How to run a Windows sbs 2008 .vhd created from Windows Backup on VMWare Workstation 11 or Virtualbox

We have a Windows SBS 2008 server that recently crashed. We were backing up using the backup software built-in to the server, which creates a .vhd file. I just want to mount the vhd so that I can get everything off of it, but when I try to use it in VMWare Workstation 11 or Virtualbox, it says it can't find the operating system. Not sure if I did something wrong, but was hoping someone could help. Each virtual app looks like it is trying to boot off of the network first and doesn't see the OS.
G-Dawg27Asked:
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Wayne88Commented:
Please have a look at the example in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZF8u5PiVfs
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you just want to copy data off the VHD, e.g. mount the VHD, or do you want to run the OS in a virtual machine, both are different things and procedures ?

You do know, you can mount any VHD in Windows 7/Windows 8, by mounting the VHD, and Attaching as a local disk in Disk Management.

If all you want to do is recover files, rather than starting a virtual server.

see here

http://www.7tutorials.com/disk-management-how-mount-and-unmount-vhd-images

You will have to convert the native VHD to a VMDK.

This can be achieved using Starwind V2V Converter, which will convert VHD to VMDK, and VMDK to VHD.

The download is free from here

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/converter
G-Dawg27Author Commented:
Thanks Wayne88. Does that mean you cannot mount a vhd that was created by Backup or is it just that something is wrong with my vhd?
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Wayne88Commented:
Hi G-Dawg27, as Andrew stated you will need to convert it to VMDK before you can mount it to VMWare.  There are a few freeware that can help you with the conversion.  You can try the one Andrew mentioned.
G-Dawg27Author Commented:
Andrew, I had no idea you could mount a vhd in Disk Management! Thanks for that info! The primary thing is to pull data off, but it was our only server which was running Active Directory, so I would really like to run it as a virtual so that I can add our new server as a domain controller, replicate and when everything is all set on the new server, demote the old server and then I won't need the vhd anymore. Is there a way to do that?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Is the old server working at all ?

before you server died, you would have been better using VMware Converter, to perform a P2V, this would have given you a VMDK backup, and also a VMDK you could run in VMware Workstation.

Try Starwind V2V Converter, at converting from VHD to VMDK, the issue is it's just not a matter of converting the format, the disk contents you have will be matched to the hardware in your server.

If the storage controller drivers are not the same, you will get a Blue Screen of Death.
G-Dawg27Author Commented:
Sorry guys, I didn't read the rest of Andrews. Got too excited about being able to mount the vhd in Disk Management. I'll give the conversion a try and see how it works. I'll let you know.
Wayne88Commented:
Here is the how to video using StarWind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IIV8wANpNc
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
does not need a video, it's simple, point and click!

and this may not work......as Starwind, does not perform a true Conversion of the OS, and inject drivers into the registry required for VMware Workstation virtual hardware.

Question is how much time, do you want to spend getting Active Directory back, e.g. usernames and passwords, versus time take to get this working as a Virtual Machine, and then do the replication....transfer the roles, and decommission the old server, when you could have a new AD server built in less than 30 mins!

Hang on we are looking at this the wrong way....

Why not use this VHD, in Microsoft Hyper-V or Windows 8.1 Pro Client Hyper-V...

so no conversion, and use it in Hyper-V?

Do you have Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 2012 ? (or you could download and use Hyper-V (free), but this would be more difficult!)

No need to convert, no need for VMware Workstation, or Virtualbox.
G-Dawg27Author Commented:
Andrew, the old server is an HP ML350 G5. It lost a power supply, but the other one is working as far as I can tell. It keeps rebooting all the time. What happens is that the Internal Health LED goes red, and on the system board, the IERR led is bright red and both processor status lights go amber, which means a processor failure. Odd thing is that we only have 1 processor. HP said the IERR LED means that there is a processor failure. I had a processor shipped overnight, but after replacing the existing processor, the new one doesn't change anything. It still doesn't stay on. After a bunch of crashes, the OS is damaged, so I would have to somehow fix the OS if I can get the server working. HP said to replace the system board next, but I don't want to keep throwing money at an old server at this point.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Use the VHD with Hyper-V, this is the quickest and best chance of getting the server up and running, if the VHD (from backup) is a true VHD.
G-Dawg27Author Commented:
I've never worked with Hyper-V before, only VMWare. Sadly, It would probably take me quite a while to get it up and running so that I could use it.

We are in the middle of an Office 365 migration from Exchange, so I need to wait to get the email from StarWind so that i can download and install V2V Converter. I'll let you guys know when I get it converted. Thanks.
G-Dawg27Author Commented:
I do hope that the Backup software that Microsoft provides with their server OS' does create a true vhd. Would be sad if they didn't.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Hyper-V is really simple, just add the role, create a new VM, select the VHD, you have Power ON.

Well they use and write to a VHD, because this makes it easy for you to mount, to get files off, when mounting in Disk Management.

BUT....for a VHD to be used in a virtual machine, the VHD must be a disk image, and have a BOOT Sector, and Master Boot Record, which are the things, that make the OS BOOT!

and Windows Backup just does that Backup Files!!!! (does not include the boot sector, because it's not a disk image!)

only Disk2VHD does that....

Hence, why you are getting a Operating System not Found error message, because there is no MBR, or BOOT Sector.

Which to be honest with you renders the VHD useless for creating a virtual machine.....

I have just found this Web Link at Technet, which confirms my thinking on this matter...

You cannot. It doesn't have a bootloader. It can't be booted.

Source
Can I use the VHD file created by Windows Backup with Hyper-V

So, sorry after all that waffle, we are back to my original suggestion, and Mounting the VHD in Disk Management.

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G-Dawg27Author Commented:
Great information Andrew! Thanks so much! I will try just mounting it in Disk Management and see if that works.
G-Dawg27Author Commented:
Andrew, quick question... I have a few licenses for Server 2012 R2, but only 1 physical server. Does it make more sense to install Hyper-V on the physical server and run a couple of virtuals on it? It has 16 GB ram, 2 - 300 GB 15K drives in a RAID 1 config and 5 1.2 TB drives that I was going to use for data in a RAID 5 config (4 RAID 5 and 1 hot spare). I was talking to my boss about the benefits of having 2 domain controllers in case 1 crashes, but with only one physical server I thought we would just do good backups. The server is an HP DL360 which has 4 built-in NICs, so each virtual could have their own NIC. Would it be difficult for a novice to set this up?
G-Dawg27Author Commented:
Thanks for the help guys. I was able to restore all of the data by mounting the .vhd file in Disk Management.
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