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I am currently using a dedicated server for my hosting needs. However, the costs are too high and I would like to suspend everything until I work out my business strategy again.

Is there a way I can take a complete backup of the filesystem and run it in VMWare ? I cannot just copy the entire filesystem because there are lots of tools installed and tight changes to the server configuration files I myself dont know about (by the developers), but I need a snapshot of the entire disk image along with processes installed and everything is as is because for development needs, I need to work on this copy in VMWare or VirtualBox etc.

Is it possible for me to take a full image copy ? How do I do it ?

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Sounds like your target VM technique is not fixed. Why that? – Nils Mar 18 '12 at 20:28

You can use VMWare Converter to create a VM Image from a physical machine. This will give you the VM files you need to download, however they are going to be quite large.

You'r also going to want to consider licencing, if there are any paid for apps on that box, that are licenced by your host, not you then you will need to remove these.

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Instead of VMWare Converter that only works in a VMWare environment, Clonezilla could be a more general solution.

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Symantec System Recovery Linux Edition will perform this task. It will do the physical to virtual conversion for VMware or Hyper V and will also allow you to restore to different physical hardware as well. It will also give you a backup solution for future use.

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