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Can an existing Windows 7 installation be used as a virtual machine in Virtual Box?

Posted on 2014-02-02
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Last Modified: 2014-02-10
Hi there, I have a customer's laptop that has a failed mother board.

He does not want to fix it and has purchased another w8 laptop.

He has asked if it is possible to take his intact hard drive (windows 7 Installation) and make it into a virtual machine file so he can still use some legacy software he cant run in windows 8 and does not have the installation any longer.

Can this be done, if so how?

Cheers.
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Question by:MXDEWD
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by:Zephyr ICT
ID: 39828828
One solution I can see is to make a disk image of the hard disk using something like Ghost/dd/Clonezilla and use that image to restore it to a virtual machine.

So, connect the hard disk to another computer, create a disk image of it, restore the disk image to a virtual machine...
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 167 total points
ID: 39828959
Yes, it's quite simple to do this:-

1. Download a trial of the Symantec™ System Recovery 2013 Server Edition

2. Create an image of the failed drive.

3. and then use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5, to convert the image to a Virtual Machine.

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

However, please read the following if the OS, was supplied with the machine, e.g. it uses an OEM license.

Are you using an OEM version of the software?

e.g. did SBS come suipplied with the hardware?

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

You will need to provide a Retail or Volume license key to the Virutal Machine.
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Expert Comment

by:Sikhumbuzo Ntsada
ID: 39829014
You can also get a trial of WinImage, you will be able to create a VHD of the laptop drive. You can then set up Hyper-V on Windows 8 to host the VM.
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robincm earned 167 total points
ID: 39829043
Another utility to consider is the SysInternals (now Microsoft) Disk2VHD: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx
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by:Haresh Nikumbh
Haresh Nikumbh earned 166 total points
ID: 39829271
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Author Comment

by:MXDEWD
ID: 39830797
Thanks for the responses, will give the suggested options a shot and let you all know how I get on and which suggestion works best for me.
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