Enable Internet Access to Windows XP VM (VirtualBox 5)

Microsoft Windows XP is an old operating system that has reached the end of its support from Microsoft. But if you’re still required to run it, then the best way to do so is to execute it on a virtual machine.

I completely switched to ‘Linux‘ about a year ago and personally, and starting very recently, I wanted to run Windows XP because I have to use a couple of applications that’re only designed to run in Windows, and for a couple of months I’ve been using my licensed Windows 8.1 in a virtual machine on Ubuntu 15.10 just for the sake of running those applications. But my laptop only has 4 GB of RAM and when using Windows 8.1 virtual machine (I use VirtualBox and have allocated 1.4 GB of RAM for Windows 8.1) alongside my web browser with 8-12 tabs opened in Ubuntu 15.10, it really slows things down due to the heavy memory usage.

So recently I switched to a Windows XP virtual machine to see if I can counteract this somehow. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and with just a 700 MB RAM, XP runs great!. Sure it’s an outdated and a bit ugly looking operating system, but I just use it for the sake of running my applications. I can’t really complain. However, being old, Windows XP also has an outdated hardware driver support. Therefore, unlike with Windows 8.1, you won’t be able to connect to the Internet without first making a couple of changes in VirtualBox. So in this article I’ll share with you what I did to enable internet access to Window XP virtual machine under VirtualBox, hoping that someone may find it useful. And even though I used Ubuntu 15.10 as the host, these instructions should work despite what operating system you’ll be utilizing to act as the host.

Windows-XP-virtual-machine-running-on-Ubuntu-15.10-Host-VirtualBox-5-without-internet-access

What we’ll be doing is simple. First we have to change the network setting of VirtualBox for the Window XP VM. And then we have to download the network adapter driver through the Host operating system, share it with the VM, and install it on the Windows XP VM. Afterwards, Windows XP will be able connect to the internet. It’s pretty simple. So let’s do it.

Step 1: First of all, if you’re already running the Window XP virtual machine, then turn it OFF. Then from the VirtualBox VM manager window, select the Windows XP VM and click on the Settings icon.

Step 2: Then click on the Network tab, and make sure you’ve selected ‘NAT‘ under Attached to: option. Then click on Advanced, and under ‘Adapter Type‘, make sure you’ve selected Intel Pro/1000 MT Desktop(...). Below that, the ‘Cable Connected‘ option should also be checked.

Enabling-correct-settings-for-enabling-internet-access-for-Windows-XP-VM-VirtualBox-5

Step 3: If you’ve already setup a shared folder for the Windows XP VM you can simply click on the ‘OK’ button and move on to Step 4. Otherwise, don’t click on the ‘OK’ button just yet, and click on the Shared Folders icon instead.

From the window to your right, click on the small folder icon with the green cross to add a shared folder.

Adding-a-shared-folder-to-the-Windows-XP-VM-VirtualBox-5

You can share any folder with the virtual machine. I’ve shared my ‘Home’ folder (which is the equivalent of ‘My Documents’ in Windows) with the VM and since I should be able to write to the shared folder from the VM, I make sure to uncheck ‘Read-only‘ option and check the ‘Auto-mount‘ option so that the folder gets mounted every time the virtual machine boots up. You can also changed the name of the mounted folder as well (by default VirtualBox uses the shared folder’s name).

Step 4: Now download the Intel Pro/1000 MT Ethernet adapter driver from this page (there are two drivers. One for the 32-bit version of Windows XP, & the other is for the 64-bit version) using the Host operating system. Once the download finishes, copy it over to the shared folder.

Step 5: Now turn ON the Windows XP virtual machine. Once it finishes booting, open My Computer and you should see the shared folder mounted there. Now locate the downloaded Intel Ethernet adapter installer and install it (when unsure, My-Computer-showing-the-shared-folder-Windows-XP-VM-VirtualBox-5 just go with the default selection of the installer).

Now open up the web browser and you should be able to access internet. If not, reboot the virtual machine. That’s it. Good luck.

Update (2019-04-11): It’s been a while since I wrote this tutorial but these steps should still work. However, even after following all these steps you still can’t connect to the internet, then try downloading Firefox for Windows XP from the host computer and then place it in the shared folder and install it from there. After that you should be able to connect to the internet as long as you are using that web browser. A especial thank you should go to Tim in the comment section for pointing this out!

P.S: (if you’ll be browsing internet often through the Windows XP VM, then replace the old IE with Firefox or Google Chrome).

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

95 thoughts on “Enable Internet Access to Windows XP VM (VirtualBox 5)”

  1. Driver will NOT install!

    The procedure entry point Encoder-Pointer could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll.

    I just recently did a NEW install of WinXP Pro.

    Still can’t connect to the Internet.

    The LAN says it’s connected but no Internet.

    Reply
    • Hi Liz,

      It just could be that the driver that you’re trying to install isn’t compatible the version of Windows XP you’ve installed (maybe the driver requires Windows XP service pack 3 to be installed before it can proceed). Make sure to install the latest Windows XP service pack Microsoft released.

      Reply
  2. Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82549EM)
    both the 32bit & 64bit fail to install
    PRO2K3XP_32.exe PRO2K3XP_64.exe

    The procedure entry point EncodePointer could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.DLL

    Reply
  3. thank you. at the end i solve problem with your robust instructions. ( 1 note: IE still block the internet and install chrome through shared folders and than embrace to the internet.)

    Reply
  4. Thank you so much. Spent a few hours googling and trying other suggestions (reinstall as administrator etc etc) before finding your post. My mistake was thinking Bridge and selecting my adapter would work!

    Reply
  5. Hello.

    I’ve been racking my brain trying to get this to work. I’ve done the steps with no problems at all, I can get to any website through Firefox, but not with IE. That’s all fine, but when I try to activate windows it says there is no connection. What’s going on?

    Reply
  6. Gayan
    Please I have this same problem and I have tried all the steps above. when I open website like google, youtube and many more on IE it will ” The page can not be displayed” but if http://www.bing.com , it will open and if I click on its news page some links will open while some will not. Please help me out on what to do thank you

    Reply
    • I think that’s because of the outdated IE version XP come by default. Download Chrome or Firefox (you’d probably have to do it through the host OS) and install it in XP, that should resolve the issue.

      Reply
  7. Hello Gayan,

    I done all steps.
    But Still can not access internet.

    My Network Adapter: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter

    What is your Network Adapter ?

    Reply
  8. I installed the drivers on my VM and tried accessing a website (coolmathgames) and it said i wasnt connected. Am i missing something?

    please respond as soon as you can

    Reply

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