What is a Virtual Machine
VMware Player is a program which emulates hardware with a system UEFI/BIOS that is suitable for the OS being installed in question. This allows one to install another Operating System, the guest Operating System which acts as a window within the host PC. Because the hardware is virtualised to be suitable to the guest OS in question, it can also be used to install a legacy operating system which has no driver support for newer hardware.
This is incredibly powerful when one wants to run software that is only compatible with a Legacy Version of Windows or another type of Operating System. For example a scanner with drivers and software for Windows XP may be ran on a Windows XP Virtual Machine that runs on a Windows 10 Host.
VMware Workstation Player
VMware player can be downloaded from VMware using the following link. For VMware to run smoothly it is recommended to have a PC that has at least a 6th generation Intel i5 Processor, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 250 GB SSD (with 100 GB of free space).
Microsoft Windows 90 Day Trial Test Virtual Machines
Microsoft have made a number of Virtual Machines available to download with different versions of Internet Explorer. These Virtual Machines are designed for short term software testing and will expire after 90 days at which point you can start with a new virtual machine.
Linux Installation on a Virtual Machine
A Virtual Machine is a great way to try Linux without ruining your Windows Install. One of the best Linux distributions to get started with for Windows users is Linux Mint.
- Mint 19.3
- Fedora 31
- Ubuntu 19.10
- Manjaro 18 (VMware Tools does not work correctly)
Ubuntu (Free) – Old Version of Ubuntu
Converting CD/DVDs into ISO Images and Floppy Disks into FLP Images
If you can get a Download Link and a Product Key for an ISO. Then you are best to use these to install your legacy OS.
However in many cases you may need to convert physical media to file that can be copied over to your Windows 10 Host PC and loaded as a Virtual CD/DVD or Virtual Floppy Drive. Use WinImage for CDs and Floppy Drives. I think the free version has an upper size limit so use ImgBurn for DVDs.
Windows 7 Pro
For Windows 7 Pro you can either perform a clean install and activate using OEM Downgrade rights from a Windows 10 Pro Host PC for product activation by porting the SLIC 2.1 across.
Or alternatively use VMware vCenter Converter to create a Virtual Machine image of the physical machine and activate using OEM Downgrade rights from a Windows 10 Pro Host PC for product activation by porting the SLIC 2.1 across.