..but searching has not revealed any of the answers I am looking for so please bear with me. I am asking for some specific help here since most every guide I have found about creating vhds kind of just leaves off when it comes to how to run, load or use them once they are created.
I created a .vhd of my XP system using disk2vhd on an external usb drive. I then plugged the external drive into my Windows 7 laptop and created the .vmcx with virtual machine, but I got an error message about not being able to write to the hard disk after double clicking on the .vmcx, and searches about that error yielded various fixes to permissions that I tried which did not work, but again I am not sure I have all the information I need.
I did not try to mount the vhd thru disk management as I don't want to reboot the laptop into XP, I just want to load my XP vhd the same way I can load XP Mode on the laptop. The whole reason I created the vhd of my existing system was to be able to use that instead of Windows 7's Virtual XP, since naturally the vhd has all my programs already installed.
I am not even sure if that's how virtual machines work, or if one needs to actually mount the vhd thru disk management and then reboot the machine to use it, since if that is the case I won't even bother with it.
Again I apologize if this issue has been addressed, but I have searched for concise instructions from start to finish for using Virtual Machines on Windows 7 but all I have found are bits and pieces that I have had to put together and it's a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the finished picture is supposed to look like.