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How to keep windows xp on your network

We have an in house custom app that was built in VB 6. The in house app is a SQL database app and was built for Windows XP. We have to replace a computer here an there, and since we are buying Windows 8 computers, our app doesn't work on Windows 8.

We have also tried:

    to run the app in compatibility mode
    XP Mode, back on Windows 7

Rewriting the app is going to take time. So for the time being we started to use VMware. VMware works alright, we have a few kinks here and there. I was wondering are there other options out there besides virtual machines?
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nate0187
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nate0187
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2 Solutions
 
TheAvengerCommented:
You can install a dedicated machine, enable remote desktop (you can enable multiple concurrent sessions on Windows XP, just google it) and allow all your users to connect to this machine and use the application on it. Beware that all users will be using the same machine, so they will share files and resources, so if your application has a problem with that, this might not work.
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nate0187Author Commented:
@theadvenger I don't think that would be a good solution. This is a database app. I don't think SQL will handle 25 users trying to send it requests from the same IP Address. And there is the whole eating up system resource.
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TheAvengerCommented:
SQL does not care where the connections come from, so this will not be an issue. The network traffic might however be a problem if the application retrieves a lot of data. 25 users on the same machine will probably be a problem.

You can have virtual machines running on some server so that your coworkers don't need to have VMware running on their machines.

I don't see other options except virtual machines (either local or on a server) or having dedicated Windows XP machines.
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rindiCommented:
Windows 8, if you are using Pro or above, and if it is the 64 bit version, and if the CPU supports SLAT, comes with Hyper-V. So on those PC's you could install Hyper-V and then use that to install XP in. Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor (as opposed to the type 2 of VMware Workstation), so performance will be better. As far as I know the intel i5 and i7 CPU's all support SLAT, and most newer AMD's do too.
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TheAvengerCommented:
@rindi: This is an alternative to vmware but it remains virtualization
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TheAvengerCommented:
Also enabling Hyper-V will prohibit vmware from running, so if you need vmware for other virtual machines, Hyper-V is not a comfortable option (you can change which one runs between restarts, there are some threads on google, but it remains uncomfortable)
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nate0187Author Commented:
@rindi hyper-v is alternative
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garycaseCommented:
Hyper-V works very nicely, but as rindi noted there are very specific requirements ... your systems have to be using Win8 Pro, must be 64-bit, and must have SLAT enabled CPUs.    And of course you need the appropriate XP licenses to install the OS.

Given all those conditions, it's a good choice, as it puts the custom app on the same PC as the user.
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nate0187Author Commented:
@All if I run hyper-v from a server, will hyper-v print from local printers?
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TheAvengerCommented:
Probably depends on the type of printer. I found this one for USB printers:

"Hyper-V cannot redirect USB on host machine into the virtual machines. VMWare workstation/player and VirtualBox can do this."

The post is from August last year though so it might be that Microsoft changed that.
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rindiCommented:
As long as the integration services have been installed there should be no problem, and those services should always be one of the first things to install.
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nate0187Author Commented:
@All if I can't print from local printers, then hyper-v is out. I will have to test this in my environment and see.
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garycaseCommented:
Hyper-V doesn't print from anything ==> the client OS does.    If, for example, you have XP installed in a Hyper-V VM, then XP is doing the printing.    If XP can print to your printer (proper drivers, etc.), then it will print.   If your printers don't have XP drivers, then you can't print from it.

Hyper-V is just a hypervisor ... it's the installed OS that matters.

[You DO have to assign the appropriate printer port to the VM]
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nate0187Author Commented:
@garycase Let me clarify. If I install the hyper-v on a server. The remote desktop into the hyper-v OS. Will I be able to print from the local machine that I am use remote desktop on?
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rindiCommented:
Yes. You just have to make sure you have installed the integration services like I mentioned earlier, and then you also need to install the printer drivers of your local printers within the OS you are remoting into.
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