9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2019 1:41 PM by wila

    Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?

    BobAgi Enthusiast

      I have an HP EliteBook 8560w which is end-of-life and I am migrating over to a new HP ZBook 15 G5.

      The old laptop runs Windows 7 Pro x64 and the new Windows 10 Pro x64.

      On my old laptop I have VMWare Workstation PRO15 installed and a lot of vm:s on a 2 TB internal datadrive.

      I will move the data drive over to the new laptop (I bought a ZBook because it has a 2.5" hdd drive bay in addition to the SSD system drive).

       

      Some issues have arisen when I am planning the move (have not yet started up the new laptop):

       

      1) Install WorkStation PRO15 on new laptop?

      Can I install WorkStation PRO15 on the new laptop with the same license I used on the old one or do I have to buy a new or uninstall on the old one first?

      When I am all done and verified the new laptop I will uninstall Workstation PRO15 from the old laptop.

       

      2) Cloning the old laptop?

      I need to be able to access the old laptop even when it is retired. A virtual machine clone would be fine.

      I have a very recent system backup made by Windows Backup in the form of 2 vhd files, presumably one is the C: system drive and one is the hidden Windows drive. They are 288 and 61 GB in size respectively.

      Can I clone the laptop using one or both of these vhd files or do I need to use some other method?

      I will uninstall a whole bunch of software from the old laptop to reduce its footprint first of course.

       

      Any advice and reports of similar tasks welcome!

        • 1. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
          wila Guru
          Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsvExpert

          Hi,

           

          1) Yes.

          VMware Workstation licensing is based on the honor system, aka there are no activation servers and having two licenses active for a little while is OK.

          You can also just use the 30 day trial time in order to move over to your new laptop.

           

          2) You might be able to import those vhd files, but I'm not sure it works.

          What most people do is to use the VMware Converter product in order to export their physical machine to a VM.

          Please note that if your laptop has synaptic drivers that your keyboard in the VM most likely will not work until you uninstall the drivers and software associated with Synaptic (easiest is to uninstall the software before the migration)

           

          Any additional tip would be to shut down, not suspend, your VMs on the old host before migrating to new hardware.

          You might also want to commit any snapshots taken when the VM was running.

          The reason for that is that with new hardware comes new CPU's and GPUs and they are slightly different and might cause trouble if the VM was not shut down.

           

          Finally I do consider it important to have backups of your VMs on external media before doing all this (disclaimer see my footnote, but I would have said so anyways).

          --

          Wil

          | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
          | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
          | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
          | Twitter @wilva
          | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com
          • 2. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
            BobAgi Enthusiast

            2) You might be able to import those vhd files, but I'm not sure it works.

            What most people do is to use the VMware Converter product in order to export their physical machine to a VM.

            Please note that if your laptop has synaptic drivers that your keyboard in the VM most likely will not work until you uninstall the drivers and software associated with Synaptic (easiest is to uninstall the software before the migration)

            Thanks!

            I think that is what I did 7-8 years ago when I retired. I created a clone of my work laptop with VMWare so I could use that when I was consulting with my old job for a few years. But I don't remember how exactly I did that...

            I think that now that you mention it I might have used a Converter of sorts.

             

            Can a running Win7 machine be cloned from itself or do I have to shut it down and extract the HDD and hook it up via USB or similar to a computer on which the cloning will be done (while it is shut down)?

            I.e. can I clone the computer I am writing this from (where I have a lot of WMWare tools installed including Workstation PRO15) using the converter from the same?

             

            Concerning synaptic, I almost never use my laptop using its screen and keyboard, normally it is docked into an HP Docking station of the kind that existed at the time I got my present laptop. They seem to have gone extinct now...

            • 3. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
              wila Guru
              vExpertCommunity WarriorsUser Moderators

              Hi,

               

              Re. Synaptic. In Windows 7 control panel, check "Add / Remove Programs" and make sure there's no software in there mentioning Synaptic.

              It's not about you using it, but all about the drivers of that software interfering with VMware keyboard drivers.

               

              As for "can you clone a running OS".. yes. that's exactly what you can do with VMware Converter.

               

              VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

               

              --

              Wil

              | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
              | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
              | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
              | Twitter @wilva
              | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com
              • 4. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
                BobAgi Enthusiast

                Re. Synaptic. In Windows 7 control panel, check "Add / Remove Programs"

                I found one such item: "Synaptic Pointing Device Driver"

                So when I am ready to clone my laptop I will first uninstall this.

                 

                Right now I am trying to reduce the expected size of the clone by investigating what  is taking up the 288 GB of disk space used on C:...

                And I also need to remove unnecessary files from my data drive (of 2TB there is only some 119 G free, so I need to open it up for the cloned drive...)

                My virtual machines take up 922 GB of disk space, so I will delete some that just lingers on even though they have not been used in years.

                 

                Last questions (I hope):

                I downloaded the VMware-converter-en-6.2.0-8466193.exe installer, is that the latest available (I guess so)?

                 

                For some reason the installation ended with an error, if I remember correctly "Could not start service"...

                And the installer window said that it failed and my computer was not changed, however now there is a new directory:

                "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone" containing some 251 MB worth of files.

                And there is also a new start menu item below VMWare named

                "VMWare vCenter Converter Standalone Client"

                I wonder which service it refers to?

                 

                EDIT:

                I have now checked the Windows Event Log and found two items relating to the failure:

                1) "A timeout was reached (30000 milliseconds) while waiting for the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Agent service to connect."

