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I have Ubuntu 10.04 installed on an older hard disk. I recently bought a new disk and already installed Windows 7. I dont want to use the older disk anymore, and I would like to keep on using Ubuntu in a virtual machine on the new disk(to avoid the possible mess-ups of dual boot and I found VirtualBox is the best free tool for this).

I wish to keep the exact same data\programs\configurations\settings I had been using in Ubuntu for so long, and avoid the tedious part of having to reconfigure so many things.

How do I backup\restore Ubuntu to another disk? I would prefer a free tool to do the backup\restore.

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By installing and running remastersys you are able to convert your existing Ubuntu installation to a bootable iso file that can be used for installation to a Virtual Box drive.

sudo remastersys backup
sudo remastersys dist

You can download Debian packages from the project page. There also is repository for Karmic and later:

deb karmic/

See also these questions for alternatives:

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Inside your old Windows installation are 2 folders that you can copy to the new Windows installation that contain all your VirtualBox machines.

The folders are located inside C:\Documents and Settings\<your_username> (for WindowsXP) and inside C:\Users\<your_username> (for Windows7) and are called VirtualBox VMs and .VirtualBox.

enter image description here

One contains the virtual machines disks and the other contains settings.

Copy those 2 folders to the new Windows installation under the same folder names and you will have all your machines restored.

Step by step:

  1. Remove your old disk
  2. Install the new disk and Windows in it
  3. Install VirtualBox on your new Windows installation
  4. Plug in the old disk back and make sure that your computer is booting from the new installation
  5. Copy those 2 folders from the old Windows installation to the new one
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I read the question differently. It seems that whizkid wants to convert his physical Ubuntu machine to a virtual one to be run under Windows 7. You can do this with a free VMware converter tool available here:

You could then use VMWare Player on Windows (free), or run the resultant .vmdk as a Virtualbox HardDisk.

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