Windows XP virtual on Windows 7

I’ve been running Windows 7 for a couple of months now.  Today I ran across my first application that wouldn’t install on Windows 7.  So I needed a Windows XP virtual machine.  Luckily, as part of Windows 7, Microsoft has planned to include the ability to run a virtual Windows XP OS.  So to get around my predicament, I downloaded a beta of Virtual PC and a Windows XP machine from Microsoft at this website:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx

It was about a 460MB download, but I had it installed and running in about 10 minutes after the download completed.  I didn’t have to go through the entire Windows XP install – the download included an Windows XP virtual machine already setup.  One note – this requires that your CPU have virtualization extensions.  So before you download, go into your BIOS and see if you can enable the virtualization extensions.  I am running on a Lenova Thinkpad T500 with an Intel Centrino vPro 2 CPU, so all I had to do was enable virtualization in the BIOS, save the setting and turn off the laptop, and I was ready to go!

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