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I have rebuilt my Windows 7 ultimate operating system. I performed the rebuild over the top of its self so it automatically moved my old operating system to a Windows.old directory.

I would like to try and create a virtual pc of my old installation. I have created a vhd file, mounted it and copied across the contents of windows.old. What additional steps do I need to do to make this vhd boot into my old windows?

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I do not really know how should you step forward... but I suggest you try and rebuild the bootcfg on your virtual disk, if that identifies your windos installation as a valid OS, you can then fix the other things.... – Mallik Mar 5 '12 at 13:32
I presume you understand that, even if you are able to accomplish this, it will not re-create any of your user data in the VM. – Iszi Mar 5 '12 at 14:08
Why wouldn't I be able to recreate the user data? I'm expecting to be able to login as it did before. That is once I have rebuilt the BCD and the HAL is reconfigured. – Fly_Trap Mar 5 '12 at 17:03
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I managed to do this in the end, here is an overview of what I did.

  • Create a vhd and mount it (see guide)
  • Copy the contents of Windows.old to the mounted vhd
  • Installed Virtual Box (Microsoft Virtual PC cannot cope with 64 bit virtual clients)
  • Unmounted the vhd from windows and used it to create a new Virtual Box instance
  • Kicked off the new instance and booted to a windows 7 install cd
  • Using the Windows 7 boot cd recovery options I opened a new command prompt
  • Using Diskpart.exe I set my primary partition to be Active (see guide)
  • Used Bootrec.exe to create a new MBR and rebuild the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store (see guide)

I was then able to boot into my vhd. My old windows 7 install then went through a number of automated driver updates due to the new virtual hardware configuration. After a few reboots it was fine though. Note, I did need to reactivate windows though due to the hardware changes.

Hope this helps anyone else trying to do the same.

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