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Windows 7: Problems creating new Windows XP virtual machine using existing vhd

25 Sep 2014   #1
kcleary

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Problems creating new Windows XP virtual machine using existing vhd

Hi,
I am trying to install a Windows XP VM on my computer (windows 7 ultimate x64) using an existing virtual hard drive. The existing vhd contains many important files I need for my work, and I lost access to it when my old computer crashed and took my previous Windows XP VM with it! Luckily I had a backup of the vhd.

I am following the tutorial here: Windows Virtual PC - Create Virtual Machine, but even though I successfully installed the new Windows XP VM using my existing vhd, when I open the VM it does not contain any of my old files...it's like it is using a new blank vhd.

What is going on? How can I recover my files?

Thanks a lot,
Kate


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
25 Sep 2014   #2
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Hi Kate, welcome to the Seven Forums.

To start please tell how did you backup / copy the old XP Mode, which vhd file or files from that you used when you created a new virtual machine?

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #3
kcleary

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

HI Kari,

Thanks for your quick response. From my old XP Mode I only have the old vhd file, it is called Windows XP Mode base.vhd. When I create the new machine, I just point to this file at Step 10 of this tutorial: Windows Virtual PC - Create Virtual Machine

As I said it works and a new VM is created, but it is a completely new VM that does not seem to be based on my old vhd file--none of my files are on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Sep 2014   #4
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kcleary View Post
From my old XP Mode I only have the old vhd file, it is called Windows XP Mode base.vhd.
Kate, that's the answer I was afraid to get. Please do not shoot the messenger but you copied / backed up a wrong vhd file. I am afraid that if you no longer have access to your old XP Mode you have lost your files.

I'll try to explain:

Assuming the user has not changed any default settings, a Windows XP Mode virtual machine consists of several files as the following list explains:
  • Windows XP Mode base.vhd
    • XP Mode base disk, contains the core elements of operating system (XP), no user data is saved on this virtual disk
    • default location C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode
  • Windows XP Mode.vhd
    • Virtual Machine virtual hard drive image, all user data and content is saved on this virtual disk
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
  • Windows XP Mode.vmcx
    • Virtual Machine description and registration settings
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\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.vmc.vpcbackup
    • Virtual Machine settings backup
    • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
    Additional files, only exist when certain criteria is met:
  • 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
  • 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
(Above list from the Seven Forums tutorial Virtual XP Machine - Copy.)

The XP Mode Base vhd really does not contain anything you had saved and / or installed on your XP Mode, it's just the system core, the operating system files needed for the XP Mode to run. All your personal stuff was saved on the Windows XP Mode.vhd, located at C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #5
kcleary

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi Kari,

Thanks for explaining that--I will not shoot the messenger! I may actually have a copy of some of those files on my old hard drive, I will look and see. Meanwhile, I won't waste any more time trying to install with the Windows XP base file...that in itself is helpful.

Thanks again,

Kate
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #6
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

If you find it, take the so called personal vhd (as opposed to base / core vhd), file name Windows XP Mode.vhd at C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines. Notice that AppData is a hidden folder by default.

On the new PC, install XP Mode and Virtual PC, reboot, run XP Mode once, close it, then create a new vm using this personal vhd of yours from the old installation as an existing vhd.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Problems creating new Windows XP virtual machine using existing vhd




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