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Converting a Windows XP workstation to a Vmware appliance

Posted on 2011-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I want to ask if anyone has had experience converting an existing Windows XP workstation to a virtual appliance and then running it within Windows 7 after the workstation has been upgraded. I have some users with legacy applications they won't let go of and dual-boot will not give them concurrent, real time access to both the new OS and their Windows XP workstation and this seemed to me to be a viable solution for the moment.

I'd have to install a licensed version of Vmware Workstation since the hardware workstation to virtual appliance converter doesn't create appliances that are compatible with  the free Vmware Player.

Any thoughts or advice?
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Question by:Nozmoking
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10 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:dmf415
ID: 35087044
Use XP mode, it is free with Windows 7 professional.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:hurtige
ID: 35087164
Most Windows XP applications run fine in Windows 7, however if Windows 7 doesn't  work for these legacy applications then i would use XP mode which comes with windows 7 professional and up.  check out this video for more information directly from Microsoft

http://res1.windows.microsoft.com/resbox/en/Windows%207/main/d/3/d3f571c9-9381-48b7-8b84-9ea4f371bd6d/d3f571c9-9381-48b7-8b84-9ea4f371bd6d.wmv
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by:dmf415
ID: 35087211
hurtige: Thanks for posting what i already said.
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lancecurwensville earned 250 total points
ID: 35087258
Your original question regarded a p2v solution.  Disk2Vhd by systernals works very very well.  http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mikekol/archive/2009/10/07/new-physical-to-virtual-p2v-tool-from-sysinternals.aspx  One question I did have:  are you tied to VMWare for a particular reason?  I have used both VMWare and Virtualbox and really like virtualbox better in terms of operation and stability.  An additional benefit is that virtualbox has no cost associated with it; snapshots are easy and reverting to those snap shots are easy also. www.virtualbox.org
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Expert Comment

by:hurtige
ID: 35087289
dmf415:  I am sorry, you replied while i was halfway through answering.
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Author Comment

by:Nozmoking
ID: 35087561
Thanks for the input. No, I'm not partial to Vmware as a virtual environment except that I've used the Vmware player extensively for evaluating new operating systems. This scenario really only saves the time of reinstalling apps or parking a second machine next to the old one; converting a disk image to a virtual appliance and then having it available right on the Windows 7 desktop is an attractive solution and would be a big time saver. I'll check into both solutions mentioned and see what makes the most sense.

Thanks again,
-noz
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Expert Comment

by:lancecurwensville
ID: 35087609
Just a note on my comment:  disk2vhd creates the virtual appliance, VirtualBox "plays" the virtual appliance.
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 35094534
XP mode is great but requires your workstation to support virtualization extensions as well as higher end (professional, enterprise, ultimate) editions of Windows 7. But as noted it is free and likely your best choice if your hardware and Windows 7 license level supports it.

Another thing you may want to consider is VMware ThinApp (http://www.vmware.com/products/thinapp/). This allows you to package applications at the application level that will integrate natively with the Windows 7 desktop. For example you can launch and use an IE6 browser on Windows 7 just like you would use the IE8 that came with it. You can run multiple office versions concurrently.

Might be worth checking out. Good Luck
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Expert Comment

by:dmf415
ID: 35096650
oops, sure no problem.  This has been happening several times to me. sorry.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Nozmoking
ID: 35209479
VirtualBox was the most economical and easiest solution for this - the user is happy and it didn't take me very long to deploy other than the length of time it took to image the drive.

Thanks
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