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Windows 7: Windows Virtual PC in a Black hole

02 Mar 2015   #1

64 bit Win7 Pro
Windows Virtual PC in a Black hole

Hi. I need help please. Just migrated (late) from XP to Win7_64 pro and needed MS VM to run 4 large XP apps. I didn't want the virtual drives on my SSD C_Drive so created them on my 500Gb G_Drive.

I installed, checked and ran the apps in XP VM all o.k. The G drive contained 2 folders:

Windows XP mode (Tutorial, Key.txt, VXPEULA.txt, Windows XPMode base.vhd (about 1Gb))

and Windows XP virtual Machine ( windows XP mode.vhd (11.2Gb), Windows XP Mode.vmc, Windows XP Mode.vmc.vpcbackup, Windows XP Mode.vsv (1.5Gb)).

All was working fine but I couldn't figure out why my 11.2Gb of apps had grown so much, then learned about the XP base version. I wanted to be able to backup and restore my virtual drive. I shutdown VM (no hybernation!) and copied all the above files to a remote drive.

Then I evoked the VM MERGE option hoping I would see one VD file (which I did) but when I clicked on the desktop XP Mode link I got 'One or more files missing ... create new etc.

XP VM now broken, so I thought copy back the above 2 folders to the same location on G_Drive and try again - same message. So it appears links have been broken and whilst I have copies of the original VM folders I have been unable to restore my original XP VM. Although 'Create New' makes a second set of files.

I had a look in Windows system and feel sure there were entries under Virtual Machine which are no longer there. The desktop VM startup link is still pointing to %SystemRoot%\system32\rundll32.exe %SystemRoot%\system32\VMCPropertyHandler.dll,LaunchDefaultVM

I have backups of my VM installation (but excluding what was in Win7 system folders).

Can I restore my XP virtual PC from the saved backup files, which would be a rescue route for the future.

I have read many sources which describe the MERGE option, but the last line is usually a few words about restoring linking. If that is my problem, then my working XP VM is still in the black hole I don't know how to get out from!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2015   #2

64 bit Win7 Pro

No replies, but got it figured out here for Dummies like me:

1. Win7 must have a file entry with a .vmcx extension in the virtual machine folder. If there is no entry (no virtual machine) then create a new virtual machine, making sure in the creation you are linking to the existing .vhd virtual drive disc location.

2. You could right click the .vmcx file, create a shortcut and drag it to your Win7 desktop. That quickly gets your XPVM restored. Any links previously created may not work, probably because you got the 'Create New Virtual Machine' popup after the old link didn't work and executed it. Ignore it, XPVM is probably there, it is just the Win7 stupid links incorrect!

3. But Win7 has nasty features. Its 'integration' includes providing links in its programs folder to XPVM startups and applications. It allocates a numeric ID to each XP mode application in its registry under virtual machine.

4. Win7 uses an xml file in its system folders called options.xml. In the first few lines of xml there should be a path statement to your vhd file - your XP VM installation. It could be wrong, or in my case missing. Some text copy and paste to get it right and the links from Win7 to XPVM working again.

Windows Virtual PC - Create Virtual Machine

Windows Virtual PC Integration Features - Install, Enable, and Disable

How to Restore an Existing XP Mode VHD to a New Installation of Windows 7 - SkoNet
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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