You can perform migrations of existing Windows XP or Vista endpoints to Windows 7. The migrations can be either in-place, on the same devices, or to replacement devices.

The migration procedure involves first setting up the Windows base layer for migration, then performing the migration either in-place to the same devices, or to replacement devices, then applying Windows 7 post-migration scripts.

The migration installs a Windows 7 base layer on each target endpoint, while preserving user profile data and settings through the Microsoft User State Migration Tool (USMT v4.0).

Unlike base layer updates, the migration process installs a complete OS image, including local user profiles as configured on the reference machine when the base layer was captured. You can use this to set up a local administrator and default user account.

The migration moves existing content of a target endpoint to the C:\Windows.Old directory, which is then processed by USMT. Application settings and data that are not handled by USMT are kept in the C:\Windows.Old directory. You can manually restore this data, or delete it when not needed anymore.

Windows 7 migration with Horizon Mirage retains the original computer name but requires rejoining the domain to create a Windows 7 machine account. You define this account in the Horizon Mirage system configuration. See General System Settings.

Custom boot loaders on the target machine are removed by the migration. If an endpoint includes multiple OSs, the migration overwrites only the one on the active OS Partition and does not provide boot options for the others. You can manually restore other boot options after booting to Windows 7.


Mirage requires certain Full Disk Encryption applications to be pre-configured before performing a Windows 7 migration. For more information about supported Full Disk Encryption software, contact VMware technical support.

You must be an advanced administrator and familiar with system operations and the functional behavior of Horizon Mirage to proceed with this operation.

The base layer must include the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) and the required Boot Loader files. These must be on the OS Partition and not on a separate boot partition.

If you are performing a migration in a small or remote office use the Horizon Mirage branch reflector feature to reduce the bandwidth used during a migration. In particular, a Windows 7 test machine configured as a branch reflector can share its OS files with client endpoints to assist in the migration process. See Using Branch Reflectors.

Applications need to be installed in the base layer in order to be provided upon migration. USMT does not migrate any applications that were installed on XP or Vista to Windows 7.

Make sure to remove any sensitive data from the reference machine. All user data on the reference machine is applied to the target as part of the migration process.

After the migration base layer download is completed, the system requests a reboot. A swap is made and Windows 7 boots.

Login is disabled until the system completes the migration process. Windows 7 is loaded and Plug-and-Play hardware is installed and configured. This process might take a few minutes, during which the computer is fairly busy.

You can monitor the progress in the Windows login screen. When the process is completed, the system restarts the PC and login is then possible.

The post-migration script runs the USMT and then rejoins the domain. This requires the PC to be connected to the corporate network to be assigned a network address.


To rejoin the domain, the PC must have network access to the domain controller. End users cannot login using their domain credentials until the domain join is complete.