Virtualize XP Machine

Posted on 2010-11-17
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I have a production XP Pro Laptop, that I am looking to create a virtual machine for.

Here is what I would like to do; I would like to have my laptop become a "virtual" dual OS machine running XP Pro (or windows 7 down the road) and Linux (Ubuntu).  I would like to be able to fast switch between OS and run both simultaneously when needed or desired.

I have a copy of VMWare VSphere, but is there a way to do this where I don't have to wipe my laptop clean and lose my XP Pro installation?  OR, is there a way, that I can take an image of my XP Pro machine, say with Acronis, load VSphere, and then re-load the XP Pro image restore back?

Is there anything special I will need to do with Ubuntu?

Thank you,
Question by:coloradocroat
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Expert Comment

ID: 34157698
VMWare VSphere will not do this for you!  

Maybe what you want is VMWare Serverrunning on XP or WIn7 and run Ubuntu and XP/Win7 as virtuals.

LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 34157919
Disk2vhd v1.63

Can use it with Virtual PC, not sure about the VMWare options though....

Keep in mind, you cannot reuse the license on the OS turned virtual for the physical PC.....
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 34158433
I hope I understood the situation. ... not sure why you want multiple OSs on the same virtual machine. you can have a different VM for each OS.

Use vmware convertor to convert your XP box to a VM . you don't need to wipe out your laptop or anything.

Conversion process makes a replica of your XP OS in VM enviornment ; you just need to disconnect your physical box from network so that you don't get machine name conflicts when both VM and physical are in the network.

So that you don't need to create an image , VMware convertor does that job for you. you don't even need to shutdown your XP box. it's all a live process. just make sure you don't have bad clusters on hard drive. delete useless files and make more space available . run chkdsk on XP box to make sure that conversion doesn't error out.

This is usually very easy , I've done that many times.

BTW ; there is no licensing issues if you convert physical to virtual.
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Expert Comment

ID: 34158446
as a side note ; disconnect your XP box from network AFTER conversion is completed. your XP virual box will be exactly a replica of your laptop OS with all applications.

Author Comment

ID: 34160246

I believe you are right, I did mispeak of to the final product of which I am looking for.  As to the laptop, I would like to run 2 OS (Windows, Linux) on the same hardware (the laptop) at the same time.

This will mean I will have two virtual machines on the physical hardware.  

So once I run VMWare Converter, do I then implement the virtual layer, or is this done as part of Converter.  I am looking for docs right now.


Expert Comment

ID: 34160441
You could load windows and then use vmware player or vmware workstation to run linux depending on your needs. if you just need a shell cygwin can be loaded on windows giving a very functional load.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 34161149

Converter makes the virtual machine for you . once it's complete ; you just start the VM . that's it.

My question for you ...I am a bit confused .. are you going to convert current windows that is installed on the laptop to a VM ? and this VM will be hosted on the same laptop  ?

If that's the case ; you may get some issues because both physical host and VM are running the same image (computer name , IP address , SIDs , unique identifiers..) . in real envionments ; you usually want to convert a machine to a VM on a different host across the network , once virtualizing is complete ; turn off physical machine , test VM in production for a few days and finally decomission or re-image the physical box.


Author Comment

ID: 34164411
My overall goal is to take my production laptop, run both Windows and Linux on it and be able to fast switch between the two.  And in doing this I don't want to wipe out the Windows installation.  

I know I can do a dual boot, but that only gets me to have both OS on the same machine, not fast switching between the two.

Accepted Solution

minki12 earned 500 total points
ID: 34164488
use vmware workstation to run linux on your windows installation. it installs as a program on windows.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 34166771
I'd go with what minki12 says ; keep your XP install on the laptop and run a linux on it as a VM. that's the fastest solution.

If you like to have both virtualized ; you need to first virtualize laptop to a VMserver on a different physical host , re-install a fresh OS on laptop , then transfer your converted XP image back to laptop and run it as a VM. then add a linux VM too.


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