Running windows 7 inside windows 10 and Updating to windows 10

  1.    #1

    Running windows 7 inside windows 10 and Updating to windows 10


    I struggle against change. I fear the abuse that may come from Microsoft as I have watched how Computers have caused enourmouse trama over the last ~30 years. - since ~1986 around when DOS 1.1 came out. I have watched the industry torture those in small office situations. For the small office users - our time has not at all been respected and we have been pushed into buying in hopes of saving only to find out we have been duped. Computers were at first such a huge heartache for everyone and often it made things take much longer. Many men threw up their hands and said IM OUT I RETIRE.
    I am uncomfortable with windows 10 and how it has forced updates on folks. We have our windows 7 machines now and they are really the first machines that really made us productive. XP kinda but the hardware was not up to par just yet. But windows 7 has been a great experience for me.

    I have been hearing a lot about being able to create one large file that is my windows 7 computer called a ISO and I can take that file and mount it like as if my computer would be just like having a windows 7 computer. All my programs that wont run on 10 now will.
    And apparently I can also run windows XP as well inside of windows 10 by using the virtual machine that comes with windows 10.

    So for me and any other users who are interested in this idea - How well is this working out ? Do xp and win 7 setups run fast as virtual machines.? Do the newest builds and versions disable the Virtual Machine setups or make them slow and useless or have the windows 10 updates been respectful of the virtual machine setups ? that run in the virtual machines ?
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  2.    #2

    I'm not a big fan of virtual machines for home use. And, holy cow, you have a 4TB SSD! If it was I, I would just run Windows 7 in it's own partition on the 4TB SSD and dual boot it with Windows 10 in it's own partition.

    Your thread title mentions upgrading to Windows 10. In order to legally upgrade your Windows 7 to Windows 10 and keep using your Windows 7 too, you will need to purchase a license for Windows 10 (or even a second license for Windows 7 would work too.)

    Here's some info regarding setting up the VM:
    Hyper-V virtualization - Setup and Use in Windows 10
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  3. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 7,489
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #3

    Hi there
    @NavyLCDR

    Modern computers can run Virtual Machines far faster than the original hardware that they were designed on

    I have an XP VM I use daily in e-commerce that runs really fast with a HUGE 4 screen setup all of them are > 60 inch monitors with 4K UHD grap[hic capability -- that type of Video display wasn't even thought of when the XP system was originally launched .

    I also use that for my Stock trading platform - runs on Windows 10 HOST which is why I bought the 4 Monitor setup in the first place -- that's another issue though and that does run on Windows !!)

    The hardware though has plenty of horsepower over to allow running my main e-commerce system - creating bespoke Vinyl records for people where I use the XP VM concurrently with my stock trading system - the VM takes minimal resources from the host BTW.

    Without running this old XP system as a VM you'd never get the video drivers to support that size monitor --as well as the idea of using HDD's / SSD's several TB in size too.

    I'm using this XP VM to burn / create Vinyl Disks for people -- the recording hardware I have won't run on anything newer than XP -- and it still works 100% OK running as a VM. I could get newer hardware but that would cost me today around 30,000 USD so why bother when my current hardware is absolutely OK -- the volume of sales I do doesn't justify replacing perfectly good hardware.

    There's many reasons for using Virtual Machines -- most of them good and they do work -- those who tell you that it's a waste of time as they don't need to run legacy hardware or aren't interested in trying out new versions of an OS .

    True for some people but believe me there's so many cases where running Virtual machines makes perfect sense -- just look at Amazon who supply AWS to users --Amazon probably the biggest Cloud provider on the planet-- this effectively gives each user their own server etc which is essentially a Virtual machine.

    VM software - or running Virtual Machines is a 100% OK idea -- it's not a pointless exercise or a Geeks Toy.

    VM's might not be suitable for a lot of people but for others they definitely are very viable and with cloud computing etc the whole idea of "Virtual Servers" etc makes them even more viable -- some corporations are even abandoning there whole in house I.T to cloud type servers -- and these all deliver a "Virtual Infrastructure" to their clients -- VM's are not going away any time soon --far from it.

    It's 100% not necessary to run dual boot systems these days -- especially if you want the host to be available for 24/7 working -- trading world wide markets needs pretty continuous operation -- while just booting up a VM for a few hours a day without having to shut down the host is perfect.

    Dual booting IMO should be avoided where possible especially on modern hardware where VM's can run really wee and often at about 97% of Native speed

    I also use VM's for trialling / testing new Windows builds and various Linux distros too.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 4 Weeks Ago at 16:39.
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  4.    #4

    So here's a question: what kind of machine does the hardware appear to be to a Win7 VM guest, running on a Win10 host, on a hardware generation newer than Skylake such that in theory Win7 Windows Updates are no longer supplied?

