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Assuming that there are no hardware incompatibilities with the guest OS version in VMWare and the target computer, is it possible to burn or transfer a VMWare system to a physical disk and boot from it?

For example, if you have two Windows computers, and you have VMWare on the first one running Windows 7, could you take that VMWare image and burn it to the primary hard disk of the second computer and boot from it? If so, what wold it entail, and would it work with Linux and Unix distros, too, for example?

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Just my 2 cents... I'm not saying it's impossible, as I've never even tried anything like that, but I'd guess there'd be at least some trouble with device drivers, os activation (if it is bound to hardware) etc. Even if the two machines have identical hardware, VMWare probably does have some sort of "abstraction layer" on top of the actual devices and the guest OS uses different drivers than it would were it the host OS. Could be wrong, though. –  esaj Jan 29 '11 at 13:51
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 29 '11 at 18:36

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2 Answers

AFAIK, without some kind complex additional actions, you can't.

(but you can vice versa - create an image based on physical machine)

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VMware has a whole tech note on this: http://www.vmware.com/support/v2p/doc/V2P_TechNote.pdf

The toplevel page is here: http://www.vmware.com/support/v2p/

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