QUESTION: Is there any way to configure Windows 7 (or perhaps a MSFT Server O/S) so that it has normal access to the hardware, such as a video accelerator card, for enhanced performance, while hosting a virtual instance of Windows-XP Pro?
BACKGROUND: I'm a software developer trying to preserve about five years of software development tools and database engines installed on my PC, which is acting sort of flaky. The DVD drive tray is sticking, and the PC seems to have misplaced a gig of RAM somewhere along the way, showing only 1GB instead of the 2GB that were installed. And the hard drive has started to make some funny noises. Time for a new PC.
But when I get the new PC, I don't want to have to reinstall all of the software and all of the patches to the software, as that would take man-weeks. I explored the VMWare option but because of the inadequate video performance it isn't the ideal solution for my situation. I also need to render and edit some HD video shot at 720p/60fps.
So I decided to port the ISO image of the WinXP Pro installation to a new PC using Acronis True Image and Plus Pack, which I bought yesterday. But that path seems less than ideal, because it merely postpones the inevitable, solving the immediate problem only. At some point I will need to move forward to a newer O/S and will still have to preserve the older XP stuff.
Is there any way to configure Windows 7 (or perhaps a MSFT Server O/S) so that it has normal access to the hardware, like a video accelerator card, for enhanced performance, while hosting a virtual instance of Windows-XP Pro? I'd like to toggle between them. The WinXP image would be like a walking swaddled mummy in a horror flick --its access to hardware resources would be virtualized-- but the host O/S would have fast video performance etc. I could thus keep all of my old work "alive" while getting the performance advantages of the non-virtual O/S when it is required. Can this kind of hybrid be created with any Windows O/S?