How to move from dual boot to pure Manjaro + VM

Hi, this thread as I’d like to have a pure Manjaro with VM on my Victus that was bought with W10 upgrade to 11 to which I added a dual boot.

  1. My /home is on another SSD
  2. My system has all sorts of packages : Aur, Flatpak, pnpm, gem…
  3. / & /home backup on Timeshift.

I could do a fresh install and re-set everything, but this is fastidious !

How should I process to preserve all my packages tweeks & settings ?

  • A clean install + timeshift restore ?
  • Manual listing of all apps and settings ?

For the VM, could Gnome boxes be sufficient or will I have to use virtualbox ?

Lost of questions, I’ll be happy to know your hints.

(I already searched and found Windows OEM serial)

You may need another license for Windows

Which hypervisor you choose is a matter of how much work you will put into getting it running.

VirtualBox is by far the easiest to handle - but if your experience level is high you could use qemu and GPU pass-through - some say it is way faster - although I have never bothered to learn - not a gamer - just a :monkey_face: coding business software - I really don’t think a :monkey: can do what I do - but I do work for :banana::banana::banana::banana:

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Thank you for this, I’ll call Microsoft for that as I am a paying customer (even if I am also a forced customer as HP doesn’t give you choice^^)

In the meantime, I’d be glad to collect your advices on the best method to shoift from dual to single boot !

When your home is on another disk I’d go for a complete reinstall - the settings and configurations are the most tedios to reconstruct. I have recently created a script - fairly customizable - to do the heavy lifting.

I remember another user having done something similar but I couldn’t remember who, where - even keywords - the only thing I remember is that it was targeting KDE - and that is too little to search for - and it is most likely in the archived forum as well.

You could try with Disk2vhd (Disk2vhd - Windows Sysinternals | Microsoft Docs) then convert the result to vbox vm.

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You can transfer the raw system to a VM with Virtualbox. But then you have to activate again. You can use the same license. I did this with my laptop Windows 7 and with my work desktop Windows 10. It’s pretty easy. I don’t remember the exact command, but take a look at VBoxManage --help

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Yes this has worked and it may still work. The old forum contained an article on how to reuse your existing license when it was on the same hardware albeit virtual.

I had to review the topic because I ran into licensing issues when trying to activate my mogrified OEM license.

Which lead me to the conclusion that some licences can be transferred others cannot.

For me it was a minor hickup as I have all the licenses I could ever want :slight_smile: legally of course.

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I’m on Xfce

Thread still open : I have to call M$ for the licence key :slight_smile:


(also applies to W11)

Well : no good news : M$ tells “for OEM talk to your reseller or buy a retail version” ; HP tells “we can do nothing” then says, "wait : when did you buy ? ", then says, “no support for refund or exchange because you bought 4 month ago”.

Well, I’ll stay with the dual boot for now, if ever W11 kills again the dual boot, I’ll remove it completely and do a warez VM :stuck_out_tongue:

@nam1962 Most useful information has been mentioned already by linux-aarhus. His suggestions work.
My 10cents to it how I converted my Win10 to Virtualbox VM.

  • Download Disk2vhd
  • Take a copy of the relevant Windows partitions of your Window machine with Disk2vhd (as vhd not vhdx ; takes about 10-15 minutes)
  • Create new VM in Virtualbox using the .vhd file as its hard disk. Make sure you set a flag at VM>System>Motherboard>Enable EFI (special OSes only)
  • Boot (I remember it will configure Windows VM at first boot)
  • Use Windows in VM as normal. It will say that it’s unregistered

Regarding licensing: Windows works in a VM even without registering. It probably depends how heavy you want to use it. E.g. I used an old Vista VM for 7 years with all the programs installed, no problem. You said you have the old key, so you can try registering it with the key, else you might need to buy a new one.

You can try all this while still having the dual-boot setup and repeat until you have the desired setup.

Don’t you have your activation key? You can activate the VM with the same key. The raw copy will stop working once you do it, and only the VM will be recognized as legit. It’s like you did a reinstallation.

I do have the activation key, but as already said, as stated, both M$ helpdesk & HP helpdesk kindly tell me it will be void if user on a VM.

@raguse : do you think with Disk2vhd the VM will clone an activated system ?
Will the updates run ?


This kind of scripts is intended to be used on a fresh install, as they expect things to be ‘default’ when running, and after you use and already manually modify things, then it can break the scripts depending on what you already modified.

//EDIT: on a side note, I recently bought a Windows 10 key for 0.4€ (yes, not a typo), you can find this on online merchant marketplaces (like amazon, or in my country cdiscount and the like). I don’t ask question at this price, but there probably is something fishy behind that (but it works and is a legit key), but to allow myself to continue to play some game, I eventually had to do it despite my refusal to install Win10 for so long in my dual boot disk.

Disk2vhd is a MS program independent from a VM program and yes it clones the system, any partition you specify. I did system updates within a VM without issues, so far still on the same hardware. Not sure if MS blocks updates in WIN10 when the VM is not registered. With my Vista version it wasn’t the case.
The VM will have all the keys from registry. I guess one way to avoid key checks is to disallow internet access for the VM. That’s probably not what you want.

Like said, try it out, play around with it and learn :).

That’s very strange! Anyway, you can try it. You can clone the system to a VM and try to activate it. The raw system remains in place. If it works, you can then delete the raw system, if it doesn’t delete the VM.

Since win7 when you install win on a system and activate it it makes a copy of the type of motherboard and serial# and sends it to microsoft.You can change anything on the computer except the motherboard and it won’t affect the win key.If you want to install win with virtualbox you will have to register it once installed.It will then be activated by using virtualboxes serial# and be inside the vm as a folder called win10.From that point on you can move that folder or copy it to any system running virtualbox and it will stay activated.You will only have to change the PC name once you start win on whatever computer you move it to.I have 3 linux computers with virtualbox and all have win10 that run with no issues.I started with 1 win7 key then upgraded them all to win10.The reason microsoft doesn’t want to renew the key is they want you to buy a new computer.If your computer has issues you can call them and they will renew the key for a replaced computer or if you choose to use the key to install in virtualbox.