Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Move XP 64 VM from non-bootable Win 7 64 to win 8

  1. #1

    Move XP 64 VM from non-bootable Win 7 64 to win 8


    Here is the situation. I was running Win 7 64 pro with a MS virtual machine running XP 64 pro (the funny one dedicated to XP). The motherboard released the magic smoke. Sacrificing small mammals did not fix it.

    Current condition. Running Win 8 64 Pro on a new MB (fresh install) with VMware installed. Contrary to documentation, I was unable to import either the old OS or applications into the new disk going to Win 8. I have the disk used on the old Win 7 system. There are applications in the MS virtual machine that I can not reinstall. I was not able to do a migration.

    I tried to boot the old drive on the new MB: total lack of success (presumably HAL and things). Migration did not work for me. I am not familiar enough with internals to have figured out a way to deal with the changes in the underlying hardware translation layer. From my understanding of VM things (limited at best), I believe that the free VMWare is the best solution for the Win 8 environment. I would gladly accept reasons why that is not true. I have the free VMWare installed on the new MB and win 8.

    I can not reinstall some of the applications I need. Installers gone into the great beyond or licensing issues with defunct vendors. Some critical applications will not support any OS above XP.

    So, here is what I have and "understand":


    • I have a Win 7 Pro boot disk sitting on my desk (the real thing with all my junk like pens, beer, and boxes of stuff), incompatible with my current MB
    • It has the MS VM for XP with a bunch of aps I need running under Win 7 Pro 64
    • My current machine (different MB) is running Win 8
    • I have VMWare installed on the new machine (MB) - I understand that the MS XP centric VM can not coexist with the VM installed.


    What is possible?

    I would be happy if I could somehow make my entire old Win 7 install become a VM on my Win 8 system. This would, I think, bring along the MS XP VM. That would be fine. But I don't really need Win7 (but if it gets me where I need to be, it is OK). For better or worse, I am doing Win 8 and hanging tight for 10. I do not use the orphaned applications very often; but when I need them, I NEED them.

    The (presumably) simplest result would be to only bring in the MS XP VM into Win 8. It is the XP applications that are my highest priority. On the other hand, there are also some applications on the Win 7 that would be useful to be able to run without finding (or repurchasing) the install packages. If moving Win 7 and just the XP VM are of similar difficulty, I would move Win 7 including the XP VM.

    I have licenses for Win 7 Win 8 and XP. I am not trying to steal anything.

    Can any of these things be done? If so - PLEASE HELP!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Interesting issue. I think the below procedure would let you restore your old XP Mode from non working Windows 7 to a virtual machine in Windows 8. Reading your post I understand that the disk itself where the Windows 7 was installed still works when mounted to your Windows 8 PC as a secondary disk (not active boot disk), you have valid licenses for Windows 7 and XP, and that your XP Mode when last time used was fully functioning.

    To start with, here's the complete list of all Windows XP Mode files:

    information   Information
    By default, XP Mode virtual machine consists of five files when installed and run first time, plus two additional files if XP Mode is hibernated or the Undo Disk feature is enabled. The file names, extensions and default locations are:


    • Windows XP Mode base.vhd
      • XP Mode base disk, contains the core elements of operating system (XP), no user data is saved on this virtual disk
      • default location C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode

    • Windows XP Mode.vhd
      • Virtual Machine virtual hard drive image, all user data and content is saved on this virtual disk
      • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines

    • Windows XP Mode.vmcx
      • Virtual Machine description and registration settings
      • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\Virtual Machines

    • Windows XP Mode.vmc
      • Virtual Machine settings file
      • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines

    • Windows XP Mode.vmc.vpcbackup
      • Virtual Machine settings backup
      • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines


      Additional files, only exist when certain criteria is met:
    • Windows XP Mode.vsv
      • Virtual Machine saved state file (hibernation data)
      • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
      • This file exists only when XP Mode is hibernated or is running. It is deleted automatically every time XP Mode is shut down

    • VirtualPCUndo_Windows XP Mode_X_Y_ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.vud
      • Virtual machine Undo-disk (X, Y & Z in the file name are replaced with digits)
      • default location C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines
      • This file exists only if so called Undo Disk is enabled in XP Mode settings


    (From the Seven Forums tutorial http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/21904-virtual-xp-machine-copy.html.)

