How to Run Windows XP with Windows 8
Microsoft is doing everything in its power to convince users of Windows XP to upgrade to a more modern operating system. But a simple fact remains: Some programs, especially those custom-built for enterprises, only work with XP. This wasn’t a problem with Windows 7, which included free access to XP via a virtual machine. Unfortunately, that disappeared in Windows 8.
There is a workaround for those running the latest and greatest version of Windows. Here are the steps, courtesy of LifeHacker:
1. Go to Microsoft’s download center and grab a copy of WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe.
2. Open the exe file as an archive using 7-Zip or another archive tool.
3. Look in the archive and find the “sources/xpm” file. Extract it to your drive.
4. Look for VirtualXPVD in the extracted xpm file. Rename it with a VHD extension.
You can run that VHD with a utility like VirtualBox.
Full details of this XP trick are available here.