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Downgrade Vista to XP with Virtual PC 2007


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									The Free and Easy Way to Downgrade from Windows Vista to XP

If you have Windows Vista installed on your laptop or PC and yearn for the good old
days of Windows XP compatibility and miss the familiar interface, there is a solution
that will cost you nothing but your time to do it.

It involves the creation of a virtual PC on your existing machine using Virtual PC
2007 software by Microsoft. A virtual PC is the just what it sounds like. A completely
separate computer that runs in software on the same system as your original PC. What
this means is that, you can have Windows Vista running on one virtual PC and
Windows XP on the other. Both at the same time. This way, you can have the
compatibility of Windows XP today and still enjoy the new software coming out that
takes advantage of Windows Vista. Once installed correctly, you'll be able to switch
back and forth between operating systems just as easily as you switch between
programs now.

The beauty of this arrangement is that it works either way. If you have XP, you can
add Vista without losing your Windows XP operating system.

*Note: Before making any system changes, be sure to backup your data to an external
drive or other external data storage. Anytime you make major changes to your system,
always take this precaution. It will save you a world of pain.

Of course, free only means no money. Creating 2 virtual machines has a cost in terms
of PC memory, hard drive space and performance.

Installing applications in a guest OS increases requirements. Increasing memory
beyond the minimum required can result in significant performance increases.

A vital thing to remember before choosing a virtual machine is that you'll need lots of
RAM installed on your system. More RAM than you ever thought of needing before.
While you'll probably have enough CPU cycles to spare, you need enough RAM for
both operating systems to run comfortably. As long as you have double your
comfortable minimum, you should be fine.

To really have optimal performance and take advantage of this setup, you should have
at least 2GB RAM, and many gigs of hard drive space. I recommend you strongly
consider a 4 GB setup if you plan on running lots of apps simultaneously and plan on
using up an extra 20 gigs of drive space.

Also worth noting is that installations of Windows XP or Vista will require their own
product keys, regardless of whether your host computer is also running it. Since the
virtual PC will see whatever hardware your virtual machine portends to have, it will
assume that it is a new computer in need of new activation. You'll also need a licensed
copy of Windows XP to be legitimate. Fortunately, unlike Vista, XP's EULA doesn't
forbid virtual machines. Only Vista Business and Ultimate can be legally run in a
virtual environment. Any other flavours of Vista could cause issues if you need
official support.

Microsoft has a blog for Virtual PC 2007 that you should check out before making
any changes to get a better feel for what the benefits are of switching to a virtual OS
and the kinds of issues you may face in running 2 OS's at once.

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