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Universal Restore to dissimilar hardware from a Dual Boot system to a VirtualBox VM

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Posts: 7
Comments: 15

I have a system that is setup to Dual-Boot a Windows 10 and Windows 7 OS. I am trying to restore the Windows 7 install to a VirtualBox VM with Acronis Universal Restore 2019.. So far, I have not been successful. I would like to know if this is possible and how to accomplish it. I'm thinking that because the source Windows system is dual boot that Acronis doesn't know how to handle it when restoring to dissimilar hardware. Or there is something I need to do to make it work.

The basic steps I took are:

  1. Created a VM and installed Windows 7 on the VM that is the target for the restore with a slightly large virtual disk than the source system and 4 GB memory. (I can provide additional specs if it turns out to be relevant to my problem.)
  2. Created a Acronis Bootable Media ISO on the VM. I am using Acronis True Image 2019.
  3. Create a Full disk backup of the source system, including both OS partitions. On the boot disk, the Windows 7 partition follows the Windows 10 partition.
  4. I booted the VM from the Acronis ISO and used True Image to initialize the disk,
  5. This is where is gets sticky.
  • When I restore the backup to the VM, do I restore the whole disk, or can I restore only the Windows 7 partition?
  • If I do, what do I have to do to get the boot loader to boot from the correct partition.
  • If I restore the whole disk (with the Win 10 and Win 7 partitions) will that boot?
  • What steps do I take on the VM to remove the Win10 partition?

Am I going about this all wrong and is there a better way? I know there are also driver issues that I need to address but that's doable, and can wait till i get a system that is at least able to start booting.

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Posts: 109
Comments: 28221

John, I have never managed to get used to using VirtualBox and haven't attempted to restore a dual-boot OS system to such a virtual system.

That said, I have used and continue to use both VMware Player and Hyper-V for my own VM's where I have converted some physical machines to VM's in the past.  I stopped using dual-boot some years ago after I got a more powerful Intel i7 system that could easily run my VM's.

I would recommend doing a whole disk recovery then look at removing the unwanted Win 10 OS at a later point.  My reasoning here is because both OS's sound to be linked into the Windows Boot Manager configuration given they occupy different partitions on the same disk.

The process to boot from the different OS versions in a VM should be the same as for your source computer unless you are doing this via BIOS changes!

See my YouTube Channel where I have posted some videos of this type of recovery that may be of help.