Convert physical disk to vmware image

Hi,

I have a harddisk (6GB) from an old PC where the motherboard has died. I can attach the HD via USB to my Vista 64 Box and like to create a VMware image from that hard disk so I can run some very old DOS programs in that VM. Currently a windows 95 is running on that old HD. So what is the easiest way to convert that old physical HD into a VMware Player runable instance.
VMware convert seems only be able to convert real Physical PC into a VMWare image.

Thx Jürgen
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hernst42Asked:
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Metehan OzculluSQL Service ManagerCommented:
acronis can create vmdk files as image of hdd
kmalteCommented:
I found a previous question that might be useful to you.
Quote: "You can use what's called "raw disk mode" to mount that drive into a VM. Plug it into your machine with VMware on it, and create a normal VM. Then, delete the disk image associated with it, and "add" a new disk to the VM. You'll then have the option to use an existing disk as the backing store for the VMDK file.

At this point, you ought to be able to duplicate the VM, and the copy should have a real VMDK file with real data in it."
Source: http://serverfault.com/questions/56429/convert-a-hard-drive-into-a-vmware-machine

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hernst42Author Commented:
@Mozcullu, which arconis program is capable of doing that?
Acronis® Migrate Easy ?
Acronis® True Image™ Home 2011 ?


@kmalte thats not realy an easy way. Would be the last option currently if there is no tool which can do such things in one step
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crazystuffworldCommented:
I found a previous question that might be useful to you.
Quote: "You can use what's called "raw disk mode" to mount that drive into a VM. Plug it into your machine with VMware on it, and create a normal VM. Then, delete the disk image associated with it, and "add" a new disk to the VM. You'll then have the option to use an existing disk as the backing store for the VMDK file.

At this point, you ought to be able to duplicate the VM, and the copy should have a real VMDK file with real data in it."
Source: http://serverfault.com/questions/56429/convert-a-hard-drive-into-a-vmware-machine
noxchoIT Product ManagerCommented:
You can convert the drive into vmdk but will it boot from that image? Note, you have there Windows 95 and I am not sure that VMware is supporting this old OS. So it could turn that your efforts of conversion are not worth of the result.
kmalteCommented:
crazystuffworld: ?
kmalteCommented:
@hernst42: I dont think its that hard to attach the drive and set up a vm using the raw disk and then exporting it. Anyway, why not try Mozcullus tip and create a raw disk image, setup a VM, boot that vm and do a restore of the disk image. You will however encounter some problem with drivers etc. and as noxcho says, will it event boot? The only thing that might not give that problem is a program with a bare metal restore feature that allows you to restore to another hardware (in this case vmware).
hernst42Author Commented:
The program does not need to restore the hardware of the died computer (or fix the drivers inside the new vmware hardware), it should just virtualize the physical harddisk I have as an vmware image. So what I expect from the program:
Start the program, select the raw disk, select the outputfile on another disk as an vmware image, run the converion. Done

If I have the vmdk-File I know how to deal with so can contiue to virtualize the system based on that disk (e.g. fix the windows drivers or disable the windows gui).
noxchoIT Product ManagerCommented:
Paragon Virtualization Manager 2010 or GoVirtual: https://www.paragon-software.com/home/go-virtual/
bgoeringCommented:
Probably the easiest way would be to create a blank vmdk the same size as the one you are wishing to convert. Attach the old drive via the USB method you mentioned to your Vista machine. Get the VMware disk mount utility (http://www.vmware.com/download/eula/diskmount_ws_v55.html) from an old workstation release and mount your new vmdk to your Vista machine.

At this point you can use the free WinDD Utility( http://sourceforge.net/projects/windd/) to transfer the image from your old hard drive to your vmdk.

Good Luck
Kent KellerCommented:
Most P2V processes make sure that the drive has the correct drivers so that the VM can mount.  I would just go bqoering suggestion above. Just make sure that the new virtual HDD is set up to be an IDE drive.  Since your old machine the drive was an IDE and IDE drivers are native to Windows 95.  

An alternative to what bquoeing (thought his is the easiest) says is to create 2 VM's one with the new IDE VMDK and the other with your raw disk device.  Then boot both with a Live linux CD such as System Rescue CD and then use DD to clone from one to the other. But this is usually best used when you can't physically connect the drive you want to go from to the same host as your destination.  

The last thing to mention is that VMWare Standalone Convertor can read a Symantec or Acronis image file to inject the drivers without the OS running.  In that case you would use Acronis to image the machine to a file and then use the free VMWare Standalone Convertor to inject the drivers (Convert the Machine) necessary to run.
hernst42Author Commented:
@bgoering:
the diskmount utilty did not work on my vista 64bit

@noxcho
Paragon Virtualization Manager 2010 was not able to copy the disk as it hasn't found a valid os on the disk (it was windows 98, instead of 95)

I solved the problem this way:
Created an new vm, with a disk of the external drive,
Added the raw device also to the vm (as it's usb it's only available as a Vmware SCSI disk internal),
booted from a knoppix DVD the system, used dd to copy the data,
removed the raw disk, and fix the broken lilo bootloader with a windows 98 boot cd and using fdisk /mbr to restore the windows boot loader as the lilo is not needed for the resurected system

It ist very bad to see that there is no easy tool ( or it's not easy to find ;-) ) to just convert a physical attached drive into a vmdk
noxchoIT Product ManagerCommented:
There are tools to convert it but in your last note you omitted one important value - it is Windows 98 that is not supported by most of the programs nowadays. Happens you have Windows XP on it - there would be no problem. And yes, conversion tools need to know what OS you have on it because they adjust the OS to virtual hardware. Otherwise you will have 0x00007b BSOD screen.
hernst42Author Commented:
for the hint with the rawdisk
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