How can I run VMWare off a hard drive image?

GrrGrrr September 8, 2012

Here is my case.

I have to create an image of a Laptop(s) (complete HDD or whatever), and then be in a position to use that image to bring up a Virtual OS in VMWare workstation version 8.

Laptop(s) would be running 32-bit XP, & 64-bit Win7.

Appreciate your help on the following:

1. Is it feasible to have the above happen, and if yes what things (hardware, software-free/paid, network) are required
2. If feasible, would the virtual OS require a new license key to validate, or if the same license could be used.

  1. GrrGrrr
    September 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    thanks Bruce, I understand. (unable to reply to ur last post)
    I think as ur hardware was still the same MS didn't complain abt the license. For my case everything will be different so I will have to do some R&D there, before I reach any conclusion.

    As My question is answered, I'm resolving the post.

  2. ha14
    September 8, 2012 at 8:13 am

    ?64-bit x86 CPU, processors that support VT-x check Intel® Virtualization Technology List
    ?LAHF/SAHF support in long mode
    ?RAM memory be generous, more memory you have the better off you're going to be in a virtual environment

  3. Bruce Epper
    September 8, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Paragon's Hard Disk Manager Suite has P2V functionality which will create a VirtualBox, VMWare, or Virtual PC copy of a running system replacing hardware drivers as necessary so you can run that setup in the appropriate virtual machine environment.If you want to follow the letter of the law (and EULA), you need a separate license for every copy of this you would be running as well as licenses for the OS running on the host machine. So, in effect, you are running 2 licensed operating systems simultaneously. This applies to both the OS and ALL of the other installed commercial software. The only exception I know for this is running XP Mode in Win7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions where there is not a separate license required for the XP instance.

    • GrrGrrr
      September 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Thanks Bruce. P2V suits my need.

      Is there something similar available from Acronis also? I tried searching but couldn't find anything suitable.

      • Bruce Epper
        September 8, 2012 at 11:46 am

        The only similar product I have seen from Acronis is for the enterprise and has a starting cost of about $1800. That one is specifically designed to move servers from physical boxes to a virtual environment (vSphere and others).

        • GrrGrrr
          September 8, 2012 at 11:52 am

          oh, that's too costly.

          I have another thing to ask on the license part.
          If the image of Laptop is used in virtual VMware, it will be detected that the license is already in use, and so validation will fail. Now these laptops have OEM keys (as I understand), so to run the virtual OS properly - should I require OEM key, or any other Win7 product key will work?

        • Bruce Epper
          September 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

          I have never tried a P2V with an OEM install, so I'm not sure what would happen in that case. One thing that I have done is virtualize my running Win 7 installation and run that inside of a VirtualBox VM on the same machine (I didn't do anything to my original installation, just ran the VM on the same machine). I didn't get any kind of complaints from Windows and I was able to successfully run Windows Update on both the host and guest OS without complaint from either system even though both instances were using the same product key. Keep in mind that this was done only as a test case and the VM was deleted about 30 minutes after I verified that everything was still working properly with both the host and guest machines.You will need to run a test yourself to see if the OEM licenses will behave in a similar manner or not. I don't currently have either the time or a spare machine right now that I can use to run a similar test.

  4. Rajaa Chowdhury
    September 8, 2012 at 2:44 am

    If you have Windows 7 64 bit installed in your laptop, then I can suggest you to go the Microsoft way for the XP mode on it. This is a Virtual PC technology by Microsoft for Win7 users to run XP. I suggest you to go through the full video tutorial. I have been using it with my Windows 7 64bit and it is pretty neat, believe me. The integration is also solid. The link is . Less hassle in stalling and configuring than VMWare. Microstsoft provide a full legal copy of XP with SP3 in the virtual PC.

    • GrrGrrr
      September 8, 2012 at 11:30 am

      yes Rajaa I know that, but that option being ruled out due to some other reason

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