What's the best way to convert a VMWare VMDK HDD file to a HyperV VHD file?

I've been tasked with converting our environment to HyperV for evaluation purposes. We are MSDN subscribers, so the MS software for the job is probably available to me if you know it.

I have been having hit or miss success with "vmdk2vhd" - about half the time it tells me "Invalid vmdk" and as far as I know they should be fine.


7 Answers 7


I'm hoping there's a better answer than this, but I've read repeated accounts of better success in converting large vmdks by breaking them down into 2gb drives (with VMWare Converter) prior to conversion.

  • 1
    While painful, once I used vmware-diskmanager from Workstation to convert the disk into 2GB chunks vmdk2vhd recognized it as a valid VMDK file. Thanks!
    – Garrett
    Jun 15, 2009 at 22:12

There are now several tools available to achieve this task. Some of theme have some more functions like converting a running PC to a image and converting to other formats.

One neat little tool is StarWind V2V Converter:

Another one is Vmdk2Vhd from vmToolkit but I have no experience with this one.

If you want to go for the big solution with more functions under the hood you can try VMware vCenter Converter.


use WinImage 8.1, it can help you to convert vpc images between VHD and VMDK, easy to use and powerful.


Just converting the vmdk to a vhd won't transfer the server to Hyper-V as all the drivers will be wrong. I had to do just the same as you, with about half a dozen VMWare virtual servers. I did it by using the Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager to import the servers just as if they were physical servers. I think the SCVMM is a free download from Microsoft, or at least an evaluation version is available.

Some notes: uninstall VMWare Tools from the virtual servers before you do the import to Hyper-V or they'll give errors when you start the imported Hyper-V servers. My imported servers give occasional w32time errors, but apart from that they work perfectly.


  • I don't think I have the time to do a physical import from all the servers... I really just need to be able to convert the VMDKs to VHD and fire them up - can always uninstall VMWare Tools after the fact.
    – Garrett
    Jun 15, 2009 at 17:28

I've tried converting VMDK to VHD and ended up with a black screen and inability to start Windows after conversion.

Check the following comment thread for issues you may have with VMware drivers and the black screen after convertsion: http://vmtoolkit.com/blogs/announcements/archive/2006/11/20/vmdk-to-vhd-converter-available.aspx

There's an article here with similar or the same information as the comment thread above, but it requires registration: http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid94_gci1225164,00.html?asrc=SS_CLA_303373&psrc=CLT_94

Finally, this forum thread has similar information as the above two sites: http://vmtoolkit.com/forums/thread/78.aspx


A few notes, you can't (in my experience) uninstall VMWare Tools "after the fact". Why? Because they keep the converted system from working to the point where you can boot up and log in. At least that was my experience with a Vista conversion.

System Center VMM really is the way to go, even if I can currently having a hard time with it.


  • We did install this as an alternative solution as well... So far it's just a glorified hard drive converter and drops all the settings for NICs, HDDs, etc and we have to add all the harware back. Pretty unsatisfied, myself.
    – Garrett
    Jun 18, 2009 at 17:21

When I converted to vhd from vmdk using winimage, the resulting file after being added to a new Hyperv VM did not boot and it told me that the version of windows on that disk was corrupt. Running repair from windows image file did not help. The OS is win2k3 SP2.

Is there anything special that needs to be done for this conversion to work properly ?

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