Question XP (pro, sp1) -- can WHOLE (imaged) drive be run in shell


Aug 14, 2013
I have an old laptop (Dell Inspiron 5100, 2003, Win XP pro sp1) that (BION) still works, even after 19 years of daily use (and in "Always On" status). I must continue to use this device because it contains programs no longer supported on other OS's (at least none that I have superficially investigated as an option). And it is part of a daily "work flow" routine that will take far too long duplicate on modern devices (I own/use several other modern devices and OSs, but only by themselves)
I have Aronis True Image'd the HDD on this old Dell several times; and currently I'm using a 128 GB ssd. It is also a dual-boot laptop with a 2009 (??) version of LinuxMint. I almost never use LM on this laptop -- it was installed as a tool.
Because some reliability issues have (finally) appeared in the laptop, I may have to duplicate the "whole machine" in situ. I do have two other same-model 5100 laps that I have on-hand to steal parts from if it becomes necessary.
BUT, I was once told (perhaps once here on TH) that I should run the old C drive as "shell" or in an emulator or something like that.
I have some experience with Linux and WINE, which I use daily on another PC, but that emulation is FAR from perfect.

BOTTOM LINE: can I run the Dell Inspiron 5100 "C drive" OUTSIDE the Dell Inspiron 5100 (physical laptop), as transparently as possible, to duplicate the Dell Inspiron 5100 experience?


You would have to do this procedure.
The new system can be a virtual machine ,vmware free edition, oracle virtualbox, qemu, unless you need it for profession environment where you would have to see what kind of license you would need.
Windows activation will be lost and it's not sure that you will be able to re activate it, if the other software you need is DRM protected they might also not work anymore because now the system is a different one.
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