Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to Migrate a XP(32 Bit) PC to New Windows 7 Home (64 Bit) PC

I used this method to transition from my old XP PC to my New Windows 7 PC. Instead of keeping two physical PC’s connected and on your desk while you transition from XP to Windows 7, this method allows you to virtualize the old PC and host it on your new Windows 7 PC.  This enables you to continue using all your old programs, data and settings until you have time to re-install and customise them on your new PC.

There will always be some program, file or settings that you will have forgotten to migrate to the new PC and you can easily refer back to the old PC through the virtual session, even six months later. Some 32 bit programs may not even run on Windows 7 64bit. You can continue to run them in your old visualized PC.

Windows 7 has its own virtualization capability but your need to have Window 7 Professional or a add in product that costs quite a bit. If your have Windows 7 Home version like most people, then using VMware’s free products overcomes this.

After virtualizing my old PC that was five years old onto my new Windows 7 host I found that it ran faster than the physical box itself.

Here is how I did it.

First download and install VMware Converter from to your Windows system (the XP box that you want to convert into a virtual machine) and start the installation by double-clicking on the downloaded file.

The program is a 32 bit standalone exe, and installs to “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\converter.exe”.

Under Windows 7 it installs to "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\converter.exe”

Start the “VMware vCentre Converter Standalone Client” program from the Start\VMware program group on the Windows XP machine and use the “Convert Machine” wizard to create a virtual machine file. The resultant file will have a .vmx extension.

Copy or move the resultant vmx file to your Windows 7 PC.

Now you will need to download the VMware Player from and install it on your Windows 7 machine.

The program installs at "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\vmplayer.exe".

To run your old XP PC, start the VMware Player and open the .vmx file you created with the converter.

Here is an alternate method I found on the Internet.