Posts by farahar
    Posted May 31, 2012 by

    Disabling XP Mode Feature in Windows 7 with AppLocker


    Microsoft has made an apparently “final” extension to the end of support date for Windows XP. In their latest update they have announced that April 2014 will be end of support for Windows XP meaning no more service patches for XP machines, something that leaves the doors open to hackers and intruders.
    Corporations plan to migrate from XP to Windows 7 in order to avoid security risks with unsupported XP. Also upgrading to a modern 64 bits, well prized Windows 7 has been lucrative for many IT managers to reduce, among other things, their deployment and software management costs. All seems in right direction although one backdoor will still remain open even after migration to Windows 7. That will be the infamous, much appreciated XP-Mode that has been offered by Microsoft as a free download feature for Windows 7 professional and up.
    By ending support for XP, the virtual machine that XP-Mode installs on your PC will also remain unsupported. Users may be able to add this feature to their workstations in order to be able to run their older XP only applications while their workstations have been upgraded to Windows 7.
    This scenario sounds like a nightmare for system administrators with thousands of workstations to manage. I have searched the net to find a way to disable this feature for most users but leave it available for some. However I could not find any practical, well explained advice. In this article I share the results of my experiment with AppLocker which is a feature available in Windows 7 Ultimate.