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I have a machine that I just reinstalled Windows and all of my applications onto... what a chore that is. I want to totally and completely avoid this from now on by creating an image.

My first thought was to see if it possible to copy a VHD file when you are booted into it since I am using Windows 7 Ultimate as boot-to-vhd (without a parent machine). Is this possible and if so, how could I accomplish this? Keep in mind, this is my personal machine and I'm trying to keep things inexpensive (a good script would work).

Thanks,

Josh

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migrated from serverfault.com Aug 31 '10 at 18:36

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Assuming you do not intend to mount a disk you want to boot of of (make a copy if you need to mount!) Microsoft/Sysinternals disk2vhd would let you convert disks to vhds, as the name states.

You can then boot this into a VM, boot off it with vhdboot, or mount the VHD (on another system preferably!) to copy files off it.

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Microsoft TechNet strongly cautions against trying this.

Do not copy a .vhd file while it is in use by a virtual machine. The file system of the host operating system does not prevent you from copying a file in use; however, data will be missing from the copied file because data in the virtual machine's memory will not be copied. Do not copy a .vhd file that is used by a virtual machine configured as a domain controller; doing so can cause problems such as duplicate security IDs (SIDs) appearing on the network.

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