How to set up a Windows XP Virtual Machine

Using a Virtual Machine (VM) is the best way to play old games on their native operating system. This allows you to run a different operating system inside your current one. To do this, you need to download virtual machine software, as well as the operating system you want to play the game on. Then, you can load up that OS into the virtual machine and install the game. In most cases, you can start playing the game right away.

In today’s rapidly advancing technological world, many older applications and games are no longer compatible with modern operating systems. To use legacy software, creating a virtual machine running an older operating system, like Windows XP, is an excellent solution. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to set up a Windows XP virtual machine on your modern computer.

1. Download and Install Virtualization Software

The first step in setting up a virtual machine is to download and install a virtualization program. There are many options available, but for this guide, we will be using Oracle’s VirtualBox, a free and open-source virtualization software.

  1. Download VirtualBox from the official website and install it on your computer.
  2. Once installed, open VirtualBox, and you will be greeted with the main interface.

2. Download the Windows XP ISO File

The next step is to obtain a copy of the Windows XP operating system. You can purchase a physical copy or download an ISO file from the internet. However, it is essential to ensure that the copy of the operating system is legal and properly licensed.

  1. Download the Windows XP ISO file from a trusted source.

3. Create a New Virtual Machine

Now that you have both the virtualization software and Windows XP ISO file, it’s time to create a new virtual machine.

  1. Click on the “New” button in the VirtualBox main interface.
  2. Enter a name for your virtual machine, such as “Windows XP,” and select “Microsoft Windows” as the type and “Windows XP” as the version.
  3. Choose the amount of RAM and hard drive space you would like to allocate to your virtual machine.
  4. Click “Create” to create your virtual machine.

4. Install Windows XP on the Virtual Machine

With the virtual machine created, it’s time to install Windows XP onto it.

  1. Select the virtual machine you just created and click “Start.”
  2. In the VirtualBox window, click “Select a virtual optical disk file,” and choose the Windows XP ISO file you downloaded earlier.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Windows XP on the virtual machine.

5. Configure the Virtual Machine

Once Windows XP is installed, it’s time to configure the virtual machine to make it run smoothly.

  1. Install VirtualBox Guest Additions. This software provides additional features, such as better video support and the ability to share folders between your host and virtual machine.
  2. Set up networking. You can either use NAT or Bridged networking to connect to the internet from within the virtual machine.
  3. Adjust the display settings. You may need to tweak the display settings to get the best performance and resolution.

Running a Windows XP Virtual machine using VMWare

Setting up this machine will allow you to run most games that were released for PC between 1996 and 2006.

First of all you will need to download these:

  1. VMWare Workstation 12:
  2. Windows XP Professional:!vEVimKwJ!qaqBh8vhZ-C7d75qrbQSim8mUxfbd9QWntfDRu8ZSKc

Then follow these steps:

  1. Open VMWare and select “create a new virtual machine”
  2. Select installer disc image file (iso), go to “Browse…” and select the downloaded Windows XP ISO file. Click on “Next”.
  3. They will ask you to insert a product key – you can leave it empty. Put in your name and (optionally) a password. Then click on “Next”. Click “Yes” to the popup where they tell you that you didn’t enter a product key.
  4. You can choose a name for your Windows XP virtual machine – or you can leave it at default and then click “Next” again.
  5. You can choose the Hard Drive space for your virtual machine, you can leave this at default and then click on “Next”. Then select “Finish”.
  6. Windows XP will begin installing. During the setup, they will ask you for a product key. You can use:
  7. Wait for the setup to finish installing. Once finished, Windows XP should start up (tip: keep your sound on, you’ll definitely get a nostalgic rush hearing the Windows XP opening music!)
  8. You now have a fully functional Windows XP virtual machine with which you can play your favorite old Windows games! Enjoy!


In conclusion, setting up a Windows XP virtual machine is a great way to use older applications and games that are no longer compatible with modern operating systems. With this guide, you should be able to create and configure a virtual machine with ease, allowing you to enjoy your favorite legacy software. Remember to always use legal and properly licensed copies of the software, and to take appropriate security measures when using an older operating system.