Can you use the installed win10 as a vm of its hard drive in anotherOS

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  1. Posts : 164
    Win 7,8.1 ,10
       #1

    Can you use the installed win10 as a vm of its hard drive in anotherOS


    Can you use the installed win10 as a vm of its hard drive in another OS? For dual booting so you cna back track easily if a compatibility issue pops up or are VMs always ran from an image?

    I am about to test Linux again.....probably pop...
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  2. Posts : 220
    Windows 10, usually latest version
       #2

    Is this what you had in mind?

    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/53256-hyper-v-native-boot-vhd.html

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  3. Posts : 164
    Win 7,8.1 ,10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Garyw said:
    Is this what you had in mind?

    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/53256-hyper-v-native-boot-vhd.html

    So basically any/all vms have to be installed as a VM image and not run directly from a bootable HD so you can quickly change to it as the main OS when you need too. I just do nto want to jump to diff settings and dif program installs,ect.
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  4. Posts : 220
    Windows 10, usually latest version
       #4

    So basically any/all vms have to be installed as a VM image and not run directly from a bootable HD so you can quickly change to it as the main OS when you need too. I just do nto want to jump to diff settings and dif program installs,ect.
    Far as I know.

    You could install an operating system on an other drive, portable or not. Boot up and select your drive from the boot menu. This would be more like a dual boot. The advantage of virtual drives is that they run concurrently with each other and your host. Dual boot means that you only have one OS running at a time.
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  5. Posts : 13,696
    Windows10
       #5

    Garyw said:


    Far as I know.

    You could install an operating system on an other drive, portable or not. Boot up and select your drive from the boot menu. This would be more like a dual boot. The advantage of virtual drives is that they run concurrently with each other and your host. Dual boot means that you only have one OS running at a time.
    This is incorrect. A virtual drive is not a virtusl machine.

    A virtual hard drive can be atteched to a host pc or a virtual machine.
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  6. Posts : 13,696
    Windows10
       #6

    ZippyDSMlee said:
    Can you use the installed win10 as a vm of its hard drive in another OS? For dual booting so you cna back track easily if a compatibility issue pops up or are VMs always ran from an image?

    I am about to test Linux again.....probably pop...
    You can clone your Windows installation to a virtual hard drive (.vhdx recommended). This can be used as a drive to any virtual machine that can use .vhdx files (most can afaik).

    However, be aware the vm generally needs a new licence unless your w10 licence is retail, and the vm is only device using it.
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  7. Posts : 11,210
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #7

    Hi folks

    @ZippyDSMlee

    All you are trying to do is what is popularly known as P2V (Physical to Virtual) conversion --there's no problem doing this whatsoever .

    IMO for Windows VM's running on any Host the simplest way of doing this (saves creating the bootable vhdx or whatever other system you use) is to follow the method below. Cloning your current windows system to a vhdx drive could be a problem if you have a large "C" partition - most typical Windows VM's run quite sweetly in around 35 - 80 GB even with loads of things like photoshop, media players, Office apps (e,g Office 2019 etc) etc etc.

    1) On the physical Real machine shrink (even if temporarily) the windows partition to the size you need for the Virtual Windows OS -- for most purposes anywhere from around 35 - 80GB should be more than enough --plenty to install a load of Windows updates and new builds from within the VM if testing).

    2) take an image of the Windows system with say Free Macrium. Also ensure you create a bootable iso image of the stand alone recovery - create it in Macrium -->other tasks.

    For the bootable recovery medium : Here - if using HYPER-V, VBOX or VMWare you need this to be in the form of an iso image, if using QEMU/KVM you can create this on a bootable USB as KVM VM's can boot directly from external physical hardware like USB sticks etc, however you can also boot from an iso image if you prefer.

    3) On the new Host system be it Linux or Windows create a new VM (don't install the OS yet -- just the base Disk).

    4) Add hardware -- a "Virtual CD ROM" containing the stand alone recovery media (create from Macrium or equivalent software) - Not necessary if using KVM/QEMU and if you are using direct boot from physical USB - but all VM systems can boot from iso image of course.

    5) Set the VM system to boot from the iso image (or if KVM boot from the usb stick)

    6) attach the device containing the old Windows image

    7) Now boot (on QEMU /KVM the menu will say "Begin installation" - otherwise process is the same).

    8) After restore has completed try re-booting the VM --if it fails then boot from the macrium iso again and choose "fix windows boot problems" -- I've rarely needed that but it always seems to work if ever it's needed.

