My Windows 7 laptop's motherboard is starting to fail. It turns on, but it won't boot at all, nothing is displayed. It seems cpu/gpu is not making full contact anymore with the motherboard, I can get it to boot normally if I cover the vents and let it run for a while until it heats up enough.
So my question is can I simply use some software to clone the hard drive on the laptop with the failing Windows 7 laptop and run it as a virtual machine on another Windows computer?
It depends on whether the original OS that you have came with your laptop. If it did, then you will not be able to use the operating system anywhere else, since it communicates with the motherboard and the OEM versions are stuck with the computer they were originally installed on.
If you have a genuine MS version of Windows 7, it might work but you might also encounter some activation problems.
The recommended thing to do in such cases is perform a clean install of the OS on your computer and just copy the information you need from your laptop drive.