Microsoft Tools

Download – P2V Migration for Software Assurance

P2V Migration for Software Assurance uses the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Sysinternals Disk2VHD to convert a user’s existing Windows XP or newer client environment to a virtual hard disk then automates the delivery of an updated and personalized Windows 7 operating system containing a virtual machine with the user’s previous Windows environment, applications and Web browser. The user’s previous virtual desktop retains its existing management components, domain membership and policies. The process also publishes applications and the browser for the user to access them seamlessly within Windows 7’s start menu.

P2V Migration supports both native Lite Touch Installation using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or Zero Touch Installation using System Center Configuration Manager 2007 with included scripts and task sequence templates.

How It Works –

  1. Starting Windows environment with Windows XP SP3 or newer. Environment is personalized with applications or browser customizations potentially not compatible with Windows 7.
  2. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 or System Center Configuration Manager 2007 initiates fully-automated migration to Windows 7. Process includes P2V conversion of the running OS using Sysinternals Disk2VHD.
  3. Windows 7 migration complete. Windows 7 contains the previous operating system in its entirety within a virtual machine.
  4. Standalone application and Internet Explorer links published from virtual machine to native Windows 7 start menu.

Even the most skilled IT shops, with resources to work through application compatibility challenges, often find a few users blocking roll-outs to entire sites or larger numbers of users due to:

  • Compatibility of specialized, region or user-specific applications, browser customizations or USB device drivers.
  • Missing installation files or media to install applications or drivers for testing or redelivery.
  • Critical users who cannot risk losing any functionality of their current desktop environments and require a working backup before moving to Windows 7.
  • Incompatible application from previous operating system is launched seamlessly within Windows 7 using RemoteApp integration and Virtual PC.
  • These types of issues make it difficult to completely replace existing systems with Windows 7 without causing user disruption. Allowing users to retain their current desktop environments while moving to Windows 7 can smooth the transition while mitigating or delaying investments required for making applications and hardware natively compatible with Windows 7.

    Download P2V Migration for Software Assurance now: P2V Migration for Software Assurance

    Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid operation for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

    Community Activities Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

    Moving Applications to Windows 7 and App-V | Flexera Software Webinar

    Join Flexera Software™, the leading provider in Windows® 7 application readiness solutions, for a discussion of how you can automate and standardize OS migration and application virtualization projects to ensure a fast and successful application deployment. This Webinar will explore an end-to-end process for Windows 7 and App-V application migration projects, strategies to reduce the cost and complexity and also, how a continuous application readiness process creates a repeatable and reliable standard for your next migration project.

    In this Webinar you learn the “6 Steps to Faster Windows 7 Application Migration” and how to:

    • Drive down the cost and complexity of preparing for a Windows 7 software deployment
    • Speed conversion of MSI packages to App-V and other virtualized formats
    • Shift from reactive to proactive application management
    • Better understand your application estate
    • Make sure your applications are ready to move when you are
    • Reduce manual migration to save time and resources

    Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010, Time: 9:00 PT / 11:00 CT / 12:00 EST

    Register for the Webinar here

    Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

    How about a Solution Center to help you plan the OS Migration Strategy?

    Did you know that,  Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Client and Windows XP SP2 support ends coming July 13, 2010? If you are still using one of these OS, its time you plan your migration strategy. When you look at moving to Windows 7, how about presenting you with one single center, which will provide you all the resources available to help you move to a new client and server operating system?


    The Springboard Team has created a End-of-Support Solution Center to help with the planning of your migration strategy from Windows 2000 or Windows XP to Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Here are some resources to help guide you:

    Check out the Windows client and server support forums and Deployment zone on Springboard where we have additional screencasts, walkthroughs, whitepapers, FAQ’s and much much more to help guide.

    If you are looking to move from Windows Server 2000, the best place to start is at the Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center where they have key information to help guide you through the upgrade paths, migration tools, and toolkits you will need!

