Running virtual XP from disk

Posted on 2013-10-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I've got two HP desktop systems (Windows XP) with failed motherboards.  I'd like to remove the hard drives (the boot drive from each system) and run them as virtual systems.

Since the desktop systems won't boot I can't run any imaging software on the running O/S.

Any suggestions?  I really don't want to buy an HP motherboard just to recover these.

Question by:Kent Olsen
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Case
ID: 39578396
Assuming the disks themselves are good (i.e. the OS's would boot if you had a good motherboard);  then you can simply attach them to another system;  image them with Acronis;  and then mount them in VMware Workstation.

You used to have to convert the Acronis image using VMware Converter ... but I'm fairly sure the newest version of Workstation no longer requires this (I'm not certain of that -- you may still need to take that extra step).
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Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39578505
The latest Acronis image product is not compatible with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1.

Only Acronis v9 image files are compatible with  VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1.

However a method exists, where you can use Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery

@paulsolov fellow EE Expert has suggested the following method:-

"If all else fails do the following as it has helped me over a hundred times when converter fails

1.  Download trial copy of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery
2.  Install and take an image of the server
3.  Use VMware Converter to convert image (it knows it natively) to a VM"

See my EE Articles

HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

You may also want to check if the OS was OEM...because although you can transfer it to a virtual machine, you may need to provide a Retail of Volume license key, if the original OS, was supplied with the computer. e.g OEM License.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) versions

Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid function for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits—please contact Microsoft Corporation for further information. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.


LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Gary Case
ID: 39579021
"... The latest Acronis image product is not compatible with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1. " ==>  Good to know,   I wasn't aware that capability had been lost with the newer versions.   A shame, as it was a very simple way to move physical systems to virtual environments.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39644056
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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