Posted by: Nathan Simon
32-bit, 64-bit, bootloader, BSOD, disk2vhd, microsoft, P2V, VHD, vmdk, vmware, VMware Converter Standalone, VMWare workstation, vsphere, Windows 7, x64
Why is it so hard to find out how to properly P2V(physical to virtual) Windows 7 32 or 64 bit? I looked all over the net, googled until i couldn’t google anymore and could not find the answer. Everything I did would end up in a BSOD or Bootloader errors, so i gave up. Then one night I was speaking to a colleague of mine over beverages and he told me it was a simple task. I became immediately interested.
So here is how it goes. To start, you need to download disk2vhd from Sysinternals, run it on the machine you want to configure, this will make a VHD(Microsoft’s Virtual Hard disk format). Once the P2V is done, you will need to convert that VHD to VMDK. What was suggested to me was Starwind V2V Converter, link to follow, download and install this app, run it and select the VHD and then select your source, either VMDK for VMware Workstation or VMDK for ESX Server, start the conversion. Once the conversion to VMDK is done, move it to an appropriate directory, where the VM will be housed, if your using workstation, then start up VMware workstation and create the Windows 7 VM, when creating the HDD, point to the VMDK file. With the VM created and the disk pointed to the converted VMDK, boot up the VM. Voila, converted Windows 7 machine… if you want to convert this machine to VMware vSphere, shut the VM off, and run VMware Converter Standalone, convert it into the ESX Host of choice.
So there you have it, since i couldn’t find a post on how to do it any other way, I will now refer back to this post if ever needed(i really hope my memory isn’t that bad!) Thanks to my colleague Misha over at ITStuff.ca i can sleep soundly!
Here are the links i referenced in my article.
disk2VHD – Sysinternals P2V tool – downloadlink
StarWind V2V Converter – download link