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Free Virtualisation????

I need to retire an old PC that runs an application. It may be needed again at some stage over the next few years so I'm looking to virtualise it as an archive solution. Anyone know a free/cheap tool that will reliably convert a Windows PC from physical to virtual?
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ESS-IRL
Asked:
ESS-IRL
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2 Solutions
 
lamaslanyCommented:
What OS?
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ESS-IRLAuthor Commented:
It's Windows 2000 SP4.
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lamaslanyCommented:
I am not 100% sure but if you have a copy of Vista you could create a Windows PE 2.0 boot disc and use imagex.exe to create a WIM image of the Windows 2000 SP4 machine.  You can then boot your VM with Windows PE 2.0 and write the WIM image to the virtual Hard Disk.
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ESS-IRLAuthor Commented:
I've been doing a bit of googling. Would VMware vCenter Converter Standalone work? From the website it sounds like just the ticket but I've never used it before.
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Lukasz ChmielewskiCommented:
what about microsoft virtual pc ? or virtual pc 2007 ?
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lamaslanyCommented:
It would!  I would have suggested it but I swear the last time I looked it wasn't free!  :)

I assume you want to stick with VMWare?

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ESS-IRLAuthor Commented:
Yeah I'm open to ideas. I've never vistualised anything so any advice appreciated. What I want is to be able to virtualise this PC, lock away the VM, and only use it again in an emergency. I'd like to use VM Workstation to run the VM though. Can VM Workstation run Micosoft virtual PCs?
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ESS-IRLAuthor Commented:
Thanks Lamaslany. I want to use VM Workstation to run the VMs but don't mind how they get created.
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lamaslanyCommented:
Of the two VMWare is better - Microsft's support of Virtual PC has all but disappeared, only supports x86, is only really suited to Windows OS (it will do other but it tends to take more effort), and it was never as 'feature-rich' as VMWare.  That said I use Virtual PC all the time as I don't require any of the additional features...

Alternatively you might want to consider Sun VirtualBox (I use this for my Linux and Windows x64 images).

Any of these will give you what you need.

 
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ESS-IRLAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys. Sounds like you've given me a couple of options there anyway that would work.
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