Explained: If I upgrade to Windows 10, will my Virtual Machine Stop Working?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Dave C. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I am currently running Windows 8.1 and am thinking to get the free version of Windows 10 before the deadline on July 29, 2016. I am currently running Hyper-V on my system and have a very important virtual machine that I've compiled. I was wondering if I upgrade to Windows 10, is there a chance that my virtual machine will stop working? I do not want to lose it. "

My response:

One of the beautiful things about virtual machines is that they are portable. So, if one of your virtual machines grew to eat up a lot of resources (for example), you can simply throw more hardware at it in one of two ways. First, you can adjust your virtual machine preferences and assign it more CPU and RAM. Another way you can add more hardware is to physically copy the virtual machine files onto another, more powerful computer, and then assign it more CPU and RAM (if you had to).

Now to answer your original question: because virtual machines are portable, your upgrade to Windows 10 means that the virtual machine will remain unaltered. With that said, the one thing you will want to check before you upgrade is whether or not your hypervisor (Hyper-V, VM Workstation, etc) is compatible with Windows 10. I know for a fact that when I moved over to Windows 10, my hypervisor platform (VMWare Workstation 10) had compatibility issues with Windows 10, which required me to upgrade to version 11 and eventually version 12.

As always, I recommend doing a full disk image backup of your operating system and all user files before upgrading to Windows 10, just in case something goes wrong during the upgrade, or if you need to revert back to your previous operating system (OS) due to compatibility issues. As it stands, Microsoft only offers a 30 day rollback to your previous OS after you upgrade to Windows 10. If you do a disk image backup and if you keep that backup safe, you can roll back at any point - well beyond the 30 day imposed limit.

I hope that helps.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

Are you thinking about upgrading to Windows 10 before the deadline? Do you have any questions about the upgrade? Send me an email with your question. Also, if you need help setting up a disk image backup, I would be more than happy to help using my remote desktop service. Simply contact me and we can set up a time to meet.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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howard_5051's picture

Hi Dennis

One point a lot of readers will be unaware of is the fact that whilst the Virtual Machine in Windows 7 gave you a ad-infinitum free licence for XP, this is not the case when you upgrade to Windows 10. If you still want / need an XP system, you have to get a bona-fide XP licence from some where. There's few left on eBay, but they're now getting scarce.