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Windows 7: Running VMXP from External HD

21 Mar 2010   #1

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Running VMXP from External HD

I have had a frustrating day. I have been trying to create a VMXP on my external HD. When i create it on the external drive, i look at the settings and it is using a parent vhd on the C: drive. It is also storing all the data on the vhd located on the C: Drive. I have tried merging vhds, or creating new ones. Whenever i have it using one vhd on my external HD, it will not start and asks me to create a new VMXP. Can anyone here tell me how i can make a VMXP that runs entirely on my external HD, leaving nothing on the C: Drive, except the one file where you change settings from "Manage Virtual Machine", infact if theres a way of having that file on the HD as well that would be very usefull. Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


I assume with VMXP you mean Windows XP Mode?

What differs Windows XP Mode from other Virtual PC virtual machines is that it needs a parent disk. This parent disk is by default located in C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd

information   Information
The XP Mode parent disk should not be moved, edited or altered in any way or the original XP Mode virtual machine loses its functionality!

Only delete it if you are not going to use XP Mode anymore

If you want to move the virtual XP completely to another partition, you have to merge (join together) the parent disk with your XP Mode vhd.

Here's how:
  • Open the folder Virtual Machines, located in your user folder
  • Right click Windows XP Mode, choose Settings from context menu
  • Choose Hard Disk 1, click Modify

    Running VMXP from External HD-xpm_merge_1.png
  • Choose Merge virtual hard disk

    Running VMXP from External HD-xpm_merge_2.png
  • Choose New file, browse to location you want to save it and give it a name. Click Merge

    Running VMXP from External HD-xpm_merge_3.png
Be patient, merging can easily take an hour. The new, merged Windows XP vhd is a standalone disk which does not need the parent disk.

After the merged vhd is done, you have to create a new virtual machine and mount your new XP virtual machine to it. This tutorial tells you how to do it: Windows Virtual PC - Create Virtual Machine

If you want, you can now delete the XP Mode parent disk and original vhd.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Running VMXP from External HD

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