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Ive decided to switch from my existing dual boot solution, to just running ubuntu and having windows 7 in a virtual machine for those times that it absolutely has to be windows.

Ive been looking at my options for doing this, and one solution ive come up with is to take an image of my windows 7 install, reformat, and install my windows 7 image on a virtual machine. Would this be possible?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

VMWare has the ability to convert your physical computer into a virtual machine, you can then convert it to VirtualBox (if you so choose) or KVM (again if you so choose). In all honest opinions, right now VMWare is the best of the best when it comes to unmodified virtualisation because they support Aero at it's best and have the ability to pipe games with decent FPS.

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yes p2v is great. redhat had a tool that did this for vbox, but they pulled it for redesign and it never resurfaced....upset :( – RobotHumans Nov 15 '10 at 17:15
Yeah man, I love it. We recently just convereted a bunch of Windows Machines over to VMWare so we could deploy everybody onto Ubuntu. The client was mad happy about it and I was really suprised at how well it worked. – Jordon Bedwell Nov 15 '10 at 17:24

It is possible, but not really recommended. That is because of the big difference in hardware your Windows 7 system may go insane :) ( a virtual machine has completely different hardware than a real machine ) Even if your Windows system is able to recover from that much hardware change, you might experience performance lost.

My recommendation is to backup your data from the Windows system, then fresh install Windows 7 in a virtual machine and restore your backup. Doing that will assure the best performance.

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You will have problems with hardware detection, drivers etc. as 7 included these during installation. On your virtual machine you won't have these components as they are provided only virtually (giving you the chance to move your machines host independently).

Mind also that a full blown 7 install will take considerable resources from your host, even if it may only be disk space.

A fresh 7 install gives you the chance to clean up and install only those components that you really need sometimes. One possible way to make Windows tiny can be found in this comment

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I dont think that it would be possible to create an Image of a full windows installation and migrate it to a virtual machine

I think you'll have to do a fresh installation of windows 7 inside virtual box or vmware.

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It is indeed possible. – OpenNingia Nov 15 '10 at 17:06

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