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Windows 7: How to copy an entire physical machine to run in a VM?

17 Apr 2012   #1

Various sevens, couple of xbuntus
How to copy an entire physical machine to run in a VM?

Hi. I've got problems with my work laptop and impending hardware failure. Nothing too serious, just a dodgy fan - but the machine has to get sent away for repair (company policy, not a fat lot I can do about it).

What would be great is if I can take a complete image of this machine and then run it in a VM on my desktop machine. Importantly the machine name needs to present itself as the same for me to be able to connect it to the domain over vpn.

Both machines are win7x64, enterprise on the laptop and professional on the desktop. The laptop is an intel quad core with 8gb, the desktop a quad core amd with 16gb.

Can anyone tell me if this is doable, or by any chances point me to an idiots guide on how to achieve it? This has come a really inopportune time, if ever there were a good time for a hw failure!

Many thanks in advance,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 home premium x64

This should do the trick and it's entirely free.

VMWare converter

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2012   #3

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there

It's easy using the method above (P2V Physical to Virtual) but much MORE difficult the other way around (V2P).

If VMware converter gives you an error doing the P2V then here is another way.

Take an image of the laptop with a stand alone program like acronis. If your company won't let you install "bespoke" software then simply boot from a usb / CD stand alone imaging /backup system when you power on the laptop and image your computer. Acronis and some other backup systems have facilities to create bootable media.

Now create your VM on the desktop
Use the bootable media when you boot up the vm for the first time

Use the RESTORE (universal restore) feature to restore your computer. If you have more than one partition on the laptop restore this too (define a 2nd disk in the VM and make it about 5% bigger than what you've currently used on the laptop -- you won't be using this vm for a long time and you've probably got network drives to store private data on -- or even the desktop.

After you've done this install VMware tools and you'll have to fiddle around to get your network connectivity working.

The initial boot might be a bit weird looking but it should all be fine after you've installed VMware tools.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 How to copy an entire physical machine to run in a VM?

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