Q&A Run Windows7 in VirtualBox with Windows11

Antig

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Mar 23, 2021
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I have an AMD Ryzen 5, 16Gb RAM, 255G SSD still (successfully) running Windows 7pro. Now i'd like to install Windows 11 in that machine without losing the services of the now defunct OS.

So I have two chances, either I make a dual boot system, or I use Windows7 as a VBox OS inside Windows11.
First solution has the drawback I wont be anymore able to use my paid AOMEI to get an image, although I've seen Macrium and EaseTodo might do it( I dont know to which extent of practicality,though), and moreover, I dont think the windows11 boot is as safe as GRUB yet.

So, putting the windows7 OS inside a Virtual Box machine is the alternative left ,in my view.

Question is: is there a method by which I can install in Windows11 in VBox exactly the image of my existent OS? That would save three days work!
I thought perhaps CLONING a AOMEI image to an external HD, then burning it to DVD, then installing it in VB via that image (which should be bootable) might be a possible solution.
Is it,really?
thanks for any help,
antig
 
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shmu26

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Vmware has a free standalone converter. It will convert your physical system into a virtual disk (P2V) in vmdk format.
If you want to use it with Virtualbox, you just install Virtualbox, and then you can convert your virtual disk to vdi format. Actually, Virtualbox will run it even in vmdk format, but there is a performance hit.

You mentioned something about grub: please note that if you use the Vmware converter, and you had more than one OS in the boot partition of your physical machine, you will might get a boot error when you try to use the virtual disk you just created.
However, you can solve the boot error just as you would on a real system. For instance, if you like the Macrium Reflect boot repair tool (like I do) just add the ISO of it to your virtual machine, boot your virtual machine into it, and run the repair tool.
 

Antig

Level 1
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Mar 23, 2021
28
Your reply much appreciated shmu26. I dont have a great experience with Virtuality as I only have been running Linux mint and other windows in a Virtual Box machine in the past 6-7 years mainly in a windows10 machine.
As I understand the matter it is impossible to make an exact copy of your physical Windows7 .with all your programs installed-and convert that to .vdi in order to install into VBox. Or can the CREATE command use a particular kind of cloning to use for VBox install?
I understand the only way is the traditional one of installing from disk the bare ,new OS.
Another question is: if you use the same code of the OS that was regularly installed to activate the VBox install,will Microsoft accept it or a new one is needed? In both instances I'm ok since i got a spare Windows7 i never installed.
I also wonder if it shouldnt be smarter to let windows7 where it is ,install VBox ,and run Windows11 in VBox instead, if Windows 11 lets itself be installed-activated in VBox. This just to have a look and, if found reliable,to later install it when it becomes better.




I
 

shmu26

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Your reply much appreciated shmu26. I dont have a great experience with Virtuality as I only have been running Linux mint and other windows in a Virtual Box machine in the past 6-7 years mainly in a windows10 machine.
As I understand the matter it is impossible to make an exact copy of your physical Windows7 .with all your programs installed-and convert that to .vdi in order to install into VBox. Or can the CREATE command use a particular kind of cloning to use for VBox install?
I understand the only way is the traditional one of installing from disk the bare ,new OS.
Another question is: if you use the same code of the OS that was regularly installed to activate the VBox install,will Microsoft accept it or a new one is needed? In both instances I'm ok since i got a spare Windows7 i never installed.
I also wonder if it shouldnt be smarter to let windows7 where it is ,install VBox ,and run Windows11 in VBox instead, if Windows 11 lets itself be installed-activated in VBox. This just to have a look and, if found reliable,to later install it when it becomes better.




I
With Vmware standalone converter, you can indeed make an exact replica of a windows machine, with all installed programs. I have done it several times. You might have to deal with licensing issues, as the machine id will different.
Sorry for the short reply as I am in a bit of a rush and probably won't be back on line for at least 24 hours. Good luck with everything...
 

shmu26

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if you use the same code of the OS that was regularly installed to activate the VBox install,will Microsoft accept it or a new one is needed?
The virtual machine has a different id than the physical machine so you will need a different license. However, VMs of the same type (Vmware, Vbox, etc) will have the same id, in most cases. So you can use one license for 5 VMs of Windows 10, as long as they are all Vbox.
 

Antig

Level 1
Thread author
Mar 23, 2021
28
Just to let you know I completely succeeded installing my old Windows7 in a VBox inside a Windows10 laptop,right input from you.
First of all by means of Disk2vhd, a program they say works only with 10 but it worked fine with 7 as well, I created a .vhdx image
(in an ext.disk) which was about 40GB big, then used the very costly,but luckily, triable for some time, BlockChain program, which quickly and efficiently changed the .vhdx file into a VBox usable .vdi.
After that it was very simple to configure the updated VBox and point to 'existing file' instead of 'creating' one and the virtual windows7 happily booted in spite of having a lot of contrasting programs with the Windows10 host,like f.i. AMD instead of Intel, Radeon instead of Nvidia etc. No request for a different activation showed up either, up to now,perhaps due to non existence of previous install.
So, this way the only time needed is getting rid of all useless or non working programs ,for me much quicker.
Running Windows7 pro in a VBox ensures I dont have to put my beloved completely in a coffin,but can still use it sometime,in spite of having to privilege the new systems for daily use.
So thanks shmu26,I wanted you to know how it went,
antig

 
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shmu26

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Just to let you know I completely succeeded installing my old Windows7 in a VBox inside a Windows10 laptop,right input from you.
First of all by means of Disk2vhd, a program they say works only with 10 but it worked fine with 7 as well, I created a .vhdx image
(in an ext.disk) which was about 40GB big, then used the very costly,but luckily, triable for some time, BlockChain program, which quickly and efficiently changed the .vhdx file into a VBox usable .vdi.
After that it was very simple to configure the updated VBox and point to 'existing file' instead of 'creating' one and the virtual windows7 happily booted in spite of having a lot of contrasting programs with the Windows10 host,like f.i. AMD instead of Intel, Radeon instead of Nvidia etc. No request for a different activation showed up either, up to now,perhaps due to non existence of previous install.
So, this way the only time needed is getting rid of all useless or non working programs ,for me much quicker.
Running Windows7 pro in a VBox ensures I dont have to put my beloved completely in a coffin,but can still use it sometime,in spite of having to privilege the new systems for daily use.
So thanks shmu26,I wanted you to know how it went,
antig

Great! Thanks for the report. Interesting that Windows 7 didn't complain about activation. That's one more thing to like about Windows 7 :)