How to Install Windows XP on VMware Fusion in macOS/Mac

In this article, we will examine how to set up Windows XP on a new virtual machine using VMware Fusion 12 Pro in macOS operating system on an Apple Mac computer.

How to Install Windows XP on VMware Fusion in macOS/Mac

How to Run Windows XP on macOS using VMware Fusion 12 Pro

Microsoft completely terminated the Windows XP operating system on April 12, 2014, which was released on October 25, 2001, and was supported for 12 years.

If you have an Apple Mac computer and want to experience this operating system, you can use it as an additional system instead of installing it on your physical computer.

If you want to run Windows XP on a separate partition on Apple computers, you can use older versions of Boot Camp software. However, if you want to switch between macOS and Windows XP systems, you will have to restart your PC.

Therefore, it would make more sense to use Windows XP in a virtual machine. Since this system requires fewer hardware resources, you can use it more efficiently on your host system.

If you are planning to prepare a virtual machine on Apple macOS systems and install a Windows, Linux, or macOS on it, VMware Fusion software can be your first choice.

Fusion software developed by VMware works only on macOS operating systems. With this software, you can use the virtual machine you created on your Mac with other VMware software. For example, you can use a virtual machine you set up with Fusion in VMware Workstation software on a Windows computer.

How to Create a New Virtual Machine for Windows XP

Creating a Windows XP virtual machine is easy after you install Fusion on your Mac. However, when you configure the virtual computer’s settings correctly, you can make the guest operating system more compatible and performant.

   Step 1

After opening Fusion 12 Pro, you will be encountered with a window with installation methods as follows. You can quickly create a new VM by dragging and dropping the ISO file of Windows XP onto the program’s homepage.

To better configure XP’s settings and create a manual virtual machine, select Create a custom virtual machine and then click Continue.

Choosing a Virtual Machine Installation Method

   Step 2

Select Microsoft Windows / Windows XP Professional x64 Edition in the Guest operating system selection window and click Continue again.

Choosing a Guest Operating System

   Step 3

Since you will perform a clean system installation, you should create a new virtual disk by continuing with the default option in the virtual disk settings. If you have already installed an XP machine and want to use it on your Mac again, you can add an existing virtual disk at this stage.

Creating a New Virtual Disk

   Step 4

In the window showing the summary information of the virtual machine, click Customize Settings to better configure the hardware settings and click the Save button to confirm the default location in the installation location window that opens.

Configuring the Installation Location

   Step 5

After clicking the Processors & Memory in the settings of the Windows XP guest machine, increase the number of virtual processors and memory size depending on the hardware performance of your computer.

Additionally, enable the IOMMU feature to provide better memory management and improve performance in the virtual machine.

Processor and Memory Settings

   Step 6

To include the guest machine in your physical network in the Network Adapter settings, select Ethernet instead of NAT and type your user account password in the confirmation window that opens.

Selecting the Ethernet Adapter

   Step 7

To add the ISO file to the Windows XP machine, click Choose a disc or disc image from the pop-up window in the CD/DVD device settings.

Adding a Windows XP ISO File to the Virtual Machine

   Step 8

Select the Windows XP Pro x64 ISO file you downloaded to your Mac from the table at the bottom of the article and click Open.

Choosing the Windows XP ISO File

   Step 9

If you are not going to use a printer on an XP guest machine, you can delete the printer port.

Deleting the Virtual Printer Port

   Step 10

In the advanced settings of the virtual PC, configure the Troubleshooting value to None and also disable the Side Channel Mitigations feature.

Disabling Troubleshooting and Side Channel Mitigations

   Step 11

After preparing the Windows XP virtual computer and making its settings, run it and proceed to the system setup.

Running the Virtual Machine

How to Install Windows XP

After preparing and running a new virtual PC for XP on your Mac, you can set up your system as if you were installing Windows on a real PC.

   Step 1

In the Windows XP Professional Setup screen, you can press R to perform further system repair and F3 to exit the wizard. Since you will be installing Windows from scratch, press Enter to continue in the wizard.