    Here's the process, it should work although I have to admit I just coined it up using pen and paper. I will test it later, you got me interested. If you have Windows 8 / 8.1 Pro edition I recommend using the Windows native Hyper-V virtualization for the Windows 7 virtual machine, I know for sure that XP Mode installs just fine on Windows 7 running on Hyper-V vm in Windows 8, 8.1 and 10, but this should also work if you prefer using VirtualBox or VMware.

    • Mount the old disk containing Windows 7 to your Windows 8 computer
    • In Windows 8, create a new vm, install Windows 7 on it (tutorial for Hyper-V: Hyper-V - How to Use in Windows 8)
    • In Windows 7 vm (Pro or Ultimate editions) download and install Windows XP Mode, thereafter download and install Windows Virtual PC (tutorial: Windows XP Mode - Install and Setup - Windows 7 Help Forums)
    • After the reboot Virtual PC requires, launch XP Mode, let it run through First Run process, shut it down completely when finally first time on XP desktop
    • Now find each and every of the old XP Mode files on the old Windows 7 HDD as per the list in above information box except the first one, the base vhd file, and copy them to corresponding locations on the Windows 7 vm in Windows 8, overwriting the existing files. Just to be sure you got it I will say this one more time: all other files except the base vhd!
    • An example: If your old Windows 7 HDD, its C: partition is shown as drive X: in Windows 8, copy the file X:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows XP Mode.vhd to the folder C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\ on the new Windows 7 vm
    • Launch the Windows XP Mode vm on Windows 7 vm in Windows 8, when booted you should now have your old XP Mode running on a new Windows 7 vm

    If you want to eliminate the use of second level vm (XP Mode on a Windows 7 vm in Windows 8) you can use the Disk2VHD tool to create a bootable vhd of your XP Mode, then use it as existing vhd and create a new vm directly in Windows 8. See this tutorial on our sister site the Ten Forums for instructions, although written for Windows 10 the Disk2VHD works exactly the same way in Windows XP: Hyper-V - Create and Use VHD of Windows 10 with Disk2VHD. You will need an XP license now when the XP Mode is converted to a normal Windows XP vm.

    That's about it. This should work, at least I do not find any theoretical issues in the process. I will test this, too, but it might be first this coming weekend.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thank you Kari. More than I expected.

    One related question. Which of the VMs types should I use for best results going forward. From research, my impression was that I should not try the original MS VM. What I also felt, the result of my research, that overall VM Ware was the better long term choice.

    I am not a VM person. That XP VM was my only sojourn into the VM world. Which VM ecosystem is preferred to get what I need now and go into the Win x future?

    I lost a lot of applications and information when I went from Win 7 to Win 8. It was pretty much a disaster. I suspect it was something relating to the HAL or drivers that I simply did not understand. My intent was to update to Win 8 without loosing my Win 7 content and applications. But water over bridge, etc. If I can resurrect Win 7 and the XP VM running under it I will be in fat city.

    So if you can recommend one of the VMs to move forward, that would be a great help. Then I will try what you have provided.

    Thanks much.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    As always great advice from Kari - but in this case I'd go FURTHER back and start from scratch before doing anything with the VM's -- we'll try and get W7 to boot up first.

    You SHOULD be able to boot the W7 Pro on almost any machine I can think of -- even if the drivers aren't all there and the hardware is totally different.

    Forget about activations at this point -- you get 30 days before you have to activate W7 so that buys plenty of time for the Virtual XP recovery.

    Create a RECOVERY disk from your W7 install disk and then use the repair system - that should get your W7 machine up and running. (You might not need it - but chances are W7 will BSOD on first boot).

    Once you've got that going OK then we can attack the problem of recovering your XP system -- actually there's no probs whatsoever in running an XP 64 system as a VM.

    Post back if you can get the W7 to boot on some sort of machine --don't worry if the video drivers are "wonky" etc -- we can fix that later.

    Is it XP 64 or the standard version of XP you want to run -- and I assume the old system was run under Ms's Virtual PC. (Not "XP Mode").

    (Note Back up your EXISTING W8 system if you are going to attempt this stuff on your existing machine whether you intend to double (dual --I haven't done this for so long I've forgotten what it's called !!!) boot or not. Owing to the complexity of this problem I'd forget about double booting -- this just ADDS to the problem.

    Don't forget also your new machine might be UEFI enabled - so you probably need to reset one of the HDD's back to MBR and use a non UEFI boot for your W7 system).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    A Finnish ex-pat in Leipzig, Germany
    Posts : 1,452
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    I'd go FURTHER back and start from scratch before doing anything with the VM's -- we'll try and get W7 to boot up first.

