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I'm thinking about getting a Mac, and wondering about my options for transferring my current Windows installation to a Boot Camp partition.

Are there any tools that will allow me to accomplish this?

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I'm not aware of any good tool that does a physical-to-physical transfer like that. It can definitely be hacked to work, but it's technically pretty gory.

VMware Fusion and Parallels both have physical-to-virtual transfer tools. I have used the VMware one and it worked well. Unless you've got very custom peripherals you need to keep using (VMware supports USB 2.0 passthrough - nobody supports 1394), the power of either of those virtualization products may be enough, and you might not need Bootcamp.

Bootcamp is great if you need to make the absolute most of the Mac's hardware (gaming, video transcoding, etc) or keep using peripherals - but it's a nuisance in that you have to shut down one OS and reboot to the other to use it. My 2007 iMac no longer supports Bootcamp as of Snow Leopard/Win7 - while I was initially disappointed, the DirectX support of Fusion meant that I didn't really lose anything.

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It's probably worth reinstalling as all of your drivers on your current machine will be left installed when they are not needed. From my experience I have reverted to XP on my mac to save battery life and once installed through boot camp I run using Parallels Desktop to run the same boot virtually.

Also, once you have installed your boot camp you can put the Mac OS X disc which comes with your mac in to install all the windows drivers you'll need.

Trying to hack a previous install onto your mac will only waste time and probably will run a lot slower than a fresh install. Saying that if you have a VM of windows 7 and wish to only run virtually this can be (obviously) done very quickly.

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