Moving my Windows 10 installation to virtual machine

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Moving my Windows 10 installation to virtual machine

Postby Polda18 » 25. Nov 2017, 17:55

Hello, I want to remove my Windows 10 installation from my laptop and replace it by Linux Ubuntu installation, however, I'd like to preserve my Windows 10 installation in virtual machine for further testing purposes (mainly developing apps and to use Windows only apps).

How can I create the same installation in host machine for use in guest one? I mean, I need to somehow disguise virtual machine as real host machine, to think Windows 10 after activation that I am still on the same machine (which is basically true), however with less RAM and HDD capacity. I bought my laptop with Windows 8 and let it upgrade to Windows 10, which has shown as really bad move. While I will use the OS on the same machine, just running under Linux, I'd like to preserve my licence key. Is that possible? Or do I have to buy Windows again? Since it's pointless to buy a new copy of Windows for the installation I used before, just because I need to replace it with Linux and move Windows to virtual machine. As far as I know, Windows activation depends on motherboard. And Windows 10 will check the motherboard id with previous installation and will cancel my activation because of another machine, while in truth, it's the same machine, just I'm installing under Linux in virtual environment. Therefore if there is no way to keep Windows 10 licence key from host machine to use in virtual machine, then I'll have to abandon Windows completely, which is a bit shame since I use also apps that exist only in Windows world (like Visual Studio, for developing Windows apps, or Photoshop, for graphics editing and creation) and these apps are not quite compatible with Wine...
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Re: Moving my Windows 10 installation to virtual machine

Postby socratis » 25. Nov 2017, 18:29

Polda18 wrote:How can I create the same installation in host machine for use in guest one?

For the P2V part, you can use Disk2VHD from Microsoft to create a VHD out of your existing Win10. Then you convert that into VDI (more robust) and you build your VM around that VDI as close as possible to the original system.

As for the activation question, you can get some ideas from the article "Which changes trigger reactivation in a Windows guest?", and if that doesn't help, you need to talk to Microsoft.
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Re: Moving my Windows 10 installation to virtual machine

Postby Polda18 » 26. Nov 2017, 13:47

Well, I can't kind of copy entire hard drive including free space - that may not fit in the virtual drive needed for the virtual machine. So I need to change the hard drive capacity for the virtual drive, and copy only those files that are associated just with Windows 10 (therefore I'm not gonna make bitwise copy of system, but copy only certain files and settings known for current Windows installation, not additional programs installed on my own). Because my hard drive has 1 TB of capacity, so I need to set up virtual drive far below half of that capacity (to actually meet Windows 10 install requirements AND leave free space for additional programs existing only as Windows binaries).

To the activation purposes, I'll try to contact Microsoft directly, to make sure it won't be an issue migrating Windows into virtual machine, while replacing actual physical OS by Linux...

Anyway, thank you for tips :)
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Re: Moving my Windows 10 installation to virtual machine

Postby erdeslawe » 26. Nov 2017, 15:56

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