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I have a physical Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition server that I would like to convert into a virtual machine on my Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Server. Has anyone had any luck creating a Hypver V VHD from an exisiting Physical Windows 2003 server? What steps have you taken to convert the physical machine to a VHD?

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5 Answers

I believe the official tool for this is SCVMM. You can get the R2 RC free here:

http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/virtualmachinemanager/en/us/default.aspx

I personally haven't used this, but from what I understand it allows P2V conversions.

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I was going to post this as a comment to one of the above answers, but as two of them tackle the same subject, I thought I had better post this as an actual answer.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager does Physical-2-Virtual conversions (and Virtual-2-Physical as well) to Hyper-V, as well as converting VMWare VM images to HyperV.

I have used SCVMM to image working, crufted up legacy systems and it has worked perfectly every single time - no issues, no problems, it has simply worked and left me with a Hyper-V image that has soldiered on.

I have done this probably 30 or 40 times. Windows 2003 systems, old developer machines when they received new hardware, specific environments. All sorts of systems. And they all worked perfectly after the P2V conversion.

I was even impressed that a HP OEM Windows XP image only required the XP key to be reentered, and it validated fine. Your mileage may vary on that one tho.

But yes, if you use SCVMM the process is harmless, simple and painless. The physical system is left as-is so you can return to it if you need to, and you get a nice VM to use in its place.

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I have not done this using Hyper-V, but I have done multiple P2V's with VMware to ESX. Notable issues there are missing and/or different drivers for disks, NICs etc. and also OS requiring Reactivation. I would expect that you would have these same issues with Hyper-V as the same underlying principals to virtualization apply. Neither of these issues caused us any real headache when moving virtual on any of our boxes though and I would expect the same thing for you.

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There are also some drivers that are loaded on the physical system that I removed from the Device manager after the migration. These were the serial and parallel ports as well as some Dell RAID controllers.

Overall the process was very smooth.

(This was a P2V migration to ESX, but the same should apply)

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I haven't don it to Hyper-v and I susually recommend against P2V unless you have some software that is a real pain to re-install or software that is CPUID licensed. Any consolidation or virtulization effort should warrant redeploying the machines so you can get clean installs on the "new" hardware. Both ESX and HYPER-V SCVMM have the abilty to deploy loads of machines quickly so actually buidling the new VMs isn't painful, its the re-install of the apps on them.

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