Using VPC’s XP with Parallels Desktop

I bought a new MacBook Pro about a month ago. Within the first couple days of getting it, I tried really hard to make the copy of Windows XP Pro that came along with Virtual PC work with the program. I followed instructions and tips all over the Internet and got lots of support from Nathaniel. Unfortunately, we always got stuck at a screen asking us to insert the disk labeled Windows XP … into drive A. I found other people having the same problem, but no one could offer up a solution that seemed to fix it.

I eventually just gave up. Fortunately, we had a copy of Windows XP Home that came with a Dell box that seemed to work with Parallels and allowed me to test the system for a few weeks. Well, Windows had been bugging me about product activiation being required in a few days so I figured it was time for a more permanent solution.

After hours of searching today and building a dozen or so ISO images, I finally decided to try putting the following files both in the root of the CD and in the i386 folder:

  • win51
  • win51ip
  • win51ip.sp2
  • win51ip.spx

I don’t know which files are actually required, nor do I care. It works!