• Run Win 7 on Win 10 using virtual machine?

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Windows » Windows 7 » Windows 7 – other » Run Win 7 on Win 10 using virtual machine?


    I remember seeing an announcement of an article on this sometime ago.  Did I miss it?  Is the article in the pipeline?  I suspect the subject has been covered in the Lounge, but if so, I can’t find it.

    I have a machine running Win 7 that uses Access 97 via ODBC 3.51 to connect to MySQL and SQLite databases.  Since I’ve been unable to reproduce that on Win 10, running Win 7 on a virtual machine seems like the ideal way to keep alive something that works.



    Viewing 8 reply threads
    • #1969095

      There are several virtual software that run on Win10. Hyper-V (windows), VirtualBox, VMWare Player to name a few.

      To run Win7 in a VM you will need:

      A PC capable of running two OSs at once – enough RAM to run each separately, enough processor cores to distribute between the two, enough disk space to support the guest, etc.

      A legal retail license for the guest OS (Win7)

    • #1970138
    • #1971413

      <chuckle> Perhaps more than I wanted to know.

      Thanks very much for passing the link along,


    • #1971478

      You could always disconnect your Windows 7 machine from the internet and then keep using it past January 2020. If you don’t need for the machine to be online, this would be your easiest option. Or, if you are a small business, you can continue to receive security patches for Windows 7, and therefore keep running this machine online.

      Go here for more info about receiving W7 security patches after January 2020.

      Another possibility: If you can get a Windows 8.1 license, you could install Windows 8.1 and then install Access 97 and your other old software. If it works under Windows 7, it will almost certainly work under Windows 8.1. Also, if you install Classic Shell in Windows 8.1, you can make Windows 8.1 look and feel exactly like Windows 7. This will give you three additional years of security patches from Microsoft, because W8.1 goes out of support in January of 2023.

      (I’m not sure where you could get a retail license for W8.1; but you could buy a good refurbished W8.1 computer.)

      Your idea of a virtual machine is an excellent idea, if you have enough memory in the computer, and if you can get a Windows 7 retail license, as PKCano suggested above. In my view, this would be the best option, because you would be using a newer computer, and therefore one less likely to break down. But it is not the easiest option, because it will involve a complete reinstall of Windows and all of your software.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #1971763


      The project running on the Win 7 machine is devoted to documenting the religious heritage sites in my corner of France and I do a lot research on the machine.  Thus, keeping it connected to the Internet is by far my first choice.

      I use Acronis True Image 2017 to do image backups of my machines.  I wonder if I could use it to transfer the Win 7 configuration to a virtual machine running on Win 10.  A quick search on the Acronis didn’t produce anything conclusive.  I may have to to go to their forums to see what I can learn there.

      • #1978203

        The problem with transferring your current Windows 7 install to a virtual machine is that your current install of W7 almost certainly is with an OEM Windows license, not a retail Windows license. The OEM license will fail when you try to run it as a virtual machine – I know this, I tried doing this on my own computer.

        If you could obtain a retail Windows 7 license (not an easy task these days), then you could probably convert your current W7 install to a virtual machine, and then switch to the retail license in the vm. A retail Windows license will work in a vm – I also know this, because I am currently doing this on my own computer. What I haven’t tried is switching from an OEM license to a retail license in a Windows install. I believe you can do this, but perhaps there is someone reading this who has actually done this, who could tell you for sure if you can switch from an OEM to a retail license in a current Windows 7 install.

        If you want to keep Windows 7 on the internet, you really don’t need to do anything; just keep using your Windows 7 computer as is. The one thing I would suggest is that you do regular backups, not only of your data, but also image backups of the primary hard drive, so that you can recover in case your hard drive or computer fails.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #1978481

          Well drat!  I do have an OEM license.  (That’s what comes from asking a question — sometimes you learn stuff you didn’t what to know.)  I’ll try the installation with it anyway, than I’ll talk to the fellow who built the machine to see what he can do to get a retail license.

          I’ve got the backups (files and images both in the cloud and offsite and regularly updated),  but am worried about attaching a under-protected machine to the wild jungle that the Internet has become.

    • #1972298

      Access 97 dates back all the way to Windows 95. It seems to me that you could run Windows XP and Access 97 in a virtual machine under Windows 10. No XP license is required since there is a license key buried in XP which Microsoft has to accept. Or you may already have a retail XP key. The upshot is that you can avoid having to have a retail Windows 7 license in order to run Windows 7 under a virtual machine in Windows 10.

      • #1977889

        I meant to say, run Windows XP under a virtual machine in Windows 10.

        • #1978469

          Thanks for the suggestion — I didn’t realize XP had gone off license.  However, I’ve spent a lot of time getting my production environment to run under Win 7.  Moving back to Win XP isn’t something I want to undertake.  If I can’t get the system to run on a VM under Win 10, I’ll just disconnect the machine from the Internet.  That will be a real nuisance, but I expect it will be less painful than trying to take a step backwards.

    • #1972706

      I wonder if I could use it to transfer the Win 7 configuration to a virtual machine running on Win 10

      Use Disk2VHD from Sysinternals.

      cheers, Paul

    • #1977777

      @Paul T: Got it and will give it a shot.  Thanks for the suggestion.

      I see from some research that another step is necessary to make the virtual disk bootable.  Interested in knowing how it comes out?


    • #1978103

      Virtual disks are always bootable in a virtual machine. What is the research?

      cheers, Paul

    Viewing 8 reply threads
    Reply To: Run Win 7 on Win 10 using virtual machine?

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: