Run W7 legacy software on VM under W10 or dual boot?  

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  1. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #21

    Hi folks

    The best way to avoid hassle IMO is to just run the thing as a VM -- HYPER-V needs WIN 10 Pro or higher --won't do on Home - but otherwise any other free VM software works.

    If you need to install a lot of basic extra 3rd party apps that intefere with the basic operation of the windows GUI etc IMO you are just buying extra problems. Using a VM means that the Win 7 system will function identically to what you had before with all the installed applications.

    I'm a big user of VM's --I would NEVER even THINK of going back to dual booting again. - EVER !!!

    Remember also running a VM means you can run the applications CONCURRENTLY with the W10 OS -- and of course sharing data between the systems is easy enough too.

    Just try it first before installing all that legacy stuff on W10 -- even if the W7 system requires new activation - you get 30 days in any case and once you're all sorted simply phone for activation -- Ms usually don't have any problem with this at all.

    For a beginner with VM's I'd suggest VMWare player (from VMWare) or Vbox (from oracle) both free for home users. HYPER-V works too but IMO is better left to more experienced users.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
       #22

    Gadgety said:
    So, I need to create the VHD of my W7 system before installing W10, assuming I install W10 on the same harddisk where W7 now sits, correct?
    Yes.


    Gadgety said:
    Furthermore I need to create a partition on a separate hdd and save the VHD copy there? Or perhaps a partition is not necessary, only saving the VHD copy to a separate location disk?
    You must save the VHD on an external disk, or if your PC has more than one internal disks, on other than Windows system disk.


    Gadgety said:
    Would your description of creating the VHD copy equal jimbo45's description of creating an image of the system (although in that instruction it's saved to an external disk) in terms of functionality?
    Basically, the results are the same.

    Just remember, a VM is never as fast as a real PC. Using software that requires a lot of graphics resources can be quite slow on a VM.

    Kari
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #23

    Kari said:
    Yes.




    You must save the VHD on an external disk, or if your PC has more than one internal disks, on other than Windows system disk.




    Basically, the results are the same.

    Just remember, a VM is never as fast as a real PC. Using software that requires a lot of graphics resources can be quite slow on a VM.

    Kari
    Hi there
    for once I have to disagree with you here @Kari

    KVM with decent pci passthru can be almost as fast as bare metal and for non intensive gaming -- e.g typical bog standard things people use Windows for the paravirtualised virtio drivers improve windows i/O on a VM really well -- a noticeable difference.

    Gone are the days where VM's were by their nature necessarily sluggish with a lot of overhead. Typical machines have oodles of CPU power and usually plenty of RAM available -- the big bottleneck which is often neglected especially in domestic computers is hideously slow I/O.

    Why Windows doesn't yet have any sort of sensible software RAID is still a huge mystery to me -- however that's another whole issue.

    Anyway here's a W10 pro 4GB RAM QEMU/KVM VM running EXCEL -- minimal CPU use -- host barely notices it !!! = Only when CPU powers up is there any extra load - once the GUEST is is powered up and VM memory allocated plus network allocations and services started the VM settles down to a fairly minimal constant value --unless you go Bonkers on the GUEST !!!!

    Run W7 legacy software on VM under W10 or dual boot?-screenshot_20200113_222300.png

    Run W7 legacy software on VM under W10 or dual boot?-screenshot_20200113_222508.png

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 13 Jan 2020 at 17:33. Reason: added cpu use screenshot
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  4. Posts : 14
    Windows7
    Thread Starter
       #24

    Kari said:
    Yes

    You must save the VHD on an external disk, or if your PC has more than one internal disks, on other than Windows system disk.

    Basically, the results are the same.

    Just remember, a VM is never as fast as a real PC. Using software that requires a lot of graphics resources can be quite slow on a VM.

    Kari
    Thank you for clarifying, Kari. That last point on graphics resources, being slower on a VM, may have implications as 3DS Max is 3D graphics, design and manipulation of objects. On the other hand I may never need to run it on a VM, if 3DS Max works under W10 anyway.

    If I put the VHD on an internal disk, is it possible to later on create a copy of the VHD and move it to yet another disk? That is, to make a VHD of the VHD.

