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Best solution for running a virtual copy of Win7 on a MAC running OS X 10.8.3

Posted on 2013-05-14
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Last Modified: 2013-05-17
I've got a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.8.3 and I've got a PC running a 64 bit version of Win7 Professional.

I want to create a virtual Win7 machine inside my MAC and run a copy of what I have running on my PC in that virtual space.  After this, the physical PC will be wiped and sold.  In the end, I will just have the MAC system running OS X with a virtual machine within it running my Win7 Professional.

I'm aware of Boot Camp, Parallels, and VMWare.

My problem is that the PC system I have came with a legal copy of Win7 but without an install DVD.  The PC system is from an Israeli company and I've asked them for the install DVD but they haven't replied.

So I haven't a new, legal copy of Win7 to install onto the MAC OS X system.

So, I'm looking for a way to do what I want without an install-able copy of Win7.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.
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Question by:gallymon
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Expert Comment

by:TyreeSupport
ID: 39167098
I know that VMware have software called VMware converter that will convert a Physical Machine to a Virtual machine (P2V) that would be the easiest way, that would also keep your existing files and setup.

http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 39167219
You would need to format your PC before selling and even then you cannot possibly install it on a virtual platform.

That israeli company may be having a pre approved OS which sells for less compared to the retail version with media. Media will always cost more. The OS on it may not be activated on a virtual machine.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39167222
Technically you need a Windows 7 license for your PC and your VIrtual Machine, if you intend to use both of them at the same time.

Also note, if the copy of Windows 7 on your PC, was supplied with the PC and is OEM, transferring an OEM version to a virtual Machine, may transfer, but it may require activation again.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) versions

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid function for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits—please contact Microsoft Corporation for further information. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

Source
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/A_3721-Can-I-transfer-my-OEM-version-of-Windows-to-another-PC.html

If using VMware Fusion 9.0
http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/overview.html

you can use the following to complete a P2V, see my EE Articles for Step by Step Tutorial, which includes inctructions with screenshots
HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

I actually prefer to use Parallels Desktop for Mac
http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/

It's a superior product compared to VMware Fusion, and performs better.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39167300
As you are running an OEM version of windows 7 on your original PC, you won't be able to run that OS as a VM on your MAC (you need to get a new license of Windows to do so). OEM versions of windows are "married" to the hardware they came with. You can't move them.

Also, when you sell that PC your customer will want to buy it with the original OS that came with it, so completely wiping it isn't a good idea. Just use it's factory recovery options to get it back into the state it was sold to you in.

If you do have another legal, non OEM license for Windows 7, then follow hanccocka's advise above.
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Author Comment

by:gallymon
ID: 39167374
Experts, all great information - thanks.  

So, I get that I cannot move an OEM copy of Win7 Professional from its original machine and, if I do install a copy I've made with a P2V transfer, it will probably require an activation when I fire it up in the virtual machine which will stall/stop me.

I do have a legal copy of Win7 Home Premium.

Does that open up possibilities for me?

I wouldn't mind if my virtual machine ran Win7 Home.  

But then I'm wondering how I can use the P2V of Win7 Professional that I've made from the OEM machine and get the things I want from it.  

Ideas?
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LVL 119
ID: 39167470
It will transfer, but you are breaking the terms of the License Agreement, and it's likely to break activation, and you will need to provide a Retail or Volume License Key to Activate.

OEM software is tied to the hardware it's installed on.

If you have media and a license, you will be able to install a new OS.
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Martin Liss
ID: 39171405
You can buy Windows 7 at eBay for $65 (USD).
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:Martin Liss
ID: 39171418
Actually this article from PCWorld says that you can create your own legal installation DVD.
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