Virtualization On a Trading Computer Can Save Your Software

Before you rush out and buy new software for your Windows 7 trading system check to see if your existing software can run in XP mode. Older financial management programs such as Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro 2007 and even contact managers like ACT! 2000 can be run successfully through virtualization. The prices to upgrade existing software from an older system to your new machine can be very costly – but the fix can free.

Some traders use their Apple computers to run Windows based software using a virtual Windows machine to mimic an actual PC – granted the technique has some drawbacks for them. An Apple based Virtual PC is slower than a real dedicated trading computer and may not run every program correctly. However, on a true PC the limitations are only based on your hardware since you are running a full version of a different operating system in the case of Windows XP Mode.

Microsoft offers a free download of everything required – the virtual machine and a complete version of Windows XP 64 bit – for any computer that is running Windows 7 Pro or higher. If your system has 32GB of RAM or more it is safe to say you already have Windows 7 Professional installed – so adding XP mode is as simple as a download. Since Windows XP mode is not supported in Windows 8 there is yet another reason to avoid upgrading to Microsoft’s latest operating system.

XP Mode runs in a separate window and has the look of a second desktop – but it is a fully functional stand-alone version of Windows XP. Any program that was able to run In XP or Vista should run without a hiccup. You can install, delete, and use the virtualized operating system just as you would a separate computer – it is even recommended you install a separate anti-virus in there. The list of programs you install in XP mode are all available from your Start menu so they open and run just like any other Windows 7 software application. Windows XP Mode was created to help businesses migrate from older versions of Windows to Windows 7 so do not be surprised if your video games or TV tuner cards do not work.

Before you rush to install XP Mode, first you will need to insure your BIOS is already set to allow for hardware virtualization. Microsoft makes a quick and easy app called the Hardware Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool to check to see if your trading computer is compatible. If everything checks out head over to the XP Mode Download page and install that first and then over to the Windows Virtual PC Download area. Once set up your trading computer will be able to run just about any program you can load on it. Complete step by step instructions can be found here – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/install-and-use-windows-xp-mode-in-windows-7

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