Microsoft Windows XP Mode

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What is Windows XP mode

Windows XP Mode (formerly known as Virtual PC for Windows 7) release is a virtualization add-in from Microsoft - intended to ensure application compatibility for Windows XP applications that wont run under Windows 7. The code used however is a modified version of MS Virtual PC 2007 - now branded as "Windows XP MNode" or "Virtual Windows XP". If you go to the virtual machines folder start/all programs/Windows Virtual PC/Virtual Machines (or simply go to the virtual machines folder under the documents folder) and copy across your eComStation VMC and VHD files that you created under MS VirtualPC 2007 and then double click the VMC file, a VMCX file will be created and you will be able to start the eCS image under Windows 7's version of Virtual PC (thanks for this tip from Sigurd Fastenrath).

Note: On March of 2010 Microsoft released a patch for Windows Virtual PC that allows it to run in machines that does not have hardware virtualization features (VT-x). So go to the Virtual PC download page and get it.

eCS Silver CAN be installed via the new virtual machine process but as usual certain setting in the pre-boot menu are needed as is a couple of settings during the install process - here are the settings you need to know:

Creating the virtual Machine

If you are installing eComStation 2.0 RC7 for example, check the following recommendations when setting up the Virtual Machine settings:

Hard Disk Image: Do no create a HDD virtual image with the max size that Windows Virtual PC offers you (130GB). Even that eCS can install on it, it had some compatibility issues (You can not format it). Just create a "Dynamically expanding" with a 30GB size is enough. I had even tried to create a 100GB HDD dynamically expanding image and works without problems.

If you are creating a new Virtual Machine, select "Create a virtual hard disk using advanced options" when you get to the part of adding a Virtual HDD. Select "Dynamically expanding" and select a size lower than 100GB.

Network Settings: Select one Network device and select. "Sharing Networking NAT"

Pre-Boot Menu:

  • Target hardware - Modern hardware - safe mode (no ACPI).
  • Display Driver - Panorama
  • AMouse - No
  • EIDE - Danis, Performance mode
  • CDRom - Standard
  • USB - 1 EHCI controller, USB Mass Storage, 4 x USB HDs.

During Install Phase:

Audio - select SB16 PNP ("for Virtual PC")

Other Options:

  • Create Volume and format as JFS
  • I prefer to remove WIN16 and DOS support
  • Remove additional application - RSJ - it's not practical to be run in a VM.
  • Network - leave at default settings and DHCP.

Watch out for:

Changing video settings, it can cause a hang on the next boot (at the point where the eCS Logo is normally displayed) - if this happens try going into alt+f1 and reset the video to Gradd or VGA and reboot. My experience after a few days is that the copied across VPC2007 image seems more reliable when booting than the created under Windows7 VPC image. Despite a message that says that W7VPC cannot install some of the integration features contained in the VPC2007 image, I think it is these "OS2 Additions" from VPC2007 that are giving the stability at boot time, perhaps the S3 Trio 32/64 video driver. In any case the W7VPC created image does seem to hang a lot at boot time and never gets to the WPS without resetting the video again (and sometimes that does not even work). It's probably worth trying to add the OS2Additions from VPC2007 to the W7VPC image (OS2Additions no longer come with W7VPC).

USB Support:

USB does not appear to work - looking at the Windows XP image supplied there are extra services added to support USB. I suspect these come from the OS additional ISO and this no longer has support for any OS other than Windows.


Device Description Download Link Video S3 Trio 32 or 64 (no longer directly installable from eCS Install) Hobbes Video Alternatives Gradd or Panorama Video

(SNAP creates a Trap D in PMDD) Included in eCS install. Audio Sound Blaster 16 PNP Included in eCS Install pack

(marked in list as Sound Blaster 16 PNP (for use with VirtualPC) Network Intel 2104x/2114x 10/100 mbps Ethernet Included in eCS 2.0 Install

Microsoft no longer supply Virtual Machine Additions for OS/2 with this version of VPC as they work from a VPC 2007 image copied over, you could try the additions ver 13.500 from Virtual PC 2007.

Reference / Links

A short article describing the different approach with Windows 7 - Microsoft Virtual PC as opposed to Virtual PC 2007 can be read here: [1]