    9) From INSIDE the VM install any "VM enhancements" such as VBOX additions (if using VBOX, VMWare tools if using VMWare) and then reboot the VM

    10) uninstall any unnecessary physical drivers that aren't needed on the VM --usually Windows is pretty good at ignoring hardware that it doesn't see --remember the VM in most cases is using a "Virtual BIOS and para-virtualised hardware - which is what makes VM's pretty portable across most physical hardware and platforms

    11) enjoy

    Note it's possible you might have to re-activate Windows again or things like OFFICE if installed on the VM. Not always true though.

    IMO this is far simpler than installing the OS from scratch again and all the products you want (unless of course you want to test a "Brand spanking new Clean OS". It's also simpler than using various conversion utilities out there - they often take a lot longer and don't always work.

    One here KVM/QEMU running W10 with USB boot option : Running on Arch Linux Host - kernel 5.7.4

    Can you use the installed win10 as a vm of its hard drive in anotherOS-screenshot_20200621_112032.png

    Here's the VM starting boot from an Arch Linux Live distro -- I didn't continue as I don't want to overwrite my Windows machine -- just demoing that no problem booting QEMU/KVM VM's from physical devices like USB disks etc.

    Can you use the installed win10 as a vm of its hard drive in anotherOS-screenshot_20200621_112634.png



    You can also "Reverse" this process by copying a VM to a REAL machine (a V2P conversion) - although for Linux VM's-->real machines it's a pain - better by far simply to re-install Linux again -- I can't think of many distros that take much longer than around 10 - 15 mins to install. Windows with all the bits and pieces invariably takes longer to re-install again on a physical machine from scratch and is more involved.

    Note one bit of extra info -- if "cloning" your current Windows system to a VM which you intend to run on your current Windows Host - don't forget to change the computer name on the VM after install otherwise on a HOME LAN you will probably have Networking issues. Easiest way is to use control panel --system-->computer name. Change the name within the Workgroup - not the "Computer description".

    Some people might find just cloning to vhdx drives the better option -- method above though works for any VM system --I use Red Hat's Virtio for example on some Windows VM's running on QEMU/KVM and also physical "RAW" HDD's using the target VM's OS native file system. VHDX disks are not very good I/O performers on VM's anyway although there are some other uses for them of course such as direct or viboot etc.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 21 Jun 2020 at 04:29. Reason: Added image of VM boot via USB option
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  8. Posts : 25,076
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

    ZippyDSMlee said:
    ... or are VMs always ran from an image?...

    Starting with 1903, and again for 2004, I routinely restore a Macrium Reflect image of my main machine to a Hyper-V VM and test upgrading it to the Release Preview version of the new Windows 10 (with an ISO from UUPDump). This give me about a month to use the VM 'clone' and decide if it's safe to upgrade the actual physical machine on the day the feature update is released.

    A VM does need its own digital licence though otherwise it won't activate. I have licenced my VM, so when done with testing I never delete the VM. I remove its .vhdx and export the empty VM so next time I can import it and continue using its existing digital licence.
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  9. Posts : 164
    Win 7,8.1 ,10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thank you everyone, I need to clean off another small HDD to be sure I have enough to juggle with without screwing up my mian windose disk. I will be testing things out this week. Thanks again for the help!
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  10. Posts : 13,696
    Windows10
       #10

    Bree said:
    Starting with 1903, and again for 2004, I routinely restore a Macrium Reflect image of my main machine to a Hyper-V VM and test upgrading it to the Release Preview version of the new Windows 10 (with an ISO from UUPDump). This give me about a month to use the VM 'clone' and decide if it's safe to upgrade the actual physical machine on the day the feature update is released.

    A VM does need its own digital licence though otherwise it won't activate. I have licenced my VM, so when done with testing I never delete the VM. I remove its .vhdx and export the empty VM so next time I can import it and continue using its existing digital licence.
    I do the same and I alwaya make sure the virtual machine folder that contains the vm configurations is always backed uo to onedrive (I never backup the actual virtual hard drives as they are just temporary). I once aacidentally deletedca licenced vm, and just copied my backed up folder into the relevant HyperV location, restarted HyperV and the vms were back.

    I note the HyperV Vm backup function has changed as it used to create a file in zip format albeit a different extension but now the backup seems to just copy the vms in uncompressed format.

    It never made sense zipping them as tbe space saving was tiny as vast majority of size was the relatively incompressible vhd.
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