Select the P2V Copy optionWould you like to be using Microsoft Windows 7, but are sticking with Windows XP because you have been using it for close to 10 years and have a lot invested in it? Well, what if I told you that you could easily move your existing Windows XP system to a virtual machine that you could then run in Windows 7? Well you can, with Paragon Go Virtual - and the best part is that it won't cost you a penny.
Paragon Go Virtual is a conversion tool that creates virtual machines which can be run by VMware Workstation/Player or VMware Fusion on a Mac, Microsoft Virtual PC, or Oracle VirtualBox. The software comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and in addition to converting Windows XP into a virtual machine, it can also convert Windows 2000, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll show you how to use Paragon Go Virtual, which is a free tool, to move your Windows XP installation into Windows 7 and run it with Windows Virtual PC.
My example configuration
In my example, I'll be using two different computers: one computer running Windows XP and one computer running Windows 7. I'll install the Paragon Go Virtual on the Windows XP system and use it to create the virtual machine on an external drive. I'll then move the virtual machine over to Windows 7 and run the virtual machine there using Windows Virtual PC.
Converting your system
Paragon Go Virtual installation is a snap and after a reboot, you'll be ready to create your virtual machine -just use the desktop shortcut to launch it. When you see the initial screen you'll select the first option: P2V Copy. (The P2V Adjust OS option is designed to revive a botched conversion as well as to make Windows Vista/7 backups bootable on virtual hardware. Keep in mind that I did not evaluate either of the P2V Adjust OS options at this time.)
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.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.