Convert Windows 7 to VMware Virtual Machine

art Jul 13, 2010

Some of you would rather run with Linux or something else on your company laptop.  I would like to run with Ubuntu, but my laptop came preloaded with Windows 7 and I have some important business applications I do not want to lose.

VMware has yet to release a version of VMware converter that can move Windows 7 to a VM.  Microsoft changed the way VSS works in Windows 7 and VMware has yet to catch up to that.  Sysinternals wrote a nifty little app that converts your physical disk to a VHD file for use with Hyper-V.  I personally have yet to run Hyper-V in production, and since I am moving to Ubuntu I will need to change this to a VMware readable VMDK file using Starwind’s Converter product.  After that I will create a VM and add my shiny new converted VMDK to it.

Here is the quick and dirty how to.


Needed files or installs:


Starwind Converter

VMware Player

For fixing any Win7 issues you may need your Microsoft Windows 7 ISO image or
The Windows 7 Recovery Disc [Warning: Torrents files]

***** Step 1 *** **

Download and run Disk2vhd.  So start the conversion and then go get coffee, or surf the web because it will take a while.

***** Step 2 *** **

Download and install StarWind Converter

This converts the VHD file we made in the previous step to a readable VMDK for VMware  Player.

I chose “VMWare growable image” on IDE in the options. YMMV.

Get more coffee, and surf the web because this take a long time.

***** Step 3 *** **

Create a Custom Windows 7 VM in VMware Player. When choosing the disk drive, choose the exiting VMDK that we created in the previous step.

***** Step 4 *** **

Boot up the VM and fix the damage if there is any.  Since this is a VM we can uninstall all the physical hardware programs and such. Also install VMware tools and reboot.


Utopia Machine

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