    Client Migration: There is no supported migration path from Windows 2000 to Windows 7 using the User State Migration Tool (USMT). You must first upgrade to Windows XP and then migrate to Windows 7 with USMT 4.0 included with the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK).

    Courtesy: This was a post at the Springboard blog. As a STEP member, I have extracted the information for msigeek readers.

    Events Microsoft

    Webinar: Best Practices for Windows 7 Application Compatibility

    Are your business-critical applications compatible with Windows® 7?

    Join Microsoft’s “App Compat Guy” Chris Jackson for expert tips on how IT can avoid costly Windows 7 migration delays.

    Webinar: Best Practices for Windows 7 Application Compatibility
    Date: Thursday, December 17
    Time: 12pm EST (9am PST, 5pm GMT)

    For many IT teams, migrating to Windows 7 is the most important project of 2010. But to minimize risk and ensure a smoother move to Windows 7, you need strategies for resolving application compatibility issues, especially with your business-critical apps.

    This webinar will provide IT with best practices for resolving Windows 7 application compatibility issues. Join AdminStudio® application packaging experts and Microsoft’s “App Compat Guy” Chris Jackson to learn about their experiences with early Windows 7 adopters.

    Find out about:

    1. The most common application compatibility issues and their causes
    2. Best practices for avoiding Windows 7 application compatibility issues
    3. Essential elements to a successful Windows 7 migration plan

    You can register for this Webinar here!!!

    Also learn how AdminStudio enables users to accelerate Windows 7 and application virtualization migrations with a single application readiness toolset, minimizing risk, time, and cost of migrations.

    Plus get answers to your Windows 7 application compatibility questions during the live QA!!

    Events Microsoft

    Kick Start your Windows 7 Migration!

    Windows 7 brings a host of enhanced functionality and capability to global organisations. It also brings a level of uncertainty to those responsible for its deployment, such as; ease of migration, the time it takes to migrate and most significantly the real cost of migration on both the budget and resources.

    ChangeBASE and Juriba, the market leaders in application and asset compatibility, remove this uncertainty making your migration seamless, cost effective and quick. During this FREE 1 hour webinar, technology experts from ChangeBASE and Juriba will be;

    1. Discussing the challenges faced by global organisations planning their Windows 7 migration
    2. Looking at the approaches global organisations are taking
    3. Highlighting the top 7 reasons why OS migrations can fail and how they can be avoided
    4. Offering top 5 best practice tips to ensure a faster Windows 7 deployment

    They will also demonstrate ChangeBASE AOK technology and Juriba Dashworks to illustrate how you can kick start your Windows 7 migration and remove the challenges to ensure a quicker, easier and more cost effective deployment.

    Join on Thursday 3rd December at 3.00pm GMT. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar!!

    Thu, Dec 3, 2009 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM IST

    You can register for the event here!!!

    Guest Posts How-to Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

    Points to Consider While Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7

    In this article, Scott Drucker and Jeff Woeber speak on the important points which are to be considered while moving from Windows XP  to Windows 7. Continuing this article, They will also be writing a Step by Step process to do a Windows 7 Migration using WinINSTALL.

    According to Microsoft’s Technet Website, “there is no Upgrade option available when installing Windows 7 on a computer running Windows XP. The task involves using Windows Easy Transfer to migrate files and settings from Windows XP to Windows 7 on the same computer. To do this you must first copy files to a removable media, such as an external hard drive or UFD, or to a network share. Then, you will install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on your existing hardware and then migrate your files back from the removable media or network location, onto your computer. When you are finished, you must install your software programs again, but your files and settings will have been copied from Windows XP.

    windows-7-logoSince this is can end up being a multi-step process involving many trips to the desktop,  Scalable Software can offer you an alternative solution to performing your upgrades with a zero-touch process in mind.

    Combining both Scalable Software’s Survey product and WinINSTALL Desktop Availability Suite, you will be able to determine first, what machines meet the minimum requirements for Windows 7 and then be able to target those machines for your Windows 7 Migration using WinINSTALL‘s zero-touch process.

