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

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  1. Posts : 8
    Windows7
       #1

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


    Hi,


    I've got a few questions:

    I'm currently using Windows 7 Pro on two separate PCs and with updates no longer being provided by Microsoft I'm considering installing Windows 10. My main concern is the software I have installed that 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. I also have Maya, and that's another $250 annual fee. I use these occasionally. As I have other software like this, it will become quite expensive, as these fees are on an annual basis, not by usage.

    1. So first question is, could I run my W7 based software on a W7 Virtual Machine, or similar under Windows 10? Could I dual boot W7 and W10? Any recommendation of which is best?

    2. 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? I assume yes if I dual boot, but no, if I try to run as VM. Some of the software is no longer be available from the providers, despite having paid for it once, as some providers only offer subscriptions.
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,241
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Why not keep 1 PC as Win 7? The security issues would be virtually irrelevant if you did not connect it to the internet at all.

    Performance and convenience would be greater if you dual-booted. However Win 10 upgrades can interfere with a dual boot configuration.

    As you have such legacy software, I hope you are routinely using disk imaging so you can recover easily wihout clean installing - e.g. Macrium Reflect (free-paid) + large enough external storage.

    If you upgrade any PC to Win 10 and to subsequent builds of Win 10 and the PC is not specified to run Win 10, there is no guarantee whatsoever that you will not experience problems. In a few cases, one build of Win 10 is fine, and the next not. Millions do this, of course, blithely assuming all will be well- and often it is.

    So be prepared to test any such upgrade carefully.

    Opinions as to the security or not of running an O/S with no further upgrades vary, but it's often not considered a significant risk; user behaviour is the greatest. There is the question as to how long compatible security software will be supported, of course.

    I'm sure you'll get lots of further comment on using VMs.

    My main concern is the software I have installed that will not run under Windows 10.
    There is of course compatibility mode, but with complex software not designed for Win 10 there's always a risk. You can look for others reporting success or not, and of course try it.
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  3. Andrew129260's Avatar
    Posts : 191
    Windows 10 Pro x64 latest version
       #3

    I just want to mention, it might be worth trying to install the software anyways. My bet is it will still work if it worked on windows 7.

    Companies of course are going to tell you it wont work even though it will because they want money.

    Upgrade to 10, and try installing it and see if everything works fine. If not, then use a virtual machine for windows 7 with something easy to use like vmware. That way you can keep running your old software if need be.

    But if your software worked with 7, it should work just fine in 10.
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  4. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,741
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #4

    Hi there

    @Gadgety

    No CHOICE -- it's a NO BRAINER

    1) Backup W7 image in case you ever need it again

    2) Run W7 as a VM on the VM platform of your choice -- unless you really need some really strange hardware W7 VM's will run anything you throw at them (as will XP one's too).

    Free VM software -- on W10 --HYPER-V (you need W10 Pro for that), Virtual Box from Oracle or VMPlayer.
    On a Linux platform VMWare player, Virtual Box. KVM/QEMU or XEN.

    98% of people who probably now are STILL dual booting probably don't need to -- O.K there are always a few exceptions --e.g serious gamer development where you need to squeeze every last bit of performance out of GPU etc but in the last two years or so the advance in the performance of VM's has been really outstanding --not a "Micky Mouse Toy" any more.

    cheers
    jimbo
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  5. Posts : 8
    Windows7
    Thread Starter
       #5

    dalchina said:
    Why not keep 1 PC as Win 7? The security issues would be virtually irrelevant if you did not connect it to the internet at all.
    Thank you @dalchina. Yes, I considered it, having a dedicated legacy software PC. However I would have to get a new third unit as internet usage is required.

    dalchina said:
    Performance and convenience would be greater if you dual-booted. However Win 10 upgrades can interfere with a dual boot configuration.

    As you have such legacy software, I hope you are routinely using disk imaging so you can recover easily wihout clean installing - e.g. Macrium Reflect (free-paid) + large enough external storage.

    If you upgrade any PC to Win 10 and to subsequent builds of Win 10 and the PC is not specified to run Win 10, there is no guarantee whatsoever that you will not experience problems. In a few cases, one build of Win 10 is fine, and the next not. Millions do this, of course, blithely assuming all will be well- and often it is.

    So be prepared to test any such upgrade carefully.
    Would any interference be dependent on whether it's a 'clean install' or just a W7 to W10 upgrade install? Or is this due to W10 not being coherent between builds?

    What would be an appropriate testing procedure?

    dalchina said:
    There is of course compatibility mode, but with complex software not designed for Win 10 there's always a risk. You can look for others reporting success or not, and of course try it.
    Some claim it will work, others have suffered problems, and most just pay for the subscriptions, it seems.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Andrew129260 said:
    I just want to mention, it might be worth trying to install the software anyways. My bet is it will still work if it worked on windows 7.

    Companies of course are going to tell you it wont work even though it will because they want money.

    Upgrade to 10, and try installing it and see if everything works fine. If not, then use a virtual machine for windows 7 with something easy to use like vmware. That way you can keep running your old software if need be.

    But if your software worked with 7, it should work just fine in 10.
    Thank you @Andrew129260. Yes, I hope so. One problem is the software is not available to download for install anymore, only via subscription, so I'm not sure how I could reinstall it. This could be due to insufficient knowledge on my part.
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  6. clam1952's Avatar
    Posts : 816
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1 build 19043.1052
       #6

    3ds Max 2010 is running quite happily on Win10 here which was a straight upgrade from Win7, never had to do anything, even the prehistoric Gmax runs in 10 as does Autodesks Softimage.
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  7. Posts : 8
    Windows7
    Thread Starter
       #7

    jimbo45 said:
    Hi there

    @Gadgety

    No CHOICE -- it's a NO BRAINER

    1) Backup W7 image in case you ever need it again

    2) Run W7 as a VM on the VM platform of your choice -- unless you really need some really strange hardware W7 VM's will run anything you throw at them (as will XP one's too).

    Free VM software -- on W10 --HYPER-V (you need W10 Pro for that), Virtual Box from Oracle or VMPlayer.
    On a Linux platform VMWare player, Virtual Box. KVM/QEMU or XEN.

    98% of people who probably now are STILL dual booting probably don't need to -- O.K there are always a few exceptions --e.g serious gamer development where you need to squeeze every last bit of performance out of GPU etc but in the last two years or so the advance in the performance of VM's has been really outstanding --not a "Micky Mouse Toy" any more.

    cheers
    jimbo
    Thank you @jimbo45. Great! I'm not certain how to accomplish using the software on a VM platform. Dual booting, I believe I would know, because I don't essentially change anything, no reinstallation of software. Some of the software I can't reinstall. How would I go about getting the software into the VM?
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  8. clam1952's Avatar
    Posts : 816
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1 build 19043.1052
       #8

    may not need a VM see my post above.....we crossed.
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  9. lx07's Avatar
    Posts : 5,479
    2004
       #9

    Gadgety said:
    Some of them, for example 3DS Max, won't function under Windows 10 according to the company selling it, Autodesk.
    Did you actually try it?

    Their forums suggests it works Solved: 3DS MAX for windows 10 64bit - Autodesk Community

    If you didn't try it then the whole question is rather speculative (or pointless) don't you think?
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  10. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,241
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #10

    Would any interference be dependent on whether it's a 'clean install' or just a W7 to W10 upgrade install? Or is this due to W10 not being coherent between builds?
    No difference upgrade or clean install normally.
    The risk is that as Win 10 evolves, its low level drivers may change, and certainly a new set of drivers is delivered with each build update.

    I can confirm an occasional case where running 1803 failed but 1709 was ok for example.
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