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Windows 7: Questions about Windows Virtual PC and its Hard Drive Image

22 Dec 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Questions about Windows Virtual PC and its Hard Drive Image

Greetings,

I installed Windows Virtual PC (Version 6.1: Build 7601, SP 1) on my Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) machine so that I could run Windows XP Mode. I recently noticed that when I open up Windows XP Mode, it takes a REALLY LONG TIME to power up, and even longer powering down. In fact, sometimes, it doesn't power down completely, instead, I get an error message saying something went wrong, and the whole thing just shuts down. But when I open XP Mode again, it works fine.

I checked my computer and I see that the Windows XP Mode has a Virtual Machine Hard Drive image that's nearly 17 GB. It's located at: "C:\Users\My Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines". I've seen this file before, a while back, and it was about 5 GB (this was about 10 months ago). I'm assuming that this hard drive image logs all the logins and logouts of XP Mode, and it will likely continue to get bigger and bigger as I continue to use the software.

I use XP Mode primarily to use 3 programs that only work well on XP, so I'll continually need to use it. My questions:
1) Is there anything I can do to get this hard drive image to get smaller OR keep it from getting larger?
2) If I simply delete that hard drive image, will it re-appear OR cause my XP Mode to no longer work?

Thanks in advance for answering these questions. I'm not overly technical, but I know just enough about computers to be able to set up XP Mode on my own, and know how to use it to install software, so please keep in mind I'm not a techie when you respond. I appreciate it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Dec 2013   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I don't use Virtual PC but VMware Player virtual partitions. But let's see whether we can find out why this file mushrooms.

Is this file at "C:\Users\My Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines" a VHD ??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Do not delete that image file! It is the XP Mode; deleting it would be the same than formatting a system hard disk on a physical computer.

Windows XP Mode consists of two vhd files (vhd = Virtual Hard Disk):
  1. File Windows XP Mode base.vhd, the general (all users) part of Windows XP Mode, located in C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode
  2. File Windows XP Mode.vhd, your personal Windows XP Mode file, located in C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
When you install XP Mode, it stores the general parts, shared by every user of the XP system in the base file (# 1. above), and all user specific parts including your personal files, folders and installed software to that other vhd file (#2 above).

As any computer, the space XP Mode needs increases the longer you have used it. I would recommend you "clean" the XP Mode as you would any XP computer, deleting temp files and so on.

More about XP Mode files:

information   Information
By default, XP Mode virtual machine consists of five files when installed and run first time, plus two additional files if XP Mode is hibernated or the Undo Disk feature is enabled. The file names, extensions and default locations are:
  • Windows XP Mode.vmcx
    • Virtual Machine description and registration settings
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\Virtual Machines
  • Windows XP Mode.vhd
    • Virtual Machine virtual hard drive image
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
  • Windows XP Mode.vmc
    • Virtual Machine settings file
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
  • Windows XP Mode.vsv
    • Virtual Machine saved state file (hibernation data)
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
    • This file exists only when XP Mode is hibernated or is running. It is deleted automatically every time XP Mode is shut down
  • Windows XP Mode.vmc.vpcbackup
    • Virtual Machine settings backup
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
  • VirtualPCUndo_Windows XP Mode_X_Y_ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.vud
    • Virtual machine Undo-disk (X, Y & Z in the file name are replaced with digits)
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
    • This file exists only if so called Undo Disk is enabled in XP Mode settings
  • Windows XP Mode base.vhd
    • XP Mode base disk
    • default location C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode

(From: Virtual XP Machine - Copy)

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Dec 2013   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If those are VHD's (as Kari confirms), you can mount them in Disk Management and see what's inside. Go to Disk Management > Action button > Attach. Then you will have a virtual drive in My Computer that you can open like any other drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2013   #5

Windwos 7
 
 
Try Oracle VM VirtualBox

Dear pebkacTOO,

Why don't you use Oracle VM , well known as (VirtualBox) as its more powerful than any other vm software and it has many options that you will discover easily once you put a hand on it.

Also, if there is a good application to turn your current physical disk to an vhd , its called Disk2vhd so its the batter format to deal with any visualization application.


All the best,
Mahmood Shehab
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mahmood Shehab View Post
Dear pebkacTOO,

Why don't you use Oracle VM.
Dear Mahmood,

Using another virtualization program does in no way answer the OP's question, especially when we are talking about a Windows XP Mode virtual machine image which is free to use on Windows Virtual PC, and according to license agreement only on it. Transferring said image to any other platform is against EULA.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2013   #7

Windwos 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mahmood Shehab View Post
Dear pebkacTOO,

Why don't you use Oracle VM.
Dear Mahmood,

Using another virtualization program does in no way answer the OP's question, especially when we are talking about a Windows XP Mode virtual machine image which is free to use on Windows Virtual PC, and according to license agreement only on it. Transferring said image to any other platform is against EULA.

Kari
Dear Kari,

Orcale virtual box is free and there is not no license agreement needed.

The virtual pc is not the best ever in the visualization world,however it has many problem even in installing it.

If you want to get your work done you have to get experience in many application to satisfied the meaning of integrate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Mahmood - the EULA is specific to the Microsoft image, and not VBox. I think you have misunderstood Kari's post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2013   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

As Golden already mentioned above, you misunderstood my post.

Of course I know Oracle's VirtualBox is free, as is VMware Player. My point is that Windows XP Mode is free only when used on Windows Virtual PC. For that the user needs no XP license and product key. Using this XP image on any other virtualization platform is against EULA.

To legally install Windows XP to VirtualBox, the user would need both XP install media and a valid product key.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mahmood Shehab View Post
The virtual pc is not the best ever in the visualization world,however it has many problem even in installing it.
I have never had any issues in installing Windows Virtual PC, no problems whatsoever. If you are not able to install it, ask us and we'll help you.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2013   #10

Windwos 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mahmood Shehab View Post
The virtual pc is not the best ever in the visualization world,however it has many problem even in installing it.
Quote:
I have never had any issues in installing Windows Virtual PC, no problems whatsoever. If you are not able to install it, ask us and we'll help you.

Kari
Dear Kari,

I am not using v p and I don't need support in it as I am not interested it ( personal choice).

If you are Virtual PC expert and have the time to help others, herewith below some cases waiting for you!
fixing url
Can not install Virtual PC
Win7 -> VirtualPC -> Win7 -> Windows can't communicate with the device
Windows XP Mode wont work.
Cannot install Windows Virtual PC
Resolution goes back to 640x480 when restarting the OS
Can't attach USB or see printer in XP mode
Problem installing prolific 2303 drivers in virtual xp mode
XP Mode using update and Virtual Machine is slow
XP Mode Integration Features not enabled.
XP mode and scanner MUSTEK 1200USB
virtual pc will not connect
Win XP Mode runs slow
XP-mode crashes when opening \\tsclient\C or other Win7 disks

Good luck and enjoy it.
Mahmood Shehab
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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