possible to restore 98/ME to a VM?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ginahoy, Aug 21, 2007.

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  1. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    I'm still running WinME but need to upgrade to XP and my system isn't up to the task.

    I shudder at the thought of re-installing all of my software, while at the same time, trying to get used to a new OS. I think everyone goes through that to some degree or another. In recent years, I'm more likely to get s/w from the net, but I'm afraid I haven't been diligent about saving the install files!

    Most importantly, I have a very expensive application I depend on that can't be reinstalled on another machine. It was narrowly distributed and is no longer available or supported. To my horror, I lost the install disk during my last move. So I have a strong incentive to maintain ME on my new machine in some form or another.

    I'm considering two approaches -- dual boot vs. virtual machine (vm). The dual-boot approach forces me to buy a legacy machine capable of running WinME, perhaps a fast P4 with 800 FSB. The vm approach is more appealing since I could get a modern dual core machine. And switching between OS's would be very fast.

    With the vm approach, the "guest" operating system is normally installed on the vm as a clean install. This would defeat the purpose in my situation. I'd still end up having to re-install all my apps.

    VMWare Workstation 6 can import and convert image files from Ghost 9 and a few other disk image applications. I use ATI 9 Home since it runs under WinME, but it's not on the list. Apparently none of the formats supported by VMWare's conversion utility can be created on a 98/ME machine.

    I also checked Virtual PC documentation. It apparently doesn't include a conversion utility for importing disk images.

    I've read other threads here where folks have been able to directly restore an image file to a vm. However, I'm reluctant to try this without instructions (the link to a Guide posted by Mustang is no longer valid) and without support from the software vendor. Moreover, after having reviewed the VMWare user guide on importing Ghost image files, there's apparently a lot more to converting an existing machine to a vm than simply restoring the image.

    The bottom line is I don't want to buy a new dual-core system based on this premise only to discover I can't get the restored WinME image to work in the vm. That would be an expensive mistake.

    Is there anyone here that has restored an existing image of 98/ME in a vm?

    David
     
  2. wenglish98027

    wenglish98027 Registered Member

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    I'm no expert, so take this for what it's worth...

    I believe the VMWare converter can also create an image from an installed system (rather than an image). If that's the case, you may be able to install the converter on the ME system and run it.

    If the irreplaceable software is tied to specific hardware it might choke when run under the VM.

    I have a nasty feeling the only way to know for sure will be to actually try it. But hey, you'll get a nice new system out of the deal :D

    Mike
     
  3. random110

    random110 Registered Member

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    You would also be able to take an image of your WinME with Workstation 9.1, then recover it to the virtual machine using Universal Restore.
     
  4. VolkerNadolski

    VolkerNadolski Registered Member

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    Hi,

    UR is NOT avaiable for Windows 9X. Moving Win9X to different hardware is a lot easier than moving Win2000/WinXP.

    The quick way...
    1. I guess you use an IDE-Drive...
    2. Create a VM with an virtual IDE Drive attached to 1-0
    3. Attach your old harddrive to VMs IDE 0-0
    4. Boot your VM and clone it after the new hardware detect of Win9X
    5. Remove your old harddrive and assign the virtual drive to 0-0

    The "safe" way

    ->
    If you have a non-ide system
    1. Make an image of your old drive (just to make shure)
    2. "inject" the ide-drivers into your Win9X-system
    ->

    1. Make an image and store it on a network share (maybe your new computer)
    2. Create a vm with a virtual ide-harddrive attached to 0-0 and lan
    3. Boot the Acronis recovery-CD and restore via lan
    4. Boot your virtual machine and let Win9X do the new hardware detection

    -> the safe way takes a lot of more time, but your "old" system is untouched..

    Volker

    P.S.: Once a had to switch to VirtualPC 2007 instead of VMWare. The virtual Win9X did a shutdown as soon as it was bootet..this had something to do with the real hardware of the old machine...
     
  5. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    Hey Mike, thanks for the response. No, VMWare cannot create an image from a physical machine running a legacy OS. They only support this method for a few OS's.

    The only documented way to get a legacy OS on the vm is to install the OS using its own install disk. Although not explicitly stated in the Workstation manual, the conversion and import utility doesn't appear to be intended for legacy OS's. Ghost 2003 and ATI 9 may be the only imaging software that will run on an ME machine, and VMWare Converter isn't compatible with either.

    As for my legacy app being tied to hardware...
    The software is a wireless data acquisition program that relies on a com port to connect to a radio transceiver. I've already confirmed that the virtual machine maps to the host machines com ports.

    David
     
  6. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    Hey Volker, sounds like you have done this before! UR just the man I've been looking for! Did you restore an existing machine to a vm? (as opposed to a clean install)

    Regarding your experience with VMWare vs. VPC...
    I had wondered if there might be a reason to choose one or the other product. Thanks for the heads up. VPC's price is right, too!

    I fully agree that I need to take the "safe" path, but I have a question regarding your instructions. You wrote:
    > 3. Boot the Acronis recovery-CD and restore via lan

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "restore via lan". Which machine would I boot from the recovery CD? (confused)

    My problem is that I'm not familiar with using the Recovery CD (if you can believe it, I don't even have a CD burner). I use ATI 9 to back up my system to an external HD. But I first bought the software to clone a failing drive to a new one. Seems like I had to make a bootable floppy. If this is the same as the Recovery CD you refer to, then I'm good. Otherwise, I'll need to pick up a burner. No biggie.

