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Windows 7: Can I 'copy' my current install to a VM?

25 May 2013   #1
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
Can I 'copy' my current install to a VM?

I am pretty new to VM's and am running Windows 7 with 2 Linux VM's in VMware. I would like to make a copy of my current install (Windows7 Ultimate X64) to a VM for testing purposes. Is this possible. If not, how would I go about accomplishing what I want to do? Also, does a Windows 7 have to be activated and could I use my current activation key?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2013   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro + Windows 10

Steve, I would use an evaluation version to play with in VM


Or if you want just use and ISO from Digital river and do not activate. You can re- arm a few times to continue testing

You can use the disc you currently have to load a system in VM, but can not activate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

Disk2VHD is made precisely for that. Simple to use. Don't know about VMware but I have successfully converted existing installation to be used as a vm in VirtualBox and Virtual PC. Disk2vhd

VMware has a similar application, too. I have not used it so I can tell you nothing of it. VMware vCenter Converter, Convert Physical Machines to Virtual Machines

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2013   #4

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server

Hi there
VMware allows you to create a VM from your currently running OS (the standard terminology for this process is P2V -- Physical to Virtual) and is a relatively simple process - it's much more complex doing it the OTHER way around -- creating a REAL machine from a Virtual Image (V2P - Virtual to Physical).

Done this several times -- absolutely NO problems whatsoever. After you've created the VM you can fiddle around with the settings to adjust the virtual hardware - and don't forget to install VMware tools or the equivalent on other virtualisation platforms

Note though the newly created VM will probably require activation -- most likely the new "virtual hardware" will trigger a hardware change re-activation -- assuming you are trying to virtualize a Windows OS.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2013   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 32-bit; Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (VM).

I recently upgraded to Easeus ToDo Backup Workstation (paid full version), and it has an option to let you restore images to dissimilar hardware.

I do plan to test whether it will restore (my XP setup) into a VM , but have not yet done so.

Can't see any obvious reason why it wouldn't, though.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

Thanks Jimbo and Wenda, I'll give it a try. I tried the VMWare converter, but it cant read the current machine or an Acronis backup, which it says it can. But, I'm stubborn, I haven't quit trying.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can I 'copy' my current install to a VM?

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