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1790 posts

Uber Geek

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# 262299 15-Jan-2020 08:51
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I have been asked to upgrade a Win7 pc to Win10.


The hardware is a bit old so I recommended a new pc which has been bought.


Rather than face the tedious task of reinstalling everything I was wondering if it would better (and quicker) to virtualise the Win7 pc and run it on the new Win10 pc. 


What are the best free tools for doing this? It's a while since I played in this space, where VMWare ruled the world.


Thank you.

Life is too short to remove USB safely.

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15540 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2392311 15-Jan-2020 09:02
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No. That's just creating new problems, you have a virtual PC which can be compromised. Install the software on Windows 10.

170 posts

Master Geek

  # 2392316 15-Jan-2020 09:07
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You can try doing an inplace upgrade of the current Windows 7 install to Windows 10 on the existing machine and then image it across to the new one.


There can be some issues (driver cleanup / update, BIOS / UEFI change, if the Windows 7 install is 32bit, etc) but have done it a couple of times and worked quite well.


Of course do a full image backup before you start :)


328 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2392317 15-Jan-2020 09:08
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Installing a range of software isn't that hard, especially with something like


But if you have some specific esoteric legacy app that you can't find the installer for anymore, I've had success using Shadowprotect to run a full image of the old PC, then installing Virtualbox on the new unit and right click on your backup file > Virtualboot which boots it up in Virtualbox.

1790 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2392318 15-Jan-2020 09:09
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Thanks for the advice.



Life is too short to remove USB safely.

4667 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2392329 15-Jan-2020 09:30
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disk2vhd creates a vhdx of the physical drive....can be done while it's running.  Then install the hyper-v features in windows 10 to run it.   That's the easiest (and free) way of creating the windows 7 machine as a VM.


Then it's up to you if you pursue getting the software to run in windows 10 outside of that.



Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
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65277 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2392343 15-Jan-2020 10:09
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The main reason for not using Windows 7 is that its support (fixed and most importantly security updates) ENDS TODAY. The software is ten years old. Using it, even on a virtual machine, is opening up yourself to security risks.


Running as a virtual environment will also need more resources on the host machine - storage, memory. 


Do yourself a favour and just reinstall the software on the new OS.

Lock him up!
11150 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2392352 15-Jan-2020 10:36
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The main reason for not using Windows 7 is that its support (fixed and most importantly security updates) ENDS TODAY. The software is ten years old. Using it, even on a virtual machine, is opening up yourself to security risks.



I would be interested in learning more about this. I tend to resist upgrades unless I am trying to address a specific issue because in my experience they often cause more problems than they solve. I no longer have the patience to fiddle with stuff and when something works well for me, I have no interest in changing it. 


At the same time, I am not completely resistant to change if I can see a good reason for it. The 'opening yourself to security risks' mantra is constantly trotted out when the upgrade issue is discussed. How real is that, actually, if a Win7 installation is only used for browsing Geekzone and a handful of news sites, and streaming the odd video? According to every scan I have ever done (mainly Windows Defender and Malwarebytes), I have never had any malware infection of any kind. Maybe it just isn't being detected, but I have never seen any evidence of anything. I am careful with links I click on, and I employ other common-sense security precautions. I also have packet sniffing software running in the background and I don't have a home network as such, just direct wired connections to the router. So what security risks am I opening myself up to? Is it really that big a deal for a use case like mine? If it is I am certainly prepared to reconsider, but I use different machines for different things, and I question that they all have the same security needs?



I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney


357 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2392395 15-Jan-2020 10:43
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Well for one Windows Defender will stop getting definition updates, so you will need to change to a different AV that still supports Windows 7 (most commercial ones will for the mid-term future. Similar don't use IE11, instead use Firefox or Chrome as any browser based exploit won't be fixed. However at some point each of those will stop supporting Windows 7 as well. The world won't end for Windows 7 users immediately but things which work with Windows 7 will become less and less common.

4294 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2392405 15-Jan-2020 10:49
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I've been driving (road and race) for 30 years and in that time I have not once needed my seatbelt. I've hit nothing and nothing's hit me. I'm very careful but I still put my seatbelt on every time I get in the car, even to move around in a carpark... And it's not because it's legally required - it's because the cost of needing it and not having it it is unacceptably high.


For the same reason I run a firewall and AV software and ensure I apply all OS updates in a timely fashion - including letting WIindows autoapply them.


I had one machine one that I didn't... It was a windows XP machine that was setup to run a CNC machine. It was airgapped (no network, no internet) but I still moved files to it on USB sticks... That was out of necessity - the stupid drivers for the old proprietary hardware stopped working after some upgrades so it was functionally required to be static. That's pretty much the only reason I can think of for not wearing a seatbelt on your computer.







Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.

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11150 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2392453 15-Jan-2020 11:05
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This is a good point but the seat belt comparison isn’t exact. For me it is not an all or nothing thing, rather somewhere in-between. It is a balancing act between how much does this inconvenience me opposed to how much risk does this entail? I am trying to determine what the risk actually is for my use case, and if that makes it worth the hassle to upgrade. In my experience, upgrades are a hassle. Even a recent Win 10 forced upgrade broke things. I hate having to try to go through this searching for whatever has stopped working. I don’t have the patience or focus for it any more.


Apart from that, none of my laptops are critical for anything. If one got wiped out, I would just restore it. If they were being used to funnel malware, I think I would notice. Every machine has a traffic monitor on it that alerts me to any unusual activity. 

I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney

494 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2392546 15-Jan-2020 11:58
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And to counter, my experiences with updates are near hassle-free. It really depends what you’re running.

My rigs are fairly modern, and not non-standard by any means so when updates happen they either stay the same or get improvements that updates bring.

I realise not everybody has kit that will be guaranteed to not give grief, but if it’s causing a problem and keeps causing the same problem then personally I’d figure out a way myself to remedy it.

Rolling back Windows is generally not a remedy, I’m not nearly capable enough to be implementing my own security patches for win10 so theres no choice but to update. I can however deal with those audio drivers or NIC config that gets reset everytime(either automate it, or block out drivers/disable and get something else that won’t cause me grief)

3943 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2392656 15-Jan-2020 18:23
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I'm probably not the best person to elucidate the reasons why running an out of date OS is a terrible idea, because to me it's just something that's blinding self-evident.


I consider it somewhat like trying to explain to someone why drink driving ("It's fine mate, I've never killed anyone in 20 years of driving home from the pub") or 38 year old men having consensual sexual relationships with 15 year old girls are a bad thing.. If your initial reaction isn't "Well duh of course that's a terrible idea" I'm not really sure how to proceed lol.


Yes, you might only visit 'legit' websites, but legitimate websites can, have, and will continue to be compromised in various ways by bad people. External things get comprised (e.g Advertising networks, upstream software providers, etc.)> Browsers regularly have 0-day vulnerabilities, now usually they won't totally pwn your PC by themselves but if you are running an out of date OS, you can pretty much guarantee there will be an unpatched privilege escalation vulnerability that an attacker can chain off. 


Local AV is also very much an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff. Odds are, by the point you get something on your PC it can detect it's pretty much already game over.

Information wants to be free. The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

1122 posts

Uber Geek

  # 2392682 15-Jan-2020 19:40
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A pretty serious flaw was patched today.

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