Thursday, May 7th 2009

Not all AMD Processors Support 'XP Mode' in Windows 7

A new feature of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system that created a stir is its "XP mode" feature, where the operating system provides the user with a sandbox Windows XP desktop environment, complete with all its features, and application support. What makes the feature even more interesting that documents, settings, and XP-affine applications installed in the environment could be seamlessly integrated with the host Windows 7 environment.

It turns out now that the feature explicitly requires hardware-level virtualization support. AMD and Intel, both have their proprietary virtualization features, although the two chose to make it available only to a few CPU models. Generally, entry-level desktop/mobile CPUs don't carry the feature. For consumer client desktop variants of Windows 7, the "XP mode" feature would require AMD-V feature by the processor. Currently all processors by AMD support this, except those from the Sempron series, according to an AMD spokesperson. For enterprise variants of the OS, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) MED-V 2.0 builds on top of Windows Virtual PC and provides centralized management of Windows XP Mode. MED-V is a virtualization management platform. It will be made available within 90 days of the commercial availability of Windows 7.Source: CNET
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58 Comments on Not all AMD Processors Support 'XP Mode' in Windows 7

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
lemonadesoda said:
OK WAIT.

Isnt virtualisation possible even on a CPU that doesnt have VT feature set? Yes. The whole idea IIRC of VT chipset features was INSTANT bank switching of CPU register sets. That means you can virtualise without performance penalty due to register housekeeping. Whereas without VT feature set, you can implement VT but dont have the hardware acceleration, so it adds latency to the process.

Are we SURE than XP doesnt work on Win 7? Or is it just suboptimal and not going to run without causing a bit of performance loss.
Virtualization is possible, though this particular feature from Windows 7 requires a processor with Intel-VT or AMD-V.
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#2
Slessum
Polarman said:
Why on earth do you want to run a virtual XP inside Windows 7 ???

I tought that 7 would be more compatible than that.

I'd rather see a Virtual DOS that runs my legacy dos games.
you can run virtual dos, and there are alot of reasions that buisnesses would want to run xp on/in 7, one being older apps that are locked to a spicific windows version or IE version.

these apps are oh so very common in buisness, because they pay college students to make them (as well as just paying lazy programers in genral) that bind/build their app to only work with a spicific OS or browser, i have seen minor security updates for IE break these apps, dont even talk about moving from one version to another.......
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#3
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
lemonadesoda said:
OK WAIT.

Isnt virtualisation possible even on a CPU that doesnt have VT feature set? Yes. The whole idea IIRC of VT chipset features was INSTANT bank switching of CPU register sets. That means you can virtualise without performance penalty due to register housekeeping. Whereas without VT feature set, you can implement VT but dont have the hardware acceleration, so it adds latency to the process.

Are we SURE than XP doesnt work on Win 7? Or is it just suboptimal and not going to run without causing a bit of performance loss.
This is what I though also, something tells me that this is getting blown out of proportion and likely an error on the Microsoft page they are using as a soure. It wouldn't be the first time...

eidairaman1 said:
This i believe supports the hardware Directly and doesnt require you to buy additional software, Most Companies are still on Windows XP and this should make the transition a little easier, Now how efficient it will be all depends on how much the developers care about it, which i highly doubt they do as they want you to get the newest version of Office Etc anyway, office 2010 anyone?
Virtual PC has been free for years, since at least 2006. I use it to run XP on Vista all the time, Win98 too.

Polarman said:
Why on earth do you want to run a virtual XP inside Windows 7 ???

I tought that 7 would be more compatible than that.

I'd rather see a Virtual DOS that runs my legacy dos games.
Basically, it isn't meant for home uses, which is why it is only available on the business editions(and ultimate of course). In Microsoft's own article about it, they talk about it being a solution for businesses that have propriatary software that only runs in XP.

If you want a Virtual DOS to run legacy DOS games, then go get Virtual PC from Microsoft's site, and install the version of DOS you prefer, and run your games on that.
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#4
largon
*yawn*
It's not like hardware virtualization support would make a difference for majority of apps of VMs...
Posted on Reply
#5
h3llb3nd4
Ok, just got over being sad...
I can always use VMware:ohwell:
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#6
beyond_amusia
you know, all these companies that are going to complain about doing hardware upgrades for XP Mode are just ridiculous and I bet they still have a Windows 3.11 machine in a back office too - any decent company that is concerned about getting more done in less time retires a portion of their PCs once a year or so and replaces it with a well tested system from the OEM they are contracted to - these systems that will ship with Windows 7 Pro will most likely have VT enabled CPUs, thus allowing the company to move to Win 7 within 6 years (by then Windows 8 will most likely have it's first service pack). Most places do not bother with OS upgrades on anything but their servers because the platforms they'd be upgrading are usually obsolete by the time a new OS rolls around.
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#7
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
most companies will go with, if it's not broken, don't fix it.
Posted on Reply
#8
Andy77
Polarman said:
Why on earth do you want to run a virtual XP inside Windows 7 ???

I tought that 7 would be more compatible than that.
Because Sandboxie's devs won't make a 64 bit version so that 32 bit Xp comes in handy! That's what is all about - a compatibility mode, and it's actually faster and less annoying than it is on VMware.
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