    Section A-Determine what machines meet windows 7 hardware requirements

    Deploying a new operating system, such as Windows 7, is a balancing act. On one side of the scale are the functional benefits of the new system. On the other side are the time, cost, and effort of deployment; the inevitable compatibility issues; the ambiguous and error-prone deployment processes; and the lack of well-integrated, single-solution management tools. The deployment effort seems even more daunting when you consider these facts:

    • The majority of today’s business PCs do not support Windows 7’s minimum hardware requirements, which means they will need to be upgraded or completely replaced.
    • Upgrading an existing PC with increased memory or video capabilities involves a costly hands-on hardware upgrade process.
    • Hardware upgrades typically cost more than acquiring and deploying a completely new PC, so migrating to Windows 7 will most likely require purchasing and deploying new PC hardware.

    It’s important to know which hardware assets currently deployed meet the recommended hardware requirements and what will it take to upgrade machines that do not meet the requirements.  Using an asset management tool such as Scalable Survey or WinINSTALL to determine what machines do not meet the requirements for Windows 7

    Windows 7 recommended hardware requirements

    *Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM, an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space

    32-bit 64-bit
    Proc Speed 1 Ghz processor 1 Ghz processor
    Memory (RAM) 1 GB of Ram 2 GB of RAM
    Graphics Card Support DirectX 9 with 128 MB Support DirectX 9 with 128 MB
    HDD free space 16 GB free space 16 GB of free spaced
    Optical Drive DVD DVD

    Below is an example of the Scalable’s Survey Migration Planning report for machines that do not meet the Windows 7 recommended requirements.  It’s important to know what machines meet the requirements.  It’s just as important to know what machines do not meet the recommended requirements and why. Using the below report an administrator can determine what machines can be upgraded and what machines should be replaced.


    Section B-Targeting Windows XP workstations for Upgrade to Windows 7

    So now that we know which machines are eligible for an upgrade to Windows 7, we can leverage WinINSTALL to target these machines into a single Search Group.  The benefit here, is that you can search for all Workstations that have Windows XP installed on them and then cross reference those machines with your list generated from Survey.

    As you can see from the screenshot below, I have targeted workstations that have Windows XP Operating System installed on them.  From this list, I can use my Survey Migration Planning report to eliminate machines that I do not want to Upgrade.


    Section C-Determine a Windows 7 Deployment method

    As you begin planning for a migration of this size, a cost effective implementation plan aimed at minimizing the labor required to deploy Windows 7, is always the end goal.  OS deployment tools such as Scalable Software’s WinINSTALL can be used for a Zero touch Windows 7 roll out.  WinINSTALL uses PXE to start an automated install of Windows 7.  WinINSTALL has the ability to implement custom Windows Imaging Format (WIM) along with Pre/Post processes such as hard drive preparation and all application distributions that need to be preformed.  WinINSTALL PXE OS Deployment is hardware independent.  All needed Plug and Play drivers can simply be added to the PXE server, where they are stored in a repository for distribution during the installation process.  The clients will only install drivers for its specific hardware loadset.  No post-install process or Sysprep is required.  Once a client has finished the WinINSTALL deployment, it will have the operating system, correct name, AD account, OU Membership, and SID.

    PXE Client Reset templates can be created to customize installs for different:

    • Active Directory OU placement
    • Customized Application Load set
    • PC Profile and Application Setting Restoration
    • Post-Installation Utilities including running .bat files, scripts, or custom setup routines
    • Customizable DOD Level drive wiping options, including up to 32 write counts per hard drive
    • Support for optimizing screen resolution, refresh rate, and color depth
    • Support for both Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit Operating System Installations
    • Support for setting local Administrators password, as well as adding local and domain accounts to workstation
    • WinINSTALL Agent deployment integration

    Additionally, you will be able to implement default settings for:

    • Windows Sidebar
    • User Account Control (UAC)
    • Windows Defender and Firewall
    • Configuration and change control for new devices

    Below is a chart showing how the PXE server, PXE Template, and PXE clients are connected:


    If you are using a disk imaging solution (such as Norton Ghost™) to manage anything beyond operating system distribution, you probably will not realize true automated software distribution, patch management, or PC disaster recovery.  In fact, you may end up managing images instead of PCs.  Disk imaging software is frequently misused for software distribution, data backup, and patch management—tasks that it was not designed to perform.