Windows XP Professional Setup

   Step 2

You can press Page Down to read the full text of the license terms of the Windows XP Pro x64 Edition operating system. Or if you do not want to accept the license terms and want to exit, you can press ESC as indicated on the screen.

Press F8 to read and accept the Windows XP license terms and continue.

Accepting the License Agreement

   Step 3

Since you have defined a new virtual disk for the virtual machine, you need to format your disk on the disk configuration screen. You can press Enter if you want the disk configuration to be determined automatically to start installing XP directly.

Press C=Create Partition to configure 40GB unallocated disk space.

Configuring Unallocated Disk Space

   Step 4

If you want to create an additional partition on the virtual disk, you need to reduce the disk size. If you are going to use only one partition, press Enter to confirm the disk size determined automatically by the wizard.

Creating Partitions of Specified Size

   Step 5

After creating a new partition on the virtual disk, press Enter to install Windows on the C drive.

Installing Windows on the C Partition

   Step 6

Format the C partition you created using the NTFS file system. If you want to format the C partition slowly, click on the lower option using the arrow keys.

If you have previously installed more than one Windows on your virtual or real disk, it is recommended to format your disk normally. But if you need to format to install on a new disk, you can use the Quick option.

Formatting the Partition using the NTFS File System

   Step 7

Wait while Setup copies the system files of Windows XP to your virtual disk.

Copying System Files

   Step 8

After the wizard has copied the system files, press Enter or wait for the specified timer to restart your system.

Restarting the Virtual Computer

   Step 9

After restarting your guest machine, you need to configure your system settings. To change the standard English (United States) region and format in the Regional and Language Options window, click Customize and select the language you use in your location.

Continue by clicking Next to accept the English language and location.

Configuring Regional and Language Options

   Step 10

To customize your Windows software, type the name of your company or organization and click Next.

Typing the Name of Your Company or Organization for Your Software

   Step 11

Type your 25-character Windows XP Pro product key and click Next again.

Typing the Windows XP Pro Product Key

   Step 12

Type the computer name of the guest operating system and also click Next after setting a password for the admin account.

Typing a Computer Name

   Step 13

Configure the time and date settings of your virtual system, as well as the time zone, according to the region you live in.

Date and Time Settings

   Step 14

Select Typical Settings for the network settings of the guest machine and continue.

Selecting Typical Network Settings

   Step 15

If you are not going to use your Windows XP virtual computer in a domain environment, include it in the WORKGROUP network.

Including the VM in the WORKGROUP Network

   Step 16

After your Windows XP system is installed, wait while it restarts.

Microsoft Windows XP x64 Edition

   Step 17

Your desktop environment will be ready when your Windows XP virtual system restarts.

Windows XP Desktop Display

How to Install VMware Tools

After installing Windows XP with VMware Fusion on macOS, you need to install VMware Tools to increase system performance and adjust screen resolution.

   Step 1

While the XP guest machine is running, click Virtual Machine / Install VMware Tools from the Fusion tool menu and click Install in the warning window that opens.

VMware Tools Installation

   Step 2

Click Next to continue with the VMware Tools setup wizard.

VMware Tools Setup

   Step 3

If you plan to use your Windows XP guest machine with other products of VMware, select Complete from the installation options and click Next.

Choosing the Installation Method

   Step 4

Click Install to start the installation of XP virtual machine tools.

Starting VMware Tools Installation

   Step 5

Wait while the drivers for the video and other devices of the virtual PC are being installed, and do not close the wizard.

Installing Video Driver

   Step 6

After installing VMware Tools on Windows XP, restart your virtual system for the settings to take effect.

Restarting the Virtual PC

   Step 7

After restarting your guest machine, click View / Full Screen from the Fusion tool menu and set the screen resolution of the virtual machine to full screen.

Controlling Full Screen Resolution

   Step 8

You can transfer files by dragging and dropping a folder or file on your Mac’s desktop environment to the desktop of your Windows XP machine.

