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  • Creating VPC's from existing PC's

    Dear Group,

    I have 3 old PC's I wish to virtualize: a Windows 95B laptop, and two Windows XP Pro desktops.

    I installed Virtual PC 2007. I found WinImage on-line and have been able to convert the two XP Pro desktops' drives to VHDs.

    After a struggle I was able -- by running a Windows XP Repair installation -- to get one of the XP Pro machines (the oldest one) to convert completely to a bootable, runnable, networkable VPC. Hooray! That one contains some software installed since 2000 (the original PC had Windows 98 on it and has been upgraded twice to Windows 2000 and Windox XP Pro), including a couple TurboTax installs, QuickBooks 2001, and two old versions of Paradox for Windows. I'm extremely happy that I didn't have to dig up old installation disks and try to upgrade the software!

    WinImage is supposed to work on Windows 95, but I've been unsuccessful. I've tried to create the VHD on one of my other PCs through the LAN, but WinImage doesn't seem to want to do that from Windows 95. Any ideas?

    Secondly, the second XP Pro machine I want to virtualize is of a more recent vintage. But when I tried to follow in the footsteps of the Windows XP Repair installation that I performed successfully on the first XP Pro machine, the installation process gets down to two or three minutes to go when it reboots the host PC. No blue screen, no messages of any kind, just a reboot. Then when I go to see if the new VPC is working, it starts over again; that is, not at the initial text screens asking to accept (F the Windows license, but at the 39 minutes to go screen where I eventually have to enter the Windows key.

    Again, I'm trying to virtualize these systems "in place" to avoid installing all the software from scratch. I look at this series of older systems as sort of like archaeological finds that I'm trying to preserve!

    Thanks for providing this excellent forum.

    Steve Erbach
    Neenah, WI
    http://www.TheTownCrank.com

  • #2
    Re: Creating VPC's from existing PC's

    Do your licenses for the OS's here allow you to run them on different "hardware" within a VM?

    VPC 2007 doesn't list Win95 as compatible, just Win98 upwards. not sure if that is the one you are using?

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/pro.../overview.mspx
    cheers
    Andy

    Please read this before you post:


    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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    • #3
      Re: Creating VPC's from existing PC's

      Andy,

      >> Do your licenses for the OS's here allow you to run them on different "hardware" within a VM? <<

      I wouldn't have thought that an issue. I have licenses from an MSDN Universal subscription and once I've transmogrified the existing PC's into VPC's, I'll recycle the old hardware.

      For the PC that I successfully "converted", the Repair installation never seemed to hiccough regarding the hardware.

      I will say that the 2nd PC may have a registry hive issue. About a year ago that PC got into a loop of continually rebooting. I took the hard disk out at our network admin's suggestion, and he hooked it up to his system at work and rebuilt the registry from the hive, while determining what, if anything, was causing the continual reboots. Once he'd finished I was able to use that system normally again. However, if I ever had to Restart the system for any reason, the continual rebooting began over again. If I turned the system off for a while (half an hour or so) and then restarted, everything was hunky-dory. That issue has never been resolved. So that leads me to wonder if there's something left with registry issues. I just haven't a clue as to why a Repair install of a VPC would make the Host system reboot.

      >> VPC 2007 doesn't list Win95 as compatible, just Win98 upwards. not sure if that is the one you are using? <<

      Yes, I'm using VPC 2007 and I was aware that Win95 isn't on the supported OS list. (I actually got Ubuntu to work under VPC 2007, but I couldn't adjust the screen resolution above about 800x600, so I tried another virtualizing product by Sun.)

      I have a friend who's a big fan of VPC 2007 and he's been helpful. He supplied me with ISO images of the Virtual Machine Additions for Win95...but I haven't gotten to "first base" with being able to use WinImage to create a VHD from my Win95 hard disk yet.

      I've also dabbled with VMWare Server...our net admin swears by v. 1.x of that product. Maybe I'd have better luck w/my 2nd WinXP Pro conversion if I used VMWare...

