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I have a laptop with windows 7 and for various reasons need to replace the computer. Bought a new laptop which comes with windows 10. If I were to just replace the hard drive in the old computer, I would just image the drive, put the new drive in, and then restore the image and be back in business. I would like to do a similar thing with what I have now and I think the virtual machine is the best way to go, just a little confused on the process.

1. What do I need to do with the old laptop that does the equivalent of imaging the drive so I will have a complete working windows 7 computer to use on the windows 10 machine? I will put this file on an external hard drive to then use with the new laptop. I think vhd is what I need, but keep reading about a 128GB limitation and the old laptop is more like 250GB.

2. After creating this file (vhd?), how do I create the virtual machine on the new laptop and then get the windows 7 copy to run. Most sites I have found talk about installing Windows 7 with the installation disk, but the image (vhd?) should already have all of this, correct?

If you could point me to which programs to use, I would appreciate it. I tried to create VHD with disk management, but it is greyed out if I select the C: drive and the system reserved partition. And step by step instructions would be helpful.

Thanks,

Doc
 

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What you are asking is probably impossible, but someone may have a way. I don't think this will work but you can make a clone image of the Windows 7 install and try to insert it into a virtual machine.I don't think the VM will recognize your clone image however.
But Rather then do all of that. Pull the Windows 7 HDD out of the laptop. On your Windows 10 laptop download any of the free Virtual Drive software like Virtual Box. Once installed, put a Windows 7 disc in the drive and install Windows to the Virtual drive. Now take your Windows 7 HDD and attach it to your Windows 10 via a USB Adapter or by a USB dock. In the VM, you can drag and drop your personal files to the VM Windows 7.
 

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Hello tth doc,

Two more solutions to your problem! :whistling:

[1] If you decided do what spunk advises you, maybe the best is to copy all your data files from the old WIN7 drive to new WIN10 drive, since I do not believe that you can also copy your .exe applications from old WIN7 drive to WIN7 VM. Since it is time consuming and very painful option with many problems you'll not able to resolve.

Almost all data files from the old WIN7 .exe app. versions will/should be converted with the new WIN10 applications to new data format without the loss/problems, I do believe.

Besides, your old installation has all the drivers for your old laptop HW, which is making impossible to port it to any new HW, since WIN7 used. :uhoh:

[2] The other option will be to make additional partition on your new (assuming 1TB/1024GB HDD at minimum) drive (size appx. 250GB), then there to install WIN7 OS (making new laptop as dual boot WIN10/WIN7 machine), and copy your data files from the old HDD to new WIN7 partition. :angel:

_nobody_
 

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An existing copy of Windows 7 will not boot in a virtual machine. When Windows is installed it can actually tell if its been installed to a real PC or a Virtual PC. Just like swapping Windows into another PC it will not boot due to Hardware configuration mismatch.

This a possible work around to migrate Windows to similar Hardware for testing purposes but most the time it fails.

Windows knows what HDD controller it was install with and what controller is was last booted from.
I use to swap my BIOS from IDE to AHCI without re-installing Windows by deleting the iaStorV.sys and Mcahci.sys from my System32\drivers folder when in safemode. Booting Windows up normally would reinstall the controller drivers and run without incident.
To do this step with your Copied version you can mount a full system image in Windows 10 via Disk Management by Attaching it as a VHD.
Action > Attach VHD

Next, A virtual machine does not have access to a real 3D GPU so the drivers agp440.sys and intelppm.sys will need to be renamed or deleted from System32/drivers folder.

Finally When Windows is installed to a PC it will use one of 3 HAL drivers.
  • Hal.dll (Standard PC)
  • Halacpi.dll (ACPI HAL)
  • Halaacpi.dll (ACPI HAL with IO APIC)
To migrate to the correct driver when the Copied Windows is added to the Virtual Machine boot the system with a Recovery DVD in the virtual drive and run a repair.

Make sure the your making these changes to your Copied version of Windows as this will more than likely destroy the OS (But leave personal files intact.)
If Windows does boot, i can not guaranty that any or all applications installed will work.
 
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