Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk <SOLVED>

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skibum505
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Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk <SOLVED>

Post by skibum505 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:05 pm

Hi, I have a Dell XPS 8900 that came with Windows 7. I removed the hard drive when I got the computer and replaced it with a another one, on which I installed Mint 18 (Cinnamon, if it matters). I don't really like dual boot and I do like Mint.

But there are some (rare) occasions when I still need to run Windows. I have some experience with Virtual box from an earlier computer. I don't want to buy a copy of Windows. It occurred to me that I might boot from the (currently) unused Windows hard drive on an external USD mount which I have, create a windows "system recovery" disk from the windows utility, and then install into VB from that disk?

Thanks for any advice...
Last edited by skibum505 on Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cosmo.
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Re: Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk

Post by Cosmo. » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:16 pm

This is impossible out of 2 reasons.
1. the recovery disk will (likely) only work on the given hardware.
2. You cannot attach an usb drive to VM without a running guest OS. So even a Linux live system stored on a usb stick would not work. (It would also not make sense, but this is another question.)

Neil Edmond
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Re: Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk

Post by Neil Edmond » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:53 pm

You may, however, be able to convert the already installed system to a virtual machine.

http://www.howtogeek.com/213145/how-to% ... l-machine/

grumpy_geek
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Re: Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk

Post by grumpy_geek » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:14 am

Neil Edmond wrote:You may, however, be able to convert the already installed system to a virtual machine.

http://www.howtogeek.com/213145/how-to% ... l-machine/
I'd second that; by means of the VMware Converter mentioned in the text linked, I've sucessfully virtualized some twenty XP as well as a couple of W7 boxes. To customize your converted / virtualized system, however, you'll need VMware Player Pro, which is not cheap but worth it (- disclaimer: being a long-term user of Vmware Workstation, I'm probably biased...).

skibum505
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Re: Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk

Post by skibum505 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:33 pm

thanks for the replies - I'm not sure how to mark as Solved?

Perhaps my original question was not clear or perhaps I don't understand Cosmo's response, but - my plan was to make a recovery disk after booting into Windows 7 using my original hard drive on a USB external housing I have. No virtual machine involved here. Then reboot into Mint and install into VB from the recovery disk. No USB support needed (but the CD drive would be needed of course. But it - or the USB - is also needed to install any OS, right?)

The hardware would be the same as used to create the recovery disk. The only difference (I am aware of) is installing Windows from a recovery disk as opposed to buying the OS from Microsoft.

This may be more a question for Windows support than here: can I make a windows recovery disk after booting from an external hard drive.

I'll try it and see.

I'm not really interested in buying VMware, at least not at this point. Plus I may have an old copy of W7 around somewhere. That's my plan B.

odtech
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Re: Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk

Post by odtech » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:17 pm

skibum505 wrote:thanks for the replies - I'm not sure how to mark as Solved?

Perhaps my original question was not clear or perhaps I don't understand Cosmo's response, but - my plan was to make a recovery disk after booting into Windows 7 using my original hard drive on a USB external housing I have. No virtual machine involved here. Then reboot into Mint and install into VB from the recovery disk. No USB support needed (but the CD drive would be needed of course. But it - or the USB - is also needed to install any OS, right?)

The hardware would be the same as used to create the recovery disk. The only difference (I am aware of) is installing Windows from a recovery disk as opposed to buying the OS from Microsoft.

This may be more a question for Windows support than here: can I make a windows recovery disk after booting from an external hard drive.

I'll try it and see.

I'm not really interested in buying VMware, at least not at this point. Plus I may have an old copy of W7 around somewhere. That's my plan B.
With vmware converter you can convert a live running copy of windows into a virtual machine exactly as it is running at that time including all apps and data.

Swop your windows 7 disk back into the laptop and boot it up then attach external usb storage and install vmware converter. Tell vmware converter to create a VM from the live running system and place it on the external. When it is done swop back to the mint drive and copy the created vm to your laptop. At this stage you can either install vmware player to boot up the virtualized vm as it is or you can install virtualbox and create a vm and attach the vmdk file to it. Using virtualbox might require some fiddling to get it to boot if it will boot at all.

Cosmo.
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Re: Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk

Post by Cosmo. » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:54 pm

skibum505 wrote:The hardware would be the same as used to create the recovery disk.
No. VirtualBox creates an own virtual hardware environment for the guest systems, which is definitely different to any metal system. The metal system of the host does not matter. Except - most importantly - the CPU all the other "hardware" inside of a VB virtual machine is a virtual hardware, especially graphics card and network adapter (and more).

Another point - not yet mentioned until now - is, that you will very most likely have to activate Windows anew, as the number of hardware differences are too big to get accepted with the old activation key.

skibum505
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Re: Install Windows in Virtual Box from system recovery disk

Post by skibum505 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:55 pm

OK Thanks. Will try it

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