What is the best way to be able to continue running an only Windows 7-compatible software on a new computer?

How do I get my Windows 7 computer refurbished, and can I keep everything intact after refurbished?

I have electronic dictionaries on my current Windows 7 computer, and when I buy a new computer with Windows 10 installed I will not be able to use these electronic dictionaries any longer.

An alternative would be to buy a pure Linux computer with only Linux hardware and install Windows 7 on that in a VM and then run my dictionary software in that. Would that be viable, and better or worse solution than getting my current Windows 7 computer refurbished?

Can I get my Windows 7 computer refurbished by vising a Dell support center?
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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
All the above are valid and viable (either buying a machine with Windows 7 or building a VM with 7(license ? ))  but i guess the best option is to have a VM....whatever whenever a VM is a single folder ...you just copy/paste it to your new machine and everything is intact
hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Ok, but it would not work to copy and paste the VM to a Windows 10 machine, right? Because the hardware does not support Windows 7? So if a Linux computer hardware support Windows 7 then I could use that option only.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows 10 supports virtual Windows 7 machines easily. I have a Windows 7 VM here on my computer. The new hardware will support this.

You can use a Linux host if you wish to use Linux, but there is no need to. Windows 10 works perfectly well.

but it would not work to copy and paste the VM to a Windows 10 machine,

With VMware Workstation you can move a machine from one computer to another (keeping licenses proper).

I think (based on your comments) you are better off with a Windows 10 machine and then make a Windows 7 guest. This will work.

The company with the electronic dictionaries will go out of business if they do not support Windows 10.

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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
That is good news, thanks! Then I have nothing to worry about as long as I use a Windows 7 VM in the new Windows 10 computer.

But it is true that I can not run the electronic dictionary software directly in Windows 10, because this software company just told me that. They have cancelled their whole agreement with the publisher of these electronic dictionaries so they do not maintain them any longer. That is the reason they will not work when used directly in Windows 10.
Technical EngeneerTechnical Support SpecialistCommented:
If you're trying to avoid Windows 10 all-together (privacy reasons, for example), double-check the BIOS settings on the new computer. For example, on my computer I can switch between UEFI and standard BIOS for booting purposes. With good ol' BIOS, you should be able to install Windows 7 without a problem.

Before you wipe clean Windows 10, check out machines without an operating system installed. Certain manufacturers will allow you to buy only the hardware, without Windows pre-installed. (Why pay for license you're not going to use?)

Last, but not least, make sure drivers are available for Windows 7. If that's an issue, consider Linux for host OS (or keeping Win 10 as host OS) and install something like VirtualBox in order to virtualize Win7 inside of it.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
I think the VM is the best future proof solution as long you need the dictionaries...Remember that Virtual Machines Hosters (Vmware Workstation/Virtual Box) support even ancient OSes like windows 3.1 - 98...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows 7 is at end of life. Security patches only. So I would be inclined to keep new computers as Windows 10.

Then as above, use a Virtual Machine as needed. Windows 7 will last a long time in a VM even if unsupported.

You can use Unity Mode in VMware Workstation to make the use of the dictionary transparent to you.
Who remembers XP mode for Windows 7 aka Hyper-V...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
XP mode in only for Windows 7. VMware Workstation runs regular XP machines.
It was sort of regular Hyper-V machine
David Johnson, CD, MVPRetiredCommented:
@gheist: It was sort of regular Hyper-V machine.  It was a type 2 hypervisor and hyper-v is a type 1 hypervisor.
Type 1 hypervisors run directly on the system hardware. They are often referred to as a "native" or "bare metal" or "embedded" hypervisors in vendor literature. Type 2 hypervisors run on a host operating system

The virtual-pc technology is more similar to vmware workstation/oracle virtualbox than it is to hyper-v.

If you just want to upgrade your hardware perhaps just moving the disk over will work. You will need to update the drivers to get full functionality.
Shaun VermaakTechnical SpecialistCommented:
You need to pick a platform that supports seamless applications such as VirtualBox or Unity from VMWare. This allows application to run via virtual as if it is running on the host directly, much like XP-Mode
hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I will probably go for the VM option to a new machine then.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks for the update.
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