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Is there any realistic way to convert a WinXP Pro system to VMWare or VirtualBox (p2v) without the original systems hardware?

I have a ghost image (it's a .gho, unfortunately not .sv2i) of the original system, but the hardware was completely destroyed so running the standard p2v tools isn't easily possible.

5 Answers 5

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Have you tried restoring the Ghost image into a VM guest? Depending on what actual drivers are displaced, there is a chance that the restored image can work with some driver replacements.

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  • tried but ended up with a BSoD
    – Citricguy
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 13:46
  • Trying again, but going to run a cold-clone ardamis.com/2009/04/25/cold-cloning-vmware-converter on the newly restored Ghost Image
    – Citricguy
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 2:35
  • This along with the link in the 2nd comment worked beautifully. :)
    – Citricguy
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 5:02
  • Glad that it worked out, good info with the link in the 2nd comment!
    – user48838
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 5:34
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VMware vCenter Converter Standalone can convert many different images to the VMware format.

You can download it for free from the VMware website:

  1. http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/

  2. http://www.vmware.com/go/getconverter

Good luck!

EDIT: Good find by Citricguy: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003228

Only .sv2i ghost images are supported.

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    forgot the converter will go direct from .gho's to vmdk's!
    – tony roth
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 16:02
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    It seems only .sv2i Ghost images are supported. kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/… These seem to require an image created using a running system (hot-backup)
    – Citricguy
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 2:34
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This knowledge base entry explains how to do this. Requires Ghost Solution Suite 2.5, vmware 6 or newer

You can change a ".gho" file to a ".VMDK" file using the DOS version of the ghost.exe, the Linux version of ghost.exe or ghost32.exe. To change the file, run ghost with the following command line:

  -clone,mode=restore,src=< path\file >.gho,dst=< path\file >.vmdk
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restore the the .gho to another hard disk don't boot the result, take that hd and hook it up to another workstation server etc and run disk2vhd against that disk! That will boot as a vm under hyper-v or if converted with vmware.

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  • Jakob's method is the most correct answer.
    – tony roth
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 16:12
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If you have genuine Ghost (rather than the ersatz "Norton Ghost" product squatting on the brand in the consumer space), then Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 contains a tool called DeployAnywhere which is similar to the "Restore Anywhere" capability used in the low-end consumer product (Deploy Anywhere started in essence as a port of Restore Anywhere to a more general-purpose codebase).

DeployAnywhere can do a number of things, but mainly it tries to inject the best choices it can find for the mass storage and network driver classes into the target system so that it will boot. VMWare Converter is a great tool, but a process involving DeployAnywhere works equally well for P2V conversion for other virtualization systems such as VirtualBox and Virtual Server.

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  • Going to purchase this if my cold-clone via VM fails.
    – Citricguy
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 2:35

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