' August 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Windows XP Mode

Do you have Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate? Do you have programs that are only compatible with Windows XP? If you answered yes, you could download a free copy of Windows XP to run programs that aren't compatible with Windows 7. However, this will only work on Windows 7, and no other versions of Windows. Here's how you can do this.

1) Open the official Microsoft download page for Windows XP Mode, choose your language, and click the green Continue button.
You will be required to verify that you are running Windows 7 Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate, and that your copy of Windows is legitimate. The webpage that indicates so is shown below.
Open the "GenuineCheck" executable file, and your computer will be checked. If all is successful, you will see the following window:
You will receive an 8-digit code that you will use to verify Windows. Click "Copy to Clipboard" to copy this code, but do not close this window just yet. Switch back to the browser window, and paste your code into the field where indicated with a green arrow in the below screenshot.
Once you've pasted the code, click "Validate". If the code's correct, you will see about the same download page you saw when you initially clicked the link, but the download will be unlocked. You may close the window that provided you the code, and click the "Download" button on the web page. This time, when you click "Download", you will be shown the following screen:
You have 2 options at this point. You may download "WindowsXPMode_N_en-us.exe", but this version of Windows XP Mode does not contain Windows Media Player. If you want Windows XP Mode to include Windows Media Player, choose the first option and click "Next", as indicated in the above screenshot.
When you have chosen your version and clicked "Next", then you will see:
Once downloaded, open the file and proceed to step 2.

2) When you open the XP Mode installer, it will extract files that are necessary to install.

When this is complete, the installer starts.
Click "Next", and you will asked where to place the program files.
It's recommended that you leave the location the way it is, but you may change it if you choose. Just remember the location, as you will need it in the future.
Click "Next" again, and installation will begin.
You may get a User Account Control window asking if you want to let the program run with administrator privileges. If so, please provide the administrator password or click "Yes".
Once the install completes successfully, you will be shown confirmation of where you installed the files.
Make note of the location that the installer mentions, and then click "Finish" to finish the installation of Windows XP Mode. Proceed to step 3.

3) Next, we need to download VMlite. Note that you must uninstall all versions of VirtualBox installed on your computer before installing VMLite, or conflicts between VirtualBox and VMLite will occur. VirtualBox will work as well, but under VirtualBox, you can only run XP Mode for 30 days, as you will need to activate it at some point or another. VMlite will automatically take care of this activation procedure. You are going to need an account at the VMlite web site from this point on. If you don't, you may register at their website here. Anyway, once you have registered (or you have a valid login), you can download VMlite here. This is what the download page looks like:
If you attempt to download the file without logging in, it will not download, and will come to a point where you have no choice but to login. The below screenshot is an example of what you would see if you were logged in, and it also shows that the file has been unlocked and is downloading.

Open the file, and proceed to step 4.

4) When you open the file, the installer starts.
Click "Next", and you will be asked to comply with the license agreement.
If you agree, click the appropriate option and click "Next".
Choose your options (optional), and click "Next" again.
Click "Next" once more, and the installation will begin.

Do you remember the UAC prompt you may have encountered when installing Windows XP Mode? If you see it again, do the same thing you did before: allow it.

You may get approximately 4 prompts to install device software. This is what one of these prompts looks like:
You must click "Install" to each of them, or the installation of VMlite will fail.

Once the installation of VMlite succeeds, you will see the following screen:
Click "Close", and proceed to step 5.

5) The setup wizard to configure Windows XP Mode will start.
Click the option that says to "Specify the path of the XP mode package or a virtual disk file", and in the text box that follows it, type the following string:

C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd

A checkbox will automatically pop-up under the text box with an option to "Make a copy of the virtual disk". Leave this option checked, and click "Next".

You should leave the settings the way they are (but you may tamper with them if you choose), and click "Next" again.

When the virtual disk is being copied, you may see this:
If you do, close it. When the virtual disk prep is complete, you will see:
Click "Finish", and proceed to step 6.

6) When you click "Finish", Windows XP Mode will start, and you will have to set up Windows. As Windows XP boots, you may be asked to 'enter your credentials', as shown below:
Every time you see this (even after you have set up Windows XP, and you're booting it in the future), you must press "Cancel". If you don't, then when you get to the Windows sign-in screen, you will get an error message in Windows XP saying that the user doesn't exist. Anyway, once Windows finishes booting, you will see:
The computer name is required (type a computer name that you can recognize), but the administrator password fields are optional. Click Next, and setup continues. Once Windows setup is finished, and it (the virtual machine) restarts, you will see the Windows XP desktop shown below.
At this point, you may wish to install the Guest Additions, but this is up to you. To install the Guest Additions, click the Devices menu at the top of the window, click "Install Guest Additions...", and follow the directions. Otherwise, you're all set.

To launch Windows XP Mode in the future, you can open the Start Menu -> All Programs -> VMLite Workstation -> VMLite XP Mode.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Review & Tour of Genymotion

Do you remember my first post on how to get AndroVM up and running in VirtualBox? Those .ova files you downloaded were from the AndroVM project. What I didn't mention in my blog post, however, is that the AndroVM project went commercial, and it is now called Genymotion. First, I will tour you through Genymotion, and then I will review this product.

First and foremost, you will need a Genymotion account. You may create one, or login, here. Once you have logged in, you will see the settings page for your account, which will let you change account details, or if you so wish, delete your account. Anyway, you should read the user guide before you download Genymotion. The options you should use are pointed out in this screenshot.
When you click "Download Genymotion", you will see a number of different options. These options are broken down in the second screenshot:
Click on the file you want to download, and do your stuff with the installer. Once you've installed Genymotion, open it. As it starts up, you will see a splash screen. This is what the main Genymotion program looks like:
When you click "Add", you will be asked for your credentials to login to Genymotion:
Enter your Genymotion account login info, and click "Connect" in the login window.
Once you sign in, you will see a list of virtual devices you can download. The field above this, or "Already downloaded virtual devices", shows a list of devices that you have already downloaded, and can re-use without having to repeat the download process. Anyway, you can pick the device you want to emulate in Genymotion, and click the "Add" button. I recommend the virtual devices with Google Apps built-in, but you may choose any device you want. In this case, we will be emulating a Nexus 7 (Android 4.1.1), tablet+phone version, with Google Apps.

When you have chosen your preferred device and clicked "Add", you will see a confirmation window asking you if you want your chosen device:
Click "Next" if this is what you want, and the download will start:
Once the download completes, click "Next":
Name your new creation, and click "Create".
Click "Finish", and it's back to the main Genymotion screen:
Need to configure your device? Right-click the device listing, and click "Device settings". If you want to remove it, right-click on it, and click "Delete".
To start your device, double-click on it, or click on your device, and then "Play" at the top of the window.
When you first start your device, you may be asked this question:
If you have the Android SDK, click Yes. If you don't, click No or "Stop asking me". Here's what the Genymotion Emulator looks like:
From this point, you're free to explore Android. See my first post (specifically, steps 5 and beyond) for instructions on setting up Android. Keep in mind, however, that you should always start any Android devices that you downloaded within Genymotion. Just in case you get any ideas to start your device in VirtualBox, here's something you should know. Your device does show up in VirtualBox, but you may not want to start it.
If you start your Android device in VirtualBox, this is what you see:
You get the picture.


All in all, this is a great program for emulating Android. It doesn't showcase all the features Android has, and there are a few bugs with Genymotion, but it's still a useful tool for the Android beginner, developer, or anyone who's curious as to what Android has in terms of features.