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I have an old Windows 7 machine that needed virtualing for a family memeber. I wanted to virtualise it however becasue the host hardware was dead. They were on Windows 10 but wanted to use some really old software.

The only option was to connect it to a USB adapter. Getting it to work in VMWARE fusion was surprisingly complicated. This is how I ended up doing.

Before I begin I did try using the VDisk Manger method but this failed with an access denied error. I have raised a case with VMWARE.

As time was not on my side I developed a solution:

To begin I connected the hard drive to a windows 7 VM and create a VHDX file using the sysinternals tool. I did not tick the volume shadow copy box as the machine was not in use.

Once the image is created, link it to a virtual machine and follow these instructions:

  1. Firstly, boot the Windows-based computer via Windows installation media.
  2. Press Repair
  3. Next input “bootrec /fixmbr” and hit “Enter” key.
  4. Later enter “diskpart” and press “Enter”.
  5. Then type “select disk 0” and hit “Enter”.
  6. Later input “list partition” and tap on “Enter”.
  7. Type “select partition n (n is the Windows OS partition)” and press “Enter”.
  8. Input “active” and hit “Enter”.
  9. Subsequently, input “Exit” and hit “Enter”.
  10. After that, type “bootrec /fixboot” and tap on “Enter”.
  11. Next input “bootrec /rebuildbcd” and click “Enter”.
  12. Close the Command Prompt and shut down your PC.  Then try to boot again

If it still fails:

Boot from the recovery disk

run automatic repair problems


restart again

If it hangs and reboots:

1) Power on the laptop
2) Press F12 key to enter the BIOS
3) Go to “Advanced” menu
4) Go down to “System Config”
5) Change SATA Controller from “AHCI” to “Compatibility”. Fusion
6) Press F10 to save and exit


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