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On my old laptop I have been using Windows XP for a really long time.

I have completed my switch from the old laptop to a new one (which has Windows 7 running on Intel i5 - the older laptop had Intel Core 2 Duo).

Though I rarely use my old laptop, quite often I need to open it up to run programs, which would otherwise require quite some time and an unreasonable effort to install on my new system.

Can I simply make an image of my old system and run it as a VM on my new laptop? Does VirtualBox have that kind of a feature?

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Yes. Use disk2vhd from SysInternals.

Once you have the VHD file, simply mount it in its own VM.

disk2vhd

(Image credit: SysInternals)

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Thanks! You give me hope! But can I use it with VirtualBox? I am googling it myself... –  Shashank Sawant Jun 2 '12 at 5:03
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Yes, I've done it with several machines. VirtualBox opens VHDs as well as the other virtual hard disks it supports. –  user3463 Jun 2 '12 at 5:06
    
Got it! Will give it a shot. Seems like .vhd is a standard file format.... –  Shashank Sawant Jun 2 '12 at 5:14
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Yup. It works on Virtual PC as well, but that is very limited when it comes to multiple-CPU support, and with VirtualBox you can assign as many cores as you want. –  user3463 Jun 2 '12 at 5:19

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