    In other words, if Win7 is no longer officially "allowed/supported" on modern current hardware, does that mean that Win7 VM on those newer host machines is also no longer possible? Or, if Win7 can in fact still be installed and used on newer host machines, what does Win7 think its running on when you do the install and relevant drivers etc. are downloaded from MS, both initially and with regular WIndows Updates?

    If MS is shutting off updates to real physical Win7 machines beyond Skylake, what's the story for Win7 VM running on hosts newer than Skylake? Does VM simulate Skylake to Win7 VM even when on a host machine is not Skylkae but that's truly newer? Do Windows Updates still arrive each month, or do they not (I mean now, not after next January when they'll clearly stop)?

    You get my drift. Seems contradictory here, but if it's all "magic" then it's clearly a nice way to still be able to run Win7 (AND WIN10 AS WELL) on brand new hardware.
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  5. storageman's Avatar
    Posts : 706
    Windows 10 Pro 1903 18362.239
       #5

    DSperber said: View Post
    So here's a question: what kind of machine does the hardware appear to be to a Win7 VM guest, running on a Win10 host, on a hardware generation newer than Skylake such that in theory Win7 Windows Updates are no longer supplied?

    In other words, if Win7 is no longer officially "allowed/supported" on modern current hardware, does that mean that Win7 VM on those newer host machines is also no longer possible? Or, if Win7 can in fact still be installed and used on newer host machines, what does Win7 think its running on when you do the install and relevant drivers etc. are downloaded from MS, both initially and with regular WIndows Updates?
    Any O.S. running under a VM, doesn't know what the hardware is. The Virtual machine provides, to all of the devices that are available on the system that its running on. The guest O.S. only knows it has access to these devices. But the O.S. HOST that is supporting the virtual system MUST be able to support what ever REAL hardware that exists.

    I run Win7 in a Hyper-V virtual machine. It currently gets the standard updates that MS makes available. When support goes away, it will remain at state that is in at that time forever. I actually back it up with Macrium Reflect once in a while. Its been running there for at least 3 years with NO problems.

    Since support by MS is going away, It could be attacked by some virus/ransomware. I would use a backup image to restore it. Backups are important important whether its a Virtual machine or the Host system.

    Now as far as running on unsupported hardware, I believe that when its a guest in a virtual machine, it will never know its under a unsupported hardware. For example I run DOS (I believe its 3.x) today in one of my virtual guests. It hasn't been supported by MS for more years that I care to think of. Works fine but its not supported under my current hardware architecture.

    But bottom line is you need to have licenses for each Guest and Host system.
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  6.    #6

    I still have unanswered questions, which you've kind of addressed by I would like some more detail.

    (1) When I run CPUZ in the Win7 VM on my Skylake machine with i7-6700 CPU, that's what shows up in CPUZ. Memory is not "real", but shows as "EDO" memory and at whatever size I created the Win7 VM machine at with VMWare. The other important hardware items such as "storage controllers" and "network adapters" and "display adapters" are also not "real" in the Win7 VM but show up as devices clearly provided through the magic of VMWare. Apparently these other devices have no problem finding drivers when I installed Win7 from scratch in the brand new Win7 VM that I created.

    But aren't Win7 updates (at least for the initial install, and up through next January) only available for MS-approved machines, meaning Skylake and older? Don't newer machines not qualify for Windows Updates (essentially making it impossible and unauthorized to install Win7 on newer generation chipsets and motherboards)?

    So, out of curiosity, if you do have Win7 VM installed on a machine of yours (using Hyper-V) that is newer than Skylake, what does CPUZ run inside that Win7 VM claim its chipset and CPU to be?

    (2) When you say you take occasional backups using Macrium Reflect, are you talking about running Macrium inside the Win7 VM guest or in the Win10 host? If running inside the Win7 VM guest, what device is your target for the output of the backup: (a) an external USB drive hosted by Win10 and given a "mapped network drive" letter within the Win7 VM, or (b) a "second hard disk" which gets a "local drive letter" by Win7 VM?

    I ask because if you ever had to restore that image, how would you run Macrium Reflect? You can't boot from a standalone "rescue media" USB drive and restore to a VM machine, can you? Or can you?

    Or, if you used "Other tasks" while running Macrium within the Win7 VM and then "create rescue media" and produced a Boot Manager menu item, then you could certainly select that instance of Macrium when you star the VM from the Boot Manager menu presented. But when I tried that it was clear that the external USB drive I had used to create my backup on was unusable, since it needed real USB drivers from the host Win10 to restore with and they were not provided when started from Boot Manager in this way. So I hypothesized I should have instead written the backup output to a "second hard disk" which would be available to the Win7 VM, no matter whether it was truly Win7 or Macrium Reflect launched from the Boot Manager menu.

