You can migrate existing Windows XP or Windows Vista endpoints to Windows 7, existing Windows 7 endpoints to Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, and existing Windows 8.1 endpoints to Windows 10. The migrations can be either in-place, on the same devices, or to replacement devices.

The migration installs a Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 base layer on each target endpoint while preserving user profile data and settings through the Microsoft User State Migration Tool.

  • USMT 4.0 or USMT 5.0 for Windows XP to Windows 7 migration

  • USMT 6.3 for Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 migration

  • USMT 10.0 for Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration

  • USMT 10.0 for Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 migration

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 you do not need it.

OS migration with Mirage retains the original computer name but requires rejoining the domain to create a Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 machine account. You can define this account in the Mirage system configuration.

Custom boot loaders on the target machine are removed by the migration. If an endpoint includes multiple operating systems, 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 the new OS.


Mirage requires certain Full Disk Encryption applications to be pre-configured before performing an OS migration. For more information about supported Full Disk Encryption software, contact VMware Support.


  • Users with the Administrator role or the Image Manager role can perform Windows OS migrations procedures.

  • To reduce bandwidth during OS migration in a small or remote office, use the Mirage branch reflector feature. In particular, a Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 test machine configured as a branch reflector can share its OS files with client endpoints to assist in the migration process.

  • USMT does not migrate applications installed on Windows XP or Windows Vista to Windows 7, or applications installed on Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 or to Windows 10, or applications installed on Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.

  • 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.

Windows OS Migration End User Experience

After the migration base layer download is completed, the system requests a reboot. A swap is made and Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 boots.

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

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

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


To rejoin the domain, the PC must have network access to the Mirage server and the domain controller. End users can log in using their domain credentials only after the domain join is complete.