How To Clone Your Old PC For Free And Without Losing Programs


Buying a new computer and migrating data and programs from your old PC to the new one isn’t always that straight forward.

Migrating data, usually, is easy because we can just copy it from our old machine to the new one. Applications, however, cannot be copied in the same way. You need to install them on your new computer. Then there are compatibility issues too. Some for example work on Windows XP but cannot be used in Windows 7 or Vista. ( Image Courtesy – smudie )

Other problem is that you need to again set up your preferences ( or custom settings) of your old programs.  So all in all, it’s a cumbersome task, and that’s exactly what we intend to address in this post.

This post is going to show you an easy and free way to clone your old computer on the new machine. The old machine will actually run inside the new one in a virtual environment. ( Also read our running desktop apps from browser and creating virtualized applications guides, both of which make use of the virtualization technology. )

To do this we are going to use two free programs: Sun Virtual Box and VMWare vCenter Converter Standalone.

The first one will play the virtual machine, and the second one is the responsible for doing the clone. Lets begin.

Downloading The Programs

To download Sun Virtual Box go to Filehippo:

Sun Virtual Box  – Mirror by Filehippo

And here’s the link to download VMware Converter:

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Registerforyourfree Download Vmware Thumb

VMware will send you an email with information to activate your account. Once you enter select manually download:

Vmware Converter Donload Information

Installing VMware Converter Standalone

1. Select Local installation.

Installing Vmwarev Center Converter Standalone Thumb

2. VMware starts a wizard, press Next:

Welcome Installation Wizardfor Vmware Vcenter Converter Standalone Thumb

3. Run the client.

Vm Ware Installation Completed Finish Thumb

Now press Convert Machine:

Vm Warev Center Converter Machine Thumb

Select Powered on machine:

Vmware Converter Select Source Type Poweredonmachine Thumb

I am doing this test on my own computer so. I have also tested on remote machine and it works fine but you need to have full control over that machine. This means, stopping Firewalls and a user with administration rights.

Vmware Converter Settings This Local Machine Thumb

Here is the kind of VMware Workstation we are creating.

Vmware Converter Vmwaremachine Thumb

You have also to select a destination. It’s very important that the destination has at least the same amount of storage space that your current computer has.

Installing Oracle VM VirtualBox

This has to be done in your new computer so that you can have access to your older programs.

Oracle Vmvirtual Box3 2 10 Setup Thumb

Check Start Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2.10 after installation.

Start Oracle After Installation Thumb

The program will start, if you press New a wizard will start:

Virtual Box New Virtual Machine Thumb

Here is the wizard:

Virtual Box New Virtual Machine Wizard Thumb

Type a Name and select the Operating System type:

Virtual Box Vmnameand Os Type Thumb

Press the button to invoke Virtual Media Manager Dialog. This way you can add the clone you created:

Virtual Box Create Wizard Virtual Hard Disk Thumb

Add a hard drive:

Virtual Box Virtual Media Manager Thumb

Select the file that VMware converter has created:

Createdvirtual Machine Thumb

Before you start the machine go to Settings, System and enable IO APIC:

Virtual Box Change Settings

Go to the System Tab:

Virtual Box System Tab
Virtual Vmware Enable Io Apic

Now you only have to select the virtual machine and press Start:

Oracle Vm Virtual Box Old Pc Start

That’s it. You’ll now have your old PC running inside Sun Virtual Box on your new computer. You can use it as and when you want.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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