I have been trying to find a simple way to migrate a physical Windows Server 2008 R2 installation over to a virtual machine hosted on Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition /w Hyper-V.

I came across the bare metal backup feature on Windows Server 2008 R2 and assumed I would be able to easily back it up and simply restore it into a new virtual machine by booting the installation media and getting into the Windows recovery process. When I attempted this, Hyper-V got into a network based restore process, but I do not have a PXE server or anything like that and I would rather not set it up.

I tried mounting the VHD produced in the bare metal backup, just to see if it would somehow work, but it of course did not and failed with an error related to an incorrect boot device. I checked the virtual machine's BIOS settings and everything looked fine. I did not expect this to work anyway, so I stopped working through this method any further.

Is there a way to take my bare metal backup and restore it into a virtual machine without a PXE server or SCVMM?

I am opening to using proprietary tools but since the last time I did this I used Norton Ghost, which is no longer supported, I figured I would try doing it with what is readily available.

1 Answer 1


The solution was to switch tools. I used Disk2Vhd instead of Microsoft Windows Server Backup and it worked flawlessly on the first attempt.

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