrong. If you really don’t need sound when using XP Mode, uncheck this option.

Clipboard – Clipboard integration with XP Mode means that text, images, or other elements can be cut, copied, and pasted between your physical PC and a Virtual Machine running XP Mode.

This is one of the most useful built-in features. Consider enabling this feature if you need to quickly and easily share documents between your PC and XP Mode.

Printer – If you are going to print from within XP Mode, select this option. Using printer integration, XP Mode will treat your printer as if it were directly connected to it and not to your physical PC. Most people find that printer integration is essential to get the most out of XP Mode.

But the smart card – If you have any smart cards connected to your PC and you want to use them in XP Mode, you must select this option. If you don’t have a smart card, uncheck it.

CD driver – This option allows you to specify whether all drives or only the ones you select are integrated with XP Mode. At the very least, make sure you integrate the Windows 7 Professional installation drive (the C drive for most people). This way you have access to your user account, desktop, My Documents folder, etc while in XP Mode.

For drives that you know you’ll never use with XP Mode, uncheck them. This saves you the hassle of having to scroll through drives you’ll never use when opening and saving files to your PC while in XP Mode. When done, click ALRIGHT button.

Windows 7’s Virtual Machine technology allows you to integrate and share your physical PC’s resources with XP Mode.

That way, you can get access to your PC’s drives, printers, smart cards, Clipboard, and audio features. Luckily, the Virtual Machine lets you choose which components to integrate so you can make your XP Mode sessions more streamlined and less complicated.

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