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Windows 7: Ways to run W7 legacy software under W10

09 Jan 2020   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Ways to run W7 legacy software under W10


I've got two questions:

I'm currently using Windows 7 and with updates no longer being provided by Microsoft I'm considering installing Windows 10. My concern is the software I have installed that probably will not run under Windows 10.

I've got various CAD and design software, all having been developed for Windows 7. Some of them, for example 3DS Max, won't function under Windows 10 according to the company selling it, Autodesk. Instead, I'm suggested to upgrade for an annual fee of $250. As I have other software like this, it will become quite expensive, and on an annual basis.

1. So first question is, could I run my W7 based software on a W7 Virtual Machine, or similar? Could I dual boot W7 and W10? Any recommendation?

2. Provided there is a solution to the question above, I've got a contingency question. I've got a separate new SSD that I intend to install W10 to. Would I be able to keep my old W7 disk, with all the legacy software on it, rather than having to reinstall software (some of them will be hard, I'm sure that Autodesk is going to be a hassle as the download is only available online, as it wasn't particularly easy the first time, and they'd rather sell me a subscription than have me use my original purchase)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2020   #2

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone


If your software applications will not work on Windows 10, then you must run them on a Windows 7 OS. That OS can be installed as a virtual machine, running under Windows 10, or, the OS can be dual booted along side Windows 10 - as you have already explored.

The choice of which way you go is yours. From where you stand, dual boot may be easier to implement. However, to switch between Windows 10 and Windows 7 requires a restart of the machine.

A win7 virtual machine may be more awkward to setup, but switching between Win7 and Win10 desktops is a lot quicker, as all you need do is switch active window. Some people say virtual machine responsiveness is a bit slower, but I have never noticed.

A little more on Virtual Machine installation. As your applications are already installed, then you might want to try software that converts your existing HDD into a Virtual Machine-ready, VHD file. Disk2VHD is one such program that can perform the migration.

If you migrate your system drive, and convert it into a virtual machine compatible file, then you should clone, or otherwise make a image backup, of the system drive first - in case something goes wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Ways to run W7 legacy software under W10

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