Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: SOLVED: Run XP Mode Explorer from Windows 7

04 Oct 2012   #1
BigAlUK

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
SOLVED: Run XP Mode Explorer from Windows 7

As a software developer, I still need to run older development tools under XP and still want to use version control tools like Tortoise SVN. Ideally I wanted to do this using the seamless XP Mode, but SVN largely works via Explorer extensions, which would therefore not be accessible directly from the Windows 7 host if installed in the VM.

However, I noticed the integration of the XP Mode's Explorer dialog in the Open/Save of programs running as virtual XP applications in Windows 7. This surely meant that XP Mode Explorer itself can function as a virtual application?

But there are some peculiar stumbling blocks to making that happen. First off, the publishing of Explorer.EXE is prevented by an entry in the VM's registry. Removing that did NOT do the trick! It would appear that other (undocumented?) hindrances exist.

My solution turned out to be incredibly simple: just copy Explorer.EXE from the VM's Windows folder to the VM's Programs folder, and rename the copy as XPModeExplorer.EXE. Then create a shortcut to that renamed copy in the All User's Start Menu of the VM.

Not only did this work, (much to my surprise, given the said hindrances), but it also worked sensibly and (so far) reliably! Be aware, of course, that the folder listings and the right-click Explorer extensions are all in the context of the VM, not Windows 7. Don't expect to be able to drag and drop between Explorer windows of XP Mode and Windows 7 - although Copy and Paste does work.

Here's a screenshot:

Name:  XPMExplorer.png
Views: 25
Size:  74.5 KB

This screenshot shows how a Tortoise SVN checked out folder is correctly displayed with its overaly icon in the XP Mode Explorer window. Right-clicking this provides the correct Tortoise SVN operations and these work properly as XP-Mode instances (whether or not Tortoise SVN is installed under Windows 7 itself).

This means I can run my ancient Delphi compiler as a virtual XP application in Windows 7, keeping the developed code inside the VM, and still benefit from an Explorer-based toolset like Tortoise SVN without having to close Delphi and restart the VM.

Whilst this does not allow Windows 7 host applications to save directly to the VM folders, I can at least keep the VM "closed" when switching between Windows 7 applications and virtual XP applications. Plus, copy-and-paste between two Explorer windows allows two-way transfer between the host and the VM without having to fully start-up the VM. This is an added bonus.

Note that having Aero switched on is a good idea, since it makes it very obvious when you are using the XP Explorer rather than the Windows 7 Explorer (just visible behind it in the above capture).

Mission accomplished!




My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Oct 2012   #2
BigAlUK

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ok - have used the XP Mode Explorer trick for a while now without any real problems.

XP MODE MY DOCUMENTS FOLDER

However, it did irk me somewhat that the "My Documents" special folder in the open/save dialogs of XP Mode and in the tree of my XPModeExplorer.exe were defaulting to the PUBLIC documents folder of the host. Not very secure.

A bit of research showed that Windows 7 pokes some folder defaults into the XP Mode VM registry when using the seamless XP Mode operation. This cannot be "overridden" (with tools like TweakUI) - at least not permanently. Windows 7 will always poke the latest "tsclient"-based references into both the documents and desktop special folder entries of the VM whenever it restarts the seamless mode. Oddly, it does not do this for My Pictures, My Videos, etc. I assume that is because the designer of this feature assumed these special folders would normally reside under "My Documents" anyway.

So, the trick is now how to alter what Windows 7 pokes. I could not find anything in the VM XML settings file, nor anything on the Internet to guide how it could be changed. Indeed, even searches through both the VM and the Windows 7 registries proved fruitless. HOWEVER...

Quite by chance I stumbled on the "tick" that resides beside the My Documents, Public Documents, etc folders in the Documents LIBRARY mechanism of Windows 7. This tick determines the "default save location" of the library. And it turns out that if you change the default, it affects ALL the XP Mode programs when running in seamless mode: INCLUDING my XPModeExlporer.exe!

So having changed this to "My Documents" rather than "Public Documents", I feel that bit more secure!

Name:  Clip1.png
Views: 8
Size:  54.1 KB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 SOLVED: Run XP Mode Explorer from Windows 7




Thread Tools





Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
has the windows 7 explorer folder refresh bug been solved?
Hi, for a long time I've been having a problem where windows 7 does not refresh the folder or desktop views when I do things like copy/paste files, rename files, create a new file/folder, etc. I have to press F5 in order to get the correct view. After maybe 5-10 minutes of dealing with this...
General Discussion
How to set Windows Explorer to open always in fullscreen mode (W7)
I would like to know if is there a possibility to set Windows 7 to open any window (explorer.exe) in fullscreen mode. I can do it when I just press F11, like in Internet Explorer, to activate fullscreen mode. Although I can't set up as default mode. Thanks! Printscreen of my desktop:...
Customization
Internet Explorer 9 hangs for new user - Solved
I added a new user to my Windows 7 32-bit Netbook and found that most web pages would not load for the new user. Whenever I clicked on a link or typed a new URL, IE9 would stop responding but worked fine for existing users. When launching IE9 with no add-ons, IE9 worked correctly for the new...
Browsers & Mail
Explorer running slow in normal mode, fine in safe mode.?
Hey guys I've checked through some of the tuts and what-not on this forum and still can't find a way to get me out of trouble.. i turned my computer on yesterday (23rd September) and there was an automatic update. Ever since the update my computer has been extremely slow (will take several minutes...
Performance & Maintenance
Boot Hang Solved; separately Sleep Problem Solved
I want to share how I solved these problems to give back to the many posters I read here who helped me. First, the sleep problem. The second day after I installed Windows 7, the computer went to hybrid sleep (s3) overnight. When I moved the mouse the case light came on, the fans roared to life...
Performance & Maintenance
XP Mode wouldn't install solved, thought I would pass along the reason
I recently installed Win7 Ult 64bit which for me was an upgrade from XP Pro 32. Pretty much every former program I had worked albeit one which was a 16 bit program, AutoCADLT 97, that wouldn't even load. So with recommendations from members on the board, I went to install the...
Virtualization

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 16:18.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App