Microsoft has publicly announced that Windows 7 will no longer be supported and again reassure just a few days ago that we should move away from Windows 7 to a Windows 10 machine.
Though the issue is not as easy as it looks with the many presets and settings which we’ve tinkered and accustomed Windows 7 to be only to see it no longer be usable.
The silver lining in all of this is that you can salvage Windows 7 and keep using it without having to worry about its security flaws and all that inefficiencies.
“So Jake, what are you suggesting we do?” 🤷♂️
Well, migrate Windows 7 onto a virtual machine like VirtualBox or VMWare.
For this post, I will be talking about more on the former, which is an excellent open-source software that helps with virtualizing OSs. It’s also a great way to tinker and experiment with virtual machines and provides a way to continue to use Windows 7 and understand how it was once like (boomer memes incoming).
This guide will go over how you can migrate Windows 7 to VirtualBox step-by-step.
Let’s dive right in!
How to Migrate Windows 7 to VirtualBox: 5 Steps
- Firstly, you will have to download Disk2vhd (.zip) on your Windows 7 PC. We will need Disk2vhd to create a VHD image of our Windows 7 machine to be used with VirtualBox.
Disk2vhd is a Microsoft-recommended software that allows you to make copies of online disks and also provide the convenience to store the VHD files locally, such as on your Windows machine. Disk2vhd is one of the fastest ways to get a VHD image of your Windows 7 machine.
Take note that Virtualbox is fully compatible with Microsoft’s VHD format. This was not the case in the older versions of Virtualbox, where there were two different versions of VirtualBox.
Once you have Disk2vhd downloaded and extracted to your PC, right-click on the disk2vhd.exe file and choose to Run as an administrator.
- Next, you will have to select the drives (from your Windows 7) that you want to wish to migrate over into the image so that you can access it with Virtualbox later. When selected the drives, do NOT check both the Use Vhdx and Use Volume Shadow Copy options.
- Now staying with Disk2vhd, we have one more step before we jump into VirtualBox. You will want to do is choose the path for where the VHD file should be saved. This can be configured under the VHD File name (as shown below) by clicking on the … button box. Once you’re done, hit Create.
- Now go ahead and open VirtualBox and proceed to create a new Windows machine. Here’s a great guide by the creators of VirtualBox on how to create a Windows 7 machine using VirtualBox. Just make sure during the Hard disk page, that you choose to Use an existing virtual hard disk file (as shown below) and proceed to use the VHD file we had created using Disk2vhd. If you’re transferring the VHD file from one machine to another, then consider using a USB or any other convenient storage means which you’re comfortable with to move the VHD file from your Windows 7 machine to another machine. Hit Create.
- Lastly, once you’ve configured the Windows machine, it should appear in the list of available virtual machines you can try out in your VirtualBox. You can now go ahead and try out your new Windows 7 virtual machine!
That’s pretty much it! 🙂
If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