Best way to create an image of live server to run virtually?

XAnalyzer used Ask the Experts™
Hello, I have a production Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) running as a Terminal Server to accept 50 connections per day. I have a super server running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise x64. I would like to create an image of the Terminal Server so that  in case there is ever a physical hardware fault, I can turn it "on" virtually inside my Server 2008 and there will be no difference between physical and virtual to my users. What is the best to way to do this?

Thank you in advance
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
You could use the following:-

Download VMware vCenter Converter here

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

For the conversion steps, read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

Best Practice Video Guide here

and then use either VMware Player, VMware Server 2.0.2 or VMware Workstation as the Hypervisor.

Yes, there will be a difference, I would expect performance, not to be the same. You may need more than one server to support you users, but in times of Disaster Recovery, low performance is probably better than none.

If you wanted to go the Hyper-V route, you add the Hyper-V role to your 2008 Server, and use Disk2VHD to create a Hyper-V image.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Top Expert 2011


What a co-incident !!! I have created virtual image of my computer yesterday :)

VMWare vCenter is one of the best free product to convert / take image of physical server.

Sanjay Santoki

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial