New computers – Windows 7 – XP Mode oddities

There are some … interesting aspects to running XP Mode.

If you are running XP Mode in a window within Windows 7, the “Windows” key on the keyboard brings up the Start menu on Windows 7, rather than XP Mode, even if XP Mode is the active window.  I suppose that is reasonable, since the Windows key seems to override pretty much anything else that is happening at the time, although it’s annoying that you can’t use the keyboard shortcuts for things like opening Windows Explorer and issuing the “Run” command.

What seems a little odder is that the F1 key seems to be sent to both Windows 7 and XP Mode if XP Mode is the active window.  Whatever action you wanted with F1 within XP Mode (and the active program there) takes place, but you also get the Help box for XP Mode itself (which can also be annoying.)

The Shift-Tab for switching between windows also immediately shifts you out of XP Mode and into the next Windows 7 window.  Understandable, I suppose, but arrgghh!)

You can, of course, avoid these difficulties by switching into Full Screen mode.  Unfortunately, Windows Virtual Machine seems to have some problems there: it seems to momentarily lose all the “integration” functions, and has to re-enable them.  This seems to result in strange effects, such as the loss of access to shared drives (so, if you were pointed at a specific directory, when you switch you are no longer “there”).