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I have two or three old PCs lying around at home. They're big and clunky, and I would like to get rid of them. But before I do, I'd like to get the contents off the hard drive. The most ideal solution would be to turn them into VMs.

I am aware of consequences of having Vista and changing the hardware specification as will inevitably happen when going from the real hardware to the very different virtual "hardware".

I can deal with that somehow, but is there some neat, magic process/software to effectively dump a Windows PC to a VM? Including second drives etc.?

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This technology is called P2V, but from what it sounds like you just need a copy of Ghost and Ghost Explorer. –  ta.speot.is May 9 '11 at 22:40
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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You need the (Free) VMWare converter:

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

The 'disks' and machines that this converter makes can be used with the free VMWare tools and the disk files also work with (free) Virtualbox.

Read the accompanying info too, but once you get to grips with things it's quite straightforward.

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+1 by 27 seconds. :-) –  Dave M May 9 '11 at 15:15
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VMware converter will do this easily. If you want a backup and a VM Backup Exec System recovery will also do this for you. Both work very well

VMware converter

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I recently did this and used the System Internals Disk 2 VHD tool. Worked Well - be sure (if they are XP boxes) to check the 'convert HAL for use with virtual pc' box. Thats not the exact wording but its close....

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