How can I export a VirtualPC XP installation for use on another machine?

By jdemontjoie@myPlace ·
No, this isn't quite as simple as you might think! I have destroyed my Volume Licensing media for XP Pro and don't won't to fork out for a new disk - I want to test something and can't justify the expense (admittedly tiny). And actually, now it's an intellectual challenge...

So, I have a working VirtualPC XP Pro installation. I have this Ghosted and have exported the image - it's extracted onto an old hard drive ready to go in the test machine. However, all the hardware is different, obviously, and I get no further than starting Safe Mode with logging and then a BSOD. Is there a way to force the OS to re-install/re-set/boot please? My brain is hurting now...

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You will need a base system in play to support your virtual software..

by Peconet Tietokoneet In reply to How can I export a Virtua ...

You will need to get some sort of base software such as Windows or Linux to run. You can not have a Virtual machine running on its' own with nothing to support it. Why do you think it is called "Virtual" in the first place?
You might have to fork out some dosh and get some operating system to run and then have your Virtual machine running on top.
You are getting a blue screen because you do not have the correct base codes that come with an operating system such as Windows or Linux.

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Boot into Knoppix or Ubuntu Live CD

by D T Schmitz In reply to How can I export a Virtua ...

Assuming that VirtualPC has a boot from CD option into the VM environment, if you point the drive to a copy of Knoppix or Ubuntu iso, you will be booting up into the VM but with Linux.

At that point you *should* be able to mount the ntfs partition.

Once mounted, you can use ssh and dd to connect to another machine on your subnet and image copy the 'entire' partition to an image file.

Example, in a Knoppix terminal window:

$dd if=/dev/da bs=15M conv=sync,noerror | ssh -o TCPKeepAlive=yes user@other_host_ip

Once you've got using ssh and dd usage mastered, moving partitions around becomes 'academic'.

At this point, you now have a 'ghost' image of your source VirtualPC's ntfs partition.

Which you can now move into any target, including another destination virtual machine. Depending on the partion, you may need to resize the partition after moving with 'dd' (ntfsresize or gparted).

Bear in mind that upon boot into Windows from the new location, Windows will do a fingerprint check and your system will most likely require registration, but be operational.

Dietrich T. Schmitz
Linux Advocate

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I have never tried this but it's an intriguing idea...

by dldorrance In reply to How can I export a Virtua ...

You might want to visit this VirtualBox website for suggestions http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=1966

Please report back if anything there is helpful.

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The aim is to turn a Virtual installation into a Real one...

by jdemontjoie@myPlace In reply to How can I export a Virtua ...

Hi, and thanks for the responses! I may have got my facts wrong, but I assumed that VirtualPC provided a virtual environment which replicates a real PC and allows a full installation of the OS. Therefore, I assumed that if I imaged this installation and exported it to a real environment, the change would be the hardware; the rest would be standard, no need for the VirtualPC "base" mentioned.

So, I assumed the difference in H/W was the problem and my question was aimed at fixing that; do I kill the HAL etc and get Windows to rebuild itself?

Thanks for the link to the VirtualBox site - that (if my theory is right) would be a good approach; boot into the Repair Installation process and get Windows to sort things out. One tiny problem; no CD to boot into! I have Retail versions but I think they may object to fixing a VL install.

Any other ideas please? I understand this is a more intellectual question rather than a practical one...

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The aim is to turn a Virtual installation into a Real one...

by balge In reply to The aim is to turn a Virt ...

hmm depends on the image format, you might be able to write the image to disk if its compatible with something like Acronis, I think there's a server version that can do this on a network or to a slaved drive on the server..If Acronis is installed on the machine it can be done through the Acronis boot environment

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by jdemontjoie@myPlace In reply to The aim is to turn a Virt ...

It's not as clean as I wanted but this is what I did:
1. Ghosted the (Vol Licence) XP installation from within VirtualPC
2. Exported the image to the "real" OS
3. Extracted the image using Ghost onto a slaved HD
4. Put this HD in target PC as Master
(This booted to the "Choose your Safe Mode" startup screen - whatever choice fell over to BSOD)
5. Booted into a Retail XP install CD
- Chose "Enter" (New install)
- Then chose to Repair the installation found
- Windows re-installed the correct hardware leaving applications installed
6. Windows now boots - but asks for Activation (from the Retail disk I guess) or logs out. Activated using the Retail key.
7. Windows now installed and usable for testing - mission accomplished.
8. My IT Obsessive Compulsive Disorder will probably mean I'll now waste hours "housekeeping" - changing the Reg to the Volume Licensing key and doing all the Windows Update stuff.

So, it IS possible to install from a VirtualPC installation IF you have destroyed your install disk AND you are too cheap to buy new install media AND you have an old Retail Disk handy. Stone Age virtualisation, if you will!

Many thanks for your previous hints and tips.

Job done.

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