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I have a system on which Windows 7 is installed, and I am trying to make a clone of its HDD image, which I then want to use in my main PC with VMware, so that I can boot Windows 7 off the cloned HDD.

I used Ultimate Boot CD v5.1.1 with the system whose HDD I wanted to clone, and I cloned it using EaseUs Disk Copy, which comes with Ultimate Boot CD. The source HDD was 250 GB in size which had 3 partitions, while the USB HDD I attached to the system, which was supposed to be the destination/clone HDD, was 320 GB in size. I chose to create an exact replica, and so 250 GB worth of data (partitions, etc.) was copied exactly, and the rest of the space was un-allocated. I now connected this USB HDD to my main PC, fired up VMware Workstation 8 and defined a new Virtual Machine, and chose to boot off the USB HDD.

Result is that when Windows is booting (from the cloned HDD inside VMware), I get the blue screen error before I reach the login screen.

How can I change my methodology so that Windows even boots from the clone? I can change any tools I use, etc.

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Try "Repair" option from the Windows DVD. Attach a Windows ISO to the VMWare guest, and boot it. Repair your system from there. There you go. – Shiki Oct 18 '11 at 16:22
I just tried this .. Didn't work .. I ran repair both from a Windows 7 installation disc, and from the OS's own repair function .. On some attempts it said some 'fixes' have been done, but on others it said that these problems could not be fixed .. Result is still the same: BSOD on OS boot ! :( – Ahmad Oct 18 '11 at 18:37
What is wrong with VMware's tools for this?… – Nov 14 '12 at 12:02

A basic knowledge for Windows system builders is that you must run sysprep before you move your system to a different hardware and if the destination (virtual) system uses a different chipset and/or disk controller, the relevant drivers must be changed to a general one.

In your case I guess the disk controller caused the BSoD. If you used a SATA controller on your real computer, you should mount a SATA disk on your virtual machine. If this doesn't fix it, you may need a different HAL. Currently you can get this by manually replacing system files or by an in-place upgrade.

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Could you elaborate a little more on the scenarios you mentioned here ? .. The original computer used a SATA 250GB HDD, but the cloned/destination HDD is an external portable USB HDD. How can I make the Virtual OS (when running through VMware now) think its SATA ? – Ahmad Oct 18 '11 at 18:39
And whats HAL ? and what files do I need to replace ? And guides/tutorials ? – Ahmad Oct 18 '11 at 18:39
I haven't used VMware in a long time, but it should be at the place where you change your disk images. You may have to change your chipset to ICH7 or better for the option to appear. HAL or hardware abstraction layer is some routines that bridges the Windows kernel to the CPU. If your virtual machine had different processor capabilitites (e.g. number of cores, 64-bit, ACPI, PAE or NX) you may need to install a different HAL or change your VM settings to reflect your old system. See – Oct 18 '11 at 20:28

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