Create Virtual Machine from the Installed Copy of Windows

Virtual machines are software versions of computers that are run within another computer. So you can have a Windows 11 PC virtual machine running inside an actual Windows 10 computer. The actual physical computer on which the virtual machines are run, are called hosts and the virtual machines are called guests.

There are two popular virtualization software that are used for creating, running and managing virtual machines – VMWare Workstation Player and VirtualBox. The first one is proprietary software while the VirtualBox is an open-source software.

Usually we start a virtual machine with a blank storage drive and then install an operating system on it. But with the help of DiskGenius software, we can create a virtual machine from the currently running copy of Windows itself. Here is how it is done:

  1. First of all install DiskGenius on your Windows PC. It also comes in a portable package if you do not intend to install it.
  2. Launch DiskGenius and from its menu, select Tools and then Virtualize System into Virtual Machine. and finally VMWare or VirtualBox.DiskGenius Virtualize System
  3. Depending on whether you choose VMWare or VirtualBox, you are shown different options. For both, you can choose a name of the virtual machine, the number of CPU cores assigned to the machine, the total RAM available in the virtual machine etc.  DiskGenius Virtualize System
  4. Now you can choose a folder where the virtual machine files are saved and then click on the Create button to start the virtual machine creation process. The result is a virtual disk VDI or VMDK with operating system already installed on it.

One benefit of this method is that we do  not have to create a virtual machine from scratch. The currently running copy of Windows is used for the virtual machine. However, it works only on Windows and we cannot run it on Linux or macOS. But we can use the virtual disks created through DiskGenius on any virtualization software easily.