    Thank you again.

    Kind regards

    - - - Updated - - -

    jimbo45 said:

    I'm a big user of VM's --I would NEVER even THINK of going back to dual booting again. - EVER !!!
    Thank you, jimbo, both for the heads up, and for the suggestions of software. What are drawbacks of dual booting?
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #25

    Gadgety said:
    Thank you for clarifying, Kari. That last point on graphics resources, being slower on a VM, may have implications as 3DS Max is 3D graphics, design and manipulation of objects. On the other hand I may never need to run it on a VM, if 3DS Max works under W10 anyway.

    If I put the VHD on an internal disk, is it possible to later on create a copy of the VHD and move it to yet another disk? That is, to make a VHD of the VHD.

    Thank you again.

    Kind regards

    - - - Updated - - -


    Thank you, jimbo, both for the heads up, and for the suggestions of software. What are drawbacks of dual booting?
    Hi there
    Dual booting means of course that you must boot up ONE or OTHER of the OS's --you can't run both at the same time, also you cannot guarantee that the older OS would always work on newer hardware and certainly it won't (the legacy OS) have all the security that the newer OS has so to be safe the legacy OS would have to be isolated for the Internet while it's running.

    AS A VM it can still function securely since you can restrict Internet access on it while running the main OS.

    The only possible advantage to dual booting is if you need to test the actual hardware of modern OS's -- not an issue with legacy systems --with those IMO there's ZERO advantage into running these as dual boot OS's

    BTW some VM systems support 3D graphics and acceleration quite decently too :

    Run W7 legacy software on VM under W10 or dual boot?-screenshot_20200114_091342.png

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 14
    Windows7
    Thread Starter
       #26

    Thank you, jimbo. I did realize it would be one, or the other, running. :-D

    - - - Updated - - -

    Kari said:
    You must save the VHD on an external disk, or if your PC has more than one internal disks, on other than Windows system disk. Kari
    Before creating the VHD I checked the Windows system logbook, for boot time, boot degradation, critical boot up events and administrative events. If there are errors in the administrative events, should attempts at correcting/cleaning these be done prior to making the VHD?
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #27

    Hi there

    @Gadgety

    If using HYPER-V / KVM/QEMU type of hypervisors in order to get the best out of graphics performance you really need to run the graphics in NATIVE mode via passthru to the VM --You need though either a 2nd graphics card or a second head to supply the monitor.

    Doing this makes all the difference to using VM's for highly intensive graphics and gaming -- since the board is passed through to the VM you are using the Native Windows drivers and systems.

    For some might be overkill but for those with a bit of spare hardware -- especially if you run say a linux system in total text mode remotely you could get away with 1 graphics card -- won't work though on Windows HOSTs that way --you will need 2 graphics cards or 2 heads on the card. On a Linux host if you do want a GUI any old cheapo rubbishy card could be used for the ist graphics card !! while the gaming graphics card can be dedicated to that particular Windows VM.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 54
    Windows 10
       #28

    jimbo45 said:
    actually if you IMAGE the old W7 installation via Macrium or whatever --you CAN restore that image as a VM with VBOX / VMware player etc.

    1) Image the system to external HDD / USB drive.
    2) ensure you have ISO of bootable restore media (make that in Macrium under tools) - have iso image
    3) in the VM config have the iso as the boot device
    4) create VM with wizard but say I'll install operating system later
    5) attach usb device where you've got your image file.
    6) boot the VM -- the Macrium stand alone restore should work.
    5) now re-boot the VM from the Virtual disk -- not the macrium iso.
    6) if it fails then re-boot VM from the macrium iso image -->tools --<>fix windows boot problems. I've very rarely needed to do that.
    7) after successful reboot into windows update any drivers etc needed - the display driver will probably initially be quite basic
    8) Once networking is OK then install vmware tools / vbox additions depending on what vm software you are using

    Job done. (Note you might have to re-enter w7 activation key --if so do by phone and just say you've moved W7 to a new computer --shouldn't be any problems there).
    I'm in the process of trying this out as a proof-of-concept, and having trouble.

