How to install Windows XP on VirtualBox (Win 7/8/10)

Windows XP is extremely outdated. But that has not stopped Windows enthusiasts from using it. The operating system is so light that every modern machine can run it. If you have Oracle VM VirtualBox, you can even install Windows XP on a Linux device.

install Windows XP on VirtualBox

But how do you use VirtualBox? Once VirtualBox is in place, how do you install Windows XP on VirtualBox? This guide will give you answers:

How to Install Windows XP on Virtual Box

Step 1. Download Virtual Box and Windows XP ISO

Do you have VirtualBox? If you don’t, download the program. It will mimic your computer by providing a platform to house the operating system. This goes without saying. Download VirtualBox from a trustworthy source.

Download Windows XP ISO

Download Virtual Box

Step 2. Launch the program

Go to ‘Machine’ and then ‘New.’ The goal is to access the virtual machine creation wizard. You can also find it in the tool menu.

Create Virtual Machine

Step 3. Enter the name of the operating system in the Name field

Make sure you type ‘Windows XP.’ Once you enter the name, the program will adjust the Type and Version field values accordingly. 

However, you should pay attention to the version of windows. The program may specify a 32-bit OS when you prefer 64-bit or vice versa. Fortunately, you can change this value manually. 

Create Virtual Machine

You can also specify the location where you want to install the virtual machine. Use the Machine Folder section to make this change. If you don’t alter the location, the program will use the default location. 

Create Virtual Machine

Naturally, you have to configure the specs of the virtual machine to match the demands of the operating system. XP needs 512MB of RAM. But you can settle for 4GB, especially if you have a modern machine with a lot of RAM.

Step 4. A virtual machine needs a virtual hard disc

You can create one by going to the virtual hard disc settings. The settings will give you the option of either making a virtual hard disc or using an existing virtual hard disc file. 

A virtual machine needs a virtual hard disc

The second option applies to consumers with an XP virtual disc on the computer. You can also choose a third option where you don’t create a virtual hard disk.

Step 5. VirtualBox will prompt you to select a hard disk file type

Your options include VDI, VHD, and VMDK. You can choose any file type that suits you. However, many professionals will recommend the VirtualBox Disk Image (VDI).

The program will eventually ask you to specify the storage. VirtualBox wants to know if it should allow the virtual hard disk space to expand as the need arises or if it should set a maximum size.

The ‘Fixed Size’ option will limit the size of the virtual hard disk. ‘Dynamically Allocated’ is the superior option because it allows the virtual machine to manage the resources it has on hand. 

Once this is done, you have the option of changing the file location and size. But you can skip this step if the default options are adequate. 

Step 6. All that is left at this point is to click ‘Create’ to make the virtual hard disk

Once this is done, you can use the settings tab to adjust the hardware components. 

Do you want to transfer files from the host and virtual machine or vice versa? You can also enable that setting at this stage. Go to ‘General’ and look for ‘Shared Clipboard’ and ‘Drag n’ Drop.’ Set the options to ‘Bidirectional.’

Create’ to make the virtual hard disk

Step 7. Now, with your virtual machine in place, you can start the process of installing XP

But before you proceed, stay in the settings. Go to ‘System’ and ‘Motherboard.’ Go to ‘Boot Order’ and consider the options. You can make the optical device, hard disk, floppy, or network the primary boot device.

process of installing XP

Go to ‘Processor’ and set the core count. Keep this value at four or above. Although, the host processor may influence your decision. 

Step 8. Don’t ignore that last tab

It isn’t mandatory, but you should take a moment to visit ‘Acceleration’ to determine whether you want to manually alter the ‘Hardware Virtualization’ and ‘Paravirtualization Interface options. 

Step 9. Next is ‘Display’ and ‘Screen.’

This allows you to configure the ‘Monitor Count,’ ‘Scale Factor,’ and ‘Graphics Controller.’ You can also enable 3D acceleration. The ‘Remote Display’ and ‘Recording’ tabs don’t matter. 

Next is ‘Display’ and ‘Screen.’

Turn your attention to ‘Storage.’ Enable the Host I/O cache. Other important steps include checking the ‘Solid-State Drive’ option, adding the XP ISO file you downloaded, and clicking ‘Start.’

Step 10. Wait for VirtualBox to show the start-up window before selecting the ISO image and then ‘Start.’ 

At this point, you can install XP the way you usually would on any other machine. The operating system will display a start screen. Choose between setting up Windows, repairing Windows, and quitting. 

selecting the ISO image and then Start

XP will show you a relatively long license agreement. Read it and accept. You can’t install XP without agreeing to the information in this document. 

Step 11. The installer will ask you to organize your disk space, creating partitions where necessary

Format the virtual disk. Make sure you select NFTS. It is superior to other options.


Once the formatting process starts, a yellow bar will show you your progress. When it gets to the end, the installer will copy all the relevant files to the disk.

Step 12. It requires to restart

The virtual machine will either restart automatically or prompt you to restart it by pressing a button. But you’re not done. The configuration process will continue once the virtual machine starts. 

You need to enter some basic information, including your region, language of choice, date, time, and name. You must also provide the product key to authenticate your copy of the operating system. 

You can create multiple profiles to accommodate the other users of the virtual machine. Don’t forget to adjust your network settings.

With the operating system configured, you can sit back and watch as the installer finishes installing XP.

Step 13. The virtual machine will restart once more

When it boots up, it will show you the Windows XP desktop.

The virtual machine will restart once more

You can start using the operating system however you wish. As you can see, the hardest part is creating the virtual machine. XP is not that difficult to install. 

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Mukul is the Founder Of "Technogone" he has a very deep interest in all technology topics and games whatsoever. his passion, making ability make him stand apart from others.

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