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So I have a dev server running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise 32 Bit SP2 R2.

Here are the system specs

Motherboard Intel S5520HC
CPU x2 Intel Xeon L5520 (Quad Core @ 2.27 GHz per core, 16 cores total)
Storage 120GB SSD

I am well aware that this is a bit overpowered for a dev box.

Anyway, I would like to consolidate my current server 2k3 install a few other systems into one by installing Hyper-V Server on this machine. The other VMs that would be running will be dev/test environments (Windows 7) that currently reside on physical machines. I plan on ordering another 16GB of RAM so I can give each VM plenty of resources.

I have experience using Sysinternals disk2vhd.exe tool with Windows 7 installs and have yet to run into any issues making bootable VMs. The issue I am running into is when I created a VHD of my server 2k3 install (with disk2vhd) and attempted to boot the image with VirtualBox, the VHD seems to boot but I do not see anything on the screen (a black window opens and just sits there).

I have attempted to ping the machine using the IP, NetBios name and FQDN (Network Adapter in VirtualBox is set to Bridged Mode)to see if the VHD is actually booting, but the machine does not seem to be pingable.

I would like to be 100% sure that I will not have any issues booting the 2k3 VHD after I install Hyper-V on this system. Many hours have gone into configuring MSQL and various web components (this machine was configured by a web developer I work with, I am just the system administrator), and I would prefer to not have to start from scratch.

Is it possible to create a bootable VHD of an existing Windows Server 2k3 install for use in Hyper-V? Any clues as to why Virtual Box does not throw any errors when I try to boot the VHD? Are there any other tools (commerical or freeware/open source) that someone could reccomend that I could try to create the VHD?

Let me know if you need more info..

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

All Disk2VHD does is duplicate the disk into a VHD, so you'll end up with a disk image containing Windows with an improper hardware configuration for use with the VM (hence the black screen at boot).

Just like if you yanked the HDD out of a physical Windows 2003 machine and stuck it into a different physical computer (different chipset, disk controllers, etc.) it won't boot.

Use Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager. It does a MUCH better job of converting Physical machines to Virtual.

P2V: Converting Physical Computers to Virtual Machines in VMM

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) allows you to convert existing physical computers into virtual machines through a process known as physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion. VMM simplifies P2V by providing a task-based wizard to automate much of the conversion process

VMM is part of MS System Center, 2012 is the current version. Although it costs money, they currently offer a trial. The trial was 365 days long when I downloaded it a couple weeks ago.

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So, in order to continue using the physical install as a VM in hyper-v, will I need to have system center running at all times in order to make it work, or does VMM actually create a VHD (or some format) image for use without System Center? Regardless, thanks for the tip. System Center looks interesting. – Richie086 Aug 9 '12 at 17:52
Nah, your just using the VMM tool from the MSSC trial to do the conversion. You can use the created VMs (.vmcx) and VHDs with Hyper-V, separate from MSSC. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 9 '12 at 22:21
Sweet! Thank you so much for your time and knowledge techie007! – Richie086 Aug 11 '12 at 2:26

VMM is great but may be more than needed. You will have to determine. There is also this from technet Disk2vhd

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Although I agree with what you're saying, the OP said he used dish2VHD and ended up with an unbootable image. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 6 '12 at 20:26
Hmm, interesting I did not read the fine print on the disk2vhd page.. Note: do not attach to VHDs on the same system on which you created them if you plan on booting from them. If you do so, Windows will assign the VHD a new disk signature to avoid a collision with the signature of the VHD’s source disk. Windows references disks in the boot configuration database (BCD) by disk signature, so when that happens Windows booted in a VM will fail to locate the boot disk. – Richie086 Aug 9 '12 at 17:48
@Richie086 If the black screen (unbootable machine) happens again then… provides the solution. – holmb Jan 28 '15 at 9:08

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