Zinstall XP7

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Zinstall XP7
Zinstall logo.png
Developer(s) Zinstall, Inc.
Stable release
3.6.1 / January 21, 2014; 3 years ago (2014-01-21)
Operating system Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 [1]
Platform Microsoft Windows
Type Virtual machine
License Proprietary commercial software
Website www.zinstall.com/products/zinstall-xp7

Zinstall XP7 is a migration software product, developed by Zinstall, Inc., that migrates personal computer (PC)s to Windows 7 while keeping applications, settings and data intact. Once the migration is complete, the user has a virtualized "old PC desktop environment" (that runs simultaneously with Windows 7) on the target machine, providing a view similar to the pre-migration environment. Migrated applications run in the virtualized "old" environment instead of directly under Windows 7 operating system (OS). The company offers other software that migrates PCs to other Windows OSs.


The product performs the migration over a network and creates a virtual machine (VM)-based environment on the target PC that presents an "old computer" view to the user - with applications, settings and data from the old computer. The user can switch between the old and new desktops, copying files and text. As with Windows XP Mode, migrated applications run inside a virtual machine, addressing compatibility issues[2] - which are one of the top barriers to deploying Windows 7.[3][4]

"XP7" reflects the possibility of upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7, an upgrade path not available from Microsoft[5] and considered to require considerable efforts.[6]


Operation can be divided into migration and the post-migration use of the resident software.

During the migration process, user data is captured from the source OS, and transferred to the Windows 7 environment. This is achieved by running the migration software on both systems and choosing their respective roles when prompted by the application. The application auto-detects migration settings. An "Advanced" option allows the user to customize the migration process, allowing sources and targets to be customized. Custom filters can limit the data transferred, e.g. skipping archives and files larger than 100MB in size.

Once migration is complete, another component runs in the background in the Windows 7 environment. It presents to the user a system tray icon that switches between the old and new desktops. The tray icon is present in the virtualized desktop as well.

On each desktop, the tray icon also allows access to the other desktop's files. The user can copy and paste files or text between the desktops.

The XP desktop consumes a small percentage[citation needed] of system resources only when it is actually being used by the user. Otherwise, the XP system is turned off and does not require resources.

The software installs a utility virtual network adapter on the Windows 7 system, similar to that of VMware Workstation.

Comparison with Windows XP Mode[edit]

Zinstall XP7 is frequently[7] compared with Windows XP Mode, since both provide the ability to run Windows XP applications on Windows 7. XP mode is noted for being free and providing better inkjet support. Zinstall XP7 is noted for working on any Windows edition (XP Mode only supports Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise), emphasizing user interface integration.

Known issues[edit]

  • Virtualized environment does not support Direct 3D
  • Limited support of legacy inkjet printers[8][9]
  • No SMP support for 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts[10]


  1. ^ Shultz, Greg (Aug 26, 2013). "Rescue a Windows XP installation in Windows 8 with Zinstall XP7". TechRepublic. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived September 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Windows 7 Migration: Four Planning Tips - Microsoft, Windows 7, Windows 7 upgrade". CIO. 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  4. ^ Foley, Mary-Jo (4 November 2008). "Microsoft ranks Windows 7 features most likely to affect app-compatibility". ZDNet. 
  5. ^ Windows 7 upgrade chart, PNG image
  6. ^ Mossberg, Walt (22 July 2009). "Windows XP Users Face Tough Path to Windows 7". Wall Street Journal. 
  7. ^ Microsoft Technet Archived November 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Problem discussion". Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "FAQ". Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  10. ^ "Problem discussion". Retrieved 26 November 2009.