File Transfer Control with Drag and Drop

How to Upgrade Windows XP SP1 to SP2

You can find SP1 and SP2 versions of Windows XP ISO files on the internet.

Since the ISO image we have used while preparing our article contains SP1 (Service Pack 1), we will use an additional ISO image to upgrade to SP2.

   Step 1

Click Virtual Machine / CD/DVD / Choose Disc or Disc Image in the tool menu of your XP machine.

Adding an ISO Image to the VM

   Step 2

Select the Windows XP SP2 Installer ISO file you downloaded to your computer from the table below the article and click Open.

Adding Windows XP Pro SP2 Installer ISO

   Step 3

After mounting the SP2 (Service Pack 2) ISO image to the VM, click My Computer and view the content of CR0SPX2_EN.

Start the SP2 installation by double-clicking the SRSP2 script from the files in the CD image.

Starting Service Pack 2 Installation

   Step 4

Click Next directly in the Windows x64 Service Pack 2 installation wizard.

Windows x64 Service Pack 2

   Step 5

After accepting the Windows XP Service Pack 2 license agreement, continue without changing the default location in the next Uninstall Folder settings window.

Installing SP2

   Step 6

Wait while your Windows XP system is upgraded to SP2.

Installing SP2 Files

   Step 7

After completing the Windows x64 Service Pack 2 installation, click Finish.

Restarting the Virtual System

   Step 8

When your virtual computer restarts, open My Computer properties and check the Service Pack version under System.

Checking the Service Pack Version of Windows XP

How to Check Internet Connection

When you run a Windows virtual machine on your macOS operating system, it is useful to check the local network and Internet settings. You may need an Internet connection for operations on the guest machine.

   Step 1

After opening the CMD command prompt by pressing the Windows Key + R on the Windows XP machine, test your Internet connection by pinging the Google servers with the ping command.

Testing Internet Connection with Ping

   Step 2

Also, after the ping test, open Internet Explorer and check your connection by visiting the Google homepage.

Testing Internet Connection with Internet Explorer

How to Configure Shared Folder

One of the great features of VMware Fusion Pro virtualization software is the Shared Folder feature. With this feature, you can quickly transfer files between your macOS system and your guest machine.

   Step 1

Open the settings of your guest operating system, and activate the Shared Folder in the window that opens after clicking Sharing, and then click the + button.

Enable Shared Folder

   Step 2

In the window that opens, click New Folder to create a public folder in any location of your Mac, and after creating the folder, click the Add button.

Creating a Shared Folder on a Mac

   Step 3

After enabling the shared folder feature and creating a folder on your host computer, check the public folder on your host by creating a folder or file in the vmware-host\Shared Folders\WinXPVM on the guest machine.

Checking Shared Folder

How to Use USB Flash Memory

You can use your USB flash drives or storage devices in virtual machines you run on your Mac. When you insert a flash drive into the USB port of your host computer, the Fusion software will ask where you want to connect that device. This way, you can easily plug a USB stick into both your Mac and your guest operating system.

   Step 1

When your guest operating system is running, when you insert your USB memory into your host and you see a window like an image below, first connect your device to your Mac.

Using USB Flash Memory on Guest Machine

   Step 2

You cannot use a USB disk with an NTFS file system in macOS, so open Disk Utility and right-click / Erase on your device. When the Format window opens, select the ExFAT file system from the Format section and click the Erase button again.

After changing the file format of your USB stick, you can now use it on both your Mac and Windows guest machine.

How to Convert USB Disk from NTFS to ExFAT on Mac

   Step 3

Click Virtual Machine / USB & Bluetooth / Connect (Name of Your USB) from the tool menu to attach your USB stick to the virtual machine.

Connecting Flash Memory to Virtual Machine

   Step 4

Since the Windows XP operating system does not support the ExFAT format, you can see the RAW format in the properties of the disc. You need to install update KB955704 to enable exFAT support.