    Section D-Applications

    IT administrators need to find out how currently deployed, homegrown, and packaged applications will run on Windows 7. In other words, will they behave correctly and adhere to Windows 7’s new security and rights management configurations? To gather this information, IT Administrators will have to communicate with ISVs and other application providers to understand how their Windows 7 support plans impact the migration cycle.

    Windows XP mode (XPM) can be used as an option for applications that where not designed and do not function on Windows 7.  Windows XP Mode is a virtual machine package for Windows Virtual PC containing a pre-installed, licensed copy of Windows XP SP3 as its guest OS. Pre-installed integration components allow applications running within the virtualized environment to appear as if running directly on the host

    Application packaging and deployment should be considered separate from OS deployment for an efficient Windows 7 Migration strategy.  This allows applications to be updated or replaced easily without changing the OS deployment method.  According to Gartner, in 2007 fewer than half of the average company’s applications will be MSI-packaged or automated distribution (Gartner, Managing PCs from Start to Finish, September 2006).  This leaves the task of application packaging up to the IT Administrator.  Using a reputable tool such as WinINSTALL can help you avoid packaging pitfalls. As IT costs rise and resources shrink, following best practices approaches like those listed here can help you streamline IT processes, increase desktop availability, and effectively manage the PC lifecycle.

    Once it is determined what application can run natively in Windows 7 and what applications will need to be run in XPM, a labor efficient deployment method will be needed.  This is an area where a well-defined Windows 7 Migration strategy will greatly benefit the IT administrator.  Using a product such as “Scalable Software’s WinINSTALL Desktop Availability Suite, application deployment can be integrated into the Zero touch WinINSTALL 7 deployment.  WinINSTALL provides easy ways to package and edit applications so they can be deployed along with a new OS or to existing machines on a network.


    Section E-Personality and User data

    Personality and user data can not be overlooked.  In order to keep productivity maximized it is important to consider the end user experience.  Being able to migrate the Personality and User data to Windows 7, will provide your end users with the familiar and comfortable feel that they have become accustomed to in their working environment. This functionality will help to minimize any learning curves and allow the end user to stay as productive as possible.   Tools such as Scalable Software’s WinINSTALL Personality Transfer, can not only migrate an application’s persistent settings, but also migrate their user documents.


    Section F-Putting all of the tools together

    Once the IT administrator has determined what machines can be migrated to Windows 7, a procedure can be created.  A zero touch procedure should include:

    • Backup PC Personality and user data, including Application Persistent Settings
    • Prepare hard drives by performing DoD Level Wipes of the hard drives,  and creating new partitions
    • Deploy pre-configured Windows 7 WIM Image
    • Create AD Computer account; and join the computer to AD Domain, as well as an OU
    • Enable Remote Desktop connection
    • Turn On/Off features such as Windows Sidebar, Windows Defender, and User Account Control (UAC)
    • Enable/Disable the Windows Firewall and configure for custom Port Exclusions
    • Se the local Administrator Password and add new local or domain accounts to the workstation
    • Deploy the WinINSTALL
    • Deploy customized application loadset
    • Restore Personality and user data

    Where possible a “Windows 7 Pilot group” is recommended.  Define a test group of key personal in the organization.  Use the complete migration process on this test group and allow them use the new Windows 7 loadset for a time period.  This will provide feedback and allow an IT Administrator to make adjustments in a controlled environment before rolling out Windows 7 Company wide.

