Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Virtual Machine Questions

  1. #1

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8

    Virtual Machine Questions

    My current computerís OS is Windows 8 64bit. Iíve been doing a little reading about virtual machine software. Iím not a computer geek but know just enough to be dangerous.

    Basically what I would like to do is install the hard drive from my old computer into my new one. I have some old rare and no longer produced programs that ran on my old system (Vista32) that I would like to be able to use. I no longer have the disks for some of the programs and some were made by companies that are no longer in business so new install disks are not an option. (Mostly engineering programs).

    I know Iíd either have to upgrade to Win8 Pro to use Hyper-V, or get another program like VMware Workstation to setup a virtual machine on my new computer.

    I guess my question is

    Can I access on old hard drive from a VM (running VISTA) and run programs that were installed on that hard drive.?

    The old hard drive is SATA so it will work in my new computer; I just want to run some of the old programs on that hard drive, at least the ones I canít reinstall on my new computer.

    Would this be possible without having a degree in Computer Science from MIT.

    Iíve also been reading about dual-boots and maybe that is the way to go but seems it would be easier if I didnít have to reboot every time I needed to use the old programs.

    Right now Iím jumping between the old computer and my new one but I donít know how much longer the old computer is going to last. It has a real hard time booting up, gets stuck in BIOS and I have to keep rebooting to get it to start the OS system. Actually Iíve not turned it off in over two months.

    Any input will be appreciated. Maybe I just have to say good bye to my old programs.

    There are other newer ( and more expansive) ones that can do the same calculations for me but after using the old ones for years it will be hard to change.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,972
    Windows 10 x64

    It is possible to add a real HDD in a virtual machine... settings and capabilities differ from VM programs.
    User has to know the options used otherwise he/she risks to loose data or format the disk by accident.

    But a bit easier is to clone the HDD and create a virtual copy of it and use that in a VM.
    Safe and sound since you use a copy.



    Vmware Converter
    VMware vCenter Converter: P2V Virtual Machine Converter - United States

    Clone a host OS as a guest: physical to virtual (p2v)
    Basically makes a virtual (VHD or VMDK) hard disk from the real one which can be used in Hyper-V, VMware WS/Player and VirtualBox.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8

    Hi Hopachi

    Thanks for your reply

    You have given me hope

    Cloning the HDD and creating a virtual copy to be used in Hyper-V, or VMware Workstation or VM/Player seems to be what I need to do

    Just need to do more research now..

    VMware Workstation is pretty expensive whereas VM Player is free. Iíll have to do some more reading but I think the MVPlayer will work for what I need

    I looked at the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone program and itís a free program also.

    Disk2Vhd is a free program also, but Iíd have to upgrade to Win8Pro to get Hyper-V.

    Might be better to wait for Win 8.1 Pro to come out then upgrade?

    Iíll have to do some more reading

    Thanks again..

    Iíd gotten spoiled using my old engineering program for the last 15 years and the thought of not being able to use any longer had kept from upgrading my computer for years
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    VM Ware player is a very capable piece of software and is all the home user really needs unless you want to run 20 VM and do all kinds of experiments. I have VM Ware Player and Workstation. My wife uses a copy of the player on her 7 64 bit OS to run XP so she can play a version of Scrabble she loves. Download and try it out with a Linux VM before you do anything with your Vista installation. Good Luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    HafnarfjŲrūur IS
    Posts : 4,374
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    HI there
    +1 for VMware - easy to use and free

    Here's a screenshot of a Windows 98 system STILL RUNNING - so VISTA should be easy. I'm using VMware workstation - but VMware player (FREE) is just as good for this type of application.

    What you will have to do is after installing your Virtual machine - at first boot run the install VMware tools - this will adjust things like Video / Audio / Mouse - so you can get decent video / audio etc on these older systems - I don't for intance think 40 inch screens were around when Windows 98 was current !!!!!.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails w98vm.png  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8

    Thanks for everyone input. Iím going to give it a try this week-end.
    From what Iíve read it should work

    In the manual for VMware vCenter Converter Standalone program is the statement below

    ďNOTE You cannot move original equipment manufacturer (OEM) licenses between physical machines. The license is attached to the server when you purchase it from the OEM and cannot be reassigned. You can only reassign retail and volume licenses to new physical servers. If you migrate an OEM Windows image, you must have a Windows Server Enterprise or Datacenter Edition license to run multiple virtual machinesĒ

    My old computer has a OEM Vista installed, But on some other docs I read it said it Ēmight not workĒ with an OEM licenseÖ sure canít hurt to try


    Will installing a VM on a computer use a lot of resources? Iím not so concerned about disk space but if I allocate say 3 gig of RAM for the VM is that taken away from the host OS always or just when Iím using the guest OS?

    Thanks again everyone.. what a great forum
    Last edited by Sandhill; 17 Oct 2013 at 12:31.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8

    Because of my lack of knowledge and my paranoid nature Iíve got some more questions.

    Iíve decided to try to make a VM with an old WinXP disk I have before I trying the cloning of my old hard drive.

    The XP disk is one I bought when I built my first computer way back in 2006 I think. If I remember correctly it formatted the drive that you installed it to.

    I was going to put it on a partition on my main HD. I do have other data on that partition and I assume VMware will not let it format my host driveÖ I donít want to destroy the Win8 system on my new computer.. I guess I donít quite understand all this VM stuff.

    The more I read about this the more confused I get.. but the way I understand it is

    A virtual machine uses the physical resources of the physical machine on which it runs, the host.

    Virtual machines have virtual devices that provide the same functionality as physical hardware,
    So when you install the guest OS it will format the virtual drive not the physical drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Orbiting the Moon
    Posts : 2,972
    Windows 10 x64

    Add another +1 to VM Player here.

    You can use Disk2VHD since VHD is supported by VMware as well. I've already tested this in the past with one of my older VM's.
    If you get allong with VM Converter, use that.

    Yes, when you install a guest OS it will format the virtual drive not the physical one.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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