                2) "The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Agent service failed to start due to the following error:

                The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion."

                 

                Both of these happen at the same second following installation.

                In Services I can manually start it and then an Event log entry is created:

                "The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Agent service entered the running state."

                 

                I guess that means it is running OK?

                 

                Since I am on a Windows 7 computer maybe I should have installed an older version of Converter?

                In my downloads I found this file too:

                VMware-converter-all-5.0.0-470252.exe

                It is dated in Oct 2011, about the time I retired and cloned my win7 work laptop prior to it being scrapped...

                Would that be a better bet or could I still use the 6.2.0 converter installed but with the failure?

                • 5. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
                  wila Guru
                  User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

                  Hi,

                   

                  If possible use the latest version.

                  Since you have been able to start the service manually, I would expect it to now work OK.

                  --

                  Wil

                  | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
                  | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
                  | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
                  | Twitter @wilva
                  | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com
                  • 6. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
                    BobAgi Enthusiast

                    What about the VMWare Workstation PRO15 installation on the source machine?

                     

                    The laptop has that installed, and it probably should not be there inside a virtual machine, right?

                    Will Converter skip this installation when converting or does one need to uninstall the VMWare stuff (except the VMWare Tools of course) once the conversion is done?

                     

                    And what is the expected size of the virtual drive created once the conversion is done?

                    I now have a 512 GB SSD as my C: drive, properties in Windows Explorer reports

                    Used space 257 454 002 176 bytes (239 GB)

                    Free space: 242 547 949 568 bytes (225 GB)

                     

                    And the data drive D: is a 2TB hdd and will be the target of the virtual machine created in the conversion:

                    Used space:  1 523 893 186 560 bytes (1.38 TB)

                    Free space:  476 504 604 672 bytes (443 GB)

                     

                    So it looks like there is 239 GB worth of data on C: which needs to be deposited on the new virtual drive.

                    It should fit on the 443 GB free space if the conversion packs the data on the disk, but if not then I would need free space equal to the full size of the source drive (464 GB)....

                    In the latter case there is not enough free space on the data drive...

                    Do I need to have the target disk locally attached (i.e. my built-in data disk) or can I use my NAS, which has 4TB free space and sits on a gigabit LAN?

                     

                    Any information on how it is being handled during conversion?

                     

                    I have now found notes from my last laptop conversion back in 2011, when I used vmware-vdiskmanager.exe to convert.

                    This created a very big virtual disk containing empty space that then had to be compacted away (a process that according to the notes took a day or more).

                    And that compaction created a copy that used disk space too of the same size so I needed two times the size of the disk free to be able to convert.

                     

                    Sorry for asking so much while preparing, but I hate to fail and be left with a non-working vm...

                    • 7. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
                      wila Guru
                      Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsvExpert

                      Hi,

                       

                      This is mostly a process of doing I'm afraid and yes some of it is time consuming depending on the size of your host.

                       

                      As for VMware Workstation, you can uninstall it afterwards. It works in a VM (it's one of my favorite use cases as it simplifies testing scenarios that involve having a dependency on VMware Workstation)

                       

                      It has been a while since I last ran it, but you can resize the virtual disks during the migration.

                      I would certainly use an external disk or NAS for creating the VM.

                       

                      It might also be a good idea to move some of the larger files off that you do not need in your VM.

                       

                      --

                      Wil

                      | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
                      | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
                      | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
                      | Twitter @wilva
                      | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com
                      • 8. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
                        BobAgi Enthusiast

                        Hi again, very valuable insight!

                        Concerning the files on the system drive they mostly are the installed software and Windows itself.

                         

                        I am since many years trying to keep the system drive just that, for the system only. Which includes the installed software.

                        But all my work files and such are located on a second data drive, which can be unplugged and inserted into the new laptop.

                        So what I am trying to get my head around is how this fits together during the transfers...

                        I will try the conversion using my Synology NAS as the target storage for the cloned system.

                        I hope that the conversion only deals with the system drive or that one can choose which other drives should be included?

                         

                        In the end I will have a physical laptop (the HP ZBook not yet started up) with Windows 10 on the system drive and the old 2TB data drive in the HDD drive bay.

                        On the data drive there will be a dir with my virtual computers, which now also will have my converted old laptop.

                        Or so I thought up until a short time ago...

                         

                        Now I think it might be better to put the converted old laptop on a separate portable drive and only hook it up when needed. It fits easily in my laptop bag.

                        It will probably be very seldomly used anyway. It is just a backup for stuff I might have forgotten to transfer to my new hardware.

                         

                        In any case I will make a separate virtual drive for it to use as drive D:, where all extraneous data files (virtual computers and videos mostly) will be missing and only the work files remain in their normal places.

                         

                        Apparently (found on the web) one can copy files from and to a vmdk drive using 7zip! Provided that the virtual computer it is attached to is not running of course.

                        So I can fill it with the data I want easily.

                         

                        Thanks for your help and advice!

                        • 9. Re: Migration from Win7 x64 to Win10x64 - how to?
                          wila Guru
                          User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

                          Hi,

                           

                          I hope that the conversion only deals with the system drive or that one can choose which other drives should be included?

                          You can choose.

                           

                          Re. .7zip.. not sure how battle tested it is for copying files into the .vmdk, but you can copy files out.

                          In that case I would personally stick with the supported scenario and that is to mount a vmdk as a disk.

                          Something that is just part of VMware Workstation's feature set.

                           

                          --

                          Wil

                          | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
                          | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
                          | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
                          | Twitter @wilva
                          | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com