    You SHOULD be able to boot the W7 Pro on almost any machine I can think of -- even if the drivers aren't all there and the hardware is totally different.

    Forget about activations at this point -- you get 30 days before you have to activate W7 so that buys plenty of time for the Virtual XP recovery.
    Sound and valid advice. To be honest, my previous post was and is only addressing the XP issue, I understood that the really important stuff, things the OP would not like to lose are the installed software in XP virtual machine. I took the OP's words as fact, that he has tried to boot the Windows 7 and it's a no go.

    Of course if the Windows 7 could be saved, also the XP vm would be saved, which makes your approach more useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Is it XP 64 or the standard version of XP you want to run -- and I assume the old system was run under Ms's Virtual PC. (Not "XP Mode").
    The OP is talking about the official Windows XP Mode vm on Windows Virtual PC.

    Quote Originally Posted by alternety View Post
    One related question. Which of the VMs types should I use for best results going forward. From research, my impression was that I should not try the original MS VM. What I also felt, the result of my research, that overall VM Ware was the better long term choice.

    I am not a VM person. That XP VM was my only sojourn into the VM world. Which VM ecosystem is preferred to get what I need now and go into the Win x future?

    So if you can recommend one of the VMs to move forward, that would be a great help. Then I will try what you have provided.
    I am a hardcore Hyper-V enthusiast and advocate, recommending it. It is a free, built-in Windows virtualization platform included in Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro. If you do not have the Pro edition, you need to use a third party virtualization program. In that case it's either VMware Player or Oracle VirtualBox, both are free to install and use.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    I missed the XP mode bit. However I think it's worth trying to rescue the W7 system as this will certainly enable the XP VM to be accessed and then this can be converted / manipulated or whatever.

    HYPER-V certainly works but I'd suggest for a relative newbie in VM's it's probably better to get some experience with things like vmplayer or vbox first. There are converters around so you don't have to re-create the Guests every time.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    I rise from the dead. I have not been able to deal with this since this thread was active. Sorry about that. But I am back to getting this to work.

    I removed VM Player and installed Hyper-V. I am running 8.1 Pro. All of my operating systems back to XP are 64 bit and the Pro version.

    Hyper_V expects me to create a virtual machine. First problem. How do I decide what resources to allocate to a VM. Most (if not all) of the VMs I build will not need high performance. I am not sure at this point if I am going to be able to get Win 7 with an XP VM or not. I have found a disk from an XP laptop that has one of the most important applications in it. If I get that into a VM, maybe I won't need Win 7. But if I could get Win 7 running with the XP VM from another drive; it is probably preferable. Since I was looking at this problem it has become potentially interesting to install the Win 10 preview. Not my top priority; but interesting.

    Can anyone explain how I figure out what resources to allocate? I presume that each VM is going to have to have some disk space allocated. I am a bit confused at this point about how to go about creating these drives; but I continue to read. Most things I find to read assume a much higher level of technical expertise than I have. I presume for the Win 7/XP VM that would be a bit more than the size of the original machine's space used on the C drive. Or something else ?

    For Win 10, I have no idea.

    In addition to disk I need to allocate a certain amount of RAM. I have set up a network connection. Not guaranteed to be correctly. From my research, it looks like I need to provide 1 GB (or a bit less) of real RAM per VM. I have 16 GB installed.

    The initial install of HV screwed up my base OS network operation. Web site intermittently not found for a lot of Firefox activities and failures on Thunderbird. I ran a couple of repair processes from MS and, I believe for the first time ever, they actually fixed the problems. Except for manually entering the DNS server address to be the base port on my router. Some times I luck out when fat fingering parameters.

    OK, many questions. Can we resurrect this thread and hold my hand a bit more? This is complicated for civilians.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    I've got another suggestion for you - but as before can you boot up your original W7 machine (doesn't matter if it's on new hardware - don't worry about activation yet).

    If you can boot up W7 then you can start your XP VM's.

    Backup each one of them with Acronis (or FREE Macrium) to external Hdd. Do this by creating a bootable ISO of the backup program and then set your VM to boot this ISO --it will launch the backup program.

    Post back to see if you can get your W7 system to boot on some sort of machine. Then we'll go from there.

    If all else fails we might be able to boot your W7 system as a SECOND level VM and rescue the XP systems that way too -- performance will be horrendous but the VM's will finally be recoverable !!!.

    (BACKUP EXISTING OS FIRST).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Move XP 64 VM from non-bootable Win 7 64 to win 8
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