I'm looking for a way to convert a raw hard drive image (from a machine that had Windows 10 installed on it) to a bootable working virtual machine, preferable VMware based. Everything I'm finding online talks about converting a machine that is running and can have an application installed on it. In my situation I only have the raw hard drive.

EDIT: the main problem isn't converting the hard drive image to something VMware Workstation can actually read, it's finding a tool that will modify the image to allow the machine to boot and recognize the new hardware without blue screening.

  • How was the raw hard drive image made? – ivanivan Sep 14 '19 at 22:24
  • This could be similar to what was asked here: stackoverflow.com/questions/454899/… – JMill Sep 14 '19 at 22:55
  • It's just a raw hard drive image. The problem isn't so much in converting the image to something a virtual machine can read but getting the machine to actually boot and recognize the different hardware, etc. – Harry Muscle Sep 15 '19 at 12:46
  • You might want to investigate clonezilla.org - that has various capabilities that may relate to what you want to do (eg reinstallation of boot loaders). Or it may not. – TommyPeanuts Sep 15 '19 at 15:10

In Windows or Linux, you can mount said disk image. You could then access create a .vmdk file; VirtualBox comes with a tool to create one using the following command:

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename "</path/to/file>.vmdk" -rawdisk /dev/sda

Windows will allow you to create a snapshot of any HD using disk2vhd. Again, you can mount the image as a volume and create the image from that - see this image: enter image description here

  • I believe VMware Converter can convert powered off virtual machine hard drive images but will it actual work with such an image? All virtual machine hard drive images would have different drivers installed than what this image would contain. I need this image to actually boot and work as a virtual machine. – Harry Muscle Sep 15 '19 at 12:37
  • Oh - that almost definitely won't work, as Windows is installed for certain hardware. If you boot you'll probably get a BSOD. You could boot, then go through recovery steps in Windows just as you would any machine. Better to boot a normal virtual machine, use the image as a spare drive, and get any info etc. needed off there. – LTPCGO Sep 15 '19 at 14:37

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