Windows

How do I move my entire Windows XP installation into Windows 7 with Paragon Go Virtual?

Windows XP running inside of Windows Virtual PC in Windows 7

Once I copied my virtual Windows XP system's files (Windows_XP.vmc and vdisk0.vhd) over to my Windows 7 system, launching and running Windows XP was a snap. I just double clicked the Windows_XP.vmc, and in a moment, Windows Virtual PC converted the .vmc file to a .vmcx file and Windows XP began booting up.

Of course I had to do a bit of tweaking in order to get my XP system running and because XP was now running on a new system, I had to reactivate Windows XP. However all of that was relatively painless and I was able to run my existing Windows XP installation in Window 7.

This gallery is also available as a TechRepublic blog post and download. Image created by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic.

Paragon Go Virtual is available in the TechRepublic Software Library: 32-bit and 64-bit.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

31 comments
hsgibson
hsgibson

i went through the whole virtualization procedure, installed XP OK, but can't activate. I've tried the 25 digit key from the original XP versions, tried several, none work. Which key, from which version, to use?

susan
susan

I followed directions and old machine is Dell OEM and new windows 7 machine is dell oem but won't activate tried to use phone and it says I don't have valid copy. Tried another windows xp valid key and same thing

massou
massou

What about OEM XP key does they will boot ? Do I have to change the licence key before ?

bkiara
bkiara

Paragon Go Virtual is unable to create the VHD when running Win XP because of system processes some of which are critical and cannot be stopped. How do i go round this? Disk2vhd does this while XP is online without any issues.

Joebleed
Joebleed

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx This is a handy tool to create a drive image to be used in a virtual PC session. I used version 1.5 to create an image of an old windows 95 pc that runs an odd program that no longer has any support to even try and reinstall and activate it. It worked great. I did have to pull the drive out of the original machine and plug it into a windows xp machine to create the image, but it worked with out any issues. If i remember correctly, vm ware can work with vhd images this creates also. But i haven't tried.

rotagiorgio
rotagiorgio

Well I have a dual boot system with Windows XP pro and Windows 7 pro., So I tried to create a VM with Paragon Virtualization manager and Microsoft Virtual PC on my Windows 7 system and when I run my VPC I get the dual boot screen and the message that I am missing \ntldr, 0xc 000000e Can't load because the chosen entry is missing or damaged i.e Windows XP

touchdown_twc
touchdown_twc

This is useless you can't even exchange data! For that you have to upgrade, 69.95, useless.

margsi2
margsi2

I love the way it sounds. I really hope it's just that easy. I think I might use it when I convert to Windows 7.

rajan.sowri
rajan.sowri

How this is different from Microsoft Virtual Disk in Windows 7.

pcwow
pcwow

I Was wondering about the Activation process... Is it only for Retail versions or it will also work with OEM licenses? Nice post anyways!

Spexi
Spexi

As many heard of issues about VirtualPC and computers that do not have support for virtualization in the CPU. These two can work quite good anyway. Would like to recommend particularly VirtualBox from Oracle that gives support also for many different kind of operating systems both in the host (your ordinary OS) as well the guest (installed virtual machine).

gentlemanbill
gentlemanbill

Too confusing to me. I'll stick with what I've got and continue the pleasure of knocking Microsoft for making the conversion from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate a pain in the arse, and NOT worth the effort or expense. Thanks anyway.

dowaho
dowaho

Question, Microsoft now offers Windows 7 with a patch to allow non virtual machine CPU and Main Board hardware to run Windows 7 Virtual XP PC. Does paragon virtual also work with non virtual machine hardware? Secondly, I have my XP system configured under RAID, will it accomodate a raid configured system?

andrew.glenda
andrew.glenda

A great free tool by the looks of it. I have done similar with a Norton ghost image. It's just a real shame that not all processors support virtualization

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...a dual-boot system, then you are beyond the scope of the Paragon Go Virtual. When you say "create a VM with Paragon Virtualization manager" does that mean that you bought the Professional version? If so, you need to check with Paragon support to see how you need to proceed. Not exactly sure that you can virtualize a dual-boot system...

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...up and running Virtual PC allows you to share/exchange data between XP and 7.

fisherpc
fisherpc

Don't fool around, simply put in a second hard drive, install XP on it and don't worry about virtual. Easy BCD makes the process easy. I run XP and Win7 premium home edition in a dual boot config, no problems other than an alert beep when 7 needs attention, ie: update or virus scan. Had Vista home premium on there too, but slowed my pc down too much, it was on the same drive as XP, so I junked it.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

It runs seemlessly on XP, Vista, and 7. When accessing the virtual machine from the same physical server there is barely a performance hit. (the only thing I can't do is play Tribes 2).

bilal32
bilal32

VirtualBox hands down, I've been using it to run linux to Server 2008 with ease. Tried both Virtual PC and Vmware, they just don't have all the features VB offer.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 is relatively painless. The problem is there is no direct upgrade path from XP to Windows 7. If you have a PC running Vista, there should be no reason that you cannot run Windows 7.

Tech_Monkey
Tech_Monkey

It should have be noted that the machine has to support virtualization and there are still plenty of computers that dont support it or not enabled by default. Microsoft has a Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) Detection Tool that will check and inform you if you do or its not enabled.

JakeSherman
JakeSherman

Seems nice, but your last article about Zinstall was much more impressive...

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Virtualbox and VMWare. I think they call it networking.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Why would you still want to dual boot when vm's work so well? Hmmmm, I want to print to my old dot matrix printer but I have to reboot my machine to login to xp to do it or should I just have my vm running all the time so I can just switch to it and print? I think I will go with the vm solution.

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

I can back this up 100%. To be quite frank though, it took mine almost the amount of time it would have taken to just start from a clean slate. But here close to one year later, all is working fine and there have been no problems whatsoever with the upgrade.

8string
8string

Having just spent a lot of time working through figuring out which machine to buy that would support Virtual on W7 I agree that it's not a trivial assumption. The vast group of typical desktop and laptop processors out there don't support it, especially if you have a slightly older machine. AMD seems to have the widest range of supporting chips and I had to dig through web sites and then compare the chips to what was being sold. Buyer beware! I could have easily made a wrong choice.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

In some cases some hardware still doesn't work well in a virtual machine. You also need a very strong system to run Windows 7 and then Windoews XP virtually. Dual boot has a nice advantage as well. If your Windows 7 system gets infected, you can use the XP system to find the offending malware and remove it. It's also good for checking to see whether there is an issue with hardware. As an example, bought a color laser printer. wouldn't print in color in Win7 but did in XP. Turns out it was some old drivers in Win7 which blocked the color feature. If both couldn't print in color, they I'd say it's a hardware feature.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

I'm running virtual machines on older computers with no problems.