Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd

Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd

Summary: Greg Shultz shows you how to use Disk2vhd to move your Windows XP installation into Windows 7 and then run it with Windows Virtual PC.

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  • For instance, my XP system with about 40GB on an 80GB drive took just a little over two hours to complete the conversion and transfer to an external USB hard disk. When the operation is complete, you'll see the screen shown.

    This gallery is also available as a TechRepublic blog post and download. Image created by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic.
  • Once you copy the virtual Windows XP system's .vhd file over to the Windows 7 system, you'll then open Windows Virtual PC and launch the Create Virtual Machine wizard.

    This gallery is also available as a TechRepublic blog post and download. Image created by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic.
  • In order to reduce the amount of initial tweaking, I configured my virtual machine to have the same amount of RAM as its physical counterpart.

    This gallery is also available as a TechRepublic blog post and download. Image created by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic.
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Topics: Virtualization, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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8 comments
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  • RE: Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd

    This is a great step by step solution!! easy to understand in use.
    But what do you do about specific hardware drivers in the original XP install that are not needed in the virtual PC? Won't there be several hardware conflicts that may cause BSOD or slow the VPC to non usable speed? Many people have lots of programs installed on their XP machines. The VPC of XP shown looks like a fresh install. How to deal with any software conflicts?
    If it is a fresh install, why not just use Microsoft XP Mode?
    just wondering,
    KLund1
    klund1@...
  • Clone instead of software backup

    Realistically, if you are running XP with 127GB or less, rather than wasting the time and money and risk to backup, go buy a 160GB or bigger extra hard disk and just clone the physical disk. It's cheap, faster, 100% reliable, and if the transfer totally screws up, who cares?--you have a clone.
    Rick_R
  • VMWare Player and P2V - Alternative

    For those who like VMWare Player for virtualization, VMWare has a similar solution, and it works for a large number of OSs:

    http://blogs.vmware.com/workstation/2010/09/p2v-windows-7-convert-a-window-7-pc-to-a-virtual-machine.html

    (in this article, it talks of Windows 7, but XP works just as well). I can see this being a nice way to do it if you're migrating XP to Linux, for instance.
    daftkey
  • RE: Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd

    If you like Having ANY Windows but want to run Mac on it in a Virtual Machine with VmWare look at this: http://ozlo.blogspot.com/2010/04/install-snow-leopard-1062-on-vmware.html

    Good day people!
    xD
    ozl@...
  • RE: Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd

    One note: once you have a working machine do the reactivate !immediately!. When I did mine I created a vhd, installed 7 let it update, then attached the vhd. It started fine but then I let it run a couple of updates and one of them caused the activation to change from the "you have three days" to a "You can't login without activating" and at the same time... somehow broke IP. I had to restore my backup to an extra HD and go through the entire procedure again. (Thank you Ghost!)
    vgpaul
  • This process does not work!

    I tested this using 2 different computers; Dell XP on a 6 year old computer running legacy program and when booting in XP mode on 32 bit Win 7 Pro it just gave me a black screen! 2nd computer Acer Aspire 3000 Laptop just installed XP Home and tried to run in XP Mode also gave a black screen .
    NOW WHAT?
    amasys
    • Here's a solution to the black screen

      It's a HAL issue. See this post for a solution:
      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2004/12/16/316643.aspx
      vm0
  • RE: Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd

    Personally, I believe the best method is to use one of Paragon's offerings (Paragon free Go Virtual utility is one) to convert the physical machine (any supported OS) to any of the supported virtual offerings (VMWare's Workstation or the free VMPlayer is my favorite), with MS VPC being in last place. Paragon even has some "Hardware adjust" adjust utilities, allowing an almost flawless boot of the VM (or even go virtural to physical, or move a an OS from a physical machine to a different physical machine). Awsome!
    spicedham@...