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Awhile ago, I said goodbye to windows 7 (rather than upgrade to Microsoft's latest and 'greatest'), and added a new harddrive to my computer. Today, a few upgrades later, and I'm running the Pop_OS! flavor of Linux (an Ubuntu derivative). However, occasionally I find myself needing a windows program that I don't have an equivalent for on Linux (and wine won't run it). Rather than restarting my computer each time I want to get into it, I've heard there's a way to get a VM program like QEMU with VMM GUI to run my disk as a VM.

However, of the guides I've seen are for taking an empty drive and turning it into a repository for multiple VMs, or using it whole for a fresh VM, not turning an existing OS installation into a VM unto itself. How do I do this?

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1) Make a backup of your Win 7 partition to an external drive or the cloud and verify it's accurate.

2) Make another backup of your Win 7 partition to another external drive or to a different cloud, and verify it's accurate.

3) Run SYSPREP to tell Windows 7 you're going to change hardware.

4) You will need to make an image file with a command like

dd if=/dev/sdaX of=/mnt/old-win-7.img

If Windows 7 was on /dev/sda2, then the command would be

dd if=/dev/sda2 of=/mnt/old-win-7.img
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  • Will be trying this...
    – lilHar
    Apr 28 '20 at 1:01

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