Microsoft provides free downloads of Windows XP, provided you use a virtual machine. In this article, we will show you how it should be done!
Windows XP is the world’s old, but dominated operating system during its heydays. This Windows XP is not officially supported, however, but is available for free download and use in bootable ISO image form.
Yeah, there’s nothing we need to pay for Windows XP Service Pack 3 and ISO licenses, all of which are available on the internet archive website.
Here is how to install Windows XP as a Windows 10 emulator on Oracle VirtualBox, step by step, using its ISO file. This will allow you to continue using Windows XP on your Emulator without installing it on your PC.
Windows XP Virtual Machine on VirtualBox
Here is a glance of the steps we are going to follow for the installation of Window XP Virtual Machine using ISO file on VirtualBox running on Windows 10.
However, the steps will be the same for Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
Download Windows XP ISO file and copy the license key as well and save it on a notepad. For links see the main step 1 of this article.
Install Oracle VirtualBox on your Windows 10/8/7 PC
Run the VirtualBox and click on the NEW button to create a new Virtual Machine.
Type the name of OS -Windows XP and rest will set by default.
Create Virtual Hard disk (VHD) and set RAM.
Select the created Windows XP virtual Machine appearing on the left side of the VirtualBox main screen.
Click on Settings option from the menu.
Select the StorageSettings
Click on the empty CD icon and then again from the attributes select the CD icon.
Navigate and select the downloaded windows XP ISO file.
Save it and Start the Virtual Machine and Windows XP boot menu will appear.
Follow the installation wizard and it will be on your Oracle Virtualbox to experience.
Step 1: Download Windows XP ISO and License
The first step towards the Virtual installation is to get an ISO image of this old operating system. As I mentioned above that it is free and avail by Microsoft itself officially along with License key.
Thus, use this link which will open the page of Archive.org, where click on the ISO image link given on the right side under the Download section, this will allow you to download Windows XP Professional SP3 x86 ISO image.
Just on the same page, the free but official professional key for the same will have been given. Copy that and jot down somewhere like NotePad.
Step 2: Install VirtualBox on Windows 10/8/7
So, we have now the ISO file of Windows XP professional 32-bit service pack 3, its time to get the Oracle VirtualBox. Here is the link to Download VBox.
In case you already have the Vbox on your system then simply move to next. The installation of the VBox is like any other executable software meant for Windows nothing will be complicated at all.
Step 3: Create a Virtual Machine for Windows XP
Run VirtualBox and click on the New button given on the Menu of it. Now in the Name box, type- Windows XP and its corresponding options will automatically get setup. Then click on the Next button.
Step 4: Set Memory Size (Virtual RAM)
Although Windows XP perfectly works under 512 MB RAM, however, here we are assigning 1GB for better working and smooth performance.
Step 5: Create Virtual Hard disk (VHD) for XP virtual machine
To store the installation file we need to attach a Virtual Hard drive to our Virtual Machine. The VirtualBox will automatically set it to 10GB which is enough. Thus, leave the default settings and click on the NEXT.
On the Next window, it will ask you to select the type of Virtual Hardrive, by default it will be VDI, however, here we are selecting VHD.
It is because in case, tomorrow we want to run it under Windows Hyper-V, we can easily use the Windows XP VHD image.
Next, Select Dynamic allocated option.
File allocation and Size: By default, the VirtualBox will save all file of the machine on C: drive, if you want to change click on the folder icon and select the place.
Finally, click on the Create button.
Step 6: Set ISO Image for Boot
Select the created VirtualMachine and click on the Settingsbutton given on the top menu of VBox.
From Settings -> click on the Storage-> Empty CD icon under storage device-> again on CD icon of Attributes and then “Choose Virtual Optical Disk File“.
An explorer will open select the downloaded Windows XP ISO image.
Click on the OK button.
Step 7: Start Window XP Virtual Machine
Now, our XP Virtual Machine is ready, time to boot it up. For that select the created virtual machine from the left side of the VBox panel and click on the Start button given in the menu of the same.
Step 8: Installing Window XP
Windows XP Professional Setup will open, press the Enter button to continue.
Press F8 to accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement.
As we are installing Windows XP on VirtualBox, thus, a single partition will appear, simply press the enter button to format the whole partition.
By default, slow formatting option will be selected, use the arrow key of the keyboard and select “ Format the partition using the NTFS file system (Quick)”.
After some time, it will ask you to enter the license key for Windows XP. Type this official serial key: MRX3F-47B9T-2487J-KWKMF-RPWBY and click on the NEXT button to complete the installation.
Once it will be done, you will get the old but very familiar interface of Windows XP with familiar startup sound.
Thus, in this way, we can install our old Windows XP system on VirtualBox Virtual Machine for testing legacy software or learning purpose.