Convert your existing Wi machine tools ndows XP system into a virtual machine

Convert your existing Wi machine tools ndows XP system into a virtual machineGreg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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On the next screen, youll specify the destination for the virtual machine files, as shown inFigure E. From the Select destination dropdown menu, choose VMware Workstation or other VMware virtual machine. From the Select VMware product dropdown menu, choose VMware Player ..x. Then, in the Name box, provide a name for your virtual machine. Finally, click the Browse button adjacent to the Select a location for the virtual machine box and specify a folder or drive, such as an external device or a network, on which to save the virtual machine files.

, youll want to change the Connection Type setting from Bridged to NAT in order to configure the virtual machine to share the host systems IP address.

When I click Edit in the Devices section, the Conversion wizard indicates that the memory allocated for the virtual machine is less than what is in the actual physical machine, as shown inFigure G. Thats because the Conversion wizard assumes that the virtual machine will be running on the physical machine and purposely reduces the amount of memory so that both host and virtual machine can run on this particular system. In this case, my physical Windows XP system has GB of memory, so the Conversion wizard drops the amount of memory allocated to the virtual machine down to MB. However, since Ill be running this virtual machine on my Windows system, which has GB of memory, Ill adjust the memory back up to GB.

When you select Advanced options, youll see a warning message at the top of the screen, as shown inFigure I, which indicates Conversion wizard is unable to locate the Sysprep files. You can ignore that message because those files arent needed for this of conversion. However, you should select the Postconversion and then select the Install VMware Tools check box. Installing the VMware Tools will boost performance and add extra features to the virtual machine. For example, graphics performance will be improved, youll be able to move the mouse between the virtual and host machines without special keystrokes, and copy and paste operations between virtual and host machines will be enabled.

FAILED Unable to find the system volume, reconfiguration is not possible.

In some cases, when you transfer a Windows XP Retail license to another computer, Product Activation prompts you to call Microsoft for validation. In other cases, you can simply activate online.

Youll then be prompted to download and install VMware Tools Figure O. As I mentioned, these tools will provide you with all sorts of features that will make running your Windows XP installation as a virtual machine much more convenient. So go ahead click the Download and Install button.

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When youre done, youll have Windows XP running in VMware Player inside Windows , as shown inFigure P.

. Guest Operating Systems means instances of thirdparty operating systems licensed by You, installed in a Virtual Machine, and run using the Software.

When you get to the Summary screen, shown inFigure J, you can look over all the settings that the conversion wizard will use to create you Windows XP virtual machine. To begin the actual conversion, click Finish.

Youll then need to reboot. You can then install VMware Player.

Converting your Windows XP system into a virtual machine is essentially a fourstep operation. When you launch the vCenter Converter, youll see the Welcome screen and can begin the conversion procedure by clicking the Convert Machine button on the or by clicking the icon on the screen, as shown in

Now, even though there isnt a yellow exction icon next to the Networks section, youll want to make an adjustment there as well. As you can see in

Keep in mind that you cannot install VMware Player on a Windows system that is running Client HyperV. If you happen to have Client HyperV installed on your Windows system, youll need to disable it by opening an Administrator Command prompt and using the command

Once the copy operation is complete, you can launch the VMware Player. When you see the Welcome to VMware Player screen, select the Open a Virtual Machine command, as shown in

To delete the Boot folder and the Bootmgr file, I had to boot intoSafe Mode, log in as Administrator,take ownershipof the Boot folder and the Bootmgr file, and assign Full Control permissions to the Administrator account. Then, I could simply delete the Boot folder and the Bootmgr file from Windows Explorer.

In other words, its up to you to determine whether you have proper licensing to simultaneously run more than one copy of Windows XP using a Volume License Key or whether you have the proper licensing to transfer Windows XP from one system to another. Keep in mind that you can only transfer a Retail license that you acquired by purchasing a Windows XP disc, not an OEM license that you acquired by purchasing a computer with Windows XP preinstalled. An OEM license is specifically tied to that computer.

Once the Conversion wizard launches, youll be prompted to specify the source for the virtual machine. From the Select source dropdown menu, choose Poweredon machine. Then, select theThis local machineradio button, as shown inFigure D. To continue, click the Next button.

When you download the vCenter Converter or the VMware Player, youll need to fill out a registration form and agree to a EULA, which includes the following sections pertaining to operating systems

Once you have backed up your Windows XP system, you can go to VMwares Products and download the latest version . of thevCenter Converter Standalone. You can then download the latest version . of theVMware Playeron you Windows system. Both the converter and the Player are free to use in a non commercial environment.

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I have recently been investigating converting Windows XP into a virtual machine using VMwaresfreeproducts vCenter Converter Standalone and VMware Player and have been thoroughly impressed with both the process and the results. Using the vCenter Converter, I converted a live Windows XP system into a set of virtual machine files. I then copied those files over to a Windows system and used VMware Player to run a fully functional Windows XP virtual machine.

The solution was twofold First I had to delete the Boot folder and the Bootmgr file. Second I had to rebuild the Master Boot Record and recreate the i file.

If you encounter this problem and need further assistance, just drop a note in the Discussion area.

Youll have to adjust your memory setting according to your system. However, keep in mind that you can also adjust memory allocation in the VMware Player.