Windows XP ExFAT File Format Error

   Step 5

Download the Windows XP ExFAT (KB955704) update from the table below the article to your computer and double-click the setup file.

Before proceeding with the KB955704 setup wizard, back up your system and click Next after closing all open programs.

Update for Windows x64 (KB955704)

   Step 6

Accept the license agreement of the KB955704 update and continue.

Installing the KB955704 Update

   Step 7

Wait while the KB955704 update is installed on Windows XP.

Installing KB955704

   Step 8

After completing the Windows x64 (KB955704) installation, restart your system.

System Reboot After Enabling ExFAT Support

   Step 9

When you check your USB stick again on the guest machine, you can see that it is working and the file system is ExFAT.

Using USB Disk with ExFAT File System in Windows XP

   Step 10

Reconnect your USB flash drive to your Mac and create a new folder.

Creating a New Folder on USB Memory on Mac

   Step 11

You can see the folder you created when you check your USB stick on your Windows XP virtual PC.

Viewing the Contents of Flash Memory on a Virtual Computer

How to Establish a Remote Desktop Connection from a Mac to a Guest Machine using Microsoft Remote Desktop

You can use the Microsoft Remote Desktop application when you want to remotely connect to the virtual operating system you have installed from your Mac computer.

   Step 1

After downloading the Microsoft Remote Desktop application from the Apple App Store, double-click the PKG file to start the installation, and then click Continue in the window that opens.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Setup

   Step 2

Accept the license agreement of the Remote Desktop software and continue.

Accepting the Remote Desktop License Agreement

   Step 3

While the Installer is trying to install the new software on your system, type your user account password, and click the Install Software button.

Confirming Installing New Software

   Step 4

After installing the remote desktop application on your macOS system, close the wizard.

Closing the Setup Wizard

   Step 5

Open Applications on your macOS system and run Microsoft Remote Desktop.

Running Microsoft Remote Desktop Software

   Step 6

If you want to use the camera and microphone devices of your host computer while establishing a remote desktop connection to your guest machine, allow access.

Allow Access to Camera and Microphone Devices

   Step 7

Right-click My Computer on your Windows XP guest machine, then click Manage and open Computer Management.

Click Users under Local Users and Groups in the Computer Management window and list the user accounts. To assign a password to the user account in your virtual system, select your username and right-click / Set Password.

Creating a New Password for User Account

   Step 8

In the password creation window, create a strong and memorable password and click OK.

Confirming New Password

   Step 9

To allow remote desktop connections on the guest machine, right-click on My Computer, open System Properties, and click the Remote tab.

Check the “Allow users to connect remotely to this computer” option under Remote Desktop and click OK.

Allowing Remote Desktop Connections in Windows XP

   Step 10

To find out the IP address of your virtual computer, execute the ipconfig command at the CMD prompt.

Finding IP Address of XP Guest Machine

   Step 11

Click the Add PC button in the Remote Desktop application on your Mac.

Adding a PC to the Remote Desktop Application

   Step 12

After typing the IP address of your guest machine, click Add User Account from the User Account options.

Entering the VM's IP Address and User Information

   Step 13

Type the user account name and password of your Windows XP virtual computer and click the Add button.

Adding User Account Information

   Step 14

Right-click on the virtual machine you added to the Remote Desktop application, and then click Connect.

Establishing a Remote Desktop Connection to a Virtual Computer

   Step 15

Click Connect again when you receive the warning that the remote PC could not be authenticated.

Confirming Certificate Error

   Step 16

You can now easily make remote desktop connections to Windows guest machines on your Mac.

Remote Desktop Connection to Guest Machine Successful


Windows XP ISO Download

Windows XP Pro x64 SP1 ISO + SP2 Installer
Windows XP ExFAT Support


   Related Articles

How to Install Windows 10 in Fusion
How to Install Windows 7 in Fusion
How to Install Windows Vista in Fusion
How to Install macOS in VMware
How to Install Windows 8 in Fusion

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.