Running a virtualised version of Windows XP on a Windows 7 PC can be useful for running legacy software programs. But the most popular way of doing so limits you to 32bit XP, and therefore on 3GB RAM. Here's how to run 64bit Windows XP on a Windows 7 PC or laptop.
QUESTION I'm looking to build a PC for use as a Windows 7 Professional CAD workstation. It will probably have 8- or 16GB of RAM. I have legacy software running on XP. Can you tell me if all the RAM will be available in XP Mode? Anon
HELPROOM ANSWER The Windows XP emulation mode offered with Windows 7 Professional runs a 32bit version of XP. The maximum amount of memory available to the guest operating system is 3,712MB.
If you use another virtualisation program, such as the free VirtualBox from Oracle, you will be able to run 64bit guest operating systems, including Windows XP 64bit. However, you will need to purchase a copy of Windows XP 64bit to do so.