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I've read a few articles about converting a Windows partition using either the VMware tool or disk2vhd from sysinternals but nothing for unix that I can find. Does anyone know if there is a way to convert an old SCO OS 5.0.5 (or Linux for that matter) partition to a virtual disk?

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There are two broad categories of approach for this. I'm not familiar with SCO, but the principles should work fine.

  1. Boot from other media (so that the disk is quiescent) and use dd. This answer covers that nicely.

  2. Use a disk cloning tool (such as Clonezilla) to back up the old machine, then boot the VM using a Clonezilla ISO in the virtual optical drive, and restore it. James Lorenzen has a quick overview of how to do that here. You use an external USB drive for the backup, attach that drive to your host system, and then, when Clonezilla prompts you for source media, you enable pass-through for that USB device from your host system to your guest system, and it should be detected.

Other answers in that first question also touch on the disk-clone approach, but it was James' overview that made it click for me.

Clonezilla can work with just about any filesystem, because it falls back to dd if it can't use any of its smarter filesystem-aware methods. So I'm pretty confident that it will work with your SCO partition.

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