    Guest Posts Microsoft

    Incentives to upgrade from XP to Windows 7

    Continuing the guest post initiative on Msigeek, Today we have a guest speaking on a very important topic  “Incentives to upgrade from XP to Windows 7”. I’m sure; many of us have this question in our mind. Few are reluctant to ask, few understand the truth and few put their own minds, assume things and complain that Microsoft Windows does this always!! I am sure this article will prove noteworthy for all.

    Well, let me introduce the author of this post. His name is Stephan Rose. He is a Senior Community Manager with Microsoft. His role spans in supporting IT pros all over the world in the use of the Windows client OS (XP, Vista and Windows 7). Before joining MS, Stephen spent many years as a technical trainer and consultant with various companies and universities. In addition, he spent several years as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). He blogs at

    Over to Stephen’s Article…

    Last week I sent out a Twitter via @MSSpringboard regarding some new features in Windows 7. I received the following response: ” …….. what exactly is the incentive for users to upgrade XP to 7? Is it purely gfx? I would honestly like to know what feature 7 offers that can’t be done either natively or via 3rd party software in XP.”

    After writing my response, I realized that was a question a lot of people had; so when Vj asked if I would be interested in posting a guest spot on his blog (, I jumped at an opportunity to share this out with a larger audience.  Thank you for the opportunity and I welcome your feedback.

    Here was my response: “Windows XP was released back in 2001. Mobility was not key factor as it is now. Malware, spyware and rootkits were also not an issue like they are today.

    As we all know, many of our users did not move to Windows Vista for a number of reasons, so many corporations stayed with Windows XP and through much work, have made it an excellent operating system for their end users. Before joining Microsoft last year, I spent the last 10 years managing networks like this. I have been an MCSE and a MCT since the NT 4.0 days. I taught engineers in the classrooms and spent many a week freezing my butt of in server rooms installing Apache web servers, Groupwise, Lotus Notes Novel Netware and Microsoft OSes.

    With Windows 7, what is great is there is no one “killer feature”. It is the culmination of many features (some large, some small) that makes Windows 7 a great operating system. Most end users don’t want to know how it works; they just “want it to work.”

    When they are sitting in a Starbucks working connected to public internet, they fact they can click a link in a document that points to a corporate intranet sharepoint server and they are able to download a document without having to go through a long and involved RAS process due to the implementation of Direct Access . Seamless and transparent.

    When a user walks into the office and has a 20 MB document download is seconds due to BranchCache makes that user more effective. When a user is prompted to encrypt a thumb drive so that any data on it is secure makes the job of a security manager easier.

    When a user gets a faster boot up, more batter life, jump lists to access documents faster, quicker connectivity to wireless, built in drivers to WiFi cards, search connectors to find internal and external resources, when they can drag a window to the right and have it automatically resize, when it comes out of sleep quickly and is ready to go and home groups so that home users can stream video, share photos or print to printers at the other end of their house with needing to be technical are all wins for the end user..

    Sure, you can do some of this with XP, plug-ins and such. Who has that kind of time? Do I want to sit and create an image with 30 different tools that constantly require updating, that may not be supported, that have additional costs that cannot be centrally managed, and were possibly written non-securely? Of course not. What IT pros would? Some would argue that they do not want one company doing all of that and controlling it. That diversity of product creates a better experience. If you buy an off the shelf computer that is a complete, ready to go experience that will do what an end user wants, some people will shun this experience and will choose to build their own for a more customized experience.

    Will you get a better machine? Depends on your definition of better. More things to go wrong and no single coverage. You cannot return that machine and there are possible incompatibilities. Each person has their own yardstick.

    We have had millions of downloads around the Beta and Release Candidate. Tons of great feedback and a lot of excitement around this launch. This is the first OS from Microsoft in a long time that requires less hard drive space, RAM and Processor power than its predecessor. People are very excited. We are trying to make the best OS for many different types of users from consumers and students to tech enthusiasts to developers and IT pros of all ages. We are always open to new ideas, thoughts and ways to make our operating systems better.

    We encourage all users to download the Windows 7 Release Candidate from and try it for themselves for free and what you think.

    Best Regards-
    Stephen Rose