      Sincerely,

      Steve Erbach
      Neenah, WI
      http://www.TheTownCrank.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Creating VPC's from existing PC's

        Dear Group,

        Well, I'm no nearer a solution to my original question. I wondered if anyone else had any experiences to relate regarding the virtualization of an existing PC. Have you done it successfully? That is, have you created a virtual PC from an existing one without having to re-install all the old software? What tools did you use to accomplish it other than an operating system CD?

        Steve Erbach
        Neenah, WI

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Creating VPC's from existing PC's

          Most P2V converters will work just fine with Windows XP but I can't think of ANY organisation who is putting development effort into making their product work with Windows 95 (in ANY version). Windows 95 went out of support a long time ago now and regardless of your reasons for needing it I think you need to challenge the business rationale behind using such an obsolete and insupportable platform.


          Tom
          For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

          Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Creating VPC's from existing PC's


            I've seen many small organisations with legacy applications, sometimes bespoke to them, that run on completely obsolete platforms.
            Examples from personal experience include weight label printing linked to a set of scales, POS/Stock control software, some custom legal billing software and a time keeping system involving a card punch

            In all the cases there is probably something more modern that would do the same job but very often there is no cheap way of migrating, or the business is unwilling to do so.

            Support under such conditions is a nightmare, and P2V is an obvious way of attempting to solve the problem.
            Tom Jones
            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
            IT Trainer / Consultant
            Ossian Ltd
            Scotland

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Creating VPC's from existing PC's

              Tom,

              You describe exactly the situation at a client of mine that I've worked with since 1991! DOS workstations on the shop floor running a mish-mash of Paradox for DOS applications...some I wrote, some my wife wrote, some my client wrote, some he had a 3rd party write...but my client was happy enough that it cost so little to maintain that he was reluctant to change anything.

              My own reason for wanting to convert old PCs to VPCs is simply to retain some old software for personal reasons. There's no business advantage, as Stonelaughter pointed out. But my old installations of Quickbooks 2001 and a few other programs came through just fine from my 1999 vintage Micron Millenia. I can now let it retire gracefully to the recycling yard.

              Windows 95: it's more of a challenge than anything else. It's running on a dual-boot 1998 laptop with Red Hat Linux 5.2 on the 2nd partition. Not that I want to preserve that dual-boot configuration...I'd be happy with Windows 95B. I also have a pure DOS 6.22 VPC that's up and running with a passle of old DOS programs. Norton Utilities 8 anyone?

              My main issue, though, is with my four-year-old desktop that seems to have a registry hive problem. I've used WinImage multiple times and tried Windows XP Repair installations multiple times. I guess I'll have to dig into rebuilding the registry first on that old PC before virtualizing it.

              Thank you for your thoughtful response.

              Sincerely,

              Steve Erbach
              Neenah, WI

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Creating VPC's from existing PC's

                Stonelaughter,

                >> Most P2V converters will work just fine with Windows XP but I can't think of ANY organisation who is putting development effort into making their product work with Windows 95 (in ANY version). <<

                You're quite right; there's certainly no business advantage to retaining Windows 95. It's purely personal, for the challenge as well as for a few old programs.

                My current PC has 8 GB of RAM (Windows XP x-64) and a 3 GHz dual-core, so there's plenty of processing power for multiple VPCs.

                The makers of WinImage make a version that works for Windows 95. I simply have to figure out how to save the VHD file on a network share. That's, I think, the primary stumbling block. I've gotten WinImage to start up on Windows 95 and recognize the C: drive and get ready to create the VHD...but I can't save it anywhere yet. I'll keep hacking away at it.

                Sincerely,

                Steve Erbach
                Neenah, WI

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Creating VPC's from existing PC's

                  Good luck, Steve!
                  And would be nice of you to come back and post the outcome!

                  Sorin Solomon


                  In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
                  -

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