Virtualizing a Physical PC

blazemp
blazemp used Ask the Experts™
on
I am having a great deal of trouble in virtualizing a Windows 7 installation of a physical machine.  The machine is an Intel NUC Skull Canyon.  It has two NVMe drives.  One runs Windows 7, and the other runs Windows 10.  I was able to get the Windows 10 installation working on a VM (which is of no matter), but I can't seem to get Windows 7 to boot.  It will start loading Windows, but it reboots, and recommends running startup repair, which is not able to help.  Is there any hope of getting this going?  I really need to virtualize the PC because it is running software that I purchased, but the companies are no longer in business, and I don't have the setup files any longer.  They have dependencies and license files (or perhaps registry data) that need to be registered/put into place.  I have tried doing this with Disk2vhd as well as VMWare Converter Standalone, and using VirtualBox or VMWare. I am happy to use whichever product, as long as it will work properly.  Thanks in advance.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Firstly, is the Windows 7 an OEM edition, e.g. it was supplied with the hardware, or is it a retail edition of the software.

"VMware Converter" is the software to use because it will copy and convert the Windows 7 OS to the virtual hardware.

However, it could possibly get confused because of the two operating systems.

Do you know the Stop BSOD error message ?

I've written extensively about VMware Converter, see here

Whether you are a VMware vSphere Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced or Expert, Physical to Virtual conversions sometimes are not easy, and many issues can arise, a successful conversion requires 50% technical knowledge, 25% patience and  25% luck to get a successful conversion. Sometimes it is not as simple, as install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, and click next to obtain a successful conversion.


Source
HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

Author

Commented:
It is not an OEM version of Windows 7.

I thought (and hoped) VMWare Converter would be the way to go.  :/

I am happy to untie and completely delete the other Windows session.  Just wasn't quite sure the best steps to take for doing that without cutting it off on the actual physical system since I can't get into the XP session.  

I do not know the Stop BSOD message.  It does not visibly show an actual BSOD.  It literally just reboots without presenting one at all (I know they can sometimes go by quickly unless the BIOS has an option to not reboot), but I am not sure if the VMWare Bios has this option.  I will go take another look....
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
You can Press F8, and select do not restart after error message or BSOD or something like that, so it will not autorestart.

If you can remove the Windows 10 NVMe drive, or delete Windows 10, and just have Windows 7, e.g. no dual boot would be better.
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
Mount the Win7 OS drive.

Mount the Registry using the LOAD in RegEdit.

Import the attached.

Dismount the attached Win7 registry.

Connect the virtual hard disk back to the VM and boot.

Since the RAID setup was there Win7 was probably choking on that while Win10 had the ability to see past it.

Make sure to clean-up the Device Manager of all referenced hardware (show_hidden_devices method).
12-07-10-STOP-07B-Registry-Fix-for-H.txt

Author

Commented:
Hi Philip.  Thanks much for replying.  I would like to clarify a few points.

1) When I try to map either VM drive through VMWare, it says "Error reading volume information. Please select another disk file."

2)  In RegEdit, I have Load Hive (which is disabled).  There is no actual "Load" menu item.  There is a Connect Network Registry option that is enabled.

Just to clarify one other thing.  There was no RAID involved.  Well,  I have used FlexRAID in the past on this system (other solutions were external hardware RAID before that), but it has been uninstalled.  I am now using Synology external RAID NAS (not that it has anything to do with this topic).  :)
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
Connect the VMDK file to another machine.

Open RegEdit

Click on HKLM and File --> Load Hive

Name it (in the below I gave it TEMP)

Import into that HIVE, unload, and reconnect to the Win7 VM.

Hive Mounted
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
... NUC Skull Canyon ... two NVMe drives ...

So no RAID there?

Okay, then do you still have access to the original OS on the Skull Canyon?

The no-boot is, I'm betting a coffee and a doughnut, because Win7 was on the second of the two NVMe drives in the BIOS boot order?

So, you need to boot a Win7 or Win10 installer .ISO and use BCDEdit to reset the boot configuration database and then re-seat the Windows OS in the VM.

Author

Commented:
Correct.  No RAID.  One of the NVMe drives has Windows 7, and the other has Windows 10.  I can select Windows 7 when booting the VM, though, which is what I have been doing until now.  Can you expand on "re-seat the Windows OS"?  Just to be sure.  :)  Thank you.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
Here is one post on re-seating the Windows OS with its storage device.

Author

Commented:
Philip, do you have any interest in taking this on with the Expert-Exchange new remote feature?

Author

Commented:
No worries.  I found an ISO I could boot that fixed it up.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
Yay! Busy day yesterday. :)

Author

Commented:
:)  Indeed!  Today too.  Still trying to move to the new NUC.  Always something....
Commented:
Repair ISO to fix the issue.

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