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Windows 7: Make your Live system into a VHD


20 Oct 2009   #31

 

huis - thought you might be interested in knowing that TechTarget has taken up the cry for converting live systems to VHDs....based, it seems, on the same utility I wrote about.

Check out Converting Windows 7 deployment images to virtual hard drive files - I think you may be commenting there, eh?

Or do the issues mentioned in the previous posts not affect a conversion of a Windows 7 pre-installation environment?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Oct 2009   #32

windows 7
 
 

It seems that article are talking about Windows 7's native VHD boot, so the vhd file is used on physical machines, rather than on a virtual machine. These two types use same format, but quite different running environment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2009   #33

 

Ahh, I see the difference now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Dec 2009   #34

Windows 7 Pro x32
 
 

Hi - i'm interested in the virtual PC side of this too! I'm running a dual boot XP/Windows 7 system here and i'd like to run my XP boot as a virtual machine on my Windows 7 install.

I've used disk2vhd to create the image of the OS, but i can't make it boot - i get an error saying:

Cannot attach the virtual hard disk to the virtual machine. Check the values provided and try again.

I assume this is what others that have struggled have tried (Above) and i need to use the myoldpcs program mentioned? Or am i doing something wrong in the conversion/mounting process?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2009   #35
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by craigeve View Post
Hi - i'm interested in the virtual PC side of this too! I'm running a dual boot XP/Windows 7 system here and i'd like to run my XP boot as a virtual machine on my Windows 7 install.

I've used disk2vhd to create the image of the OS, but i can't make it boot - i get an error saying:

Cannot attach the virtual hard disk to the virtual machine. Check the values provided and try again.

I assume this is what others that have struggled have tried (Above) and i need to use the myoldpcs program mentioned? Or am i doing something wrong in the conversion/mounting process?
You created your virtual system using disk2vhd, and you are trying to use it on what VM system? MS VM (eg virtual PC/Xpmode) or Vmware product?

I hope you are not trying to use your VHD on a VMware system

"Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). "
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2009   #36

Windows 7 Professional (x64)
 
 

[QUOTE=aem;419433]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by craigeve View Post
I hope you are not trying to use your VHD on a VMware system
I thought that VMware supports VHD format. It can certainly open them, but I haven't tried anything other than a XPM VHD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2009   #37

Windows 7 Pro x32
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by aem View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by craigeve View Post
Hi - i'm interested in the virtual PC side of this too! I'm running a dual boot XP/Windows 7 system here and i'd like to run my XP boot as a virtual machine on my Windows 7 install.

I've used disk2vhd to create the image of the OS, but i can't make it boot - i get an error saying:

Cannot attach the virtual hard disk to the virtual machine. Check the values provided and try again.

I assume this is what others that have struggled have tried (Above) and i need to use the myoldpcs program mentioned? Or am i doing something wrong in the conversion/mounting process?
You created your virtual system using disk2vhd, and you are trying to use it on what VM system? MS VM (eg virtual PC/Xpmode) or Vmware product?

I hope you are not trying to use your VHD on a VMware system

"Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). "

Using the inbuilt Windows 7 Virtual PC. After going to the create a Virtual Machine option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2010   #38

W7
 
 
Not sure how valuable disk2vhd is ...

The discussion here about disk2vhd seems to be nice and appliable. But in reality, it is only useable under defined circumstances: a harddisc with one partition and a size below 127 GByte.

Here is what they say at sysinternals about the program:

"
Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). "

The trap: Physical disk is not equal to a logical disc volume containing your win 7 installation. Most current systems are delivered with harddisks containing 1 TByte and more space. Hard disks are also partitioned (most Windows 7 oem systems comes with 4 primary partition -> system reserved, windows system, backup/recovery, and "OEM-partition").

Cloning such a hard disk using disk2vhd is nearly impossible (or you need a second 2 TByte hard disk to keep your vhd-file). Why is it a problem to clone a runing Windows system to a vhd?

If you intend to clone a live system, you need only to copy the system reserved partition (if present) and the system partition to your vhd-file. Of course, you can uncheck all unnecessary logical drives in disk2vhd, before you invoke the copy process. In this case disk2vhd transfers only the contend of all selected drives to the vhd-file. But disk2vhd transfers also the whole partition structure to your vhd, independ from the logical drives you choose to copy. In consequence you will find a small vhd-file (maybe 20 or 30 Gbyte in size), containing the contend of all your selected logical drives. But the partition description of this vhd-disk says it is a "1 TByte disk with several partitions". This may cause some pitfalls. Here is, what I have found out in tests:

I used a machine with 1 TB hard disc, containing several partitions. Then I tried to clone the partition containing Windows 7 into a .vhd-disk. The results are pretty foolish:

- I tried to mount the resulting 20 GByte vhd-file on the same machine that has been used for cloning, using diskmanager. I received a warning, that the drive signatur conflicts with an existing disk. This is because the physical drive's signature and partition structure is identical to the id and structure of the vhd-disk. As a consequence, the mounted vhd-drive will be set "offline" (inaccessible). But there is a possibility to set the state of the vhd-drive manually to online.

- I tried to add the newly created vhd to my boot menu. A native boot failed with a blue screen (probably because the disc structure of your vhd conflicts with the disc structure of the physical disk).

- I tried to use the vhd-file as a disk for a virtual machine, using Windows Virtual PC, I got an error message, that an IDE-drive may have not 1 TB in size. The vhd-disk has only a size of 23 GByte, but the vhd-disk structure indicates a 980 GByte size.

Only booting the vhd in VirtualBox worked here "out of the box". But the Windows 7 clone runs realy slow - responses to mouse clicks are delayed, start menu wasn't useable etc. - an experience I made with several clones. Booting in VMware player failed also with a disc access error.

As a conclusion, I feel that disk2vhd will not be too helpful for real world use. I guess, I will give MyOldPC a try. Also the Paragon converter seems to do the job.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Make your Live system into a VHD




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