    BTW, my drive is IDE (Barracuda 160).

    David
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    David,

    I have just successfully restored a Windows 98 image into Virtual PC 2007.

    It was the "old" Windows 98 version (not Windows 98 SE, which I don't have).

    It had to install a lot of new hardware on the first bootup and couldn't find the Windows 98 CD because the IDE controller wasn't installed yet. But after many reboots (which only took about 8 seconds each) all the drivers were installed and VM Additions installed okay.

    Your experience may differ, but it does look possible and worth a shot. Windows ME has more drivers built it so I would guess it would have less problems.

    What I did to restore was the following:
    1) Created a new VM for Windows 98
    2) Inserted my TI 9 cd into the DVD drive and "captured" it
    3) Booted to the Full Mode of TI
    4) Restored the Windows 98 image from a network share
    5) Removed the TI CD and rebooted the VM
    6) Windows 98 booted and started updating drivers

    This particular image was a "clean" install of Windows 98 on a REAL computer. No applications or special drivers were previously installed. Standard VGA was also used.
     
  8. VolkerNadolski

    VolkerNadolski Registered Member

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    David,

    so you have an IDE-Drive...that's good (makes it easier). So here is the complete way I took....

    Source is the "old" Computer
    Destination is the "new" virtual machine

    1. Boot the source from the acronis cd
    2. Store the image "somewhere" (I took a share on the host machine)

    -> in the best case...that's it for your source.
    If the complete recovery-process doesn't work (mostly due to "invalid" - IDE-Hardware on the source) return here and do the following..

    2a. Go to the device-manager and change the ide-interface to "standard PCI-IDE" -> don't reboot !
    2b. Shutdown and boot up with the acronis cd again
    2c. Take another image.
    -> VmWare AND VirtualPC emulate an Intel IDE-chipset. If you have via drivers installed..you can only boot up in safe mode.

    3. Install VMWare-Server (free) or VirtualPC 2007 (free)
    4. Define your virtual machine
    4a. If you took VMWare, take care that your destination has an IDE-Harddisk definied.
    5. Boot up your virtual destination PC with the acronis cd.
    6. Restore the last taken image from your share to the destination.
    7. Boot up your destination and install the missing drivers.

    If your virtual-machine doesn't boot up properly try switching the "host-engine". Change the product and restore again. There are small differences in the implementation of the virtual hardware by MS and VmWare.

    This procedure (I had to switch the host-engine) worked for me with a living four year old Win98 installation.

    Volker
     
  9. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    MudCrab, thanks for the help! Between what you and Volker are saying, I'm beginning to get more confidence that I can do this! But I'm a complete newbie at this, so please bear with me...

    In particular, in Step 2 you say to insert TI 9 cd into the DVD drive and capture...

    By TI 9 cd, do you mean the Recovery CD? And what do you mean by 'capture' it?

    And in Step 3, What do you mean by "boot to full mode"..?
    It's been a long time, but it seems like when I cloned a failing hard drive, I had to create a TI boot floppy. It booted the machine into what appeared to be some sort of DOS mode (perhaps Linux?). I thought the only way to open TI into full mode was from within Windows.

    Thanks for clarification!
    David
     
  10. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    In Virtual PC, this just means to use the physical DVD drive in the computer. There is a CD menu and you just select to "capture" the physical drive. It lets the VM use the "real" drive as if it were installed in the VM. The VM can then boot from the TI Recovery CD. If you don't have one, you can create it using the Acronis Media Builder program installed with TI.

    When you create the Recovery CD you can select to include both the FULL and SAFE mode versions of the program. The FULL mode version uses a Linux-based version of TI. the SAFE mode version is DOS-based. The reason you need to use the FULL mode version is so you have network access. This way you can restore from an image stored on a network share.
     
  11. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    Thanks! Crystal clear!

    Will I need to install a burner on my existing PC, or can I use a floppy disk as the the recovery media? Is there any reason why I can't capture a FDD in the vm?

    David
     
  12. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You can "capture" the physical floppy drive too. That's not a problem.

    However, it would probably be quicker and easier to use Acronis Media Builder to create an ISO file (instead of a cd) and then drop the ISO file onto the CD icon in the VM. That way the VM treats the ISO like a "real" cd and will boot from it, etc. I often do this as it's much faster to use an ISO than the real cd/dvd.
     
  13. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    I'm not sure why, but when I click on Create Bootable Rescue Media, I get the following message:

    "Rescue Media Builder is not installed. Please start Acronis True Image Enterprise Sever custom setup, then select Rescue Media Builder from the product features list."

    o_O

    I'm running ATI 9 Home. I haven't upgraded to latest build, but this sounds like something else.

    David
     
  14. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You probably need to reinstall TI 9 and select either FULL or CUSTOM install and make sure "Acronis Media Builder" is selected to be installed. Also, make sure to select the option to "Install for All Users" as this seems to avoid some problems.

    If you update TI 9, use at least build 3,677 (if you don't want the latest build). The previous builds had a lot more bugs and problems.
     
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