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I want to create a VM of Windows Server 2003 on my Windows 7 laptop, in order to run SAP-BI applications on Windows 7. The total size of Server 2003 is 260GB. (SAP-BI is installed in Server 2003)

  1. How much space do I need to create a VM of Server 2003?
  2. What is the procedure to create a virtual machine from a Server 2003 installation?

System specifications:

  • Intel Core i3 CPU
  • 4GB RAM
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  1. The amount of virtual disk space that needs to be available for you to create a VM is more than 260GB as you say that is the size of your Server 2003 HD. So I would recommend around 300GB.

  2. You can use various programs to create a VM from your machine. As your question is currently worded, you already have an existing Server 2003 installation and you want a copy of that in a VM. You can use the VMWare Converter to convert your existing Server 2003 installation into a VHD. From there you can access the VHD from VMWare Workstation or from VMWare Player.

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That's interesting: is it really true that you can run Server 2003 with the player? I was told that the server needs vmware workstation - but that might not be right? – brainray Mar 20 '14 at 16:03

Well, if you have enough disk space it should be possible.

VMWare vCenter converter can help you convert the machine to a virtual one (provided you have enough disk space to store it, and then you can run it with VMWare Player

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1.How much space do i require to create the VM of server 2003? Microsoft says a minimum of 1.25 - 2 GB for 32-bit, 4GB for 64-bit. Keep in mind, that's bare minimum. You need more space for applications, etc. Personally, I would recommend at LEAST 20-40 GB if you have the space. With many Virtualization software, you can create an expanding volume so that it only allocates space for the virtual hard drive when it actually needs to write the data. There is a slight performance trade off compared to pre-allocated disk images.

2.Tell me the procedure to create the virtual machine of server 2003.

That would really depend on the virtualization software used. There are plenty of no cost options including VirtualBox, VMware Player, and MS Virtual PC. The general procedure is the same, use the function to create a new virtual machine, configure it for Windows Server 2003, provide it with your installation media, and let it install. Once the installation is finished install the Virtualization Tools/Addons, etc. depending on the virtualization product which provide drivers to improve the performance and integration with the virtualized environment.

Here's an overview of installing Windows (in this case XP, which is the desktop equivalent of Server 2003) in a VirtualBox VM.

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