Keep in mind that the conversion operation, shown at inFigure K, can take an hour or more depending on the of your hard disk. As such, while the conversion operation is under way, you should go to your Windows system and install the VMware Player.

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When the conversion operation is complete, you can transfer the virtual machine files to your Windows system. In my example, I connected the external drive to my Windows system and copied the XPVM folder, which contained two files, to the root directory. In my case, the two files were the virtual machine file HeliosVM.vmdk and virtual disk file HeliosVM.vmx, and they weighed in at about .GB and took a little over an hour to copy to the hard disk.

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You can use Windows XPs Backup Utility or a thirdparty disk imaging tool. To create a disk of my Windows XP test system, I usedMacrium Reflect Free Edition, which you candownloadfrom the m site.

You can investigate a PDF version of theWindows XP Professional license agreement EULAPDF found on Microsofts Download , which includes the following sections pertaining use and transfer

As I mentioned, for my example Ill be using two computers One, running Windows XP and one running Windows . Installation of both products was a breeze. You can install vCenter Converter on Windows XP using the installation wizard shown in

To rebuild the Master Boot Record and recreate the Boot.ini file, I had to boot from the Windows XP CD and launch theRecovery Consolewith the Administrator account. Once in the Recovery Console, I used theFixMBRcommand to rebuild the Master Boot Record. I then used theBootcfg /rebuildcommand to recreate the Boot.ini file.

In a recent series of articles culminating withMake USB devices accessible to a Windows XP virtual machine, I showed you how to create a Windows XP virtual machine in Windows using the builtin Client HyperV tool. Ive received quite a few emails about that series and several people have asked about the possibility of converting their existing Windows XP installation into a virtual machine. Ive also had several people ask me about the possibility of running Windows XP from a VHD in a dualboot configuration similar to the one that I showed you in the articleInstall Windows . Preview in a dualboot configuration using a VHD.

Will you use this technique to virtualize your Windows XP system? Have you used VMware vCenter Converter or VMware Player before? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the Discussion area and let us hear from you.

When you get to the options screen, youll see a list of settings that the Conversion wizard will use to create your Windows XP virtual machine. If you see yellow exction icons next to any of the settings, youll want to investigate. Otherwise, you can leave the majority of the settings in the deult configuration. As you can see inFigure F, my example system is showing that the Memory, Advanced options, and Customize the Guest OS settings may need adjustments.

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The first time you launch VMware Player, you may encounter warning messages about devices or drives that were part of your old physical system that are not part of your new system. For example,Figure Nshows a warning message about a parallel port. To prevent VMware Player from ing the warning every time you launch the virtual machine, just click No.

Once the installation is complete, you can immediately launch vCenter Converter. While the conversion is under way, you can go to the Windows system and install the VMware Player using its installation wizard, shown inFigure B.

Unfortunately, Windows XP was created way before native booting from VHDs was commonplace and as such, the operating system is incapable of booting from from a standalone VHD. However, the technology does exist for taking a physical Windows XP system and converting it into a virtual machine. In ct, there are products from Microsoft and other mainstream vendors that will allow you to perform such an operation with relative ease.

Section Transfer, You may move the Product to a different Workstation Computer. After the transfer, you must completely remove the Product from the former Workstation Computer.

Just to be on the safe side, you may also want to back up all your data on CD/DVD or on an external hard disk. While it may sound like overkill, having an extra backup of your data will give you peace of mind.

If you want to use Client HyperV in the future, youll use the following command to reenable it

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

As you may have guessed, when moving an operating system from one computer to another, you need to be concerned with licensing issues. So, before you can begin this procedure, there are a few caveats that you need to be aware of.

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Section Grant of License, You may install, use, access, and run one copy of the Product on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device Workstation Computer.

. Guest Operating Systems. Certain Software allows Guest Operating Systems and application programs to run on a computer system. You acknowledge that You are responsible for obtaining and complying with any licenses necessary to operate any such thirdparty software.

In this article, Ill show you how to use these VMware products to convert your existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine and then run it in Windows . As I do, Ill walk you stepbystep through the entire operation. Along the way, Ill point out some problems that I encountered and show you how to work through them.

Even though converting your Windows XP system with vCenter Converter is a completely safe operation, youll want to make sure that you have a full backup or a disk of your Windows XP system before you start. That way if something does go wrong, you can restore your Windows XP system and get right back to work.

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Then, locate and select your virtual machine. As soon as you do so, youll see your virtual machine in a poweredoff state, as shown inFigure M. To get started, just click the Play virtual machine command.

It turned out that I have previously installed Windows in a dualboot configuration on this particular Windows XP test system. And even though I had removed the dualboot configuration, Windows had left its Boot Manager file and folder behind. Because the Boot folder and the Bootmgr file had the Hidden and System attributes enabled, I didnt know that they were there, but the Conversion wizard, expecting to find only Windows XPs Boot Loader NTLDR aborted the conversion procedure when it also found Windows s Boot Manager.

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To thoroughly test the conversion procedure, I converted several of my Windows XP test systems into virtual machines. While the majority went very smooth, I did encounter a painstaking issue with one of my Windows XP systems and it took me quite a while to find a solution. In a nutshell, the conversion procedure iled at and ed the following message, as shown inFigure Q.

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