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Windows 7: Windows 7 System Image on Virtual PCs?

22 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
Windows 7 System Image on Virtual PCs?

Not sure where this belongs, sorry for any inconvenience caused...

Okay, here's the story: I'm getting a new laptop in a few days because my old Toshiba is starting to get way too hot. I have A LOT of priceless, unrecoverable data scattered across its 60GB ard drive, and I just don't have time to go through it all. Then I had an idea: I could make a system image out of my old hard-drive and use it on a virtual PC in my new laptop! So I created an image using Microsoft's system image backup tool and and tried it on VirtualBox, but it didn't boot up. Just a black screen with a few words (looks kinda like a fullscreen cmd).

Long story short: Does anyone know of a program that can create bootable system images that can be used on VirtualBox or other virtual PCs?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2011   #2

windows 7 enterprise 32bit

there is some enterprise backup software which allows the creation of a "bare metal" backup, I haven't done it but am lead to believe you can restore the image as a VM. however this software costs a minor fortune.

also if it's a VMWare VM there is a convertor tool which allows you to complete P2V conversions. you'll probably need another machine to store the image of the conversion.

the other way of collecting your "information" together would be to run the Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7 Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7 and more specifically the User State Migration Tool (USMT).


let us know how you get on.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2011   #3
Thomas R

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 Ver. 6.1.7601 (Build 7601)

I have virtualized an old Windows 2000 laptop at work.
I used Acronis True Image Home 2009 to first make an image of the old system - saved into a *.tib file on an external USB drive.
Next I created an empty virtual machine in VMWare Player.
Important is to configure this virtual machine manually since VMWare likes to create virtual hard drives for Windows as SCSI drives. And since laptops in general have IDE drives this will cause blue screens and prevent the virtualized machine from starting. So make sure to select IDE
Then I booted the virtual machine with the Acronis disc and loaded the image on the virtual machine. Unfortunately that isn’t as easy as it sounds since the mouse doesn’t work properly in the Acronis environment on a virtual machine. This can really test your patience!
However, after the image was finally installed the virtual machine booted up without any problems as if it was still on it’s original hardware.

I also tried the VMWare converter but so far I never got it to work with a live machine or an image of one.
In theory VMWare converter should be able to create a virtual machine directly from a Acronis *.tib image file though I only tried it once and then it didn’t work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Jan 2011   #4

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
another way is simply to restore the image into a Virtual machine using the ACRONIS UNIVERSAL restore feature which essentially does a P2V in this case. This part of the Acronis program will allow you to restore an image to UNLIKE hardware and will attempt to create the proper environemnt during the restore.

It will also search specified folders / directories for non Windows specific hardware drivers you might need.

Usually this works -- create an Empty VM and then install your image into the VM.

You might need to boot up several times to apply various fixes but it should work just fine. I've used this several times.

See here

Acronis Universal Restore | Knowledge Base

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

Thanks for the advice everyone! I am yet to try out the methods Thomas R and Jimbo45 shared. I will report back when I do (which will be in the next few days.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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