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I've seen a lot of guides on how to do physical -> VHD, but is there any way to easily move a VHD image to a physical disk easily? Or should I just attach the disk and go to town with GNU DD?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The dd approach works, but only if the destination physical disk can be trashed and entirely overwritten, and is at least as big as the maximum growth size of the virtual disk. This can also end up taking a long time if the virtual disk isn't "full".

An alternative approach is to use an imaging tool like Ghost or ImageX to efficiently capture the file contents of the virtual disk's partitions into some sort of extractable archive files and then extract their contents onto a partitioned physical disk.

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clonezilla live disk to disk also could help. – Francisco Tapia Aug 11 at 16:43

If you prefer to do using Windows based tool you can do this:

Savepart is a tool (free but not open source, available for both Windows and Linux) that can be used to image partitions. Once the VHD is attached it can be restored to a physical partition by savepart as if it were a physical partition.

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Please exercise caution when recommending software. As written, your answer may be seen as spam. Your answer should include a description of the software and how it addresses the question. More information: How do I recommend software in my answers? – DragonLord Aug 11 at 17:12

The following operations are performed on knoppix (live linux) from terminal.

  modprobe nbd
  qemu-nbd -r -c /dev/nbd0 -f vpc <vhd_file_name>

if VHDX fromat

  qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0 -f VHDX <vhdx_file_name>
  ddrescue -v -f /dev/nbd0 /dev/sda  >>>> image to /dev/sda writing

only one partition writing

  qemu-nbd -P 2 -r -c /dev/nbd2 -f vpc <vhd_file_name> 
  ddrescue -v -f /dev/nbd2 /dev/sda2 >>>> part2 of image to /dev/sda2 writing

partition mount

  qemu-nbd -P 2 -r -c /dev/nbd2 -f vpc <vhd_file_name> >>> -P 2 part2 of image 
  mount /dev/nbd2 /mnt 

unmount and disconnect image file

  unmount /mnt 
  qemu-nbd -d /dev/nbd2
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Attach the VHD to a virtual machine (you can use MS Virtual PC, VirtualBox or any other virtualization software that supports VHD). Then boot the VM with the Acronis True Image ISO mounted in a virtual CD drive and create TIB image, then boot the physicl computer with the same CD (this time burned on a disk) and recover the TIB image to the physical HDD using Sector-by-sector.

This supports the recovery of multiple partitions from the same image.

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