    Seems an equally effective "backup" is simply to use folder/file backup (e.g. my NovaBACKUP product) running in Win10, to simply backup the \Documents folder that holds the VMWare VM machine and secondary hard disk definitions, along with any possible off-C secondary hard disk definition folders. These folders/files ARE the VM machine in its entirety, so just backing them up using host Win10 as ordinary folder/file data backups accomplishes exactly what Macrium Reflect is doing when running inside of Win7 VM.

    So I decided NOT to run Macrium Reflect inside of Win7 VM, although I normally would have done that targeting to an external USB backup drive. But because of the drive lettering issue, and availability of that USB drive when running "rescue media", I decided simply backing up the folder/files corresponding to the VM definition in VMWare was perfectly equivalent and 100% as effective, and caused no questions or difficulties.
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  7. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 7,489
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #7

    Hi there
    still running daily an XP VM - working flawlessly -- on modern hardware the Host hardly knows its running as it uses a trivially small amount of resources - and output to a huge 4K monitor (resolution like that didn't exist in XP days but the Virtual Video driver takes care of all that). Ensure on the VM itself install VMWare tools (or VBOX additions if using VBOX).

    These additions update the video, audio, mouse, and USB stuff as well as paravirtualising other hardware so load on the Host OS is minimised.

    On most Linux distros the package openvm-tools provided by VMWare is available via your package manager if you want to run Linux Guests.

    Note also to get 3D / hardware acceleration to work on your Windows guests when running with a Linux Host with VMWare then in the vmx.cnf file ensure these 2 lines are included :

    mks.gl.allowBlacklistedDrivers = "TRUE"
    mks.enable3d = "TRUE"

    Cheers
    jimbo




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    My Host is a Linux Centos 7.6 server - also playing around with RHEL 8 . Running the VM's with VMWare workstation - and testing ESXi.

    BTW updating a W7 VM to W10 works fine too if you want to do it and the Free update still works provided your W7 is a retail version.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  8. storageman's Avatar
    Posts : 706
    Windows 10 Pro 1903 18362.239
       #8

    @DSperber - You have some good questions in that list. First, I have the same CPU as you have (I7-6700). But getting back to VM Guests, I decided to run CPUZ on the WIN7 machine and it returned the same hardware status as you seen. Memory was EDO along with external drives. But its a virtual simulation, I wouldn't expect CPUz returning what the real hardware is because its virtual.

    To be honest, I have NOT tried to restore a backup image under a VM guest. I haven't even thought about it. The main reason I did a image backup, was if I delete a important file in WIN7, maybe a file folder backup would be better. But I would just mount the image file and replace it from the backup image. If I destroy the WIN & system, I would have to go to the HOST backups and restore from there. The virtual machines are backup up by the host weekly. The worst case is that I would lose a weeks work. For my environment that's all I need.

    As far as future CPU hardware, If you think WiN7 won't get any updates, I cannot help you there. We will have to wait until somebody that has current hardware architecture.
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  9.    #9

    I suspect that the Skylake/i7-6700 "hardware" reported by CPUZ is, as you suggest, just a virtualization... like the memory, graphics, network adapter, etc. that shows in Device Manager.

    And that seems perfect, since that hardware configuration is entitled to run Win7 and get Windows Updates. So as long as that's what will always appear even if you create a Win7 VM on a newer host machine (which by virtue of its newer hardware would otherwise NOT be usable for Win7) then that's perfect! Seems that's how you'd design VMWare, to simulate the last acceptable hardware compatible with a legacy OS (e.g. WinXP, and now Win7), so that the OS is still "supported" in virtual mode on much newer hardware.

    That's what I was asking for someone to confirm, who has already done this and created a Win7 VM on a machine with a newer chipset than Skylake, and a 7th generation CPU or newer. If it still shows Skylake and i7-6700 (or similar), that's perfect. Again, for me that would mean Win7 and Windows Media Center can continue to be used forever.


    As far as the sensible way to run backups, in my real physical Win7 machines I run BOTH (a) "system image" backup of my C-partition using Macrium Reflect, and (b) "data" folder/file backup of all folders/files other than C:\Windows using NovaBACKUP.

    I thought I would be doing the same thing in the Win7 VM until I discovered issues with running a "restore" using "rescue media" of Macrium Reflect in the Win7 VMnviornment, either using Boot Manager option or standalone USB boot media. These seemed insurmountable if I wanted to use Macrium to backup to my external USB drive. But if I was willing to backup to an internal physical host drive (on which I'd defined a secondary virtual hard disk to VMWare), that could at least theoretically work.

    Once I realized that the Win7 VM was actually nothing more than a "DOCUMENTS data folder" and could just as easily (and much faster) be backed up and restored as "data" (i.e. folders/files) with NovaBACKUP running in my Win10 host, this is truly equivalent backup/restore functionality to taking "system image" backups using Macrium Reflect inside of the Win7 VM guest but then having "restore" issues. So that's how I'm doing it, as "data" in Win10 host.
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