Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there any way to copy a physical hard drive to a virtual drive for use in Vmware Workstation?

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 17 '11 at 22:36

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

add comment

10 Answers 10

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You could use VMware vCenter Converter(free) or Paragon Go Virtual(free), both applications will convert your existing physical machines in to virtual machines.

I have only used VMware vCenter Converter with good results.

share|improve this answer
add comment

VMware (and I think most VM vendors) have "physical-to-virtual" conversion tools that should do the job. It's been a long time since I've tried them, but when I did I had no good luck (I'm sure that's probably not the case anymore - it's been a very long time).

However, if you find they don't work for you, you can do what I usually do - attach an empty virtual drive to an existing virtual machine and use Ghost or Acronis (or any other drive imaging software) to image the physical disk to the empty VM disk. This works great - just like if you wanted to copy a drive from one physical machine to another.

share|improve this answer
    
The program for VMware is the VMware vCenter Converter. –  Scott Warren Jan 18 '11 at 14:04
add comment

Sure is, you can make it an ISO and mount it on the system. Beware, that it will take up as much harddisk space as the drive it's a copy of, so you'll want to do this on another drive. There are far easier ways. For instance: Use "File->Import" on the Workstation to choose the harddrive as the source drive to mount.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for "it will take up as much harddisk space as the drive it's a copy of" –  Justicle Nov 23 '09 at 23:22
add comment

you can just 'dd' your /dev/hda or /dev/hda1 to a file. i.e. if you are on a linux box.

on Windows get a windows dd, and use \DosDevices\DriveC ( or something like that too lazy to look around).

share|improve this answer
add comment

In VMWare Workstation, File->import supports a physical machine as the source

share|improve this answer
add comment

You can add a windows (samba) share on your hardware node, and go to it through your virtual node (\) to copy the files. Alternatively, you can use the network browsing feature to locate the files on the shared drive, and copy them.

share|improve this answer
    
I don't think you get it. He wants to copy the drive, not the files. –  Jason Jackson Oct 22 '08 at 22:54
add comment

You can attach a blank VMDK as a disk drive with SmartVDK and copy the files over to it.

If you want to preserve ACLs and all the NTFS metadata (make a perfect image,) use ImageX to capture an image of the physical disk. And then immediately apply the image to the attached virtual disk drive. You'll need enough space to have a complete backup of the source hard drive, though.

share|improve this answer
add comment

easy.

Create a new virtual disk that is the size of the physical disk you want to copy.

on the Machines sidebar list in Vmware, go to settings, select the disk, map it to a drive letter on the host machine, use your favorite imaging software to copy the physical disk to the VM disk.

This is nice because it's a direct copy and does not require in image which would otherwise mean a third copy of the disk would be needed temporarily.

share|improve this answer
add comment

After a long research i found out that the only way to import the informations from your computer to the virtual machine is by sharing them folder by folder and giving full rights for them.Worked for me!

share|improve this answer
add comment
  1. Create a new Virtual machine based on linux.
  2. Make the drive size equal to the drive to be imaged
  3. Connect the drive to be imaged (USB/eSATA)
  4. boot the VM off the diskcopy CD/ISO link text
  5. Make a disk copy using external drive as Source and vDisk as Destination
  6. Change VM settings as appropriate
share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.