XP Mode in Action

Today I arrived at the office to find a new workstation ready for me to set up with our volume licensed version of Windows 7. (Kudos to my collegue who makes my hardware wishes come true.) My goal is to replace my primary XP workstation, so I decided to start with our ImageRight client software, since I use/administer that daily and it’s fast become one of our key enterprise applications.

I remembered that I was able to install ImageRight successfully on Windows Vista once before, so I expected success with Windows 7. However, my new box is 64-bit and the ImageRight installer program was not recognizing the 64-bit version of .NET Framework 2.0. I don’t know if this is just an issue with the installer prerequisite check or if the program just won’t run at all on 64-bit, but I guess I’ll save that question for the ImageRight conference at the end of the month.

So I opted to install XP Mode and setup the software there. The ImageRight installation was successful on the XP VM and I was happy to see the program begin to launch. However, it stalled out due to a logon failure. We use the ImageRight Active Directory integration to take advantage of single sign-on, but the XP Mode VM wasn’t part of our corporate domain and automatically logged on as “XPMUser” when launched. Thus, ImageRight could get past the logon screen.

I loaded the desktop of the VM and joined it to our domain. Then I tweaked the registry settings for the automatic logon enough that it now prompts me for my domain credentials. The ImageRight software launched properly, so for the sake of today’s goals I’m happy with having to re-enter my credentials when the VM launches for the first time.

I’d like to refine the authentication issue further and might take a closer look into MED-V, especially if we start planning to roll out Windows 7 in the near future on 64-bit boxes and need a more managed solution. If we are sticking with our existing 32-bit hardware, it’s less likely that we’ll need XP Mode to support this particular application, but we have other legacy application that may need similar handling.

Until then, I’ve got what I need from XP Mode.