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Windows 7: Use existing HD in enclosure, can I run win and programs from there?

22 Jan 2014   #11

win7 64 bit

Yeah, damn, I guess I will have to budget some no-computer-work time and do this large procedure completely. I'll still have my files on the old HD to access, that's at least one step better than formatting the whole thing.

Thank you all.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #12
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

You can run your old system from a USB enclosure (hopefully USB3, but USB2 works too) if you run in virtual. I run 6 systems (Linux and Windows 8) like that. You have to do the following - it is a fun project.

1. Move the bootmgr to C if it is not there already: Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD

2. Make a VHD from your system. The command is

WBADMIN START BACKUP -backupTarget:L: -include:C:

Where L is some external disk where you store the VHD. It is stored to the root.

3. Convert the VHD to a VMDK (with WinImage). Here is how:

4. Install VMware Player on your SSD system. Download VMware Player 6.0.1 -

5. Create a virtual machine in VMware Player using the VMDK that you created and copy that to your external disk.

6. Here is an example on how it works - this is running Windows 8 in virtual.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #13
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

But if you only want to have your old system handy to pick files etc, do only step #2 of the above. Then attach that VHD via disk management > Action tab and you will find it in Computer. There you can open it like any volume and read and copy what you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Use existing HD in enclosure, can I run win and programs from there?

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