Windows 10: Create a VM from W8.1Pro before upgrading to W10

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  1.    03 Jun 2016 #11

    True. Mind you I had a i7 lenovo laptop with Windows 7 Pro which I sat on when I was drunk (and completely broke it).

    I had upgraded it from 7 to 8 with the cheap upgrade deal (which transfers your OEM to retail). I transferred that licence to a VM by phone activation and it now works fine - I just had to say (which was true) that the old version wan't in use. MS phone activation people are pretty understanding (if slow) as long as you are being honest in my experience.
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  2.    03 Jun 2016 #12

    Ok, so the answer is - it is possible......
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  3.    03 Jun 2016 #13

    Hi there

    I agree there's a whole slew of confusion here - perhaps if you are actually doing an upgrade you are technically correct but I doubt whether Ms would send the Bailiff's in if you happen to use your OS as a VM after update.

    There's NO argument though with a RETAIL copy that you activated on a VM that you CAN run it in conjunction with any other software on the same machine --plus of course any VL copy is valid too.

    Ms is far more concerned about Piracy than a few odd people running VM's from previous VALID licensed OS'es on their machines.

    OK I'm an Engineer not a Lawyer although I've fought and won more than a few cases with "Expert Lawyers !!!!". Perhaps the best answer is - do whatever you think and put that between you and your Maker --my own view of this is that Ms would be far happier you running W10 even if you have W8.1 as a VM as well than not trying the upgrade --and in any case surely TESTING an OS out with a decent fall back to run legacy software / hardware makes sense whether you run a single computer or a huge international network.

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  4. sml156's Avatar
    Posts : 667
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       03 Jun 2016 #14

    I have no sources to cite but Microsoft could blacklist the key for both OS's on their server.
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  5.    03 Jun 2016 #15

    sml156 said: View Post
    I have no sources to cite but Microsoft could blacklist the key for both OS's on their server.
    Yeah, they could. They could also block all the other 5 billion dodgy XP and 7 installs if they felt like it.

    I guess they don't want to. I wonder why... Advertising presumably.
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  6.    03 Jun 2016 #16

    Thank you for the information on MS licensing. I have the appropriate licenses and if I can get the VM up and running, I have a full blown license of 7, 8.1 or 10 I can use on it but updating the key - so that is not my issue, nor what I asked about.

    I was asking about how to make a VM from a physical machine and be able to boot from it. I made the VHDX, I can mount and access that VHDX on another machine. I just can't get it to boot. My suspicion is now that I need to edit the file so that it is looking at the proper place for the UEFI and O/S as per that article in my first post.

    I think the issue is I need to edit the file so it looks to the proper location of the UEFI and O/S.
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  7.    03 Jun 2016 #17

    I made the VHDX, I can mount and access that VHDX on another machine. I just can't get it to boot.
    that is easy....

    Assuming the VHDx file is on a USB and that the VHDx file is being mounted to the USB...

    Mount the VHDx

    Bcdboot VHDx:\windows /s USB:\

    that will write the VHDx Boot files to the drive that is hosting it..

    Use the actual drive letters for USB and VHDx

    if the VHDx is on the Host PC Drive

    then bcdboot VHDx:\windows

    to add to host boot menu..

    Attachment 83159

    Windows 10 VHD added to Windows 8.1 BootMenu - Booting VHD from Data Drive...
    Windows 10 got Digitial Entitlement from the Windows 8.1 OS..
    Since I can Only Boot and use one OS version at a time - it is legal....

    Now if that VHD was portable - the PC that the VHD was booted into would have to have received Digitial Entitlement or windows 10 activation would be knocked out....

    the problem with Windows to Go - is you need a volume license... to maintain activation when switching between different PC's
    Last edited by Kyhi; 03 Jun 2016 at 15:54.
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  8.    04 Jun 2016 #18

    Kyhi said: View Post
    that is easy....
    No, it is not easy. Well OK it is easy but not trivial.

    A VHD (or VHDX) is like any other disk - it can be formatted as either GPT or MBR.

    The method is different.

    For generation 1:
    bcdedit /copy {default} /d "Boot from Foobar.vhdx"
    bcdedit /set {guid} device vhd="[D:]\VHDs\Foobar.vhdx" (replacing guid with the generated guid and D with the drive the vhdx is on)
    bcdedit /set {guid} osdevice vhd="[D:]\VHDs\Foobar.vhdx"
    bcdedit /set {guid} detecthal on

    For generation 2:
    mount vhdx
    bcdboot F:\Windows (replacing F with the drive it vhdx is mounted to)
    bcdedit /set {default} description "Boot from Foobar.vhdx"

    Normally I would use VHD formatted MBR as it is smaller and faster than VHDX. There arguments to use VHDX instead of VHD (journalling really) but I tent to not bother. I can't think of any reason to make a VM using GPT but perhaps there is a reason I didn't consider.

    You are quite right about licensing of course.
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  9. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,025
    Windows 10 Pro
       04 Jun 2016 #19

    I think the problem is in Disk2VHD, how it creates the VHD or VHDX file; it for some reason leaves the EFI system partition empty.

    It works perfectly when creating a VHD or VHDX from a BIOS / MBR system.

    See the screenshot. On the right is the source, an UEFI / GPT machine (virtual) from which I created a VHDX using Disk2VHD. The EFI system partition contains the EFI folder as it should.

    On the left is the new virtual machine, created using the VHDX made from the machine on right using Disk2VHD. The EFI system partition is empty.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Click / tap to enlarge.)
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  10.    05 Jun 2016 #20

    Kyhi said: View Post
    that is easy....

    Bcdboot VHDx:\windows /s USB:\ that will write the VHDx Boot files to the drive that is hosting it..
    Use the actual drive letters for USB and VHDx
    I appreciate your helps and want to make sure I understand what you mean, so to clarify:
    USB drive is D:, on it resides the VHDX file. When I mount the VHDX file it is mounted as E:

    Thus, if I understand you right my command will look like (without the quotes"?
    "Bcdboot VHDE:\windows /s D:"

    including no space between "VHD" and "E"?

    thanks again.
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