    First, minor typo in your recipe. You re-started numbering the items from (5) after the first (6), so you actually should have everything numbered (1) to (10). Cosmetic.

    Next, the real problem is that the physical Win7 that was "imaged" (using Macrium Reflect in my case) can either be just the Windows C-partition, or also include the one or more of the smaller system partitions (e.g. "system reserved" if from an MBR drive, or "EFI System" and "GPT placeholder" if from a GPT drive, or "Recovery" on a Dell machine which is where they place Boot Manager, or "Utilities" on a Dell machine, etc.). Whatever partitions you backup in the original image, you can then select one or more or all of them to restore using the ISO of Macrium Reflect running in the Win7-VM.

    In your recipe item (6) (i.e. the first one) you don't indicate in your recipe which one or more of the available partitions which were imaged should you select to restore when you run Macrium ISO in the WIn7-VM. If you're not asking us to restore ALL of them, please clarify which partitions should have been imaged in the first place and specifically WHICH ONE OR MORE should be restored?

    As it turns out, if the target is going to the virtual C-partition in Win7-VM then you can only restore the one Win7 C-partition from the image. You can't restore more than one partition. But in fact typically "system reserved" is marked "active" and is where Boot Manager lives, and this is NOT THE C-PARTITION.

    So that means the only way your recipe can possibly work is if C is actually the "active" and also contain Boot Manager, something that is not normally the case. As it turns out a Win7 from-scratch install within a newly created Win7-VM WILL produce just a single C-partition that is "active" and has Boot Manager in it, with NO "system reserved".

    So in order for your recipe to migrate a genuine physical Win7 system (with "active" system reserved" as a second small partition holding Boot Manager) into a Win7-VM it seems you must first use something like EasyBCD (or similar technique) to relocate Boot Manager into the Win7 C-partition, and also to mark that partition "active", before you take the image. Then you restore just C using ISO Macrium in the Win7-VM.

    Am I right? Or am I missing something in your recipe?

    Do you have some refinements and more specific instructions as to both (a) which partitions must be imaged from the physical Win7 machine, and (b) what must be the contents of each partition and/or just C, (b) which one or more of these partitions must be restored, or just C (after first being sure it is "active" and holds Boot Manager)?
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 54
    Windows 10
       #29

    Still hoping somebody can clarify all of this for me.

    I don't believe you can use Macrium Reflect to produce an ordinary "system image" of a typical multi-partition boot drive that has say "system reserved" (active, Boot Manager) plus Win7-C and then just "restore" it into a Win7-VM be running standalone Macrium Reflect (initiated via ISO). The two-partitions in the image can't just be restored to the target virtual C of the Win7-VM, because what is really needed is a single Win7 virtual C that is "active" and contains Boot Manager (like WinXP used to have).

    I have now looked into Disk2VHD, for example from this tutorial video showing how "easy it is" to just produce a VHDX image file of a running Win10 physical machine's "system reserved" partition (unclear from the video if this is on MBR or EFI physical drive) plus Win10, resulting in a single VHDX file. Then, this VHDX file is "imported" into a brand new VM created during the video using Hyper-V. I think this works because the VHDX file is understandable by Hyper-V.

    However my VM software is VMWare Workstation Player (free), not even paid VMWare ESXi. There are articles on the internet talking about using a second 3rd-party utility to convert the VHDX file to VMDK for VMWare ESXi (not VMWare Workstation Player), but it seems like a complex multi-step recipe involving that utility as just one step.

    Bottom line: I am still at a loss to see a precise set of clear instructions that I can follow, which would allow me to somehow "export" (whatever that consists of) some kind of "image" or manipulation of the 2-partition Win7 boot drive into a single 1-partition resulting C-partition, which then can be "imported" into a VMWare Workstation Player Win7-VM and have that imported drive become the single virtual C of the Win7-VM machine. The result of this would be that the physical VM machine was in fact virtualized, and that's what I'd like to see... if it's actually possible.

    People here say "it's possible", but with VMWare Workstation Player? Or something else? And if you really did have success, please specify the precise steps you followed clearly and completely, so that I can try to duplicate your success.

    Thanks to anyone who has info on this subject.
      My Computer


 

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